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HR #2

Australia Council : Rainer Linz


The Australia Council An arts policy as long as your arm

There has been much discussion of the recent ministerial appointments to the Music Board of the Australia Council though surprisingly, very little protest action from artists.

The Australia Council was established by an Act of Parliament, with the mechanism of "arms length" decision-making written into the legislation. This is basically an administrative mechanism that makes it more difficult for Federal politicians to directly intervene in grant making decisions. In other words, the legislation is designed to undermine any casual political interference in the arts.

Brent Harris : Penny Webb


Brent Harris Grotesquerie
Kalimany Gallery

Realism, by tooth and claw, in a Brent Harris catalogue - A 32-page catalogue was published by Kaliman Gallery, Sydney to coincide with the exhibition "Brent Harris: Grotesquerie". The show of paintings and woodcuts ran from 24 October to 16 November, 2002, having previously been shown in Melbourne. The booklet is beautiful. One of the works in the show is reproduced on the cover; the artist's name appears discreetly, lower left.
In place of an introductory essay, the catalogue presents an extract from a story by Gillian Mears, titled "Sad Quarrion", from her collection "A Map of the Gardens", recently published by Picador. Quarrion is another name for a cockatiel, the caged bird in Mears' story. The four pages of text are numbered 141 to 144, presumably preserving their original published form. The text's status as extract or quotation is enhanced by having been printed on a browny-grey rectangle, creating a page within a page.

Simon Barney : Christopher Dean


Simon Barney No Ideas

Front Room, Sydney


It would be hard to imagine a politician or a
hairdresser boasting about their own stupidity. If
they did the scenario might be as follows: "I'm a
politician and I've got no idea how to run this
country" or "I'm a hairdresser and I've forgotten how
to do a perm". A world consisting of unresolved
government policies and bad hair-do's would be the
obvious result.

In contrast to this painters often like to boast about
their own stupidity. The steady decline of the status
of painting in capitalist economies goes part of the

Susan Norrie : Simon Maidment


Susan Norrie Undertow
Australian Centre for Contemporary Art

The thing that struck me most seeing this exhibition at the new ACCA was how Susan Norrie seems to deal with intent. Not her own but the intent we as an audience are invited to attach to the subjects depicted in her video work. People are predators and protectors simultaneously, mud is made thinking, emotional, determined to escape its origin. A balloon flexes its rippling torso impatiently. A cloud of dust ominous not in its effect, but in it’s considered, measured movement.

The largest of the video works was completely fantastic, a brooding piece made up of bits and pieces of footage Norrie has selected from film and television archives and processed to give us grainy, black and white imagery that looked more like a scene from Ring than the Channel Nine News. When slowed down to within an inch of disrupting the persistence of vision, there is all the time necessary to deliberate on the individual scenes, and their resonance as a whole, and imbue them with a sense of dread; apocalyptic scenes of nature turning on a city, the populous escaping, a military involvement. The proximity of Flinders Street, disrecognised /unrecognised/in the footage by that deliberate, noxious looking cloud (Terrorists? War? Nature?!), certainly energises the experience. Certainly it’s the soundtrack that accompanied the piece that infuses the world of Norrie with portent. A globulus composition, its synth chords welled up and filled the space as a dense shifting mass (in part due to ACCA’s idiosyncratic acoustics).

Devin Johnston : Louise Wisser


Devin Johnston Telepathy

Paper Bark Press Sydney 2002

“To start with, I look up ‘Devin’ / and approach my subject with circumspection. / I find, half hid in etymology, / not a person at all…”

; a landscape mosaic, lush as snow, and laid etymon for etymon as if they had never been misplaced.
Telepathy, as collection, provokes the [mother] tongue from land. its language making translation a matter of time rather than place, reviving words otherwise laid to rest, rendered both into a sense of this-moment mythology. and although Johnston takes care to momentarily relieve us of the anguish (“Though anguish shares / no etymology with anguis - / ‘snake’ in Latin”) of a language made foreign, there remains much that is read as sound only; echoes that make the sense of “Bats” - “The sky is / chatoyant. / The earth is grum, / and we are cant.” This being a sense capable of mapping a terrain out of a sound.

Lucas Ilhein : Gianna Murazzo


lucus or lucas
mi piace tantissimo la tua idea-realizzazione di
queste magliette! avevo visto
delle tue t-shirt anche in un altro sito su un tuo
progetto; sono le stesse?
se permetti, !, ti scrivo quello che il tuo
progetto mi spinge a pensare come idea matrice,
idea-madre: penso che la tua scelta , cosl
forbitamente (=astutamente, nel senso buono! ),
diretta, di un messaggio, apparentemente semplice,
con una scritta rossa su maglietta bianca (i colori
+ diretti e semplici), con questi luoghi comuni
sfrontatamente evidenziati, h una buona idea.
: non solo perchh ha in sh un senso di universalit`

Sue Pedley : Margaret Roberts


Sue Pedley Sound of Bamboo, Royal Botanical Gardens Sydney

Sound of Bamboo was a three part installation by Sue Pedley in the Sydney
Botanical Gardens in September 2002. It used red wool and found bamboo,
inspired in part by her experiences during residencies in Sri Lanka and
Vietnam. It also continued a longer term exploration of the surprise
created by strong colour in unexpected locations - as food colouring
bleeding through white plaster or coloured wool interwoven with natural
settings - as intrusions which present the locations as much as themselves.

In Sound of Bamboo, the red woollen yarn was woven through two bamboo

Jonathan Bottrell Jones and Jim Viveaere : Tony Green


Jonathan Bottrell Jones (Australia) and Jim
Vivieaere (New Zealand) "‘RED OUT

September - Auckland Society of the Arts Gallery

There’s a story here. It began with an e-mail exchange between these two
artists of colour -- Jonathan Jones in Australia, Jim Vivieaere in New
Zealand. . Then two thick courier packets arrived here from Jonathan
with 142 rectangular sheets of card. Each one looks like it was a part
of one large painted piece, a broad blood-red meander on white, with sun
images here and there, a map-like painting of a territory. Each one has
a word on it, made it seems of letters cut out of magazine adverts.

Stanley Brouwn : Andreas Gedin


Stanley Brouwn, Documenta 2002
stanley brouwn befindet sich im moment x fuß entfernt von diesem punkt
at this moment stanley brouwn is at a distance of x feet from this point
en ce moment stanley brouwn se trouve à x pieds de ce point

(stanley brouwn befinner sig i detta ögonblick x fot från denna punkt)Thomas -KOLLA ÖVERS!

Sökandet efter Mr. Brouwn
Det talas om konstnären som en aktör som intar konstscenen. Att synas och att kommunicera från denna scen är konstnärens uppgift. Documentautställningarna i Kassel vart femte år är en konstens olympiad där deltagarna kan sägas ha vunnit bara genom att bli utvalda till att delta. Men en av deltagarnarna i den pågående Documenta 11, konstnären Stanley Brouwn,väljer ovanligt nog att minimera, för att inte säga anonymisera, sitt deltagande. Det publiceras inga personuppgifter om honom i katalogerna och det verk han representeras med utgörs endast av ovanstående trespråkiga katalogtext

Matthew Barney : Nicole Katz


Mathew Barney's version Cremaster Cycle
Ritzy Cinema in South London, November 2002

In his monumental cycle of five films, video artist/renaissance man Matthew Barney takes reality and deliberately, masterfully and endlessly creatively abstracts it. The films, made over the last deacde, and in which Barney himself performs, were shot out of sequence - 4, 1, 5, 2, 3 - and it is unclear if they are intended to be viewed in any particular order. As Barney says, "the stories themselves are somewhat interchangeable" On Sunday November 3, at the Ritzy Cinema in South London, all five films were shown in numerical sequence. I attended this mega-marathon - from 2pm till 11pm - and although I confess to still being mystified as to the artist's intentions, I was nevertheless enthralled from start to finish; for Barney's visual eye is sharp, seductive and, above all, original.

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