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the good, the bad and the beta

parties are funny things really. they can bring out the best and the worst in people.

organising them is both fun and awful at the same time. no matter how many i've thrown, there is still that inevitable fear that no one will turn up. or worse, 3 people will turn up and instead of a party, it becomes a wake commemorating the death of an idea i had that i'm somehow popular, good company or just fun to be around. and i guess, as an artist, i'm going to have to get used to that fear, 'cos unless i become so uproariously famous in the next 6 months and never have to organise an opening again, i've got a few more parties to throw.

thankfully the closing party for entropy at platform 2 went OK. not as pumping as i would have liked, but still a pretty cool little intimate affair, with a bunch of family, friends and a few platform regulars. the setting was pretty cool and if i had my time again, i would still cart a bunch of furniture into the subway and have a loungeroom party there. i sold a couple of pairs of undies and anita and din from platform were both taken with the little boxes of remnants i had there too.

the other thing about parties is being invited. or not being invited. there are some parties you don't need to be invited to - you just hear about them and rock up, the more the merrier and they're always fun. except when the house gets trashed and you have to fix a broken tap spouting water 15ft into the air at 3am. for example. then there are other parties where you get the invite: the special parties like weddings, 30th birthdays and golden anniversaries. or to transfer your blog to beta.

for the last month, while the rest of the cool art blogger kids were sprouting about beta blogger, i was left staring at my feet, wondering when i was going to get an invitation! i had flash backs of being chosen last for the lunchtime football team in grade 6 and not being invited at all to a princess party in grade 3 (who wants to be a stupid princess anyway).

thankfully, i've finally been asked to cross over to the dark side of the blog! she sees red will soon be in glorious beta technology and joining the ranks of the fully qualified again :)



new pics!

Thanks to Din and Anita at Platform for these little puppies! They're from week 2 of the exhibition, where entropy is well and truly making its mark on these cabinets :)

And don't forget kids: there's going to be a closing party on Friday 24th November - that's this Friday - in the subway at Platform 2 from 5-7pm! Come along and chill out in the lounge, bliss out to some jazz toons and muse over the decay with me!


bloodbaths and non-objective graffiti

went out last night for a bit of a test with some new fun stuff. didn't exactly work how i'd like it to, but sure got me started in a new direction!

using the same material as entropy, which will dry and flake off (when the weather finally does what it's supposed to)

photos: jade pegler doing some testing of her own

the bath may well feature again in a different role sometime soon too... watch this space.


come early or come often?

two possibly unrelated aspects about this ol' art game have struck me today.

firstly, i popped into the AGNSW today for a quick visit. primarily to pick up my free copy of the SMH-as i'm attempting to save for a trip to london by not buying the paper or coffee - my two major vices since giving up smoking. anyway, while i was there, i thought i'd pop in to check out the James Angus show, which i mistakenly thought was at Agnes (getting my angus and my agnes mixed up), rather than across the ditch at MCA. in having a quick scout around at the contemporary collection and a little peek into the shop before having to shoot back to work, i wondered if i was committing an artcrime in just 'popping in' to the gallery.

must one always spend a long time with the work, or will a lunchtime quickie do as well?

of course i spend other times lovingly in galleries for extended periods of time, paying close attention to all the ins and outs, but surely my appreciation for what's out there is enhanced by a quick peck every now and again. surely it's about keeping it exciting by having both kinds of experience. right?

and speaking of experiences, i might even take this whole thing a little further and spend the rest of my working weeks before christmas seeing one piece each day i pick up my paper. fully reacquaint myself with the collection and maybe even fall in love with some obscure work from the pre-raphelites that i've usually balked at. this could be the beginning of summer lovin' lunchtime styles!

and speaking of summer lovin', i think i'm about to jump on the robert hughes bandwagon after seeing the interview with andrew denton tonight.

i must confess that i never fell in love with ol' hughesy when everyone else was. i was rebelliously reading bachellard and beckett when i should have read bob. and i have a feeling it's time to repent.
something about his demeanour reminded me of francis bacon - something about the swingin' 60s, british cad kind of thing, and having fallen in love with frank a while back, it's time to borrow, or buy the shock of the new. having being introduced to mr hughes the first time around the time of american visions and that ol' accident, i'm going to avoid that phase until i've convinced myself that he's actually worth pursuing.


5 minutes into injury time

so, after being so ridiculously tired, you’d think I would have slept like a log! not so. all that caffeine, all that stress plus a few thousand head miles, I did not sleep at all! I’m pretty sure it was about 1:30 when I finally decided to stop stressing, got up, made a cup of pep tea and finally fell asleep until the wonderful time of 7:30am. beauty. I was so strung out that I had to go for a run to get myself back into kilter. go for a run? yeah, I know!

photos thanks to sarah mosca

so, back into the city at about 8:30 to dump more stuff and then find a park. I felt like absolute crap, so much of my memory about installing is a bit foggy, but I do remember us being quite organised and starting early. we used one of the cabinets kind of as a test piece – did a bit of cooking, painted it on and we were away. the key to stage 2 of the installation was always going to be about a production line. and apart from a few periods where we were cooking and applying in fits and starts, we mostly had it down pat. I had recruited 2 sets of friends, who I’m eternally grateful to, for the morning and afternoon shifts. I cooked, sarah mosca applied, dean sammut also applied and sarah barber was our dishpig for the morning session. as I finished cooking a pot of goo, 1 each of the painters would start and as each pot was finished, sarah b would wash them the tiny sink at sticky. and apart from having to deal with the waves of race goers, it was going pretty well. we had quite a long lunchbreak ‘cos I was exhausted and it was an opportunity for us to hang out with the afternoon crew, who took the installation to completion – sarah, paul turner and craig atkinson.

photos thanks to sarah mosca

the afternoon worked so well – we started off with sarah cooking, paul and I painting and craig as dishpig, then swapped ‘cos I was feeling pretty ratty and just needed to cook – so sarah got back on the cabinets. all was well until about 4pm, then we realized that we were running out of material, patience and time. we stretched it all out to cover a total of 10 cabinets, ran out of gas just as we finished (literally) and left our little installation of crumpled contact in the cabinets. it may not be refined, but what’s a bit of harmless fun in a subway :)

photos thanks to sarah mosca

did I mention I was strung out? holy crap – I think I almost cried a bunch of times and was relieved more than anything that the installation was over. it’s very hard to have a critical eye when you’re physically, mentally, emotionally and creatively exhausted. which is why preparation is the key.

photos thanks to sarah mosca

after we documented and packed it all up, it was off to the pub for much-needed refreshment! nothing puts punctuation to installing a show like a brew of some sort (or red lemonade for me) and hot chips!

and that’s about it. the work is now currently in a state of flux – which is what it’s all about anyway. and as far as I hear, it’s looking OK.

more photos to come later.


full body contact: installation day 1

it's a weird and wonderful thing this installation business. i think it's a lot like being a director/producer for a film - you plan it all out, you do all the preparation work you can, draw out plans/storyboards/ideas and then ultimately, when it comes to shooting, you have to just roll with the punches. there are just some things you just cannot plan for.

photo thanks to sarah mosca

with the best-laid plans, sarah mosca and i set sail for melbourne town at the charming time of 3:23am on friday morning to install entropy, the time-based, site-specific work i had been working towards for platform 2. my little 1990 model charade was packed to the gills with rolls of contact, bags of cornflour, food dye, our clothes, snacks for the road, my laptop and two large speakers (that sufficed as a car stereo, given the state of my current one) and we were function on an OK amount of sleep, but mostly hepped up with adrenalin and excitement (or fear).

i was hoping to make the trek in record time 'cos i knew that we would be pressed for time and every hour would count. i don't think i could have been more accurate - in fact the whole weekend was about making each hour as effective as possible and sometimes it worked, others it didn't.

out timing on the way down was pretty good really. we played road mind games with a bored truckie who decided that scaring the shit out of us in our little car was a good distraction at 4:30am, we watched the sun try to break through a cloudy sky at gundagai and tried to not sing that stupid song, we cursed roadworks and school zones at albury and dumped our uneaten apples at the ol' chiltern rest stop. finally we rocked up at the ranch (my friend carl's place) at 1pm exactly - approximately an hour after i would have liked, but still pretty good timing. after a cup of pep tea, a feeble attempt at a lie-down and a wicked, wicked shower, it was time to hit the road again. i had a meeting with jeff from next wave at 2:30 and we were making great timing, until spencer st happened. no dramas, just a shit-load of traffic. changed the meeting time, screamed into degraves st just on 2:30 and almost got a parking fine, saved by some sweet charm by sarah and those NSW number-plates of mine :)

after dumping all our stuff in the cabinets, which had just been vacated by Ben Ernst, it was time for a much-needed caffeine fix.

the cabinets needed to be covered in contact to prevent staining, so i started sarah on that while i got another caffeine fix and had my meeting with jeff, which was ultra productive! it was a bit of a rush-job for both of us, but certainly managed to set me on the right path. but that's another story.

i headed back to the gallery and where sarah had been working and realised that the measurements given for the size of the cabinets was based upon the visual measurements (ie from where the lights begin, to the bottom of the cabinet) - not the actual size of the cabinet. this was quite a bummer, to say the least. in fact, had i been able to do anything at all about it, i might have panicked. seeing as there was fuck all i could do, we just decided to run the contact from the bottom up and have space at the top and trusting that it would look OK. trust, or something resembling too-late-to-care.

photo thanks to sarah mosca

between the two of us - me in the cabinets and sarah yanking the backing off, we got the cabinets mostly covered by about 6:30pm. we had a small glitch, in that we were fast running out of time and although we could have stalled for time, we also discovered that some of the contact i had bought from a large supermarket chain, which shall remain nameless, was shit and kept fucking up. by this time, i was completely wrecked and decided to just fuck it, and leave it for the next day. otherwise i was going to have a coronary, or a major tantrum in a public place and frankly, i haven't quite made it to diva status so couldn't get away with that one.

photo thanks to sarah mosca

so after we squished everything into cabinets, packed up and headed back to the car to get changed, or at least spruced a little, we headed to ACMI to the opening of their Eyes, Lies and Illusions show, which Jaki had given me an invitation for. I was meeting my mum there and all three of us were going to check it out. Thankfully mum was running late as well, thanks to traffic - or at least that's what i gathered from her text saying 'I HATE THE CITY!!' but we all managed to make it in time for the speeches. Great. Actually, i'm assuming they were speeches, 'cos there were so many people talking, that i really couldn't work it out.

the foyer was packed so, once they'd opened it, we snuck downstairs to check out the exhibition. i was too off my face tired to really take anything in properly, but there was some bloody amazing stuff there! camera lucidas, stereoscopes, daguerrotypes, lenticular photographs, an amazing print of the cross sections of st. pauls drawn from a crows nest set up specifically for the artist to draw from, those circular moving plates which make your eyes go wacky, wacky eyes that follow you - but were just blinking on the night, jaki and david's piece the sound before you make it and one of those rooms that looks like a square when you look at it through a hole(lens) but is actually a trapezoid. heaps of fun! i really could go back and check it all out over a whole day - and recommend that everyone do that - there are some wicked, wicked things in there.

after that we went out to dinner with the rest of my family and started to wind down. unfortunately, i was so exhausted by this stage, that i could only eat rabbit food and had to slunk off early before it became ridiculously dangerous to drive back to my friend's house.

thankfully i had good hugs at the ready when i got back there and was able to crash reasonably early, say bout 11pm.

total time awake: 20.5 hours.
total ability to function: 1 star
stay tuned for day 2.