Monday, 16 December 2013

2013 Summer icey-pole selection

I've set up this page to record Artists and their respective works that have made this year particularly memorable to me. Sometimes it's the works and at other times its the conviction to push concepts through that has inspired me to make my private musings public. I've attempted to note works and events in chronological order.
I apologise in advance for additional ramblings. Its impossible for me to think about works in isolation.

1. 2013 Redlands Prize at the National Art School- guest Curator Julie Rapp. The entire exhibition reminded me of the old 'Perspecta' survey exhibitions that the AGNSW stopped presenting in the late 1990s. Rapp's solid selection included Elizabeth Day and Cherine Fahd (late 90s works- thankyou) and many more. Coupling emerging with established artists- and established artists with emerging artists- pushed fresh air into a tired set of lungs.

I was particularly moved by Bronia Iwanczek's, Sudden Earth, C type photograph. When I was in Berlin last year, I spent several hours looking and absorbing the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe.  I sat and simply watched the light and people move and weave between the work, it's alleys, its undulating landscape, its greyness and its sheer weight. As the hours rolled on, I went for multiple walks to sit in other parts of the Memorial in order to watch the piece breathe from another location, either within the piece or very close by. I had aimed to return to view the memorial one night: To see it bathed in the blackness of the dead of night. And then to watch the sunrise and the morning light slowly illuminate the work. I will resume looking slowly at the Memorial when I am next in Berlin.

The gravitas present in Iwanczek's work brings to mind two works installed at the Hyde Park Barrack's forecourt for the Sydney Biennale 2006, curated by Charles Mereweather- Miroslaw Balka's The Stop and Milica Tomic's Container. I was fortunate to visit both works on multiple occasions. (I was working part-time in a city book store at the time. So, normally banal lunch hour breaks in the city briefly became gold.) The uncertain and changing winter light and weather conditions compelled me to want to observe how the absence of hard Australian summer light, replaced by softer winter light and weather conditions would affect my responses to both these works. Every viewing allowed me to travel deeper into the work. Iwanczek's photograph represents a missing stanza in Australian art museums collections.

2. Mike Parr Survey, National Art School.
Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev curated a mini- survey of Mike's performances on Cockaatoo Island for the 2008 Biennale of Sydney. Since then, I've been waiting for this survey exhibition for some time. My only misgiving is that, in my parallel and imaginary art universe (where sometimes things make more sense than they do in real life), the AGNSW could have presented a concurrent satellite exhibition- installations and drawings. And a third project partner could have easily presented all the performance video works and/ or new works. Of course I run into Jeffrey Stewart as I am leaving. 

3. Xavier Le Roy, 'Untitled' (2012). This performance piece was presented as part of 13 Rooms, Kaldor Public Art Projects. Working on this project enabled me to watch this quiet performance in my lunch hour in perfect conditions- with no one else in the room. Being alone with this work enabled me to sink into the folds of the work. Special thanks to Carmen who took the piece to another level for me. This work's affect upon me was as strong as the now permanent Bruce Nauman installation 'Room with my soul left out, Room that does not care' (1984) at the Hamburger Bahnhof.

4. Nick Strike's 'October', 55 Sydneham Road. I'd like to see this entire show and/or new works in Melbourne or Berlin.

5. Robert Lake:
Robert & the Frum Foundation's 2013 edition of 20|20 was presented at Breeze Block, Kings Cross, thanks to artist Sean Rafferty. I've lost count of how many artists Robert presented over the course of three weeks- just try to keep track of three exhibition changeovers per week. Robert presented a canny selection of recent graduates, re-emerging and mid- career artists.

6. Unexpected:
a) Emma Wise's participatory-performance piece based on the recent Blue Mountains fire evacuation, as presented in the 'Articulate turns three', Articulate Project Space.
b) Toni Warbuton's participatory object based piece presented in 'Leave it in the ground', Articulate Project Space.
c) Robert Pulie's marionette piece at The Commerical.
d) 'Roomies Project'
e) Petra Gemeinboeck and Rob Saunders' robotic infestation and hoo-haa at Artspace
f) Justin Henderson's Wollongong exhibition




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