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in the loop - march 6

realtime's advance word


art zones

Tim Burns, Friendly fire, performance Hope Valley  2011 Tim Burns, Friendly fire, performance Hope Valley 2011
courtesy the artist
Now in its third year and hitting Sydney in March, ArtMonth generates a critical mass of art activity around the city with over 100 participating venues ranging from large scale publicly funded galleries to the plethora of artist-run initiatives.

The program is vast featuring the work of over 300 artists and, along with exhibitions, a variety of activities that essentially map the artistic hotspots of Sydney, including bike tours around a range of suburbs and individual 'precinct' celebrations. It’s a potentially overwhelming event, but here are some highlights.

At Tin Sheds Gallery, there is a rare opportunity to see the work of
Tim Burns, “one of Australia’s true avant-garde and socially engaged artists” (Teri Hoskins, curator AEAF, 2010). Originally from Western Australia, Burns lived in New York for 20 years and has created pioneering works in film, video, television, performance and painting, consistently challenging the mainstream art world. This survey exhibition, Against the Grain, will show works-on-paper, archival documentation of performance actions, and a range of screenings including Burns' 8mm feature film Why Cars?—CARnage! from 1976 described by New York Critic J Hoberman as “an aggressive jumble of car wrecks, TV (interviews), scenes from loft life, and some Chinese propaganda shot off of (sic) the screen at Film Forums” (cited by Hoskins). You can read Tim Burns’ manifesto for community TV in RT65; and a review of his 2008 retrospective, On Record, as part of FotoFreo in RT86. Against the Grain, Tim Burns Survey, Tin Sheds Gallery, March 16-April 15; http://tinsheds.wordpress.com/

Emily Morandini, filet électronique Emily Morandini, filet électronique
photo Kusum Normoyle
In the CBD is the recently relocated Gaffa Gallery, an artist-run space founded in 2006 with an impressive program focusing on “cross-platform collaboration, collectivity and cohesion within the contemporary arts community” (website). As part of ArtMonth Gaffa is presenting the M.A.K.E Project Part 1 in their poetically titled Failspace gallery. This will feature mixed media creations by Neil Brandhorst who wowed audiences with his Horizon installation at the 2011 Underbelly Arts Festival; Emily Morandini whose delicately crocheted circuitry was reviewed in our Aug 23 e-dition; and works by Julie Burke, Thomas Marcusson and Stephanie Rajalingam. The move to the heritage-listed space on Clarence Street has also allowed the Gaffa team to introduce the Arcade Project, a gallery and store focusing on emerging designers. M.A.K.E Project Part 1, Gaffa Gallery; March 9- 3 April 3; www.gaffa.com.au

My Parents, Richard and Pam Parke, Newcastle NSW My Parents, Richard and Pam Parke, Newcastle NSW
photo Trent Parke
Other ArtMonth highights include Trent Parke’s Minutes to Midnight (see review of the ACP exhibition in RT65), exhibiting photos from the upcoming book of the same name, at Stills Gallery (February 29 -March 24); performance photographer Heidrun Löhr’s Parallax, previewed in RT107, at the Australian Centre for Photography (March 3-April 15); and Casula Powerhouse’s Panorama: are we there yet? including works by Sarah Goffman, Fiona Lowry, Bennett Miller, Arlo Mountford and Jemima Wyman (till March 13). The team behind MOP Projects will be launching their new commercial enterprise Galerie Pompom with a group show including artists such as Vicky Browne, Izabela Pluto, Jamie North and Heath Franco (March 6-April 1). Even the Audi Centre (yes the car manufacturer) in Zetland is getting in on the act with an exhibition of sculptural pieces by students from the Academy of Fine Arts, Bratislava based on the signature Audi grille design. They will also be celebrating the launch of a new Contemporary Art sponsorship program (March 21-April 5). ArtMonth Sydney; various venues, running through March, http://www.artmonthsydney.com.au/2012/index.html

island sounds

Since 2011, Joanne Kee of Places & Spaces has been presenting Cockatoo Calling, a range of music events, residencies and workshops held on Cockatoo Island on a semi-regular basis. Coming up in March is a new collaboration between two quite idiosyncratic musicians, Adam Simmons and Erik Griswold. Simmons, from Melbourne, is a woodwind player specialising in improvisation, perhaps known to RealTime readers for his part in the Adam Simmons’ Toy Band and Bucketrider. Griswold, from Brisbane, is a pianist, composer and co-founder of Clocked Out which has consistently presented programs of innovative new music over the years (see recent reviews in RT107 and RT105. The concerts mainly take place in Warehouse 15, one of the massive spaces on the upper part of the island. Kee will also be expanding the 2012 program to a pop-up space in the Rocks (for those who get seasick). Cockatoo Calling, March 18, http://pas.inzen.com.au

sexing the cinema

East Bloc Love, Melbourne Queer Film Festival East Bloc Love, Melbourne Queer Film Festival
The 22nd Melbourne Queer Film Festival will kick off March 15 with a range of educational, emotional and just plain saucy films on gay, lesbian and transgender subjects. One highlight looks to be East Bloc Love, a documentary by Logan Mucha. Travelling across six-eastern European countries, notorious for their violent anti-gay sentiments, Mucha talks with activists about their battle for recognition and equality. The screening will be accompanied by a panel discussion about the power of cinema to educate. Also politically charged is the feature from Iran, Circumstance, by Maryam Keshavarz, exploring lesbian love and youth culture in Tehran. Also likely to excite interest is We Were Here by David Weissman which documents the unfolding of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in San Francisco during the 70s and 80s. Other contributions include the personal story of singer/actor Paul Capsis’ relationship with his formerly flowing locks in the ABC Anatomy series documentary Hair directed by Paola Morabito; and Nerve, directed by Kim Munro, which follows Paul Knight, a London-based Australian photographer as he tries to find two strangers willing to meet and have sex on film. There’s also an extensive shorts program both Australian and international and a range of talks and panels. 22nd Melbourne Queer Film Festival, Australian Centre for the Moving Image & Greater Union, March 15-25; www.mqff.com.au

you are the fourth wall

Il Pixel Ross, And the Birds Fell from the Sky Il Pixel Ross, And the Birds Fell from the Sky
photo courtesy World Theatre Festival
Following on from their season as part of the World Theatre Festival in Brisbane, UK company Il Pixel Rosso will present and the Birds Fell from the Sky… at North Melbourne Town Hall’s Arts House (see the review in RT108). A collaboration between Silvia Mercuriali (formerly of Rotozaza) and artist/filmmaker Simon Wilkinson, the show utilises a form that they’ve named Autoteatr in which an “audience of one or two members escape realism and are invited…to use simple technology and instructions that form the basis of script...there is no actual ‘audience’ beyond the other participants” (press release). Given video goggles and an mp3 player, audience members follow instructions, interact with characters they encounter when they are kidnapped by a group of Faruk clowns. The senses—sight, hearing, touch and smell—are essentially hijacked and redeployed to explore the narrative. If you enjoyed Spat and Loogie’s Holiday in Next Wave 2008 (see RT86), which deftly used video goggles and intriguing sensory manipulation, this 20-minute adventure might be just your thing. Il Pixel Rosso, and the Birds Fell from the Sky…, Arts House, North Melbourne Town Hall, until March 18; http://artshouse.com.au/

escape to the country

Vic & Sarah McEwan, !00 Notions from a Nation of Two (detail) Vic & Sarah McEwan, !00 Notions from a Nation of Two (detail)
courtesy the artists
A few years ago Vic and Sarah McEwan, known to some from the CAD factory artist-run venue and gallery in Marrickville, purchased an old school house in Birrego, near Narrandera, and headed off for a rural life. In 2011 they began a series of artist residencies and so far have played host to Victoria Hunt, Mayu Kanamori, Jason Wing and US sound artist Bruce Odland. They are kicking off their 2012 program with the third instalment in their Remote Spaces Series, with a concert by Mick Harvey (The Boys Next Door, The Birthday Party, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Crime and The City Solution), in an old church in Corobimilla. He’ll be joined by Rosie Westbrook and JP Shilo and support act Grace Before Meals. In addition, the McEwans are presenting a media installation, 100 Notions from a Nation of Two, at the Wagga Wagga Art Gallery. For 100 days Vic got up at 6.00am to create a song/sound work to which Sarah responded with a visual work. 100 days combines these creation as an interactive, immersive video installation—a portrait of the artists as individuals and as couple. Remote Space #3 – Mick Harvey, old church in Corobimilla, March 17, 5pm; www.cadfactory.com.au/events/; 100 Notions from a Nation of Two, Vic and Sarah McEwan at the Wagga Wagga Art Gallery until April 1; http://www.wagga.nsw.gov.au

virtual living

Michael Takeo Magruder, Visions of Our Communal Dreams Michael Takeo Magruder, Visions of Our Communal Dreams
photo courtesy the artist
For anyone finding themselves in the UK March-May, check out the Robots and Avatars exhibition at FACT in Liverpool. Co-curated by FACT and the interdisciplinary design collective body>data>space, the exhibition will delve into multi-identities and "new-representational forms” that will arise in physical and virtual worlds over the next 10-15 years. With input from international artists, designers and architects it asks “how do we envisage our future relationships with robotic and avatar colleagues and playmates, and at what point does this evolution cross our personal boundaries of what it is to be a living, feeling human being?” (website). Along with extant works ranging from gaming to wearable art there are two new works commissioned for the exhibition in collaboration with The National Theatre. The Blind Robot by Canadian artist Louis-Philippe Demers (who collaborated with ADT on Devolution in 2006 see RT71 and RT72) will feature a robotic arm which touches the contours of the viewer’s face, similar to the way in which blind people explore facial features; the resulting portrait will be drawn on screen. Visions of Our Communal Dreams? by Michael Takeo Magruder (US/UK) will be a synthetic meta-verse created collaboratively by participants both in physical and virtual space. Together they will create a communal world using open source 3D application server OpenSimulator. This will also involve a series of workshops with local school students. Beyond the exhibition, Robots and Avatars is larger program of web, event and educational activities that is part of the EU Culture Program 2007-13. Robots and Avatars, FACT, Liverpool, UK, March 16-May 27; www.fact.co.uk/projects/robots-and-avatars/; www.robotsandavatars.net/

picture viewer

Excerpt Magazine #2 Excerpt Magazine #2
Amongst the many visual arts magazines and journals in print and online, the quarterly online publication Excerpt Magazine stands out as a neat conceptual package. Editor Amy Marjoram describes it as “an exhibition within a magazine and a discussion written with pictures” (Excerpt #2 editorial). Basically it’s a 35 page downloadable PDF, with seamless links to some embedded online video material. Issue 2, just out, includes 30 artists responding to the cover artwork by featured artist Izabela Pluta. Marjoram describes Pluta’s work as “picture imperfect” and “self-complicating,” challenging the veneer of perfection so often portrayed in commercial photography. With almost no text, neat, simple design and easy browsing, it’s possibly the closest an online magazine can come to a quality fine art book. http://excerptmagazine.com

RealTime issue #107 Feb-March 2012 pg. web

© RealTime ; for permission to reproduce apply to realtime@realtimearts.net

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