Saturday, 28 July 2012

Ecstasy

Part two of the Bega deconstructed project...

Bob Georgeson, Ecstasy, 2012, Video projection, Woolworth's complex, Bega.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

The Third Age

A neighbour commented this morning that the first part of the newspaper he reads each day is the obituaries. He said if he is not listed he plans his day...

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Bega deconstructed

They say that Bega will be transformed when the new bypass is completed, but for many local residents they might have wished that they could have bypassed this town forever. 'I've had a Bega of a day' is instantly understood as meaning NOT GOOD. However, as the largest centre of the Far South Coast it's facilities such as the hospital, local government and shops make it impossible to ignore. There are little treasures amongst the architectural monstrosities. The Historical Society's museum, Candelo Books, the Regional and Spiral Art Galleries, the Anglican Church are small cultural havens that contrast with the arguing couples outside the Centrelink offices, or the bunch of colourful characters that sit at Gloria Jeans Coffee Shop. A visit to Bega makes one realise how fortunate ones life has been...

So, I have decided to deconstruct Bega with a view to eventually using it's vagaries for public art projects. I am indebted to Craig Cameron for sparking this project with his original idea of using vacant shops as art spaces...

Bob Georgeson, Undercover Parking, 2012, Installation view, Woolworth's complex, Auckland St, Bega.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

road TRIP

The third in my series of experimental films...

...a warning for my overseas readers: Australia really looks like this!


...and, as I am still learning all this stuff any feedback on technical issues, file sizes, file formats, video and sound quality etc. would be appreciated...

Orgasm

for Max Ernst...

Bob Georgeson, Orgasm, 2009, Photomontage

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Contemporary Australia: Women

No problems with taking photographs at Brisbane's Gallery of Modern Art! Unlike the rather tired looking National Gallery in Canberra this institution has a vibrancy and excitement about it that is perhaps only rivalled by Hobart's MONA. And what a knockout exhibition within it's two giant display spaces. Here the artists are given ample room to produce site specific works, and let fly they do! Ones faith in the future of art is restored. Superbly curated by Julie Ewington the new breed (with a few old faces thrown in) of Oz women artists strut their stuff in a powerful show that demonstrates that contemporary art can be intelligent, fun, dynamic and accessible. And still deal with feminist issues. It's a big call, but why do I feel that women are leading the way in art at the moment? Well, unlike the blokes, they mostly avoid the wank factor...and nice touches like the explanations for kids about the works, thoughtfully hung at kid height, add to the embracing of humanity and the desire to promote art. No need to say more...let the pics do the talking...

Judith Wright, A wake, 2011, Mixed media installation.

Deborah Kelly, The Miracles, 2012, (detail), photographs

Deborah Kelly, The Miracles, 2012, photographs

Sandra Selig, prisms remember you, 2012, Spun polyester threads, nails, paint.

Justine Khamara, Watch me slip through these thin sheets, 2011, Mirrored panels, printed fabric.

Justene Williams, Your beat my scenic personality of space, 2010, Multi-screen video installation.

Friday, 13 July 2012

Thursday, 12 July 2012

unDisclosed: 2nd National Indigenous Art Triennial

"No photos, no photos" the guard yells at me as she runs across the gallery. Oops...the digi camera slips back into my pocket. I had only just entered the temporary exhibitions area of the National Gallery of Australia when confronted by this encounter. It struck me later that it was, in a way, a fitting metaphor for dealing with this exhibition. Even though I live in an area that has thousands of years of Aboriginal habitation, and at the foot of the sacred mother mountain Gulaga, relating to what it is like to be Aboriginal is beyond me. I can sympathise, say I am sorry, wish for solutions, crave for justice, but at the end of the day I cannot 'feel' the anger, resentment and frustration of being born black in Australia.

Lorraine Connelly-Northey, 2010, Three Rivers Country, Corrugated iron, tin, mesh and wire, Museum of Contemporary Art.

And, as a result, much of the work in this exhibition is political, or at least, a 'statement'. And where it isn't, one is faced with the issue of the more 'traditional' interpretations being seen, and bought, by whites as 'abstract expressionism'. Confused? I certainly am...

Michael Cook, Broken Dreams, 2010, Digital colour photographs, NGA Canberra.

However, the fact that Indigenous art can now be successfully contemporary, and shown in the hallowed halls of this institution, is a good thing. And while the political confrontation of Vernon Ah Kee's tall man (about the tragic death of a young man on Palm Island) or the 'in your face' shock value of  Tony Albert's Pay Attention Mother Fuckers leave me wondering whether this is in fact 'art', other works by Lorraine Connelly-Northey and Michael Cook still get the message across while amazing with their conceptual brilliance and execution. My final comment is that its a pity it is only to be held every three years...

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Shinju

Bob Georgeson, Shinju, 2005, Musical jewel box, pearls, chopsticks, lace, photos.

In my study of erotica one of the more bizarre sexual practices I have come across is the so-called Japanese 'art' of rope bondage known as kinbaku. I am not going to condone or explain it...Google it if you are interested in such things. Shinju is the Japanese word for pearl, but also refers to a particular form of binding of a particular part of the female anatomy...you can figure out the rest...

Monday, 2 July 2012

Trish Roan


The artist with begging bowl at entrance to her exhibition. Actually she was manning the gallery that day and had just finished her lunch. And what a feast for the eyes and senses! Trish is a young artist who thinks! No, this is not a typo...she really does, and not only about her art but also about how the public might participate in it. And this is her strength, that she engages her audience with the most delightful and detailed concepts.

Trish Roan, One, 2012, One dandelion seed head (one wish)

Beautiful in its simplicity One is dandelion seeds meticulously arranged in a glass case, contrasting with our experience of blowing and dispersing the seed head while making a wish. While Trish is comfortable utilising varying materials including video and found objects, it is her interactive works that are perhaps her greatest achievement. 

Trish Roan, Song, 2012, Cast crystal, blown glass, wood, brass, rubber, bearings

In Song the public is invited to turn the handle while a heart with two speakers grinds against a glass plate emanating a haunting scraping tune. Trish calls this public interaction "completing the work". The experience draws one into the mind of its creator, a rarity among many contemporary artists that delude themselves with the 'I am an artist, therefore everything I do is etc. etc.' and end up alienating an increasingly sceptical public. 

Trish Roan, Hum, 2012, Blown glass, light bulb, brass, copper, fimo, paper, watercolour pigment, glitter, thistledown

Hum shows a great understanding of nature and physics. On turning the handle the hummingbird becomes animated as the centre panels create an updraft that suspends a thistleseed much in the same way that nectar collecting birds hover, and the accompanying fluttering sound beautifully completes the concept.

Trish Roan, 800,000,000 heartbeats (for Mark Zirpel), Letterpress type, copperplate etching, copper, brass, wood, mirror, borosilicate glass, rubber, bearings

This work shows the influences of her initial training in the glass workshop at the ANU School of Art whilst perhaps making a statement about moving beyond the blown, slumped, cast glass aesthetic into the realm of conceptual sculpture. As the handle turns the etched plate with animals motifs revolves while a group of type moves in sync with the shape of the copper plate. The type is reflected in the mirror to spell out the title of the work. Trish called the exhibition Sum of Parts. If the sum of the parts is a whole then she has succeeded brilliantly...

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Cultural conflict

Spotted in the temple of consumerism in the Nation's capital last week...


It's a worry. Meanwhile a few blocks away outside the School of Art...


All aboard!