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onwards and upwards

another weekend of fun and frivolity with art and music kids, and now she's exhausted!

on saturday i went up to the last first draft forum for twentylove: onwards. there were some great speakers.

highlights of the afternoon included Reuben Keehan speaking about artspace and the increase of contemporary art spaces and ARIs working collaboratively thanks to not having to fight quite so much for cash, thanks to the Myer Inquiry money. I've seen this happening most recently, with 4A being able to use equipment from MCA and artspace easily. Seems that the CAOs are beginning to take a leaf out of the ARIs books :)

revisiting soda_jerk's reign over the remix was great and i loved their pirate patch style of marketing, with the maxim from dan: "remember that your'e a curator (or artist), not a party organiser". and being able to speak with aaron seeto was great - aaron had exhibited quite a few times with project and then moved on to bigger and better things (proof again how tops ARIs are) so it was great to put face to name for both of us.

and then a major highlight for me was the 25 predictions for the future from the art life. in true TAL style, it was irreverant, poignant and beautifully executed, despite a case of cottonmouth, which seemed to affect most of the speakers. i laughed my ass off! even when i knew that i had been guilty of number 14, meaning that i'll probably be up for 25 years imprisonment for a recent post, i loved it! the thing i especially liked is that it was a nice tongue-in-cheek balance for some very in depth and serious discussion about ARIs, contemporary art, commercial galleries, etc.

and then all that seriousness and introspection was highlighted again by our architect swimmer guy, who introduced himself to everyone and made everyone re-introduce themselves, but for the life of me i can't remember his name. so for the sake of this post, his name is george. george is a regular visitor to first draft, so he's a persistant civilian, but he was an excellent reminder about contemporary art and art in general being relevant to the general public. we were all exposed as the bunch of haughty snobs we are, and it was fantastic!! favourite quote from george came after anthony whelan re-introduced himself: "sherman galleries hey.. i've never heard of it.... ha! just kidding" lol!!

so, after that, it was time for more frivolity at the runway launch at MOP with a trash theme, there was lots of haute plastique, trash couture, karaoke and a few second appearances for some of the forum kids, including Soda_Jerk in runway and Reuban Keehan in the Low show and fantastic Low catalogue interviews. But back to the karaoke. for all my fun and games, i can't stand karaoke usually. i have a very low cringe factor (see, i'm a snob, i admit it and proud of it) and people singing trashy songs with a variety of talent makes my skin crawl, it's not personal. however, on saturday night, i managed to stay in the main room for most of the time and even had a quiet trashy boogie with my gorgeous dancing friend Dave [although our best dancing was done in the corridor outside the loos to echo beach by martha and the muffins!]

with jelly shots, champagne, sour lollies and cheese rings, it was a classy night all round and damn impressive. and the issue is just as rad! i've only managed to read a few things since having it bought for me on sat, but it's been delicious. i've read the extended remix of the interview by Pete Volich with Christopher Hanrahan, the Chocolate Manifesto by Benedict Ernst, (which i had read previously) and Vicky Papageorgeopolous' work is really quite amusing, although i like the work i saw on Shut Up and Follow Me instead, where she did some collaborations with some great artists, like Gerhardt Richter (ie, she put her balls near a Richter painting.. was great!). Am looking forward to reading the other articles in the next couple of days.

I love that an ARI like runway exists: a non-space-based initiative and one that honours the ability of contemporary and emerging artists to straddle various creative forms - writing and printed work. I love that it's supported by various funding options and i hope it lasts a long, long time! are you listening Arts NSW and Ozco? Probably not, but it's worth the soap box. and besides, they put on a great party.

After lots of schmoozing and grooving, we then topped the night off by checking out a band called the Kill Devil Hills at the Hopetoun Hotel in Surry Hills: very Nick Cave/Dirty Three/Geraldine Fibbers. In fact it's the kind of music that makes couples want to fornicate! i watched 3 separate couples swing and sway, start making out, then leave! If there's a baby boom in 9 months' time, blame it on the Kill Devil Hills!


she sees red undies

Here’s a bit of a sneak preview of the new she sees red undies!

There’s only a limited number – the first range is only 4 of each design (3 for the guys) and I’ll be selling them at Sticky during the Entropy show.

they say "she sees red undies" on the bum!

So if cool knickers tickle your fancy, and you’re in Melbourne town, head into the Campbell Arcade subway from the 6th November onwards and grab a pair!


dancing in ACCA

Gillian Wearing, Dancing in Peckham
from www.accaonline.org.au

i'm a little behind in my gushing over my last trip to ACCA, but thankfully i was reminded this week to write about it, by seeing a work that was so glaringly derivative that it spurred me into action.

"what is she talking about?" i can hear you saying..

she is talking about one YBA called Gillian Wearing.

when i was in ol' melbourne town celebrating friends' birthdays, having meetings with board members and laying around in bed with a virus, i did manage to honour my committment to go and check out Living Proof at ACCA. I have been a huge fan of Gillian Wearing since my photography major days and was looking forward to seeing Dancing in Peckham, the video piece which introduced me to her, of which i had only ever seen stills (thanks to Sensation getting canned at the NGA).

Gillian Wearing for me highlights where Australian's get their sense of humour and taking-the-piss attitude from. Her ability to deride and glorify the british pathetic is awesome and she does so with just enough tongue-in-cheek to take the depression out of it all, but also has enough sadness in there so we have some compassion. When i think of Gillian Wearing, I think of 'Are You Being Served?'

The exhibition was a survey of her works including her other well-known photographic works Signs: about 30 images of regular brits holding up quite quirky signs that may or may not have related to them. The one i had seen before was the 'I'M DESPERATE ONE' held up by quite a suave looking chap with a nice Ray Martin style hair cut. I absoluted pissed myself laughing at two other of those works- one very refined older woman holding up a sign saying 'HELLO SAILOR' and an image of two young black twins, one holding up the sign saying 'I LOVE THE WILLIE'!! I laughed out loud, and i really wish that i hadn't been in a large, echoing room with a bunch of other people, because i would have laughed louder, believe me. I would have Rolled On The Floor Laughing My Ass Off. No, really.

All the other works were pretty fucking great as well. The self-portraits as members of her family were creepy in a Cindy Sherman kind of way and although I got bored with the video vignettes of people singing their favourite tunes, only because i had reaching my upload limit and there was some really bad singing, i still totally dug the pieces.

But back to Dancing in Peckham.

It wasn't the only piece there, but boy, it was the biggest drawcard for me. It is the epitome of her black humour, her focus on the vulnerability and dagginess (for want of a better term) of britlife and the schutzpah of saatchi-funded art practice that the YBAs embodied.

The video went for about 34 minutes and i didn't get to watch the whole thing, but i did go from the beginning and watched for about 10 minutes. The only reason i stopped watching is because i became self-conscious about the noise of my laughing! i pissed myself for about 8 of those minutes, just really enjoying the pastiche dance moves she did with such apparent seriousness, the looks she was getting from the crowds walking past and the absolute style with which she pulled the whole performance off. I couldn't imagine dancing in front of a camera in the middle of Frankston mall, or Penrith Plaza and be able to sustain it for as long as she did! It was great!

And if anyone has seen Rachel Scott's work as part of the fantastic show at First Draft at the moment, curated by Scott Donovan, you'll see the 'glaringly derivative'. Perhaps Rachel's work is supposed to be an appropriation, perhaps i didn't quite get the significance, maybe to some it wasn't derivative because Rachel was singing as well as groovin', but for me - i couldn't watch it. And unfortunately for Scott's work, this may just be a matter of timing. Perhaps if i hadn't so recently seen Peckham, i would have made the link and appreciated it. Unfortunately, it was just too close to home.

By the way, the rest of the work in that show is ace (including Rachel's other video work) and go check out the Invisible Reading Room - it's pretty close to heavenly with couches and lamps and loads of cool reading material!

And if you wanna do your own impersonation of Dancing in Peckham, head on down to Lanfranchi's for the Dance Off! I'll be there after the 4A opening!


"bite off more than you can chew, then chew it"

Quote from Ella Williams.

And that about sums up my life at the moment. There is so much happening, so this blog is going to be a mash-up of crap that you all need to hear about. I could have separated it into clearly defined blogs, but i can't be bothered, so here goes:

Simon Collins, Mine!

This is shameless plug #1. My good friend, painter Simon Collins is having a solo show at Canvas Gallery in Surry Hills. It opened last night and having been sick as a very sick thing, i couldn't make it. Which is really annoying actually 'cos he's a good painter and i was looking forward to going to a show of solid work, minus the sweety dahlink factor.

It runs until 21st October at Studio 47, 61-89 Buckingham St, Surry Hills in Sydney and i'm looking forward to popping in there. I haven't been to this gallery before so it will be great to check out yet another gallery.

Liminal Personae at Gallery 4A
For those who are regular readers of she sees red, you will know that she, i.e me, has also dabbled in a bit of curating this year, namely a huge project which we got Arts NSW funding for, called liminal personae.

Well, now the show is touring to Gallery 4A in Sydney, which is pretty darn exciting!

A bit of a blurb from the media release:
"This exhibition celebrates the idiosyncrasies of these artists – their particular practices, ideas, concepts, materials, living arrangements, physical or mental circumstances, histories, or lack thereof. The artists involved span a range of disciplines and experience: the curators have rejected the usual practice of showing work by only emerging artists, or only those who have been artists for 20 years or more. This reflects a tradition at 4a of showing the known and the unknown side by side."

Joanne Handley, one of the artists has a great set of images on her home page

The opening night is next Friday 20th October, 6-8pm at Gallery 4A. For those of you who are in Sydney and couldn't be assed making it to Wollongong for the first exhibition, you now have no excuse.

early stages of the decay

Update on Entropy at Platform 2: more red stuff
OK, so it's about 3 weeks now until I head back to Melbourne (again?!) to install at Platform 2. Following on from Benedict Ernst's Chocolate Manifesto, the cabinets at Platform 2 will be transformed into a mass of red chaos and degradation for your viewing pleasure.

All tests so far have been successful and i've started a collection of red corn paste detritus. Maybe I should donate some of it to Ella Dreyfus' red exhibition in a few years' time!

What will be happening is that Sarah Mosca and I are going down to install, which will be a barrel of laughs. seeing as i have to cook my 'paint', i'm hoping to film a mock cooking show as part of the installation too! Coming to a recently sold YouTube near you!

Plans for the closing party include an intimate party like 'room' at the end of the space and i'm crossing my fingers that i can get hold of a red carpet for the night! Seeing as the exhibition will have come to the end of its cycle by then, i'll be displaying the remnants of entropy in small frames and they will be for sale. A little souvenir of death and degradation, say.

I've also got a bit of a public mischief project up my sleeve for the weekend of installation as well, so if you're in Melbourne, keep at eye out!

Culture Jammers Rule OK
And speaking of public mischief, i've recently become reaquainted with some cool-as-fuck culture jammers and have decided that when i go overseas, i'm going to go into training to become a fully-fledged culture jammer! i'd do it here, but i've got no time, and what with these draconian sedition laws about to come into effect, i'd prefer to not spend time in jail.

cool shit i've been checking out includes:
graffiti research lab
wooster collective

CutUp's handywork, lovingly pinched from www.bigshinything.com

Match Makers
Being in Melbourne last weekend I missed First Draft's Porcelain Ball and the first round of forums for their Twentylove celebrations. I had a rad time in Melbourne, and i wish that i could've been at the forum - sounds like it was a fantastic time!

One great publication that has come out of it is the ARI Match Makers.

Produced by Invisible Inc (those responsible for Runway, in case you're unaware), it includes interviews with some of the key ARIs around Australia (MOP, Bus, Inflight and Rawspace), nuts'n'bolts info about exhibiting in an artist-run-initiative (which i would like to pass onto as many artists as i know!!!), a map of the Sydney ARIs (it finally got up off the ground, no thanks to the defunct Artport!) and which i'm hoping that gets reproduced a bunch of times, (although i'd like to see it give a shoutout to the regional kids, Project and Field) and a little bit of a description about what ARIs are, for the uninitiated, or the uninitiative.. ha! get it?.. ouch.

she came, she saw, she conquered. now go check out all that stuff!


from one extreme to the other

so after all that DIY action last week, i'm going to make you all swivel 180º and talk about the total high brow, super gloss art publication Australian Art Collector.

This isn't meant to be a blatant plug for them, in fact, i don't get a nickel for giving them a shoutout, but after hanging out at my new favourite hidey hole (magnation in elizabeth st melbourne), i bought this quarter's issue and have been incredibly impressed with it!

i first bought art collector 'cos Shaun Gladwell was on the front cover and he's a bit of a spunk, plus i really like his work. lol! and from then on, i kind of got sucked in. What i thought was going to be pure art wank, has turned out to be some pure art critical/journalistic genius sometimes. well, genius may be a little over-the-top, but it's been really good lately.

this issue features hany armanious, nick mangan, claire healy and sean cordeiro, bill and ann gregory from annandale galleries, fred cress, neon parc, richard bell and the contemporary collector andrew cameron.

this isn't a feature list of artists who are fuddy-duddy-match-with-your-sofa types - they are all living, contemporary/cutting edge artists (you can't get more cutting edge than fred cress turning his back on abstraction to go figurative, while driving a bentley!) and the collectors/gallery owners featured aren't exactly your aristocracy of dealers/collectors either - the neon parc kids are a couple of slick, smart slackers, annandale galleries has been pushing the boundaries of usual gallery representation in sydney for years and the interview with andrew cameron highlighted the excitement of branching out to collect contemporary works - he owns works by daniel von sturmer and shaun gladwell.

other features include an interview with alain de botton about aesthetics and architecture with regards to buying art, a short article on collectives like DAMP, NUCA and Slave as well as the upshot of the Melbourne Art Fair and art fairs in general.

ever since i've started buying the magazine regularly, these are the kinds of articles that have been appearing inside! i've been shocked!

the ads are still full of the same old same old guard of galleries and collector's artists that i associate with trad art collectors, but as an emerging artist, it's nice to see that at least the editorial is becoming a little more progressive and as a reader, actually interesting to read! i know that this magazine has the power to completely swing an art market, so seeing them profiling some fantastic contemporary artists restores a smattering of faith in the whole game.


This Is Not A Blog

wow!! I don't want to sound like an idiot, but BOY that was fun!

a slight change of plans saw Jade Pegler, Shivaun Weybury (that's Dr Shivaun Weybury to you) and I jump in the car on Saturday evening and head up to Newcastle for the This Is Not Art festival a little earlier than planned. Turned out to be a blessing and a curse at the same time. Not being able to speed on the highway thanks to double demerit points, i had to chug along at the 90kms my red provisional licence allows me, so we didn't rock into town until 10pm. Which is fine when you're crashing on a couch. Not so fun when you have to pitch a tent in the dark. It was hilarious!

Tent City had officially closed for the night, but thanks to Pat from SC Trash's instructions, I won over the security guard at the gate. And thank fuck for that, 'cos he practically did all the work pitching our tent, while we followed his lead and did our best to not look like the city slicker chicks we are!

After finally getting our tent sorted and putting on a bit of lippy to make ourselves look a little less crumpled after close to 5 hours on the road, we headed back into town to the Festival Club.

As the hub of the festival, the place was pumping! Dance music happening, people spilling out onto the streets, others (mostly my friends) flaunting the 'Alcohol Free Zone' by drinking longnecks (or tallies for you northerners) on the street, people just milling - it was great! A nice way to ease into festival mode.

And then we had to sleep in the tent. Having been ages since i'd slept in a tent, i forgot how fucking uncomfortable they are, and that those blue roll mat things are actually quite useless in preventing the hardness of the ground from distorting your internal organs and re-aligning your back. Jerkoffs threw bottles at our tent and I was freezing most of the night.Thankfully i had earplugs, otherwise it might have been even worse! Although i'm not quite sure how.

Tracey Emin, Everyone I Have Ever Slept With
Nothing at all like our tent

So, after about 4 hours disrupted sleep, i woke up as it started to get light-ish. time on my mobile? 5:45am. Great. Thankfully Tent City (in Sportsground 1) had the best showers in the world, complimented by free soap from Lush. So i dragged myself in there and wasted a ridiculous amount of water, coaxing my body and mind out of a state of shock and back into something resembling a human form. Then as the sun was starting to shine, i lay down on the grandstand bleachers for the best sleep of my life, even if it was only for an hour!

Once everyone else was ejected from their tents by the temperature of 7am sunlight, we all trouped off to Darby St to find a cafe for breakfast. Thanks to the TINA map, we found one that had great coffee and wicked toast.

And I haven't even got to the festival yet! OK, I'll hurry up..

People Not Looking at Art in Newcastle

I'd already had an idea of what i wanted to see, so it made it kind of easy, but after having fuck all sleep and knowing that i had to drive back to Wollongong that night, i knew i had to make a few sacrifices, so here's what i did go to:

Art Writing Art
This was a panel discussion facilitated by Jeff Khan featuring Lily Hibberd, of un magazine notoriety and The Art Life of the artlife blog notoriety and it was one of the highlights of the weekend for me.

There were all kinds of interesting factors in it for me. Lily Hibberd is a gorgeous character and her story was one that, for me, related as much to the whole ARI (artist-run-initiative) experience for me as the whole writing thing. She doesn't think of herself as a writer, despite writing a lot, and wanted to actually set un up as an experience for artists who write and an outlet for alternative viewpoints to art criticism. I miss un. I can't wait for it to come back and it was great to hear about the possiblities for the future for that outlet. she seemed to really stress the point of constantly evolving to avoid becoming stagnant and while this will keep un exciting, i'm also worried that it will evolve itself out of the consistency that art publication needs in order to be valuable to a wide range of people.

One important thing that Lily raised for me was the idea of writing by artists being as much an artist pursuit as creating art. I'm sure that writers may have a problem with this, and i had visions of bad art-based writing reflecting the spiritual/feeling-based abstraction that i bloody hate, but i guess at the top level, good artists writing well about other art and critical ideas is really fucking important. in the same way that a good book by a rad musician is just as mind-blowing as a classic literature piece by the masters.

The Art Life also discussed the need to provide an alternative to the mainstream of art critics and talked about the work that they put into it, the opportunities that have come from it and the importance of anonymity and more importantly, the second person pronoun as an important difference in art discourse. Listening to The Art Life's story, i ended up feeling like yet another blogger who writes in the first person and who is doing the same thing as everyone else. It wasn't his fault and i could totally see his point.

Apparently blogs are old. Which is kinda cool, 'cos i'm not so great at being a trendsetter. But between TAL and Lily, I did have to ask myself about this blog. What is it for me and what do i want it to become? Initially, probably like a lot of people, i started it to promote my artwork, personalise my practice, give myself a web-based presence withouth having to navigate hosting, web domains, the cost of both of those things and flash. It has since kind of grown for me to become something more. With regular critical musings and reviews on here, have i become a writer? And if so, should i treat myself more like one? Should i be a little more focused and specific about what i write about? Should i stop using the letter "i"?

Who knows, but it has been great to think about. There were some interesting questions asked, some great discussions started outside the rooms and Shivaun, Jade and I kept referring to it long after the session had finished.

zine fair 3 year ago, you get the drift

The Zine Fair.
After the panel, it was really quite close to lunchtime, we were all exhausted and it was getting very warm outside. While waiting to rendevouz with our other mates, we wandered around the zine fair. There was such a wide variety of stuff, that i didn't even get down one aisle before i'd spent more money than i had planned to and had to back away slowly. it seems i wasn't the only one, i saw Glenn Barkley walking away with a stack of zines and books about half a metre high! The only downer to the fair was the god-awful sound coming from the stage. This Is Not Music! It probably highlights my prejudices, but when i'm wandering around a fair full of interesting text and objects, i just want some music i can appreciate and ignore. Not very PC, but hey - it's what i want. I don't want to have to wince.

After the zine fair, we tried to find some food. We found out that the Hare Krshna place that used to be on Hunter St isn't there anymore so we circled the city, again, and ended up back on Darby St, scoffing down some wicked North Indian tucker. Yum. And then of course, back to Tent City for a nap. Talk about a bunch of nannas - it was ace!

By the time we packed our tents down and had some sleep, it was about 5:30 so we headed back into town for the night time festivities. We wandered around for a while, trying to figure out what time sound check was, who was where and who wanted food and finally decided to descend on The Haven. Apparently world-famous chip shop, but i was stuffed, had a headache and wasn't that impressed with the chips and gravy. Gundagai and the Oxford Tavern in Wollongong do it better Newcastle, hate to break it to you.

We popped into new!shop before it closed to check out the interactive performance/installation. I'm not a huge audience participator. In fact the rebel in me gets triggered really easily in that stuff and i can become quite stubborn. So i just browsed and checked it out - didn't scan stuff or take a free sample of raw onion. I'm sure it was all part of the experience, but i hate that shit in real life, not to mention my art. I could have scanned some objects in, got my fortune, scored a badge, etc, but I really wasn't that into becoming part of the experiment. I know that i'm a consumerist. I know all too well how the whole shopping experience works, i wanted to critique it, not participate. and it's possible i was miss cranky pants with a headache at the time. i did, however, really enjoy the bottles of something with the labels:

my memory is
the same as before
not as good as i'd like it
much much worse
i can't remember anything and it scares me


i feel scared and vulnerable
all the time

or something along those lines. They kind of reminded me of the Radiohead track Fitter Happier on OK Computer with their reference to humanity's inherent vulnerability.

Despite my reaction to participating in the experience, i did find it an amazing piece and a really vital experience to be happening. It was perfect for the TINA festival in its combination of slick and DIY appearance.

Pixel Pirate II: Attack of the Astro Elvis Video Clone.
Screening at the Playhouse Theatrette, it was the second screening of Soda_Jerk and Sam Smith's mega sample feature. After loving Soda_Jerk's Speed flick at MAF06, i was looking forward to seeing their major opus. I was also prepared to be challenged because the film attacks the restrictive elements of Copyright law, especially in relation to sampling. I'm a huge fan of copyright law as an idea, so i'm glad i went in with an open mind and was able to chat with the gals afterwards.

The film was amazing, hilarious, well-crafted and poignant all at the same time. I thought all the mash-up stuff would give me the pips, but not in the slightest! It was quite interesting to notice, while laughing my ass off, who else was laughing with me. At times, different members of the audience were laughing or reminiscing at different times, depending on the splice of film that they were watching. It was a fantastic piece on identifiers as well. Often the audience would identify a film or audio piece from the smallest sample. Like a hook in a pop song, it was interesting to see what were the key identifiers in a film or soundtrack.

Having absorbed a lot of visual and cerebral info, it was time to boogie down. As part of the Lake Cowal benefit, SC Trash were playing, so we headed into the very sweaty Festival Club and let it rip. What better way to end a day of intellectual pursuit than some good ol' fashioned political cuntry rock. And no, that's not a typo. I danced my ass of for about an hour, then we piled in the car for a very long trip home.

Next time, i'm not going to try driving from one bookend to another at 11:30pm. Next time, i'm going to bring a mattress to sleep on, or maybe even stay in a motel/hotel. Next time, i'm going to bring lots more money to spend. Next time, i'm going to plan less and next time, i'm going to stay a little longer.

And just to add a note of seriousness to the whole shebang, i think that TINA does what other festivals don't do - they actually engage the public. There is space at TINA for the literati and the magazine readers, the high-art conceptualists and the 'i don't know much about art, but i know what i like' set and for the serious musician and that guy up on stage that i wanted to throttle. All of this while being neither elitist nor patronisingly populist. This in itself is a difficult task and somehow TINA have managed to balance it, thankfully. I appreciate the irony of such a festival being held in a regional centre. In fact there is no way that such a well-oiled machine could operate in Sydney. Maybe Melbourne - i haven't been to Next Wave yet, and i'm sure it's that kind of festival, but the sweety dahlinks of Sydney couldn't cope with the fraternity of a festival like TINA. So, thankfully for Newcastle, they can.

I just wish there was something similarly vibrant and exciting in Wollongong.

PS. bilateral's flickr pics of newcastle are much better than mine!