Over the weekend I visited the Bendigo Gallery of Art, I hadn’t researched the gallery at all so I was really surprised at the size of the gallery, as well as the range of work on display.
I love Kate Rohde’s incredibly kitsch resin vitrines. So plastic-y, they look like there made of gummy sweets with semi transparent goo melting and merging.
I find them ridiculously amazing, there aesthetically overwhelming. The coloured resin flora and fauna designs cast shadows adding visual depth to the work. The ‘specimen’ displays are made entirely of man made materials, and visually mimic museum diaorama’s.
Kate Rohde has combined her interest in flora and fauna with her love of the elaborately ornamental baroque and rococo art movements, to great affect.
In 2009 I visited the Museum of Everything in London, which exhibited shell work, hand embroidered work, hand-painted circus signage and much more. I always remember the taxidermy drinking mice, and the boxing squirrels below.
Images taken by Sarah Murphy, except the ‘Boxing Squirrels’
Liquid Architecture is an Australian organisation for artists working with sound. LA investigates the sounds themselves, but also the ideas communicated about, and the meaning of, sound and listening.
I packed in quite a few gallery shows this weekend, the closing or moving I should say of Melbourne staple, the Gertrude Contemporary, the new show ‘Lets Dance‘ at Arts Project Australia and popped to Blak Dot Gallery , and Arts House for Yirramboi Festival.
And, to top it off I headed to Liquid Architecture’s annual project Polyphonic Social, which encourages artists and participants to expand on polyphony, and its potential within a group environment. Polyphony is the hearing of 2 or more individual voices/melodies simultaneously, within a given structure.
An excerpt from the Liquid Architectures site explains that ” Polyphonics have much artistic and social potential: to make difference audible, to ‘sound’ disobedience, choreograph dissonance, and explore the harmonies possible when we bring voices together (and apart) in a shared space.’ I really like this idea of making difference audible, rather than visual, and the potential for its orchestration unbeknownst to the participant.
Taiwanese sound artist Lin Chi-Wei, orchestrated 2 projects at Liquid Architecture. The first being ‘Tape Music’ a live performance which has been performed internationally since its 2008. Where by participants sit in a spiral, a 200m long ribbon is fed from the beginning of the spiral and moves to the centre where it rests, the ribbon has different sounds, like ‘Wu’ ‘Om’, embroidered onto which are to be vocalised by each participant as the ribbon passes through there hands. Much like a cassette tape!
I really enjoyed participating in this, it felt like a gift. I enjoyed a brief chat with the strangers to the left and right of me, we felt a combination of intrigue and apprehension. Throughout the performance there were points where I honed in on the sounds, pitch and tone of others, making an effort to match or compliment them subconsciously. And, other times fully aware of my sound, my presence and its part in the polyphonic piece.
To view the recording of ‘Tape Music’ at Liquid Architecture click here.
I’ll admit it, there was a time where I didn’t really ‘get’ video work. Alas times change.
More recently I’ve been exploring the possibilities of projection and looking at the work of Tony Oursler, who merges video, sculpture and installation, constantly expanding its potential, in a bid to physically embody thought.
Ourslers’ collection of Phantasmagoria ephemera was on display last year in France, as well as the travelling projection piece, Influence Machine, which has been shown since 2009. This sees projections onto smoke and trees outdoors, its really intriguing and encouraging to see hes interest in the subject played out in his work. I really enjoy the inclusiveness of this, as maybe not everyone would go see it in a gallery, but it can certainly be enjoyed by all outdoors.
Many of the artists I have been drawn to of late all seem to be from CalArts. Tony Oursler and Mike Kelley where peers, ‘Poetics’ band mates and collaborators, brimming with raw intelligence and criticality.
Artnet asked Oursler what was his connection to kitsch…”I’m very fascinated with kitsch, pop art began alot of dismantling with the high low issues in america. There’s a real interest in exploring the kitsch, why things are kitsch for my generation, i think there’s gold in the kitsch’. I love this statement and couldn’t agree more.
I used to collect fastidiously, from a young age I roamed car boot sales and flea markets every weekend with my parents. Making small purchases, growing the collections and continuously re-arranging them. Small porcelain animals, to 60’s domestic products, like boxed wash gloves and shoe protectors for the highly aesthetic graphics, different packaging including printed plastic bags to Fiendish Feet yoghurt pots which had legs. I could go on.
American artist Peter Sarkisian, uses sculpture and video projection in a bid to turn how we have been trained to watch video imagery through television, into an experience of self awareness, where we are no longer solely watching, but actively consider the experience.
He’s most recent body of work, VideoMorphic sees intricate and high contrasting hues projected onto 3-D printed sculptures. Its seems quite perverse. Its so unusual because in one instance I can understand it, I know its a 3-D surface with a projection on it, but once the projection begins it takes on a whole new level, I cannot join the plain colour surface, with the surface during projection with all its apparent moving elements. I guess this is Peter Sarkisians intention. I became aware of what I understand, but feel what I understand is not accurately assisting me in processing the new experience.
Could this be considered a type of new folk art? I will have to think about that…
I also like the work below, Pounding Study from 2004, Its worth watching the video.
Excerpt taken from an interview with Jennifer Sammat on Hyperallergic.com:
“If you ask a bunch of college students, “Is anybody here an artist?” most will say, “Oh, I can’t paint, I don’t know.” Everyone is embarrassed. But, if you put on some music, and say, “Anybody want to dance?” well, everybody can dance. No one says, “I haven’t really studied dance.” People get up and they have a good time. I’m just saying — that’s good! In the art world, we could all dance a little. Dancing’s fun.” This statements contrasts with the current Arts Project Australia exhibition, ‘Lets Dance’ where dance is the subject of some peoples anxieties. I don’t intend to discredit this, but quote is a means to convey a message.
Martin experienced a level of preciousness towards painting on a canvas, that he didn’t have with drawings on paper. A habit he broke through experimentation and adopting a level of fearlessness he could see within his clients/students at work.
With a background in Arts Therapy, Chris Martin had been (and possibly still is) in the presence of some rather great self taught artists. He felt their energetic channelling of creativity contrasted greatly to his formal arts training, causing a necessary rupture in his practise. His work environment provided an arena to experiment with alternative materials like pom-poms and metallic paint and glitter.
He paints XXXL, creating what some consider ‘severe abstract’ space to mill around in, and when the mind wonders a touch, its still wonders within the XXXL canvas. Interestingly he considers himself a landscape painter, and includes what he views as a horizon or ground line in each work.
Chris Martin you caught my eye because of your use of glitter, sheer scale, boldness and sense of journey within your work. I found you in this aptly named artspace.com article:
Glitter, Neon and Good Old Fashioned Paint: Three Abstract Painters Pushing the Medium Forward.
The publication above reminds me of all the things I find interesting about some Chinese advertising: layout, scale, changeable font styles and colour combinations.
A Youtube comment worth reading, “Open up four tabs with the music playing at the same time at different times for the ultimate experience”
I did it. it was amazing.
My first exploration into Charlemagne Palestine’s music, contemporary of Philip Glass, and Steve Reich – was the visceral ‘Body Music”, but this comment relates to ‘Strumming Music‘. A piano piece which builds, layer upon layer, loops, steps back and forth, it both hurries and relaxes all at the same time. Filling the space between the beat with a strumming technique where by a note seems to chase its tail, to whirl and spin around, shifting into the next.
What brought me to him was this…..
But I think I like his music equally. Both immersive, both soft yet aggressive in their clustering or packing, both full of visual or sonic texture and colour.
I do know why the teddy bear developed as a motif, I’m interested in Charlemagne Palestine’s alignment with Animism more so than the bear itself.
The more I read about him, his interest in animism, his intention to exist on the outskirts, to not be considered an any ‘thing’ in particular, a rejection of categorisation. And also the fact that he was involved in the beginning of the CalArts school, much like Judy Chicago and a number of other artists I seem to be drawn too. I’m looking forward to investigating further and seeing who else appears with rebellious inclinations.
Having taken part in the Sydney Writers Festival annual MCA zine fair in 2015, 2015 and 2016, and in Melbournes’ annual Sticky Institute zine fair in 2017. I have been able to distribute a number of self published photographic zines, the most relevant being “Piles of Stuff #1” and also “Transport”.
I have documented different modes of transport from my travels through India, Nepal, Vietnam, Burma, China and Japan. In particular 4 and 3 wheels vehicles used to transport people or goods. This brief blog looks into the available articles on iconography featured on the Filipino form of public/private transport – Jeepneys.