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26.7.06

it's a wrap

so liminal has been over for a while and as a curator, it's been a fantastic opportunity and a little strange in the areas that i've felt excited and others i just don't care. and now the real work begins in trying to get it shows elsewhere. there are a few possibilities in the wings, which everyone will have to just wait for until they're confirmed, but for now, here's a bit of a wrap up of the show:





the opening night was a blast! about 250 swanned in and about Project for a couple of hours. some of the regulars were there, some of 'the old guard', ex Project board members and artists who used to exhibit at the old space, as well as a bunch of young kids, older more distinguished types and the artists friends and families. Moira and I said a few words, thanks, etc and a bit of an outline of the show's abstract, for the sake of the kids :)




During the 2 weeks of the show, we had a whole bunch of people come and check it out - I think i already mentioned 640.. which is a wicked show for the gallery so far. A few sales, which is great 'cos we took commission for the first time, thanks to being able to pay artists' fees. In fact, we found out that we were the first gallery to ever pay May Barrie, who is a modernist sculptor and whose CV is a gazillion pages long, an artist fee!! How exciting is that!! Hopefully it's a premise that continues.



It was such an easy show to be a part of. All the artists were so supportive and easy to work with and I look forward to hopefully taking the show onwards.

21.7.06

we built this city on rock and roll

I've just come back from the pub, hanging out with Jaki Middleton, David Lawrey and Kathy Gray after the opening at the Wollongong City Gallery. Jaki and David's work The Sound Before You Make It is showing in the Mercury Gallery at the moment and it's so refreshing to have some cool shit to see in town at the moment. I feel like going into the space every 20 mins, just to get my groove on. In fact i feel like going in there every 20 minutes with a stack of friends and dancing to it with all the Thriller moves so it really feels like a party! I can see why a kid nicked one of the figures when the work was at Campbelltown.
It was also pretty cool to have the sydney kids in town - introducing them to sushi train, exposing them to the dive and comfort of the oxford tavern and giving them suggestions of cool things to do in Wollongong, and I realised that I'm a terrible tour guide. They're going to check out Project tomorrow, which is cool. Hope they like it - I'm becoming more proud of the space the more I find out about other spaces, especially the other ARIs in Sydney.
At the opening at MOP last night I was talking to a friend about sitting spaces and having people come to see work there and he was saying how few people the artist run spaces get through the door in the big smoke. I was proud to say that liminal had 640 checking out the show over the 2.5 weeks it was open. That's a pretty good turn out! I think it's the 2nd or 3rd largest show we've had since the gallery opened and it actually measures up to the what the 'big kids' are doing elsewhere. OK, so the rest of the shows they may put on are kick-ass all the time, but hey, we're getting there.


Speaking of the show - it was so awesome to see a show that was genuinely entertaining. I've known Christopher Hanrahan a while, so I knew it would be fun, but it was a ripper. His performance video was so cooln - He spelled out in human letters (YMCA style) 'the old grey mare, she ain't what she used to be', while singing it, a la the Simpsons. You couldn't hear it when the opening was in full swing, but being a girly swat, i got there early and experienced the joy of it as a whole - it was ace! And the other highlight for me was the smell of the packing crate work - Falling Down (?). The smell? Yeah, i know it's weird, but the warmer the piece got, with the lamps inside it, it emitted this wonderfully nostalgic smell of warm wood, reminiscent of cosy places and open fires or saunas, or something comforting. It was probably so far from the experience Chris intended from the piece, but hey. His coffee mug tree was choice - so precise, yet so precarious, which I think is Christopher's artwork in a nutshell.

I've got an appointment with the tax gal in the morning before an artists' lunch for the liminal personae kids tomorrow, so I'll do a wrap up blog about the show and a guide to finding a good artists' tax agent over the weekend sometime.

18.7.06

you know you've made it

when there's a link to your blog from the art life.

mwahahaha

14.7.06

the crack of light before the door flings open

sometimes i love this time where you get the feeling that the world is your oyster, or clam, or any other edible bivavle. there are so many possibilities, you are full of ideas and it seems that there are endless opportunities to do what you need to do. this week has been one of those weeks.
i've been putting on the finishing touches to my platform application to do my entropy piece.
i've had an offer of help by a curator for another gallery, which i'm going to pursue to hopefully do a site-specific piece in.
i've been in conversation with yet another gallery about possibly touring liminal personae later in the year.
and
i participated in a round table discussion with Sarah Thelwall - an amazing woman who is instrumental in researching the art markets in the UK. she was really interested in a conversation i'd had with friends about whether we were 'commercial gallery' types or 'museum' types (as a sweeping generalisation) and that point at which artists make that decision between churning out work and actually making a living, or being poor for another 10 or 12 years and ending up with (hopefully) recognition on a wider scale. [i don't know whether my work is actually any good, but i can safely say i'm not commercial gallery fodder yet - just in case you were wondering which side of the fence i placed myself.]
and I've started making plans for my trip to the UK next year.

othertimes i hate this time when you get the feeling that the world is a yawning chasm of endless possibilities and that all this excitement may just end up in a bunch of 'thanks but no thanks' letters clogging up your concertina file.

7.7.06

more biennale and alumni sentimentality

After having to deal with ridiculously toxic fumes seeping into our building yesterday, we all scampered off from work to save what was left of our vital organs and I found myself with an opportunity to catch up on some more of the biennale.
I decided to catch up on the ACP to see the work by Olga Chernysheva and to wander up to the National Art School to check out the Ranjani Shettar, a work I had seen a preview of in the 'comfort zones' intranet terminal at the MCA and was busting to see it. I popped into the other gallery space at NAS first, to check out the other 2 works as a token jesture. The space itself was amazing - it was where i used to spend many an hour - where the library got moved to in my 2nd year and rightly so (or perhaps coincidentally, although i like to think not) the Emily Jacir book works were there. Both aspects of it looked amazing and the story behind it was great as well, although I really was just there for the Ranjani Shettar.


Ranjani Shettar Just a bit more



Now I've been banging on about the Antony Gormley Asian Field since the first day of the Biennale and thought that nothing came close to topping it. Well, Ranjani's work has marching in to a very close 2nd on my list of alltime favourite works from Zones of Contact, as I knew it would. The work is exquisite to the same degree that the Gormley is grand. The beads of dyed wax held together by jute are amazing and are almost stellar in their composition. The huge nets of colour gradation are set out in waves, which relate to the theme of water (according to the interview on the afformentioned intranet), and although i saw that aspect and was impressed, my own personal joy came from the idea of these works being constellations, mapping out stars, planets, universes, peoples, systems, souls. The whole thing seemed quite cosmic and a non-hippy kind of way and it made my spine tingle. That's 2 works that have made my spine tingle from this festival - that's not bad. And because the Shettar was a single work in an amazing gallery space, previously the gaol chapel, it was given the reverence it required. I know that not quite as many people will see it as if it were in the AGNSW, but I think it deserved the quietitude and solitariness of the NAS Chapel, over and above marrauding hordes of school kids and pensioners on bus tours.




Hanging out at the National Art School, I caught up with dear friends, Sarah Mosca, Damian Dillon and Paolo Iarossi, great artists who work there, who I've previously worked with and who I went through the school with. It was fantastic to catch up on the gossip, discuss our dreams for the future, what we'd be willing to put up with as far as constraints on our work and what we're working on now. And I realised that I have become incredibly sentimental about my old college! I missed seeing these guys on a regular basis, I missed aspects of the campus, I even want to exhibit in the new spaces once they become available (note to the new curator of the NAS galleries) -can you believe it?! If someone had've said to me 3.5 years ago that I would be having lunch with ex-classmates and TAs, I'd be cooing over the campus and wanting to exhibit as alumni, I think i would have spat in their face! Now, I'm realising how important it really is in my life. Now I don't think I'm going to go out and sprout about the place or get all bombastic about it, but it's kind of nice to think that I have a whole resource of ex-students and teachers that I can still use and that having that sense of 'family' or companionship in the mire that is the local art sector, is worthwhile. Now that I come to think of it, it was probably one of the reasons I went to art school in the first place!

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4.7.06

more juicy theory

in doing some reading for my cracking paint project, i've discovered the most exciting theory in my current codex of the moment: fontana's dictionary of modern thought

entropy:
1
. In thermodynamics: a quantity forming part of the specification of the thermal state of a system. Entropy may be calculated from the heat which must be added to the system to bring it via intermediate states to the state being considered. It is found that the entropy of any closed system never decreases. This is one formulation of the second law of thermodynamics, which can be explained by statistical mechanics, where entropy is interpreted as a measure of the disorder among the atoms making up the system, since an initially ordered state is virtually certain to randomize as time proceeds.
2. in cybernetics: entropy is generalized to measure the tendency of any closed system to move from a les to a more probable state, using the same mathematical apparatus as in above. If, however, the system is open to information, then this tendency may be arrested. This is because, mathematically speaking, information can be defined precisely as negative entropy (negentropy)

non-equilibrium thermodynamics:
The thermodynamics of systems that are no at equilibrium. processes that are irreversible evolve towards an equilibrium state that has a greater entropy than the initial state; when equilibrium is reached, the rate of entropy production is zero. If a system is constantly supplied with matter or energy, it can be maintained in a non-equilibrium state in which entropy is continually generated. It was thought by the originators of thermodynamic theory that non-equilibrium states would be disorderly, but observations show that they can find highly ordered structures, such as the hexagonal pattern of convection cells first seen by Henri Bénard in 1900. Other examples of ordered non-equilibrium states include the chemical patterns predicted by Alan Turing in 1952. These ordered non-equilibrium states are called dissipative structures, since they must dissipate energy in order to persist. Their existence is counter-intuitive, because the generation of entropy would be expected to engender disorder in the system. As most natural processes, such as the functioning of cells and the circulation of the atmosphere and oceans, operate away from equilibrium, the importance of understanding non-equilibrium structures is clear.

and i dropped out of a science degree all those years ago!! maybe i should go back and wade through physics lectures with dr carl again!