22 September 2014

Text for Elena Betros @ West Space, Melbourne

Recommended viewing: Melbourne-based artist Elena Betros currently has a solo show at the fantastic Melbourne institution West Space. Titled 'The performance of an act by someone who could have done otherwise', the exhibition runs through 4 October 2014.

I wrote a text in parallel to Elena's show, which has been printed on A4 tracing paper and can be collected in the exhibition space. Ideally, this should be read with the exhibition, but for those not in Melbourne, you can download here.

Elena will be doing an artist talk, where she will read from Simone de Beauvoir's The Mandarins, on Thursday 2 October 2014 from 5:30-6:30pm.

For more info, visit: http://westspace.org.au/event/the-performance-of-an-act-by-someone-who-could-have-done-otherwise/.

I am very interested to hear any feedback from those who may have read the text! Thanks to the artist for giving me the chance to experiment with the writing.

7 September 2014

Mary Teague review in frieze

I wrote a review of Australian artist Mary Teague's exhibition 'Language of Art', which took place at The Commercial Gallery, Sydney, from 9 May - 7 June 2014.

If you're registered to frieze's website, you can read it here: http://www.frieze.com/issue/review/mary-teague/

Otherwise, grab a copy of Issue 165, September 2014, it's on page 162 (next to a review of Damiano Bertoli's great recent exhibition at Neon Parc, Melbourne)!

Thanks a lot to Jennifer.

5 September 2014

un Magazine 8.1

The latest issue of Australian art magazine un launched in Melbourne on 6 August 2014 at Gerturde Contemporary.

I contributed a redacted version of a text written for GOB festival earlier this year in Sydney, it was accompanied by an introduction by artist Benjamin Forster (co-editor of un volume 8 with curator Robert Cook).

The editorial of this experimental issue of un placed two strict parameters on its contributors: no images and no proper nouns. In my text, titled 'None of this is', all proper nouns were 'blacked' out - censored, if you will. Click on the picture below for a preview.

Author names are listed separately in the centre pages of the staple-spined magazine, accompanied by a list of the removed proper nouns, if relevant. The opening words of each of the contributions are listed on the back cover as a contents list with no author names. In addition, this issue of the magazine evades reading conventions in terms of page-order and orientation.

This changes everything, from how we must hold the magazine and flick through it, to the idea of texts as linear compositions. In fact, the editors actually encourage us to physically take the whole thing apart! With text colour and formatting altering throughout, and no images to distract from the wordliness of writing, the result of un 8.1 is a unique reading experience. Props to editors Cook and Forster for following through with what must have ruffled some die-hard feathers, and to designer Brad Haylock for making it work!

Contributors include: Uri Auerbach & David Hollier, Elizabeth Chang, Sean Dockray, Anna Dunhill, George Egerton-Warburton, David Finnigan, Laura Hindmarsh, Adam Jasper, Kym Lenoble, Aodhan Madden & Nicolas Mejia, Elizabeth Pearce & David Walsh, John Pagnozzi, Isobel Parker Philip, Simon Pericich, Bree Richards, Megan Robson, Kailana Sommer, Eloise Sweetman, Té (Andrew Brooks & Kynan Tan), Linda Marie Walker, Gemma Watson, Malcolm Whittaker.

Un is available for FREE in arts organisations throughout Australia (Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Hobart, Brisbane, Perth, Canberra and Darwin), as well as internationally (Leipzig, Hong Kong, Christchurch, New York City, Berlin, Los Angeles and Paris).

See unprojects.org.au for more infos - or get your hands on a copy!

2 September 2014

Quote of the day, yay!

'And all the while, everywhere around us, we stupidly continue to die of love, we continue to commit suicide because we fall prey to all that resists love, we continue to die (or sometimes to survive, but as if we were dead), because the abject desire to be loved runs idle.'

-- Guy Hocquenghem (trans. Noura Wedell), The Screwball Asses, Semiotext(e) 2009, p. 43 [originally written in 1972]

23 August 2014

Centre for Style @ Mathew, Berlin

Just one week left to catch Centre for Style (CfS) at Mathew gallery in Berlin!

'Bouvier's Bedroom: Centre for Style Highlights at Mathew' opened Thursday 14 August and runs through Friday 29 August 2014. The gallery is open Wednesday to Saturday, 13-18h. As the press release describes:

'Bouvier's Bedroom is the dilapidated walk-in wardrobe of a fictional aged socialite. Centre for Style (Highlights) presents a selection of new works by eight designers, renovating Mathew into the forgotten change-room of Ms. Bouvier.'

This must-see show, curated by CfS/Matthew Linde, features work by:

Eckhaus Latta
H.B. Peace
Jessie Kiely
Laura Fanning
Martine Rose
Nhu Duong
Rare Candy
+ a work by Thomas Jeppe as part of the CfS 'Vogue Living' display

In addition, there was an opening night performance by Anna-Sophie Berger with Matthew Linde

The show is a fabulous array of collaborative experimental fashion practices displayed as a quasi-lounge-bedroom, like a bomb hit it, room. Flashbacks from the '90s and some of your grandmother's glassware with décor to match a middle-class aspirational fake-gold, almost-there patio terrace. Comfortable, slightly awkward, borderline precious. It's a wonderful taste of Melbourne's epic Centre for Style, in Berlin.

Go there, Madam.

8 August 2014

Quote of the day, yay!

'By killing the "angel in the house," the feminist movements destabilized the welfare state and revived the political figure of the witch. Who were the witches? The archetype of rebellion in every framework, witches were sages, doctors, practitioners of other knowledges who could no longer find a place in the redistribution of knowledge that scientific positivism brought about. Witches were women without husbands who refused marriage, figures of a sexuality that resisted normalization, a sexuality that did not find its goal in procreation, but in a non-productive, deviant sexuality.

Witches were also figures of homosexuality, of nomadic sexuality. As Michela Zucca has noted, they also represented "the cardinal element of continuity, the charismatic leaders and spokespeople of a society and culture that were essentially anti-productive, in the capitalist sense of the term". The persecution of witches, as Starhawk demonstrates, is linked to three interlocking processes: "the expropriation of land and natural resources; the expropriation of knowledge, and the war against the consciousness of immanence". She adds, "Western culture bases its ethics and its justice on the stories of estrangement ... The ethics of immanence encourage diversity rather than sameness in human endeavors, and within the biological community".

If the enclosure of communal land compels those who had lost their source of independent living to submit to wage relations and thus to construct the history of western economy over the past several centuries, then the persecution of the witches is a war on immanence. "If twentieth-century barbarism is not the same as the barbarism of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries," writes Esther Cohen, "their common origin is beyond doubt: both cases involve a 'violent' allergic reaction to radical alterity, a negation of the other as absolutely other, who is called Jew, witch, woman, black, or native".'

-- Antonella Corsani, 'Beyond the Myth of Woman: The Becoming-Transfeminist of (Post-)Marxism', Substance, Vol. 36, No. 1, Issue 112: Italian Post-Workerist Thought (2007), University of Wisconsin Press, pp. 122-23 (trans. Timothy S. Murphy)

7 August 2014

Journal de l’Université d’été de la Bibliothèque Kandinsky

I contributed to a journal edited by participants of the Université d'été held from 2-10 July 2014 at the Centre Pompidou, Paris. The publication is available for free in the exhibition 'Magiciens de la terre, retour sur une exposition légendaire' (curated by Stéphanie Rivoire et Didier Schulmann), on now through 15 September 2014 at the Pompidou.

The Université d'été was open to doctoral and post-doctoral students as well as independent curators, who were invited to revisit the 1989 exhibition 'Magiciens de la terre' (curated by Jean-Hubert Martin). This occurred via a series of lectures, seminars, workshops and by accessing and researching into the exhibition's archives, held at the Bibliothèque Kandinsky.

I didn't participate in the summer university itself but was very fortunate that a friend who was participating, art historian Adam Jasper, invited me along to the library for a couple of days, where we had the opportunity to proceed through boxes of research material related to the controversial exhibition.

The result is a broadsheet, designed by Syndicat and published by Centre Pompidou (2014), with contributions from all 24 of the Université d'été participants (and some ring-ins like me) in the form of essays, interviews, facsimiles of archival material, poetry, speculation, etc.

To download my text, 'Tribu aborigène des WARLPIRI, Australie: Biennale de Sydney 1982 ?' please click the image below:

Many thanks to Adam Jasper, Mica Gherghescu, Didier Schulmann, Judy Annear, William Wright, and Susan Gibb for all their assistance.

I also pay my respects to the Lajamanu people of Warlpiri country and to their ancestors, past and present.

28 July 2014

Fashion Photography Next

A book I contributed to titled Fashion Photography Next by writer and curator Magdalene Keaney is finally out this month, published by Thames & Hudson! The book features 35 photographers from 14 different countries, spread across 272 pages with as many illustrations, 208 in colour.

Magdalene has written a brilliant extended essay to introduce the ideas behind the book. In addition, she or I have written an approximately 500 word text analysing the work of each photographer, and describing their background and working methods.

I have written pieces about Baker & Evans (bag below), Kasia Bobula, Timur Celikdag, Jonathan Hallam (woman above), Samuel Hodge (install shot below), Chad Moore, Hanna Putz (birds below), Dennis Schoenberg, Saga Sig, Philippe Vogelenzang, Chardchakaj Waikawee (punk below), and Ruvan Wijesooriya.

The other amazing photographers included in the book are Mel Bles, Charlie Engman, Jermaine Francis, Boo George, Jamie Hawkesworth, Alice Hawkins, Erik Madigan Heck, Julia Hetta, Axel Hoedt, Laetitia Hotte, Daniel Jackson, Bruna Kazinoti, Immo Klink, Tyrone Lebon, Joss McKinley, Laetitia Negre, Daniel Riera, Robi Rodriguez, Daniel Sannwald, Clare Shilland, Jacob Sutton, Tung Walsh, and Harley Weir.

Fashion Photography Next retails for £24.95 (ISBN 9780500544358). For more information or to order, visit: thamesandhudson.com/Fashion_Photography_Next/9780500544358

Parallel to the book, there is an exhibition curated by Magdalene Keaney. 'Don't Stop Now: Fashion Photography Next' opened on Thursday 10 July 2014 at Foam, Amsterdam, where it runs through 7 September 2014 (more info here). The exhibition will travel to London's Fashion Space Gallery in the autumn.

Quote of the day, yay!

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments; love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds
Or bends with the remover to remove.
Oh no it is an ever fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken
It is the star to every wandering bark
Whose worth's unknown altho' his highth be taken.

-- Shakespeare's Sonnet 116, quoted in Jeanette Winterson, Written on the Body, Vintage, London 1993, p. 162

[Great interview with Winterson: radioopensource.org/jeanette-winterson-what-it-takes-in-life-and-letters]

17 July 2014

Classic Friendship Podcast #6

Very happily, I was invited by Rózsa Farkas to contribute to her guest curated episode of Classic Friendship podcast.

Episode #6 is titled 'The One With The Anger' and launched on Monday 7 July 2014. This episode comprises contributions from Huw Lemmey, Georgina Miller, Jaakko Pallasvuo and Vicki Tingle, plus Rózsa as host and musical excerpts by Nkisi (Melika Ngombe Kolongo).

There is also an accompanying PDF zine that Rózsa has produced using handwriting from her own notes and some quotes from my text. This can be downloaded by clicking here:

CF Ep06 The One With The Anger by Rózsa Farkas.pdf

Earlier this year, Rózsa curated the exhibition The Angry Show (which, incidentally, included a work by Melika Ngombe Kolongo, with Daniella Russo) at 55 Sydenham Rd Marrickville NSW 2204 AU. This show and the present podcast, amongst other productions, form part of an ongoing research into affect and anger that Rózsa has been undertaking. My contribution to the podcast is a re-performance of a text I wrote and performed in March 2014 for GOB festival, which I wrote about on this blog in May.

Lots of nice overlaps and replays; thanks so much to Rózsa for inviting me. Please take the time to have a listen, the podcast can be streamed and downloaded via the CF SoundCloud:

4 June 2014

Daphne - a record of a year through affection

Daphne is a record of a year (2013) through affection, edited by Catherine Borra.

Daphne includes texts by twelve contributors, each focused on one art work. These are:

Pio Abad on Adrian Wong

Catherine Borra on Lindsay Seers

Marina Doritis on Sharon Hayes

David Ferrando on Naheed Raza/Ed Atkins

Elea Himmelsbach on Merce Cunningham

Nicoletta Lambertucci on Enrico Baj

Adeena Mey on Stephen Prina

Emma Ines Panza on Curandi Katz

Sophie Risner on Laure Prouvost

Davide Savorani on Richard Mosse

Veronica Valentini on Beatriz Preciado

Eleanor Ivory Weber on Soda_Jerk

Daphne was published in 2014 by La Grande Fuite and designed by Woodoo Studio, Bergamo.

You can read the online version below on issuu, or enquire within to get hold of a hard copy.

Thanks a bunch to Catherine for inviting me to contribute and to Soda_Jerk for their beautiful work and support.

28 May 2014

Alicia Frankovich: Today This Technique Is the Other Way Around - catalogue launch and video screening

A book project I have been involved with is launching in Berlin this Thursday evening, 29 May 2014. Artist Alicia Frankovich's solo exhibition 'Today this Technique is the Other Way Around' was held at Kunstverein Hildesheim from 19 October through 1 December 2013 and this is the corresponding publication. Infos below:

Kunstverein Hildesheim, Argo Books and KuLe Theater are excited to invite you to the launch of Alicia Frankovich's Today This Technique Is the Other Way Around.

KuLe Theater
Auguststraße 10, Berlin

Thursday 29 May 2014

KuLe Theater is located on Auguststraße 10 in Mitte (opposite KW and near corner Tucholskystraße): map!

The catalogue will be available on site, and there will be two screenings of Frankovich's 20 minute video Today This Technique Is The Other Way Around (2013). The catalogue is published by Kunsverein Hildesheim and Argo Books, is 48 pages in colour, and includes texts by Kathrin Meyer and Eleanor Ivory Weber.

For those in Berlin, go to KuLe on Thursday!

Facebook event>>>

EDIT: ISBN 978-3-942700-55-9, preis: 12€ !


Auckland - Parsons Library Supply (books@parsons.co.nz), Auckland City Art Gallery
Melbourne - World Food Books
Berlin - Do you read me?, Archive Books
Hildesheim - Kunstverein Hildesheim

17 May 2014

GOB fest 2014

A couple of months ago I participated in a mini-festival called GOB, organised by Sydney artist and musician Matthew Philip Hopkins and held at 55 Sydenham Rd Marrickville NSW 2204 AU over two nights, 7-8 March 2014.

As Hopkins described it:

'GOB brings together a number of artists working with voice for two evenings of live performances. These artists will present works that draw from areas such as sound poetry, performative and theatrical actions, text/sound composition, and experimental music.

These works will examine the intrinsic relationship voice has with meaning, and clear communicative speech, considering ways in which this relationship can be deformed, mutated, and rendered unstable through various modes of performance.'

The artists involved were:

Friday 7 March-
Gob Choir (Lucy Phelan, Mary MacDougall, Jonathan Hochman, Matthew Hopkins, Anna John, Emma Ramsay)
Brian Fuata
Emma Ramsay
Exotic Dog

Saturday 8 March-
Eleanor Weber
Shane Haseman
Nik Kamvissis
Hard Hat
(Peter Blamey & Kusum Normoyle)

Watch excerpts from the performances here:

GOB - excerpts (Brian Fuata / Hard Hat / Eleanor Weber / Shane Haseman) from 55.

Dinner and drinks were served each night during intermission, courtesy of Lucy Phelan; post-performance party DJing courtesy of Lucy Cliche.

For these events, Matthew Hopkins also created the GOB sampler, an 8 track, 31 minute CD-R of audio works from those who performed. This was available at the show for a measly sum, and there are some still available! If you are interested in this recording, email Matthew to arrange receiving either the CD-R or digital files: matthewphiliphopkins[AT]gmail[DOT]com

Thanks so much to MPH for inviting me to be involved and to all the artists and everyone who came for making it such a swell event!

25 April 2014

2 good books, 2 good writers: Amelia Groom, Holly Childs

I have been meaning to mention for a while, these two recently released books by two Australian writers that are really great!

The first is Time: Documents of Contemporary Art, published by the Whitechapel Gallery and MIT Press, edited by Amelia Groom.

The book has been out since late September 2013 but officially launched at Whitechapel Gallery, London, on 27 February 2014. There, Amelia presented a lecture considering 'alternative readings of time in contemporary art, calling into question the way we think about history, change and the future', which parallels the editorial approach in the book itself. In the overview, she wonders:

'What does ‘contemporary’ actually mean? This is among the fundamental questions about the nature and politics of time that philosophers, artists and more recently curators have investigated over the past two decades. If clock time—a linear measurement that can be unified, followed and owned—is largely the invention of capitalist modernity and binds us to its strictures, how can we extricate ourselves and discover alternative possibilities of experiencing time?'

One might be surprised to learn that Whitechapel's highly successful 'Documents of Contemporary Art' series hadn't treated the seemingly obvious theme of 'time' before now, which I suppose reflects the slippery nature of the topic. However, Groom took on the challenge and has managed to wrangle 'time' into shape; or at least offers some very useful tools for shaping, as it were, our understanding of it.

These tools include texts by writers such as Giorgio Agamben, Geoffrey Batchen, Walter Benjamin, Franco Berardi, Georges Didi-Huberman, Brian Dillon, Elena Filipovic, Elizabeth Grosz, Adrian Heathfield, Bruno Latour, Michel Serres, Nato Thompson, and many more, and reflections on and/or by artists like Francis Alys, Paul Chan, Olafur Eliasson, Bea Fremderman, On Kawara, Joachim Koester, Christian Marclay, nova Milne, Katie Paterson, Raqs Media Collective, Hito Steyerl, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Tehching Hsieh, Mark von Schlegell, etc.

A very useful resource, and a pleasure! Check it out on The MIT Press' website: http://mitpress.mit.edu/books/time


The second I want to mention is a novella by Holly Childs titled No Limit, published by Hologram (a project by Express Media, Melbourne) in April 2014.

No Limit is set in Auckland, where a doomsday apocalyptic volcano fuels the cyber-psyche of a group of young people raving and raving mad. The city is full of ash and the characters seem to float from one less-than-impressed scenario to the next. Windows of light fill the hazy internet-high come down, but the dark depths (or shallows) of the 'scene' and the sense of disconnection from anything tangible are palpable throughout. As the smart, queer, trendy young characters wander aimlessly from hang to hang, party to party, wondering when the world will end, the reader is left wondering whether it ever really began.

Childs' first book is written in really snappy prose, which carries you along and is surprisingly successful at keeping one's eyes off the laptop or smartphone undoubtedly within arms reach. I'm sure the irony is not lost on Holly that while her characters speak in jargon and 'likes', constantly check their phones, post tweets, 'gram shit, she has released a good old book that one can hold and flick through and spill coffee on.

Like, so worth a read! To order No Limit visit: http://www.hologrambooks.com.au/nolimit

19 April 2014

HTRK's Psychic 9-5 Club

One of Australia's most compelling music duos working today, HTRK are launching their third studio album Psychic 9-5 Club with gigs in Melbourne (The Hi-Fi) and Sydney (Civic Underground).

This is highly recommended listening. With a much more electronic vibe now the guitar has been totally removed from HTRK's output, Psychic 9-5 Club pulses through you like a slow-release body relaxant, as the psyche drifts into dreamy meanderings. That said, none of HTRK's signature heavy bass has gone away; they haven't gone ambient. On the contrary. This is the antidote to 9-5 monotony, or it's the sound of what gives that life-mode its poetics: repetition, dull hum, routine, moments of rupture, rhythm, entrapment, a vicious cycle.

Most of the songs treat the theme of love in its myriad manifestations. Just some of the lyrics: 'This time, I'm gonna love you much better' (Give It Up), 'I'm in love with myself' (Wet Dream), 'all those flashlight diamonds / love is distraction' (Love Is Distraction), and titles such as 'Feels Like Love'.

The drug that pumps these veins seems to be that mystery hormone coursing flesh and innervating neural pathways in unpredictable ways; jittery, sober, calm, take the edge off, edgy. The psychic club is just the place where lovers recognise themeslves and other lovers as such; lovers above and beyond all else. Love is the vital elixir, but it's not always uplifting, and that's the point. Nonetheless, once you're in the club it's hard to leave. And why would you want to? The main hope is for some sort of psychic development concerning one's relationship to love itself; this takes time. But it seems to be what HTRK's latst album encourages. The soundtrack to the mundane romance and to the fleeting love all at once. They only exist together. 9-5. Club.

The sound to calm anxious souls, with production by Excepter's Nathan Corbin, members Nigel Lee-Yang and Jonnine Standish have created deep, lethargic, emotive electro for die-hard lovers.

You can purchase Psychic 9-5 Club in all good record stores, or via Mistletone mail order on CD and deluxe 180gm vinyl at: mistletone.net/shop/htrk

Tickets for the album launch shows are on sale NOW and the details are:

MELBOURNE Saturday 26 April 2014 @ The Hi-Fi w/ New War, Regional Curse, DJ Conrad Standish +infos

SYDNEY Saturday 10 May 2014 @ Civic Underground w/ Alba+Guerre, DJs Spiral Sounds, Dave Fernandes (HAHA/D&D) +infos

P.S. i-D did an interview with HTRK here: http://i-d.vice.com/en_gb/read/interviews/2308/australias-htrk-dont-actually-hate-rock

14 April 2014

.hsdpdf FREE download

I curated a show called Hyper Spectral Display (.hsd) at 55 Sydenham Rd Marrickville NSW 2204 AU, which ran 28 June through 14 July 2013. The artists were Adam Cruces, Amalia Ulman, Clara Chon, Jack L. Dunbar, Joe Hamilton, Matthew Linde, Megan Hanson and Oliver van der Lugt.

I mentioned it on this blog a while back and you can find more infos here or on the .HSD Tumblr.

To accompany the show, I edited .hsdpdf, a PDF publication released in January 2014 comprising contributions from the artists as well as newly commissioned texts from Giselle Stanborough, Holly Childs, Kailana Sommer and Rózsa Farkas, with design consultation by Nadia Hernández.

For all this and more, please download the .hsdpdf by clicking the picture or the link below:


Many thanks to all contributors! Please share this with your friends if interested :)

6 April 2014

Quote of the day, yay!

"This heavy weight, pressing down and through the body, is the certainty of death. Depression is a form of pragmatic realism. If everything humans can achieve means nothing in the moment of death, why live? Why move forward? If the end result is erasure, why participate in the unending march toward annihilation that constitutes daily existence? It is the confrontation with this fact that precipitates depression. No amount of ego, money, or fame can deliver a human from depression, because no amount of ego, money, or fame can prevent death. The most interesting artists, the most pragmatic artists, the artists who work on problems beyond their own self promotion and success, work in a state of constant, unending depression. To face the certainty of death, without the fantasies of success or progress, and still make artwork is a radical gesture. Radical gestures cannot be maintained. Death wins.


Depression is often directly caused by, in the words of Carl Wilson from a recent review of a biography of Alex Chilton, "whatever drives a handful of artists to be great at the expense of being good, to gamble double or nothing on the long odds." To these artists, working often means the same thing as failure, in direct opposition to the ones who produce to prevail, the game players and the posers, the networkers and the opaque black holes, the ones that master systems and moves, techniques and cliques, professional attitudes and academic jargon. Have fun being successful. Have less fun not being successful. Thus, depression. Someone has to lose, something. Despite all assurances, in whatever form, be it connections, friends, curators, awards, prestigious exhibitions, magazine articles, or money, there is no guarantee that an artist can or will make a great work. Many artists game the system, making things that will bring success fast and easy, or things that sit in judgement of fast and easy by ironically moving faster and easier. This is cynicism. These artists have already lost everything, and their work doesn't matter. Being successful is nothing. Failure is the most important thing in the world, and it is the mistakes that cannot ever be replicated that are the most beautiful.


If reflected through the prism of desire, the spectrum of physical objects that can be described as contemporary art reveal wide rivers of desire: desire for power, desire for money, desire for influence, desire for security, desire for fame - these desires are the main courses to run, and yet they are corrupt. Art driven by these agendas is art in name only. Art forms, like a crystal, past the limits of desire, beyond which lies the unknown. One cannot desire what cannot be conceived, but what cannot be conceived can be created."

-- text for Depression, exhibition organized by Ramiken Crucible at François Ghebaly Gallery, Los Angeles, 2014

9 March 2014


Brisbane-based artist Tyza Stewart's first solo show, curated by Joel Mu, was held at 55 Sydenham Rd Marrickville NSW 2204 AU from 27 September through 6 October 2013.

You can see documentation of the exhibition here: 55sydenhamrd.com/tyza-stewart.

To accompany the exhibition, Mu edited a book titled tyzatyzatyza, which includes his essay on Stewart's work 'If I could do this for real I wouldn't have to take selfies', illustrations of over 40 of Stewart's works, and an essay by Iakovos Amperidis and myself titled 'Some thoughts on the Sydney Contemporary/Tyza Stewart situation'. The book was designed by Arnel Rodríguez.

The self-published book was launched on Thursday 19 December 2013 at Sedition in Darlinghurst, Sydney, for a special price of $15 (RRP $30). The book details are as follows:

55 Sydenham Rd Marrickville NSW 2204 AU

National Library of Australia Cataloguing-in-publication entry


Stewart, Tyza (artist, author)
Mu, Joel (author, editor)
Amperidis, Iakovos (author)
Weber, Eleanor Ivory (author)
Rodríguez, Arnel (designer)

Artists’ books
Art, Australian—21st century
Art, Modern—21st century
Art and computers
Identity (Philosophical concept) in art

Dewey Number: 702.81

To enquire about obtaining a copy of tyzatyzatyza, please email us at: contact [at] 55sydenhamrd [dot] com

8 February 2014

Minerva, Sydney

Minerva, a new gallery in Potts Point, Sydney, opens today, Saturday 8 February 2014, from 16.00-19.00!

The inaugural exhibition, '"Sunny and Hilly"' features the work of a great line-up of Australian artists:

Hany Armanious,
Andy Boot,
James Deutsher,
Fayen d'Evie,
Helen Johnson,
Jonny Niesche,
Joshua Petherick,
Marian Tubbs.

Melbourne philosopher Justin Clemens has written a poem, 'Minerva's Superfetation', for the press release:

‘The owl of Minerva only takes flight at dusk.’ — G.W.F. Hegel

Here, now, in Sydney, the Oldest West of White Australia —
Still the bastard love-child of Bentham and De Sade
(As Robert Hughes puts it in The Fatal Shore) —
At an indistinct yet absolute fault line of the city
Where the oleaginous networks of fiscal ascendancy
Lick the drug-bespattered arse of the rotten Cross,
And the junky dancers can barely be told from rich joggers,
All lycra and navel-piercings and tans-so-fake-they-must-be-real,
There stands Minerva, ‘an historically-significant inter-war building’
Bridging the hard corner of Orwell and Macleay Streets,
Named for the Roman goddess who presides over art,
Wisdom, schooling, medicine and war, arrogant, virginal,
Not born through parthenogenesis nor pollination nor sexual reproduction,
But from the first thought of Jupiter, Lord of the Gods,
When they cleft his forehead and his daughter leapt out
Screaming a war-cry so terrible the skies themselves trembled,
That one gets the derivation from Sanskrit, *men-, ‘mind,’
As the original terror of thinking entering the world
On wings as deadly as the owl her spirit companion,
Black eyes without profile at the last hinge of day and night,
Giving ten thousand works to be seen that were never before.

For those in Sydney, the show runs through Saturday 15 March 2014 and the gallery is open Wed-Sat, 12-18h00. The address is: 4/111 Macleay Street, Potts Point NSW 2011.

1 February 2014

Anno Domini but add another D: faith in Chicks on Speed

Back in 2013 I was commissioned by Artspace, Sydney, to write an essay for the 11th issue of their journal Column, reflecting on the Chicks on Speed exhibition SCREAM, which ran from 13 March through 21 April 2013.

The essay was published online in PDF form in October, to download, please click: http://artspace.org.au/content/pdf/Artspace_2013Column_EIWeber_CoS_LR.pdf

A version of this essay was also published in print in the 4th issue Arcadia_Missa's journal How to Sleep Faster. For more information on this issue, and to purchase a copy - with super cover design by Megan Rooney and a host of wonderful contributions from writers and artists - click here.

Many thanks to Mark Feary and Caraline Douglas at Artspace.

27 December 2013

Quote of the day, yay!

'"It is impossible," Simone Weil writes in Gravity and Grace, "to forgive whoever has done us harm if we believe that harm has lowered us. We have to think that it has not lowered us, but has revealed to us our true level."'

-- from Chris Kraus' Aliens & Anorexia, Semiotext(e) 2000, 2013, p. 47

26 December 2013

The Lip Anthology: An Australian Feminist Arts Journal 1976–1984

The Lip Anthology: An Australian Feminist Arts Journal 1976–1984 is edited by Vivian Ziherl and published by Macmillan Art Publishing (Melbourne) and Kunstverein Publishing (Amsterdam) in 2013.

It comprises a preface by Helen Hughes, an in-depth introduction by Ziherl, and facsimiles of important articles and visual essays from each issue of the magazine, which was published out of Melbourne and edited collectively from 1976 through 1984. Contributors to these pages included Janine Burke, Annette Blonski, Suzanne Davies, Helen Grace, Ponch Hawkes, Sue Johnston, Laleen Jayamanne, Suzanne Spunner and Ann Stephen, among many others.

The Lip Anthology serves as an excellent survey of what was happening in Australia at this moment in the context of female artistic production, socially, politically, in regard to theory, literature, and of course artistically. It is a valuable historical uncovering that will spur greater reflection and deeper research into this important moment in Australian culture. It is an encouraging document for those interested in Australian artistic practice and history (and for those who've never thought about it), for it recalls the diversity and complexity of production in the country, particularly throughout the 1970s and '80s. The Lip Anthology also serves as a tool for drawing interesting parallels and dissonances with comparable moments in other countries, such as the USA or Italy.

The facsimiled articles are varied in voice but always intelligent in tone. One has the impression of a group of women trying to locate a (collective) voice, a platform for their work, and all the while having to compete at various degrees of intensity with the constant and loud whirl of a patriarchal system that - albeit altered - may resound with striking familiarity to contemporary readers. As Ziherl elaborates:

"Lip magazine was self-published by women ... and stood as a lightning rod for Australian feminist artistic practice over the ‘Women Liberation’ era. The art and ideas expressed over Lip’s lifetime track, with ground-breaking moves into performance, ecology, social-engagement and labor politics, stood at an intersection with local realities. The Lip Anthology seeks a figuration of Lip as a composite feminist entity produced with relation to the situational conditions of its production.

The anthology selection is not proposed as a ‘best of’, but rather as cumulative array of materials indicating the range and dynamism of the Lip project. The diversity of the periodical is privileged across multiple disciplinary vantages, as well as among the varied feminist positions brought together through the discursive space afforded by Lip. Collecting and presenting the materials of Lip for the first time since their original appearance, the anthology seeks (re/de)construction and routes of (re)circulation towards points of (re)commencement."

Vivian Ziherl has launched the book, accompanied by an insightful paper and often one or two respondents, in Graz (Grazer Kunstverein), Amsterdam (Kunstverein), Berlin (Archive Kabinett), London (Cubitt), Brisbane (IMA), Melbourne (RMIT), Sydney (MCA, where I was a very humble respondent along with the remarkable Ann Stephen) and most recently in Beirut (98weeks) - plus I've probably missed some place as there are lots!

For more info on how to get hold of the book, visit Kunstverein (ISBN: 978-1-921394-77-5).

4 December 2013

Quote of the day, yay!

'... nothing is real to us but hunger.'

-- Kakuzō Okakura, as quoted in The Family of Man catalogue, Museum of Modern Art, New York 1955, p. 152

30 November 2013

2 cities, 1 night: Sydney & Melbourne

Tuesday 3 December 2013:

For those in Sydney, an exhibition titled 'Won't Work' is opening at Kudos Gallery from 17:00 - 19:00.

The show is curated by Andrew Haining, whose own work will feature alongside a group of Sydney-based artists: Alex Clapham, Mitchel Cumming, Brian Fuata, Talitha Klevjer, Al Poulet, Kieran Richards, and Zoe Robertson.

'A critique of the art of what works is redundant because the idea of what works isn’t working. It is the creation of an imperative that isn’t posited by power but denied by it. This isn’t a show critical after the fact, but the provocation for an art free of can't.'

The exhibition continues through Saturday 7 December 2013 (the gallery is open 11am-6pm Wed to Fri, and 11am-4pm Sat).

For more information visit wontwork.info or the Facebook event.


For those in Melbourne, head to Monash University Museum of Art (MUMA) for the launch of Impresario: Paul Taylor, The Melbourne Years, 1981–1984, from 17:30 - 19:00. As the press release explains:

'This new publication focuses on Paul Taylor (1957-1992), the Australian editor, writer, curator and impresario. In particular, the book analyses Taylor’s important and influential early years in Melbourne, which included the founding of Art & Text, the curatorship of the exhibitions ‘POPISM’ (National Gallery of Victoria) and ‘Tall Poppies’ (Melbourne University Art Gallery), and the editing and publishing of an anthology of Australian art of the 1970s, Anything Goes: Art in Australia 1970–1980.

Edited and introduced by Helen Hughes and Nicholas Croggon (founding editors of Discipline magazine), designed by Brad Haylock, it includes recently commissioned essays and interviews, lecture transcripts and reviews, as well as a range of photographs which document the era.'

With contributions from some of Australia's most important artists, writers and curators: Judy Annear, Heather Barker & Charles Green, Philip Brophy, Janine Burke, Rex Butler & Susan Rothnie, David Chesworth & Jon Dale, Edward Colless, Sue Cramer, Ashley Crawford, Juan Davila, Kelly Fliedner & Jenny Watson, Paul Foss, Merryn Gates, Jonathan Holmes, David Homewood & John Nixon, Lyndal Jones, Maria Kozic, Adrian Martin, Chris McAuliffe, Patrick McCaughey, Ian McLean, David Pestorius, Denise Robinson, Robert Rooney, Vivienne Shark LeWitt, Imants Tillers, Ralph Traviati, Peter Tyndall, Russell Walsh, and Graham Willett.

For more information visit http://www.monash.edu.au/muma/events/2013/paul-taylor.html or the Facebook event.

18 November 2013

Tiny Stadiums 2013

Tiny Stadiums opened in Erskineville, Sydney, on Wednesday 13 November and runs through Saturday 23 November 2013. The festival is produced by PACT centre for emerging artists and this year curators Groundwork have commissioned artists to respond to some of inner-city suburb of Erskineville's idiosyncratic spots, resulting in a program of live art, workshops, panels and performances.

Tiny Stadiums brings together a 'unique blend of interdisciplinary emerging artists and performers transforming thoughts and values of familiar public and pedestrian spaces in the inner-city to push artistic creation. Newly commissioned works will be realised over rooftops, gardens, the Town Hall, shop fronts and also through barter and trade.'

Artists involved include: Albert Tucker Slow Coffee, Bennett Miller, Ella Barclay, Hossein Ghaemi, Imogen Semmler, Jennifer Hamilton & Craig Johnson, Kailana Sommer, Kenzie Larsen, Leahlani Johnson, Lucas Ihlein, Natalie Abbott, Nick Coyle, Wade Made, zin, and more.

I attended Kailana Sommer's 'Rock Swap' on Saturday, where she has set up a barter system for precious stones and minerals. It's about swapping something special for something else special (a rock!), how we arrive at an agreement, what is significant about the objects swapped and how they align and can tell stories of themselves and each other. It's also a really beautiful installation to look at, and is located in the Erskineville Town Hall, so I highly recommend checking it out on Saturday 23 November from 15:30-18:30 - don't forget to bring something to barter!

I also was lucky enough to catch Hossein Ghaemi's rooftop operetta 'The Deficient Of Solution Development: Quizzing Makes Remedy' (which is also on again on Saturday 23 November from 18:00-19:00). As described in the program: 'Three warriors rise up from three unique and elevated positions to engage in a combat of sonic "questions" as their weapons. These distinct and powerful voices become sweet remedy for serenity as individual uncertainties melt.' All true. And, if nothing else, it's worth passing by for the magnificent costumes, surprisingly transcendent voices, plus generally pretty wonderful sight of an indulgent, fantastical vision taking flight atop a low-rise inner-city block! Allez-hop.

You can view the full Tiny Stadiums program here, or visit the Facebook page there. Check it out!

23 October 2013

Quote of the day, yay!

'Love is about mixing genes to compete with bacteria and viruses, and to dream together about conquering the cosmos in its various forms. People who do not mix fluids, do not dream, and use hand sanitizer or mouthwash will be extinct.'

— Alexander Tarakhovsky, as quoted in Solution 247–261: Love (ed. Ingo Niermann), Sternberg Press 2013

17 October 2013

Unified Fabric

Unified Fabric is a render farm, sound piece and collection of video works that opened at Arcadia Missa on Tuesday 15 October 2013 at 6:30pm.

The show includes an installation by Harry Sanderson, and video works by Hito Steyerl, Clunie Reid, Melika Ngombe Kolongo and Daniella Russo, Maja Cule, and Takeshi Shiomitsu.

The project was initiated by Arcadia Missa for the '(networked) every whisper is a crash on my ears' programme and stems from their previous work and conversations with Sanderson, and specifically his text 'Human Resolution' for Mute magazine, 2013.

A render farm is a super computer, typically used for rendering Hollywood animations, the 'farm' in Unified Fabric is self-built by the artist.

There are exhibition texts at the gallery by Michael Runyan and myself (see link at bottom) and the show runs through Saturday 2 November 2013.

For those in London, Unified Fabric is a must-see! Please take a copy of my text, any feedback appreciated. For more information, visit arcadiamissa.com or the Facebook event.

Thanks to Rózsa Farkas and Tom Clark for their welcome.

EDIT: Read my Unified Fabric text 'Story for corporate cleaners' by clicking this link: http://www.academia.edu/4830149/Unified_Fabric_story_for_corporate_cleaners !

17 September 2013

Quote of the day, yay!

'It’s hard to recognize that your whole being, your soul doesn’t move at the speed of your cognition. That it could take you a year to really know something that you intellectually believe in a second [...] how not to feel ashamed of the amount of time things take, or the recalcitrance of emotional or personal change.'

-- Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, 'The reeducation of a queer theorist' (in conversation with Maria Russo), 1999

[Thanks to my wife, Iakovos Amperidis, for sending the quote. Picture is Tyler Curtain as Eve from Lauren Berlant's blog.]

15 September 2013

Dark Arts: election special

Last Saturday, 7 September 2013, I wrote a text and did a reading of it for an exhibition called Dark Arts, held at Marrickville Garage and curated by Philipa Veitch. Philipa writes:

'Dark Arts is a group exhibition investigating the phenomena of the permanent campaign, a term that has come to describe not only the process of non-stop or total campaigning by politicians, but a situation where the process of campaigning and the process of governing have lost their distinctiveness.'

The artists involved were Carla Cescon and Scott Donovan, Alex Gawronski, Ian Milliss (pictured above), Sarah Newall and Jane Polkinghorne, Kevin Sheehan, and Philipa Veitch.

My text/performance was titled 'Crass demo (subject imperative)'. I made a 15 minute mix which was played loudly through an amp, while I read into a microphone, clumsily flicking through A4 pages, holding an iPhone with torch app because I asked the lights be off, and dressed very chicly in black, with red lips and high heels.

It was only later I realised the significance of doing the performance in the dark, given the theme of the show, i.e. based on the dusky times of democracy in which we live. Coincidentally, the only other light source besides the iPhone torch was behind me: the muted TV coverage of the Australian federal election results as the votes came in, visible on a flat-screen to my right (showing an array of ugly commentators' faces, coloured graphs and a depressing swing toward the conservative party).

The very amateur mix includes the following tracks:

Uspudo after Erik Satie - Gymnopédie No. 1
Emptyset - Gate 2
Kraftwerk - Showroom Dummies
Isao Tomita after JS Bach - The Sea Named 'Solaris'
Neil Diamond - Red, Red Wine
Anon. after Vincenzo Bellini - Casta Diva piano arrangement
Lana Del Rey - Blue Jeans (Penguin Prison remix)
Mina with Alberto Lupo - Parole, Parole

A transcript of the 'Crass demo' text is available upon request.

Thanks a lot to Philipa Veitch.
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