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melbourne jaunt part 1

hey kids,

I'm stealing a quick 5 minutes to update you all on my melbourne sojourn. am at the melbourne art fair, working at a stand and so far it's going pretty well! there was lots of 'sweety darling' action last night with the who's who of the australian art scene and me standing, watching and trying to figure out who was who. apparently name tags aren't in this year.
there are a few really ace stands which i've had a little bit of a chance to check out and hopefully when i'm back here on saturday i can check out the balcony level.

cool stuff on the ground floor so far has been Alasdair Macintyre's Journeyman dioramas. i'm so in love with alisdair's work it's ridiculous! When I have a cool couple of grand lying around, Joanna and Ursula from Sullivan and Strumpf can expect a knock on their door from me. Other highlights include Darren Knight's stand - haven't had a chance to really check it out, but when i walk outside for a cigarette, i love gazing at the whole thing. Kate Just's LOVE work is cuddly as always, as is her super-furry policeman that just makes you want to hug a law enforcement officer for the hell of it. There are these amazing wall pieces which look like Kyle Jenkins' work in a gallery somewhere along the back.. possibly Conny D, possibly Greenaway... as you can tell, i've been here with my note pad and pencil and a killer memory!. The thing is with the fair, it's overkill. There's so much stuff that some of it all melds into one, like acrylic paints in egg containers at the Belvedere Kindergarten. But we all know that and we do what we can.

Yesterday i popped into CCP and checked out the show with Kate Just, Guy Ben-Ner, Derek Henderson, Julie Davies and Dominic Redfern. Julie Davies' A Study of the Insignificant was amazing, although I wanted to throw up. I walked through the gallery with my hand almost over my eyes. The images of dead birds were almost more than i can handle and i'm a tough nut when it comes to blood and guts. The way she presented them reminded me of Anne Ferran's works of children's dresses a few years ago. The other work at the CCP that almost made me throw up was one of Guy Ben-Ner's video works. He was trapped in a cot, a prisoner of a nursery and couldn't reach the desperately-needed bottle of water. He chewed his finger off to get it and you got it in high definition detail! Oh my god, it was revolting. In an exciting kind of way. Dominic Redfern's discussion to a lover was quite entertaining video too. Apart from being in the little hidey hole gallery, which is a nice place to sit and ponder, the work was intimate enough to want to stay there for a while. Although the main character, which may or may not be Dominic, had a very hairy chest, which was not quite as bad as the dead birds, but definitely more disturbing than the images of New Zealand outback by Derek Henderson. His photos were beautiful, but honestly, I'm bored of urban, suburban, pastoral portraits on 6 x 6. Nothing personal, there's just a lot of them and i'm a little ho-hum about them now.

And speaking of ho-hum, the Picasso Love + War at the NGV was BORING!!! I took my mum and my nanna, so there was a nice little intergenerational appreciation of Picasso thing happening, but that was probably the most gratifying thing about the whole day. I love Picasso's work. I'm daggy and think he is one of the most important artists of the 20th Century and without him we wouldn't have a whole bunch of artists, etc. But the NGV did an absolute disservice to the man by putting on this exhibition. The choice of works were loose, the connection to Dora Maar was tenuous and there was loads of works by her, which is fine, but put her in a room of her own, for crying out loud. The way the show was over texted - ie too much wall text for the general public, which i always find slightly patronising. Although the audio guides are now iPod, which is rad, 'cos a whole bunch of people walking around a gallery with a mobile phone-looking audio guide used to drive me spare. The best pieces of the show were actually sculptural works, although a few of his early Minotaur etchings were beautiful and his Vert Galant piece is amazing in its separation of spacial treatment. I loved it and I kept thinking of Ron Adams' work. Which is not meant to be a put-down, although Ron, if you're reading.. hi.

The other thing that pissed me off was that the show was supposed to be about Love and War, according to the title.
Well, they didn't really address the plethora, yes plethora, of Picasso's other lovers and they sure didn't investigate Picasso's treatment of War. A few death heads and vanitas pieces just don't cut it really. Nothing from Guernica. And I mean nothing, not even a little drawing study of the left hand corner! Maybe I'm mistaken, but isn't Guernica the most well-known discussion he ever did on war?

Enough ranting from me.

Tomorrow I'm off to West Space, Platform 2 and Outre Gallery, to see my friend Gemma Jones and hopefully I'll get to see Conical and Gertrude on the weekend. Watch this space for more rants and ramblings.


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