a few weeks ago, i had a self-righteous whinge about my mildly annoying delays on the trip home from europe.
thankfully, i've finally got around to having my arse kicked, by being reminded how fuckin' awesome it was that i could a) fly to europe; b) afford to do so; c) have an amazing time there, with the ability to communicate with friends and strangers in different languages and cultures and d) all of the above.
i promise to never whinge about travel and/or technology ever again. i know, i'm spoilt.
a few weeks ago, i had a self-righteous whinge about my mildly annoying delays on the trip home from europe.
ages ago, the couple of you that read this drivel regularly (why you bother, i have no idea..ha!) will remember that i was a bit frustrated with the whole relationship between praxis and employment and i put up a bit of a poll to see how some of us deal with our finances.
well, the poll has closed and i've finally got around to posting about it.
cafe/bar/hospitality 8% (3 votes)
arts worker/admin/gallery assistant 17% (6)
graphic design/freelance 8% (3)
i make enough from my art to live comfortably 8% (3)
centrelink 11% (4)
teaching 20% (7)
other 34% (12)
now see that 'other' figure? high, isn't it? seems i forgot to include retail and/or a link to the post in which to do describe what that other might be, so i'm guessing that quite a large proportion of that is working retail. if you voted and clicked other, feel free to let me know here.
and apart from that, it seems that teaching art is the other main way to earn a living. and i have to say that i'm jealous of those 3 people who make enough from their art to live comfortably. do you all live in australia?
oh, and obviously the research isn't exhaustive, or in depth (blogger's polls aren't exactly scientific).
interestingly, i had a conversation about art funding with my studio mate the other day and we both discovered how fascinated we are with how art practice is funded. i'm always interested in how an artist is financially able to make the works they do - have they received arts funding? are they just independently wealthy and can afford it without too much hard work? do their parents help? are they represented by a gallery? etc, etc, etc.
it also seems that it's a bit of a taboo to talk about where the money comes from, in such lean times. on one hand i can understand it - no one likes to expose themselves to others, in terms of what their 'worth' is - it puts us in a vulnerable position. and yet, sometimes i wonder if that taboo was chipped away, and we freely exchanged financial (as well as inspirational) insights, then the art world might just be a little more about ideas again, and a little less about marketing and manipulation. then again, some things never change i guess.
i'm so stoked!
last night was the art fights fire raffle, organised by my awesome friend and fellow candystriper, curator at outre gallery, gemma jones.
i was lusting after that there radical cross stitch question authority when it was drawn. and while my name wasn't drawn out of the barrell of 1300 tickets, my friend di's was. and she gave it to me! eep! [she was excited about the frankie subscription and the cookbook. yay!]
and, as well as that total coup, the cupcakes i made disappeared quickly and the event raised at least $12,000 towards the red cross bushfire appeal. what an awesome night :D
and, i have to say, i'm pretty proud of us arty types. i saw a sign from connex saying that they were proud of the $47,000 they had raised towards helping out with the bushfire appeal... pfft!
see, art saves lives, i tell you.
Posted by lauren at 11:32
now that i've had time to come back down to earth, i have a bit of time to tell you about some of the great shows and galleries i saw while i was in paris.
last time i was there (in 2007), i was quite surprised that finding independent, funky, contemporary art stuff was a bit more difficult than i thought. granted, i was right at the end of 6 months overseas, had €40 for 5 days and was hangin' out with dear friends, but still.
anyway, this time around i knew where to look, it seems, 'cos i saw some fantastic stuff and happened upon some wicked galleries, shows and museums - more than i had time to check out.
marian goodman - tino sehgal
a chorus of "welcome to this... situation" was the first thing that was said to me, as i stepped through the doors of marian goodman gallery on rue du temple. i was so fuckin' excited 'cos i rarely happen upon performance and/or situationist works. plus, where better to happen upon it than france.
the gallery space was 'occupied' by a group of artists/performers, all discussing political and social issues (as far as my bad phrasebook french would allow me to understand). as a new conversation started, or a new person entered the space, the 'circle' would rotate in the other direction. all the members adhered to a particular way of moving - slowly - as a rejection of the 'fast paced' attitude to contemporary life.
i had a lovely moment when a little way into my stay there, one of the artists addressed me, in english, saying how much she delighted in seeing my initial (excited) reaction to their situation and that it must be a lovely way to approach life, open to all kinds of surprises. it is and all i said was thank you. although, had i been able to speak with them, i would have probably let her know that some of my joy was borne of a particular interest in situationism, rather than a pure, unbridled openness to life. that i've probably got running at 65%, which i guess isn't too bad :D
cite de l'architecture et la partrimoine
this was a great find. after really enjoying the AzW in Vienna, i decided to actively seek some architecture galleries/spaces this time around. i hit the jackpot with cite chaillot. i was there for about 4 hours, visiting the temporary exhibits, permanent collection, staring out the window at the amazing view and really looking at the endless galleries of models and plans. plus i got to check out the 1:1 recreation of le corbusier's housing scheme appartment. the one that worked/failed/worked - depending on your viewpoint. heh.
the temporary collections included the impressive collection of lacaton & vassal, the display of (what felt like) a thousand models of the venice biennale pavillion/awards, generocity, which included some really impressive and innovative models. my personal favourite - BLOCK: a block of wax atop a block of lead, with a 'ramp' scraped out the top of the wax, as the 'transformation of a bunker' (I didn't make a note of the intended outcome, sorry)
there was also an interesting display on facades/skins/exterior techonological advancements, called peau (skin) as well as their permanent collection
not to mention the absolutely divine view from the modern architecture hall. i thought the view from the pompidou was ace, but this shat all over that. especially at about 4pm on a winter's afternoon with the sun glinting of the fleche d'or of saint-michel and all of paris bathed in that pinky white light. phew! lucky i didn't have a camera with me ...
palais de tokyo. again. (bangin' on about it)
i know i already talked about the palais de tokyo, but i keep thinking about it as an art space. and when talking about it the other day, i spoke of it as finding a wide audience because the space itself being the lowest common denominator, not the shows or the audience being LCD to appeal to as many people as possible.
it had so many points of access that appealed to a wide variety of needs and ways of engaging, without being patronising: food (fancy restaurant), alcohol (bar), books, things to see and touch and listen to (the shop with the music listening station), self-obsession/identity (photoautomat), a range of entry prices and a wide opening time frame.
anyways, i just had to mention the space again. especially as i'm shortly going to give nicholas bourriard (who was instrumental to establishing the place) a drubbing for his altermodern show at the tate. who ever says i'm imbalanced is wrong :)
oh, and i have to add how much i lusted after hotel everland (above), which is the fantastic work on top of the gallery at the moment. being auctioned off on ebay for a cool €1000 per night. phew!
la galerie des galeries - ludivine caillard.
hotel encore, by french installation artist caillard, was in the amazing space on level 1 at galeries lafayette. for the australians, imagine a hot contemporary white-cube-ish space in myer. it really was awesome and the show was a combination of flavours: knitted forms, including one of my favourites for self-centered reasons, red dress - a knitted cover for a tree (red knitting is kinda close to my heart at the moment). plus some great video/collage works which show the sexualised poses of make-up/fashion models copping the money shot from tubes of make-up and cosmetics. it's pretty hott.
le plateau [centre for contemporary art]: notorious
i raced up to plateau belleville on my last full day in paris, to check out this group show, only to have the gallery not open until 2pm. d'oh! so i went and saw a bunch of other stuff, then came back, skating in 10 minutes before closing. great show. really awesome theme using hitchcock's film 'notorious' as the departure point and a whole bunch of 'noir' kind of works. the image above is a still from a german film by keren cytter (of which i understood the dialogue auf Deutsch better than the subtitles allez français), playing with the idea of imagined vs real violence/murder. i attempted something similar a few years ago and did a pretty crap job of it, so it was great to see a good outcome of it.
the spinning light/spotlight was fun as well - circled the room so that you got to appear as hitchcock in his credit sequences. the space was pretty cool too - quite a way from the hip'n'groovy part of town, but worth the 'trek'.
well, what i thought was xippas, turns out was not. however, xippas is at 108, rue Viellie du Temple. the space looks amazing online.
Bu-ut, in looking for xippas, I went to another space on Vielle du Temple, Yvon Lambert, which had an exhibition of works by a new love of mine, Lawrence Weiner, 1/2 empty, 1/2 full; as well as a stack of publications that i coveted. There was also a fantastic quote from Mr Weiner, which i didn't get a chance to properly transcribe, but it went something like..
"Public art has two roles, to honour alienation and to create for the people a place in the sun"
... or along those lines anyway. my notes:
Public art has two roles
- place in the sun.
There was also a small project space, where the conceptual artist, Giulio Paulino had a work, which looked at perspective - reminiscent of Ferini. The gallerie was invigilated by a couple of hipster cuties, with the cliche skinny jeans, ernest conversation and rollies cigarettes. i got shy really quickly. heh.
hotel/passage de retz
the time i was there, the passage du retz didn't have an exhibition on, but is still a cool space and has some great production work for sale, including a very Sticky-esque french love letter dispenser for €2 per piece. of course i bought one - it was so close to valentines day (which i spent with about 400 others on a plane, or in a queue for luggage), it would have been criminal not to.
Galerie Karsten Greve, on paper
in the same area, in the marais, off rue debelleyme, there were loads of commercial spaces i discovered, mostly ho-hum kind of shows, except one with an exhibition of works on paper, brilliantly titled on paper. featuring beautiful drawings and prints by Louise Bourgeois, Joseph Albers, crazy mask-like drawings by Alexander Gorlizki and the beautiful rolls of Pierrette Bloch (above).
i also have to fill you in on the show at hotel du monnaie - david lachapelle, my time at the pompidou [x 2] and a cute little show with black'n'white cubes in a little street on Rue Pecquay, near the Pompidou/Hotel du Ville. But I'm a bit tired, and i think this post is long enough already.
Architecture gallery by Gaston Bergeret
View from Cite du l'architecture et du patrimoine by le-haboo from flickr
Nightmare, 2007, Keren Cytter from Le Plateau site.
Untitled, Pierette Block from Galerie Karsten Greve - Paris
I've written about empathy a few times on this blog. There's something about it that seems to be crucial to being a human being, an artist and a citizen. On friday night, the conversation turned to empathy and it's relationship with being able to learn languages. A friend was noticing the link between his partner's inability to pick up languages and her lack of understanding about the more pathetic aspects of his personality. i use the word pathetic here intentionally, as it highlights the link i'm interested between empathy and pathos and that etymological goodness in between. The polyannas of this world, who prefer to only laugh and dance and skip, not to stir in the muck of difficult feelings like sadness and despair, miss out on the depth of subtleties of the human condition.
oh, "the human condition", hey. romanticism is sooo 19th century..-ed
I guess when it comes to understanding and having a compassion for the way another person is - to walk a mile in their mocassins, to be able to talk their language - pathos is crucial. You need to know what it feels to hurt, as pain is universal. In fact, i think pain traverses cultural and linguistic barriers more so than happiness, love, freedom. We all have slightly different definitions, needs and expectations of love, joy and other lovely feelings. However, i think grief, anger, pain - all those wonderful experiences - resemble each other across the divide. The way we deal with them, mind, is so different that it's ridiculous. But if you say to me ' i'm sad', i know that i have felt sadness too and can relate to how you feel, whether i enjoy it or not. but i don't need to wonder about translating that into something i can define. Whereas, if you tell me you're in love, i think that i have been in love too, but there is always a sense of difference, perhaps an insecurity of whether i have really felt what you feel and whether we speak of the same experience.
I believe that it's the pathetic, uncomfortable elements of us that are interesting. I see them as points of intersection between one language and another (empathy) and perhaps between the public and private self (identity).
image credit: mazoons
hi honey, i'm home!
and before i regale you with a tone of posts about some of the cool stuff i did/saw/felt while i was in europe, i just have to have a self-centered whinge about my hellish trip home.
technically i missed out on friday the 13th - i left paris at 4pm on thursday 12th feb and arrived in melbourne at 11:30 on saturday 14th feb - but you wouldn't know it by the shit luck i had.
firstly, thanks to snow and ice on the runway at heathrow, the flight from paris was delayed by an hour and a half. then i had to share a flight with 20 spanish teenagers who clogged up the luggage compartments, took their time about finding their seats, then clapped and sang and flirted with each other at volume 11, the whole way. it wasn't as fun as it sounds.
from there i just made my connecting flight in london, but thankfully we sat in the (unairconditioned) plane for an hour and a half before leaving while the plane was de-iced, a tug summoned and the queue for take-off got longer.
then, in bangkok, after 20 hours in transit, we were delayed again because the incoming crew delayed getting to the airport. joy.
two hours late arriving into sydney, while a can of some disinfectant crap was sprayed through the cabin so our tics and lice didn't spread to precious australian soil (despite a whole industry of introduced cloven-hoofed animal species), we got to sit in a merry-go-round in the sky holding pattern in sydney, as per usual.
then i had to deal with customs in sydney, prior to my last flight to melbourne. unlike everywhere else in the world, in australia, we're so stressed about what gets brought into the country that one has to go through customs at the first port, not transferring through customs at your final destination.
which meant a massive queue, rude staff, chaos baggage terminal and a haul-ass to transfer onwards to melbourne.
just made that flight, almost home, stoked to finally get off a plane and out of an airport, when industrial action happened.
qantas aren't treating their staff properly (surprised?) so the baggage handlers used their democratic right and halted production. the whole company shat itself and i only got my bags 3 hours ago, 36 hours after landing.
total transit time: 36 hours.
total time without luggage: 72 hours.
total awesome good memories for the 3 weeks prior: timeless.
i know, probably not that bad in the whole scheme of things, but it felt shit at the time. besides, it's my blog and i'll whine self-indulgently if i want to.
image credit: davesag from flickr, who obviously had the same experience i did.
PS - i still don't have my mobile happening, so for those about to rock, hang on for a couple of days.
"the sign of being at home is the ability to make oneself understood wihout too much difficulty, and to follow the reasoning of others without any need for long explanations"
marc, augé; non-places; verso, london 1995. [my current read and new bible]
i love this definition of home. it certainly pertains to several places in which i call home - melbourne, hamburg, paris and turin. london is a great place to work and it's certainly more homely than before, but it's not really home. i often need long explanations to work out why the fuck some of the londoners do what they do.
paris is certainly a place i feel at home in. even with my totally shit french (which most of them forgive, thankfully) i can be understood. there are a few ways in which my modus operandi is supported here, which makes life just flow, unlike almost any other place:
time: everything is open at sensible hours - late. i can go to a gallery until midnight - or even until 9pm during the week. i can buy cool necklaces until 8pm at night and the supermarket around the corner is open until way late. i don't even know what time it shuts, but it's always open when i walk past, so that's fine :) transport runs until late, bikes are open for hire 24/7, clubs until 6am and people are just about. i don't feel the pressure to subscribe to a 9-5/M-F lifestyle, which makes this very home-like.
art: loads of places to see and experience art. i know that paris hasn't had a crackin' art scene for a while, but it's slowly building again it seems and i'm discovering all kinds of cool places to go. plus, as an artist/student, i get cheap deals all the time - free for some galleries, €1 for others, or just a great price. it feels nice to have my profession 'valued' and that is pretty home-like.
diet: while i certainly miss the abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables from home, they're not completely absent (unlike london - hello? everything wrapped in plastic? blech!). and the whole idea of just ambling through the day with some food here and there is great. baguette and coffee, croissant and coffee, pizza and coffee, everything and coffee - i love it! this time around, i've been staying with germans who know how to dine like europeans, so it's been extra ace. i love that dinner is late here and breakfast is late. and lunch is kind of non-existent. just like at home :)
whilst these habits are not the only things that make up a home, they're ones that certainly support me as myself and i don't have to justify or explain them to others. and, as in the above quote, there is a mutual sense of understanding.
in fact, quite often, paris feels so much like a comfortable pair of shoes that i always forget to take photos here. i end up with no usual 'artifact' of my trip here, just a whole bunch of books, drawings, tickets, feelings, memories and some other intangible stuff.
i like that.
on sunday night we went to the palais de tokyo. it's a super cool contemporary art gallery with a super cool shop and librairie, bar and restaurant. it's also open until midnight, has a cool photoautomat (one of those old school photo machines) and excellent architecture: palatial on the outside, industrial on the inside.
we got in for free because it was late and hardly any exhibitions on, but even if all the main shows were on, i would have only paid €1, 'cos i'm an art student. i love a gallery that honours artists and students.
and being open until midnight, a fair few of the local homeless stay downstairs, sit and play cards in the warmth, use the toilets to brush their teeth. being open until midnight, it means that they only have to bare the brunt of the wind off elements for a few hours, until the next round of places opens at 6am (like mcdonalds and some of the stations nearby). and the beautiful architecture also allows them to have beds underneath huge awnings with the most amazing view of paris and the eiffel tower.
see, art saves lives.
image credit: meteorry from flickr.
just a quick post. it's my birthday. i'm in paris. it's amazing and i've already had the best time - hangin out and dancing with the krazy krauts and the pasty midlander. i've had cake and croissant and coffee. calls from best friends, loads of messages and skype from the folks.
it's all ace.
and then i started reading about the shit from home and it's upsetting me. the state has been on fire and heading towards 100 people have been burned. the photos on flickr are horrific and apparently even the premier is in tears. i have to say, i feel a tad guilty, rugged up in a beautifully clear and crisp morning in paris.
god, or whatever, please take care of the peeps back home and send some respite their way.
australians, give blood to the red cross and once the relief effort starts, please give as much money, time, effort as you can. to the rest of you who read my blog, please send some well wishes to 146º54', -37º30'. victorians - hang in there, we're with you.
Posted by lauren at 01:07
hamburg is kind of like a spiritual home and it was so awesome to pop back and say hello to the pirate town again. starting with the longest frühstück ever, i got to hang out with my 'lil bro, seb, check out some great exhibitions, dance until 2am, meet up with some artists/students from HFBK and got to experience snow for the first time!
the best exhibition i got to see was son, man 1969 at the kunsthalle - a new exhibition about leaders, fanaticism, gurus and extreme idolatry behaviour. mostly focusing on mr manson and his band of crazy ladies, it also featured a fantastic mix of works about rock fan-dom, that wacky trend from the 1970s of finding a guru, obviously a couple of works about Der Führer and some new works about technology as the new über-lord.
there is an amazing list of artists included in the show, most of whom i didn't properly note. but some of my personal favourites included works by:
joseph beuys - his piece about the gallery/art scene in which he's transported to the rené block gallery by ambulance, and illustrates the relationship between artist and audience through the feeding of a dog. it's quite amazing work and i did leave that feeling simultaneously in awe and shit about my own work.
bruce nauman - both his violin and feed me works were amazing. the feed me one disturbed me, like a nauman has never done before.
elena kovylina - a performance of the homo-erotic rock moves of male superstars which was amazing and enlightening. i could imagine that mayhem might have loved it.
susi pop - beautiful pop screen print images of the manson girls.
and some of the video work was amazing too - a rendition of tom waits' king kong, some kind of disturbing marionette works and a great play on manson girls/charlie's angels, singing some song (that i didn't write down). it's quite disturbing actually.
although one of the coolest things i saw wasn't actually part of the show - an artist has inserted chemical and engineering equipment throughout the structure of the gallery to create a stalactite. using rainwater, rooftop gardens, architetural-based filtration, plus added lime, etc. it's fuckin' awesome and will be in the gallery for the next 400 years. there's the slightest beginning of an ice drip - it's pretty exciting :)
i was trying to be frugal and didn't buy the catalogue. mistake. i now have to beg my hamburg peeps to pick one up for me. bugger. having said that, if you're in the area, go see the show 'cos it's really great. i've not seen such a huge exhibition based on theme like this before and was impressed. really.
i also went to the deichtorhalle 1, which was amazing. well, the architecture and the space is amazing, the work of stephan balkenhol was not as great as i had heard it was, but i still managed to find some interest in it. his figurative sculpture i find a little, well, meh. for me figuration has to tell me something about humanity ('cos i'm a post-modern girl and no-longer interested in just the material) and his didn't, really. but his carvings-as-paintings were pretty amazing, drawings almost, with animated surface.
i also saw the cutest sight - a young boy, just sitting on the ground drawing from the artworks, as though it was the most normal thing to do in the world. undisturbed, intent and supported by his parents, the gallery and german culture in general, i was slightly jealous of him. although i did spend some time drawing him :)
which reminds me, i learned a great new german word: kunst benause. literally: art buffoon. and it's a legit insult - no one wants to be a kunst benause!
i didn't get to meet up with some local artists/students, who were all amazing and max frisinger is currently having a show at galerie bittel at the moment, which i didn't get to see, but all hamburgers should.
and the other main highlight was clubbing until 2am in st.pauli with seb. it could have ended up an early night - i got a bit freaked out in one of the clubs (german clubs are all super-squishy in winter) and the rest of our crew went home early, but thankfully we put our party hats on and went to BP1, drank lots, danced to some cool-as-fuck nostalgic stuff, caught up on all the goss and impressed the bar chick (with my "geile schuhe").
i had such an awesome time again in hamburg and am scoping out the possibility of some study there in the future, which could be a little dangerous really.
last week when i was in manchester and west yorkshire, i had an amazingly synchronous day of seeing a whole bunch of revolutionary art - art as inspiration for movements of change. in manchester.
i actually never would have made a direct link between manchester and revolution, but after seeing shows by both walter crane and emory douglas, i've realised how politically motivated the mancurians have been.
walter crane, whitworth gallery
i popped into the whitworth just for a quick squiz before heading to some of the more contemporary galleries in town. boy was i pleasantly surprised and ended up hanging out there for almost an hour! the main exhibition which caught my fancy was the walter crane work - beautiful fin de siecle works to illustrate and support the labour and suffragette movements. they're not really the aesthetic that i love, but they're still really beautiful works and a testament to the link between art and revolution.
emory douglas, urbis.
before i talk about the exhibition, urbis is the fucking bomb! oops - bad joke. it is an amazing building, built to regenerate and venerate the IRA bombing in manchester. it is a really spectacular, yet utterly usable space - manchester seems to really use it, with a great lift section, awesome live TV studio that you can see into, and a great view of the whole city.
back to the exhibition - the show was full of the graphics he made for the black panther party for self defence, both before and after he was minister for culture. i really knew very little about the development of the party, so it was great to get a quick lowdown on it (including the fright of my life when i set off the sensor which triggered the sound of JFK being shot. i almost needed to change my jeans after that).
i didn't have too much time to check out the show, but did enjoy the chunky black lines and super cool style of the graphics and to see how valuble art was to the movement. none of this art for arts' sake business. :D in fact the gallery are trying to encourage people to see the value in art for political purpose and have started a flickr group of revolutionary art.
radical cross stitch
so, having seen both those shows on the same day, i came home to read my current read, Virginia Woolf's Night and Day, and then some posts and twitter by australia's very own radical cross stitch, who stitches all of that together for me: art for politics, with a particular focus on rights for women. i'm loving the blog/tweet combo at the moment and looking forward to the next installment of her public x-stitches
i got all inspired again to make works about stuff that matters. not that i'm particularly ace at it, but it helps to keep it in my mind. and hopefully yours too.
walter crane, the woman worker, image courtesy whitworth gallery
suffragette flyer, image courtesy whitworth gallery
emery douglas works from urbis.co.uk
bell hooks' image from radicalcrossstitch.com
i've been in hamburg for the last couple of days, sans laptop, hence the lack of posts. but before i give you my travel deets, i just have to get all excited about some new artists that i keep 'running into' (only on gallery walls, mind, not IRL)
langlands and bell have made a bunch of works which are situated on the fine line between architecture and art. i'm totally loving their plans of public institutions at the moment, which i've seen at the tate, the whitworth and at their london gallery. plus they have a cool series of neons they did recently (and featured at alan cristea in london) which fucks around with the acronyms of major art galleries (SMAK, MUMOK, etc) - an extension of other language-code works they've done.
plus, they won a BAFTA interactive award for their installation at the imperial war museum. that's pretty cool.
anyway, that's all for the moment. nothing profound, just general fandom.
back to usual service soon (including excitement about snow, manson, revolution and hamburg)
image credit: neon works, from the alan cristea site.