Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Well, i finally bit the bullet and curated a group show ALL BY MYSELF! This was a scary prospect as other shows i have previously curated had either been smaller, with students or an exhibition where the artists were volunteering their work.

In this show, not only did i negotiate with 40+ artists, but they were paying for the privilege plus selling their work.

This prospect was terrifying to me as an emerging curator, who not only needs to curate a kick-arse show, but also to make it worth it for the artists.

To be honest i am pretty damn happy with the show! Of course there were a few hiccups on the day but the awesome install staff at BSG were on hand to ensure everything went as smoothly as possible.

Some artists even sold their work which makes me feel a little like a proud parent.

Curating this type of show has taught me that curatorial problems often sit well behind other logistical problems, such as financial sustainability or practical concerns like lighting or a hanging system.

This is not ideal for a curator however it is a fact of life in a Gallery. Flexibility with a curatorial design is key.

Anyway i thought i would share a few photos of the exhibition taken by BSG. Enjoy! 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Read Full Post »

A PhD hat* i hope to wear one day
* may not be technical name

Today marks the first day of my PhD Candidature. Yup, that’s right, i have taken the leap into research. Five years ago when i handed in my Art History thesis i swore i would never do another research project! Ironically that thesis was a tiny total of 12,000 words. I am now facing down the barrel of seven times that much!

Why? Well i am fast learning that a BA (hons.) is not enough, nor has the Masters of Art Curatorship really solved the problem. I have the perennial arts student problem, i am a jack of all trades and a master of none (despite what the shiny testamur might say!) So i have chosen to tackle this problem head on. I have found a topic that i believe will sustain my interest for three years and dived in head first (that is for a whole other post!)

This blog will lay testament to my journey. I am excited and nervous all at once. I am also hoping the clichés are a temporary affliction.

Truth be told i am really in it for the hat… oh and so people can refer to me as Dr. Flick.

Read Full Post »

MONA in pictures

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Read Full Post »

It seems like an obvious thing but if you’re going to do something stupid, don’t use the most easily transferred and recorded medium to do it. It amazes me the stupid things people post online in ignorance of the power of the instant functions of copy, paste and forward! Following on from my recent post about politicians being ignorant to the power of Web 2.0, i thought i would take a look at a few examples that have popped up in the last week.

Facebook has been in the news this week for its lack of action over an alleged porn ring operating on its site. It has come under fire for shutting down the offending pages but not contacting the police. Whilst this issue goes to the heart of Facebook privacy issues ie. should it be Facebook’s responsibility to police its users and report any potential criminal activity, to me this case is a typical example of stupid behaviour on the web. Whilst sites like Facebook seem like an easy way to quickly and easy share illegal photos and videos, did the 11 arrested really think they would get away with using a website known for changing privacy settings and making you opt out, rather than opt in to increased public exposure?

Source: abc.net.au

A second case of stupidity this week has been the sackings of senior Victorian police who were caught sending emails “containing highly offensive material including sexual, violent, homophobic and racist content”. Up to 25 officers have been identified as having sent material, with 4 already sacked. It is disturbing that those who are meant to serve and protect the community have felt the desire to send such material, but again, how stupid can you get, sending things using your work email? The naivety is astounding.

Some cases of email, Twitter or Facebook fail aren’t intentional cases of willingly abusing the internet for criminal matters, some are just plain embarrassing mistakes made by the flick of a finger and sending something to wrong recipient or from the wrong account.

Source: ayoungertheatre.com

The National Theatre in the UK was a victim of such a discrepancy this week. An employee of the theatre company was clearly unaware that they were logged into the work account and not a personal Twitter account when they tweeted: “Well, Steve Norris is clearly a giant cunt“. According to A Younger Theatre blog, the offending tweet was removed 50 minutes and an apology issued to the company’s followers stating:

“Sincere apologies. The NT believes its account has been hacked. Earlier tweet in response to Standard article did not come from the NT.”

Whilst i think that is perhaps a clever way to deflect any potential fallout away from the company, to me the whole thing reads like a small mistake by not logging out of the work Twitter account before firing off an angry Tweet.  Synonyms for Churlish, a theatre student’s blog agrees, posting an open letter to the National Theatre, thanking them for the “passionate tweet about relevant issues”.

The final example i’ll leave you this week is not about stupidity when using the internet but a warning about modern technology. If you’re going to do something silly like put a neighbour’s cat in a wheely bin, make sure you’re not caught on CCTV when doing so.

Not only will you get caught by cat lovers distributing the video online to identify you, but you’ll be parodied forever on YouTube.

Read Full Post »

As it is a Sunday i should be posting my weekly musing on digital media, however in light of last night’s depressing election result, i find myself unable to concentrate on anything serious. Instead i am following up on last week’s post by sharing some election YouTube hits. I promise i’ll be back on form next week. Maybe.

A few months ago these parody videos were doing the rounds. Users have made Hitler angry at the iPad, the vuvuzelas during the World Cup and even the new Star Trek Movie. Already someone has jumped on the bandwagon and made one for the election.

This video has been popular on my Facebook feed this week. According to The Age, this spoof of Labor’s term in power was made by a Taiwanese news service, who made the animation of Tiger Wood’s infamous car crash. If you enjoy this animation, it is worth checking out Next Media Animation’s YouTube Channel.

I am unsure whether this is a spoof or a real ad for The Australian Sex Party but either way i think it may have helped garner support for their Senate campaign. At the last count, they had attracted nearly 200,000 votes nationally, gaining them 1.99% of the vote.

Next i thought i would include an ad made by Bob Katter, one of the three independents who now hold the balance of power in the hung parliament. I’ll leave you with that thought cause it scares the hell out of me today.

But at least i should be happy it’s three independents and one Green. The ad was not actually made by The Greens but for the ABC’s Gruen Nation tv show. Sadly for some, the ABC’s charter prevented the ad from being used by the party.

And finally i will leave you with my favourite YouTube video of them all (and the one that most accurately reflects my current mood!)

Read Full Post »

Source: ning.com

Yesterday i got an invite to join a Ning. After stopping giggling for long enough to Google what the hell a Ning was, i discovered that other than sounding like something out of Monty Python, a Ning is a like a paid private version of Facebook, allowing users to create closed social networks. I will blog more about my Ning experience once i have had a bit longer to explore it properly.

The Ning got me musing on strange names floating around the interwebs these days. MySpace, Facebook and Friendster are all obvious names that describe the contents of their site. But there are plenty that seem odd, so i have set out to find out the logic behind a few that i use!

Any traditional marketing guru will tell you that the key to an effective business name is something that is easy to remember, pronounce and relevant to the product. What i find interesting is that internet seems to have throw out these basic concepts out the window. In fact a weird and wonderful name is often successful simply based on the curiosity a strange word elicits.

Source: nuffnang.com.au

Source: overthinkingit.com

Nuffnang is a great example of this (apologies to @stokely). Nuffnang is a company that provides advertising on blogs. According to the founders, ’nuff nang’ is actually Jafaikan slang for “Real Good or Real Cool”. Jafaikan, for those not in the know, is “the word on the streets of young London”. Apparently my time in London was hanging in old London, cause i can safely say i have never heard nuff nang uttered before! The gang at Nuffnang (the website, not the London youngsters) have provided a nifty glossary in case you ever find yourself in the presence of Ali G and need to communicate.

Up next is Spotify, a music social networking site that allows users to share music by streaming rather than downloading, getting around those pesky copyright laws. What i don’t understand about Spotify is its name. According to Andres from Spotify, the name is a combination of ‘spot’ and ‘identify’. Clever? Sure! But is it really effective as a marketing tool for a music site? To me it sounds nothing like music but more a research tool.

Source: mattijs.web-log.nl

Flickr, is another example of an interesting name that doesn’t immediately reveal the site’s contents. Flickr is the photo sharing site that allows users to tag their photos and link to millions of the user photos across the world. As someone who goes by the nickname Flick, perhaps i am biased in my hatred towards the name, as it confuses me greatly when someone is discussing their Flickr site around me. Personal bias aside, i can see what they are alluding to, with the flicker of an eye as being like photography or that you can ‘flick’ through photos.

Whatever you think of the name, it’s a popular site.  Flickr’s front page speaks volumes. As am writing this on Saturday August 6 at 3.30pm, it’s counter tells me:

  • 3,293 uploads in the last minute ·
  • 160,129 things tagged with morning ·
  • 4.3 million things geotagged this month

Flickr’s continuing popularity demonstrates that despite a weird name, if you do what do really well, a weird name will soon become common place, just ask Google or Yahoo. There are plenty more examples you will come across every day. And for the record, Ning means peaceful in Chinese.

Read Full Post »

The Challenge: a guide to screen based, interactive, digital and media art exhibited in Brisbane in early June, coinciding with the Experimenta, International Biennale of Media Art touring exhibition, Utopia Now at Redlands Art Gallery.

Redlands Art Gallery is located in Brisbane’s South Eastern suburbs on the coast. Most of Brisbane’s contemporary galleries are located close to the CBD in Fortitude Valley and in South Brisbane near the Queensland Art Gallery (QAG) and the Southbank precinct.

With limited time in Brisbane, a trip to QAG is recommended to explore the recently completed Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA), which includes a purpose-built ‘black box’ new media and cinema space that houses the ‘Australian Cinématèque’. The Institute of Modern Art (IMA) in Fortitude Valley is also worth the trip.

With a bit longer, you can easily negotiate a tour of South Brisbane and Fortitude Valley. From QAG it is an easy walk to South Brisbane to visit the Queensland Centre for Photography and Jan Manton Art.

After South Brisbane, head across the river through the city to Fortitude Valley. You might want to stop off at the Creative Industries Precinct of the Queensland University of Technology’s city campus. The QUT Art Gallery has a good collection of Australian contemporary art and Billboard, Australia’s largest billboard space, measuring 45m x 9m. The Queensland College of Art, Griffith University is also located at South Bank but will be closed for installation of an upcoming exhibition.

In Fortitude Valley head to the Institute of Modern Art, located in the Judith Wright Performing Arts Centre on Brunswick Street. You will need to visit on Sunday or Tuesday and Wednesday as it is closed on Mondays. After IMA, there are plenty of contemporary art spaces in the area including the Ryan Renshaw Gallery and The George Petelin Gallery Contemporary Art  Project.

What’s On: June 6 – 9 2010

Queensland Art Gallery/Gallery of Modern Art
Southbank, South Brisbane
Open: Sunday 9-5; Mon – Wed 10-5

QAG is located on Brisbane’s Southbank and has two campuses linked by a walk way along the river. The Queensland Art Gallery currently houses the gallery’s collection up to 20th century modern styles and the new Gallery of Modern Art houses the gallery’s contemporary art collection, indigenous collection, as well as temporary exhibitions. GOMA also houses the Australian Cinémathèque, which regularly schedules retrospectives and thematic film exhibitions linked to what is showing in the main exhibition spaces.

QAG’s collection has some exciting contemporary Australian and Asia-Pacific  new media works including Japan’s Yayoi Kusama Soul under the moon,  2002, in which visitors enter a temporary room, filled with neon lights and mirrors; Nam June Paik’s iconic TV Cello, 2000; Tracey Moffatt’s videos; the massive video installation From here to there, 2003 by Jana Sterbak and David Rosetzky’s Untouchable, 2003.

Anne Noble, Ruby's room no.10 (detail) 2000, Collection: Queensland Art Gallery

‘Unnerved: The New Zealand Project’
The Fairfax Gallery (Gallery 1.1), 1.2, 1.3, GoMA

The second in a series of exhibitions focusing on individual countries in QAG’s contemporary collection, Unnerved examines themes of psychological unease and darkness in contemporary New Zealand art and film. The exhibition includes video work by Sriwhana Spong and Nathan Pohio.

New Zealand Noir
Australian Cinématèque, GoMA

New Zealand Noir is the film program linked with Unnerved. The exhibition explores the dark vein in New Zealand film including themes of discord in national identity, family and history. The program runs for the whole exhibition period so there are only a few films showing in early June.

On Sunday 6 June two works by New Zealand cinematographer Vincent Ward are showing in Cinema A. In Spring One Plants Alone, 1980 is a story of Maori woman and her grown son, documenting the minutiae of their existence, filmed over one and a half years. The film following is Rain of Children, 2008, the sequel.

Wednesday 9 June there are three films showing in Cinema A, Woodenhead, 2003, a fantasy fairytale by Florian Habicht and two short films by Jill Kennedy. Kennedy’s short animations play with old educational materials to create a “nostalgic pastiche’ of illustrative diagrams, set to specifically composed soundtrack.

Rain of Children, 2008

Sunday 6 June, 2pm Cinema A

In Spring One Plants Alone 1980 (45mins, 16mm, Colour)

Director Vincent Ward

Sunday 6 June 3pm Cinema A

Rain of Children 2008 (102mins, 35mm Colour)

Director: Vincent Ward

New Educational Series - Canaries in Colour, 2007

Wed 9 Jun 6.00pm Cinema A

Woodenhead, 2003 (90mins, 35mm Black and White)

Director: Florian Habicht

New Educational Series – Canaries in Colour, 2007 (3.29mins,Digital Animation, Colour)

Director: Jill Kennedy

New Educational Series – Better Military Modelling, 2008 (6:54mins, Digital Animation, Colour)

Director: Jill Kennedy

The Next Big Thing: New Zealand Film and Animation for Kids

FOT – The Next Big Thing Part 1 2009

Children’s Art Centre, GoMA

As part of Unnerved, the Children’s Art Centre will be holding The Next Big Thing: New Zealand Film and Animation for Kids, exhibiting works from three New Zealand artists, Jill Kennedy, Alex Dron and Michael Stevenson.

Kennedy’s New Educational Series will be on display, as well as Alex Dron’s FOT, Funny Orange Thing, an animated character voiced by New Zealand comedian Rhys Darby from Flight of the Conchords. Stevenson’s work, Making for Sheppey, 2004 chronicles the artist working with British Sea Scouts to make a raft.

Kaldor Public Arts Projects ‘Move: The Exhibition’
Gallery 2.1, GoMA

Move was developed by Kaldor Art Projects as a touring exhibition to educate young audiences about Australian video and new media artists. Artists include works by Shaun Gladwell, the Kingpings, Daniel von Strumer and Patricia Piccinini.

David Rosetzky, Nothing like this (detail), 2007

(Images from http://www.qag.qld.gov.au)

Jan Manton Art
59 Melbourne St
South Brisbane
Tuesday, Wed 10 -4 (Closed Sunday and Monday)

One Dances, 2003 (image. http://www.judith-wright.com)

Judith Wright

An exhibition by Brisbane based artist Judith Wright opens on 9 June. Wright has her background in dance and performance art which is evident in her work. She works on both paper and video and has previously exhibited around Australia as well as on the Billboard in the QUT’s Creative Industries Precinct.


Institute of Modern Art (IMA)
420 Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley
Open Sunday 11 -5, Tuesday – Wednesday 11 -5
(Closed Monday)

maddestmaximvs, 2009 (image. maddestmaximvs.com)

Founded in 1975, IMA is one of Brisbane’s oldest contemporary art exhibitions spaces. Opening at IMA on 5 June will be Shaun Gladwell’s MADDESTMAXIMVS: Planet and Stars Sequence, 2009.

Shaun Gladwell MADDESTMAXIMVS: Planet and Stars Sequence, 2009

Maddestmaximvs: Planet and Stars Sequence is Gladwell’s video and new media installation from the Australian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2009. The work is the lastest in the ongoing series of Planet and Stars Sequence works that use footage of the artist painting with aerosol paint in the outback.


Gladwell talks about his piece in the Venice Biennale

Ryan Renshaw Gallery
137 Warry Street, Fortitude Valley
Open Wed 11 – 5pm

Tom Muller, Spectrum (Subiaco, Western Australia) 2007-08 (image, http://www.tom-muller.com)

Tom Muller, Neo Geo: Perceptions and Representations of the New World

Tom Muller, Neo Geo: Perceptions and Representations of the New World, opens June 9. Muller works in various mediums, including installation and performance art. “Abstracted, computerised, and consumerised into forms that a 21st century viewer will find all too familiar in our oversaturated mass-market economy of imagery, Mùller’s proposals for a global language or lexicon of images and international symbols of modernist art that makes sense in different countries, to different people, is far from fantasy.” Rebecca Coates, from ‘ Tom Mùller, Elemental Worlds catalogue, Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts, November 2008


Map of Brisbane and exhibition locations

Brisbane New Media and Contemporary Art Links

A collective based in Brisbane, dedicated to avant-garde, experimental, abstract, expanded and other film.

A blog linked to Metro Arts, Brisbane, providing opportunity for critical engagement in contemporary arts

A Brisbane based contemporary art space dedicated to supporting artists in developing experimental and creative practices.

An artist run space dedicated to encouraging experimental artistic practices

A not-for-profit platform for contemporary art development, presentation and critique of the multimedia arts

Artist run space for contemporary art projects focused on installation, video and new media art

A e-newsletter and online blog that covers everything that is happening in Brisbane in the arts including cinema, exhibitions, fashion and literatute

Read Full Post »

Ron Mueck: NGVI

NGV International until 18 April 2010

10am–5pm (Closed Tuesdays)


Also touring to Queensland Art Gallery 8 May to 1 August 2010 www.qag.qld.gov.au and Christchurch Art Gallery, 30 September to 23 January 2011 www.christchurchartgallery.org.nz

Ron Mueck is the master of realistic sculpture.  His lifelike people both scare and delight in their detail, the fine hair, carefully sprouting from the heads of his subjects.

I first came across Mueck’s piece Dead Dad (1997) in Saatchi’s ill fated Sensations exhibition. I was in high school art at the time and I was very excited about the Sensations that were going to rock the National Gallery of Australia. I was shattered when it got cancelled due to fear tactics of the less liberal minded in our community. I had spent hours reading up on the exhibition and was intimately acquainted with all the exhibits, Dead Dad, being one of them.

Upon walking into the first room of the NGVI’s current exhibition you are immediately hit by the size of Dead Dad. In the middle of the low lit room, a tiny naked man is lying on a white slab. The man is a cast from the corpse of Mueck’s dad, shrunk to a third of his original size. It is apparently the only work in which Mueck used his own hair. It is pathetic but at the same time, haunting and calm.

The exhibition brings together twelve works from collections around the world and includes four new ones. They range in size from the abnormally large to comically tiny. Watching visitor’s reactions to the works is part of the fun. A small crowd arranges itself around each piece, vying for the perfect camera angle. A girl (2006) fascinates and horrifies, a giant newborn baby, complete with cut umbilical cord. This work is definitely my favourite and I went back a few times to observe it from different angles.

The exhibition spans through all stages of human life, from death straight to birth and then the middle, a giant mother like figure sitting up in a bed in the descriptively titled Old woman in bed (2000). There is Youth (2009) and Drift, of the same year, an older man floating on a sunlounge mounted in the middle of a sky blue wall.

You can see Mueck’s talent as a former puppet maker in his non-human work Still life (2009). A naked chicken hangs on a hook from the ceiling, casting a gruesome shadow across the floor. The carcass is goosepimpled with stray hairs and is eerily life like. It’s enough to put me of the chicken sandwich in the NGV café!

Mueck is Australian born but lives and works in London. He represented Australia at the 2001 Venice Biennale and his work is held in collections around the world, yet many people would be unaware of his local heritage. In 2003 the National Gallery of Australia purchased Pregnant woman (2002) for $800,000, which was then the highest price for a living Australian artist. Not bad for an artist ‘discovered’ in 1996 by Charles Saatchi.

I suspect Ron Mueck will do well for a non-blockbuster spot at the gallery although the price tag might put a few off  ($16/$12).

Exhibition Factoid

A hunt around the internet reveals that aside from a background of puppetry, including working with Jim Henson’s Creature Shop, the company created by Muppet man Henson; Mueck voiced the character of Ludo in the Labyrinth!

Read Full Post »

Initial musings

Many art lovers often find reviews of art exhibitions full of confusing rhetoric. The aim of this blog is to demystify art exhibitions and write down to earth observations and interesting factoids to the artwork and artists.

Stay tuned in the next few days for some NGV, NGA and a little MCA!

Read Full Post »