Tony Schwensen – Prime time

Tony Schwensen – Prime time

Im pretty happy I came across this video work, as it seems impossible to find it, or any of hes earlier works that I’ve since researched on the internet!

‘Prime Beef Export Quality’ 1999, is a durational performance work by Australian artist Tony Schwensen. Shown as part of Arts Project Australia’s ‘Let Dance’ exhibition in May 2017.

The video shows the artist wearing casual grey shorts and golden nipple tassels, dancing on the spot and moving his hips left to right, whilst grinning at the camera. He appears to be dancing in a make shift set up in a garage, with speakers, a stereo and disco lights.

He uses satire to express vulnerability, and the banal in the everyday. I guess I liked this because it was unexpected, it felt like a secret revealed, something intimate. I felt I could connect to it on a personal level, because who doesn’t like doing a silly dance every now and then!

This exhibition also featured Cate Consadine’s ‘Cut Colony I (whip), from 2012. Which sees a nude female dancer, performing whips or fouette’s in outback Australia. This appears in stark contrast to Schwensen’s video. The dancer owns the space, with her confident demeanour and intentional movements. I liked the contrast of these two works, but appreciated Schwensen’s rawness, over Consadine’s beauty.

Read about the history of Media Art in Australia since the 1960’s on Scanlines

Main image from the Micheal Buxton Collection

Nova Milne – Time blurs

Nova Milne – Time blurs

I have taken these screen grabs from the Nova Milne website splash page. The video sees a blurring of time and memory, where elements of retro western imagery, like cars, colouration and quality of the video footage, and the usage of moving text are merged together. Within this, they merge high and low art also.nova2nova3nova4

An extract from the Nova Milne bio explains this perfectly.

“nova Milne (nee Ms&Mr) is a third mind, and living archive – an assemblage of time-perspectives that began with their documented encounter as teenagers.

Through expanded installations including time-based media, sculpture, and 2D works, nova Milne create moments of connection or disruption, often taking the form of encounters across the breach of time. They release the occult potential of found material by forging new sympathies between amateur or documentary sources and elaborate new fabrications. Their process invents a de-centered point of view and the question of inter-subjectivity, forms an ongoing curiosity alongside considerations of time, mysticism, longing, and empathy.’

Nova Milne site

Kate Rohde – ornamental resin

Kate Rohde – ornamental resin

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Flourish Summer, Autumn, Winter, Spring, 2008. Polyester resin and mixed media

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.

by Edward Hart (1847-1928)
A case containing’Boxing Squirrels’ by the Victorian taxidermist, Edward Hart. 5th Viscount Bangor’s living sculpture of a tableau of red squirrels in boxing poses. Squirrel opponents shaking hands.

Images taken by Sarah Murphy, except the ‘Boxing Squirrels’

‘Your voices in my head (and mine in yours)’ Liquid Architecture and Lin Chi-Wei

‘Your voices in my head (and mine in yours)’ Liquid Architecture and Lin Chi-Wei

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.

 

Liquid Architecture Events

Lin Chi-Wei works

Tony Oursler – ‘Theres gold in the kitsch’

Tony Oursler – ‘Theres gold in the kitsch’

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.

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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.

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The Poetics Project, Centre Pompidou, France, 2013

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.

 

The Videotapes of Tony Oursler by John Minkowsky

In the Studio with Tony Oursler by Michael Kimmelman

 

Peter Sarkisian – Neo Folk Art?

Peter Sarkisian – Neo Folk Art?

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.

 

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Peter Sarkisian: Pounding Study, 2004
Chris Martin

Chris Martin

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.

Chris Martin, Untitled, 2014
Untitled, 2014

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.

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The publication above reminds me of all the things I find interesting about some Chinese advertising: layout, scale, changeable font styles and colour combinations.

Featured Image from Artnet.com

Hyperallergic.com interview