Thanks For Asking is a performace project by Barry Laing with artists Martin White, Matthew Berka and the First Impressions Youth Theatre. It will be held at the Epping Memorial Hall this Friday and Saturday. The event presents a hybrid of live video and theatrical performance as part of the City of Whittlesea‘s youth theatre company. White remarks that “It‘s an extraordinary work that arose from us asking the group to identify things they’ve never been asked, but would like to be. The answers (sometimes true, sometimes false, sometimes both) give an amazing insight into the participant‘s lives, thoughts and experiences. The responses have also formed the basis for abstracted physical choreographies“. As these forays delve into defining the identity of self, using various physical and technical methods, the night promises to be quite an extraordinary event. Thanks For Asking will meld content and form between pre–shot interview, stage play, dance and video mash–ups. Definitely worth the trip up to Epping.
During 5 days of last week, I documented Tom Nicholson‘s Indefinite Substitution as part of The Cinemas Project. The project involves 5 artists that relate notions of site and cinema at 5 regional Victoria cities: Mildura, Warnambool, Bendigo, Sale and Geelong. The project was commissioned by NETS Victoria, curated by Bridget Crone and includes the artists Tom Nicholson, Mikala Dwyer, Brooke Andrew, Lily Hibberd and Bianca Hester. My footage was used by the ABC in their Arts segment below:
Indefinite Substitution fuses the historical relevance of the Joy Arc cinema, Australia‘s first on–water cinema at Geelong‘s Eastern Beach, with the histories of William Buckley and Melbourne‘s founder John Batman. Buckley escaped from the subsequently abandoned penal settlement at Sorrento and lived with the Wathaurong for 32 years, in and around present–day Geelong. Tom remarked that “one could almost consider Buckley Australia’s first asylum seeker,” and that while John Batman allegedly signed a treaty with the Wurundjeri people, “which recognises the sovereignty of the people who lived he before,” that treaty was more like a Medieval pact and may have been forged.
Up to 60 volunteers retraced the steps of Batman and Buckley, reforming two un–fired busts of the men into barely recognisable lumps of clay. The process of transporting the sculptures of these figures from Victoria‘s colonial past alludes to an alternate history of Batman and Buckley‘s role in history. “I guess it’s a way of thinking about how to commemorate the early foundation of Melbourne and thinking about a way of talking about those histories different to the classical language of sculptures that we might use.” says Tom.
“A formal exploration of space, absent of people, Walker’s video, while at times alienating and impersonal, is a compelling and mesmerising reflection upon the social function of architecture.”
–Ross Coulter (presenting Explicate as winner of Excellence in New Media – RSG Art Prize)
“The work addresses the way in which Western countries perpetuate the state of lack that haunts formerly colonized territories and problematizes the ‘prosperity’ of economic neoliberalism.”
–Diego Ramirez (from Money Map: Thoughts on M.T. Walker‘s Explicate)
Econasia 9: Explicate exhibition opens at Rubicon ARI on June 11 from 6pm
Level 1 / 309 Queensberry Street, City.
June 11 – June 28, 2014
Now in its 2nd year – the Raglan Street Gallery hosts 50 artists, with over 70 works, in this year‘s Art Prize. The winner will be announced this evening, at 8pm, with the show running until June 1st. You can vote for a People‘s Choice Award at any time over the course of the 2 week show.
14 Raglan Street (off Errol), North Melbourne.
TEXT BY DIEGO RAMIREZ
In the context of cinema, blue walls are inevitably associated with the ‘blue
screen room’ and the ‘chroma key effect’ – subjects are recorded in front of a blue
background later to be replaced during post–production. Blue Movie subverts this
process by concentrating on the materiality of the walls, and therefore disrupting
the illusory effect associated with the ‘blue screen’. Payne discharges a vision of
degradation in which blockbuster escapism – castaway tigers, Ninja Turtles and
James Franco in funny hats – is replaced with the presentness (and perhaps the
bleakness) of ‘reality’. However, a more sophisticated critique lies in the way in
which it communicates to cinematic video art practices and their relationship to
the art complex – a communion crystallised by the emergence of the black cube.
This syncretism remains a highly contested ground, with a blend of various art
historical ‘worms’ and a myriad of filmic ‘corpses’ fertilizing the land.
It may be hard to tell if Jackson Payne’s Blue Movie is rotting, sprouting or perhaps
mutating, but his enthusiastic references to mortality bring late Syd Barrett’s No
Man’s Land lyrics to mind: “When I live I die!”.
BLUE MOVIE is at King‘s ARI until May 23 at Level 1 / 171 King Street Melbourne
From the essay Jackson Payne and the dematerialization of cinema by Diego Ramirez
During a recent visit to Tehran, one of the most exciting prospects was the possibility of seeing the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art collection. It is one of the largest modern collections in the world and purportedly worth billions. However, as it it was the Persian New Year, the government must have felt that Iranian revolutionary art was more appropriate for the holidays and so not one of the Western works were on display –which was, of course, extremely disappointing!
Next stop was the Iranian Artists Forum. This institution was teeming with a wide array of style and form that was admittedly less refined than the works at TMCA; albeit the work of students and emerging artists. It was quite leisurely to walk throughout the studios and it looked as though the building had been turned into a sort–of graduate show (not unlike RMIT or VCA). There were many pieces that were quite successful here, artists that showed much more depth and promise than the aforementioned established artists at TMCA. And it was free.
The Iranian Artists Forum was definitely the highlight of the art that we saw in Tehran but given the collection hiding in the basement at TMCA we‘ll definitely be back to try and glimpse those ultra–rare Warhols, Pollocks and Kandinskys!
Paul Rodriguez (AKA P.Rod) is winner of numerous skateboarding awards; for both his street skateboarding ability and for video production. He scored his first spate of notoriety in clinching 3 gold medals at the 2004 X–Games and has most recently been runner–up in 2013 and gold in 2012 (street) at said games.
Last year P. hooked up with video collaborator Dan Abadi to launch the Full Clip Friday series. These skate videos are open to the public for submission –all you need do is rock down to your local skate park and film & edit a 90–second video. The series is on–going and offers the chance to be recognised by your peers in the industry and to win some fresh prizes. Below we have one of the early Friday videos, from last year, featuring Paul‘s skills at his indoor park in L.A., with an overview of the project toward the end of the clip: