Presentation on theme: "The Art World the art world is weird. Excerpts from Craig Judd’s opening address for the 2002 Sydney Biennale. An approach to understanding the Conceptual."— Presentation transcript:
Excerpts from Craig Judd’s opening address for the 2002 Sydney Biennale. An approach to understanding the Conceptual Framework as defined by relationships within the Artworld. The “art world” is a constantly expanding loose series of organic relationships that sustain and nurture each other. The purpose of these relationships is to maintain a level of excitement and interest in the display and spectacle of objects and forms that are given the label Art. This system of production and consumption did not exist before the 19th century. In diagram form the art world looks like this (although not in any particular order or understanding of precedence): ARTIST ART AUDIENCE COLLECTION COLLECTORS ART GALLERIES- STATE, COMMERCIAL, ARTIST RUN/INDEPENDENT SPACES FUNDING ORGANISATIONS ART DEALERS ART PRIZES ART FESTIVALS/ ART FAIRS/ BIENNALES ART SCHOOLS CURATORS CRITICS ART JOURNALS LIFESTYLE /FASHION MAGAZINES
The Audience The ART AUDIENCE is primarily composed of members of the general public. The ART AUDIENCE is also a body of people who are interested and intrigued by what art can suggest and provoke. One of the great challenges for Art and artists is to increase the numbers of people that compose this audience. Without talk or dialogue within the art audience and beyond there would be no contemporary art. Art can also stimulate the desire for ownership in this audience. One of the most crucial elements of the art world is the ACQUISITION AND COLLECTION of art works by private individuals. There are also state and corporate collections. There are as many different types of collections as there are different people collecting Artworks. One of the ways that art gains value is through the keeping and collection of objects over time. Members of the public view Immants Tillers work at the AGNSW. “She has always been one of my favourites”... Pierre Georgel, director of the Musée de l'Orangerie views Picasso's “Nude on Red Background”.
Collections STATE COLLECTIONS Contain works that are deemed by critics and curators to have high cultural and historical significance. The state gallery/museum has what is known as a permanent collection. From this collection certain elements are chosen to be displayed for the enjoyment and edification of the general public. The climax for any artist is to have work acquired by a state institution. This location gives both the artwork and the artist an aura of respectability, worth and permanence. Most state collections of art began in Australia in the late 1860s early 1870s. The first public museum in the modern sense is the Louvre opened to the public in 1790. CORPORATE COLLECTIONS Since the 1970s Corporate Collections have become an important element in the art world. Works are usually acquired to grace the corporate headquarters. However there is also the idea that these art works are also a good investment, that the monetary value of the works will increase over time. The type of collection depends a lot on the type of corporation and the interests of the proprietors. For example a Sydney law firm, Allens, Arthurs, Robinson, owns one of the largest collections of Australian contemporary art. It is now quite common for large companies to have their own art collection and curators to take care of them. PRIVATE COLLECTIONS By their nature are usually more personal, quirky and idiosyncratic. Sometimes the privately owned collection is given to the state for the benefit of the people of that nation. For example the Mary Turner collection of early Australian Modernists was donated to the Orange Regional Gallery while the Power Bequest is the core collection of the Sydney Museum of Contemporary Art. The Loti and Victor Smorgon Collection of Contemporary Australian Art is on display in several art galleries around Australia. The extraordinary works in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London are mostly donations from private collections. In state institutions there are a range of museum professionals to maintain these collections. There are curators, conservators, installation crews, registrars, security guards, cleaners, educators and guides, publicists and designers.
Collections are dependent of course on the amount of funds and available space as well as the commitment or drive of the institution, corporation or individual. The reality for most collections is that there are bursts of acquisition followed by periods of reflection and consolidation. Sometimes the particular emphasis within a collection shifts which leads to the culling or de-accession of works. These artworks are then released into the market place through auction houses or through private sales. In Australia there are several auction houses that specialise in selling art such as Christies, Sotheby's and Lawson’s etc. Commercial art galleries are also used for this function. Exhibition view, Met Museum, NY. USA
The Curator THE CURATOR is literally a Keeper of a Collection. Curators are generally of two types, Collections Curators and Exhibition Curators, although in smaller institutions these roles are usually handled by the one person. A curator is someone who is in charge of a collection of objects or artefacts. The occupation has similarities to that of a librarian. Where as a librarian takes charge of the order and classification of books and sets of information, a museum or art curator orders and classifies information through the research, interpretation, display and interaction with artefacts or objects. The main occupation of the curator is to keep the collection at peak condition. To fulfil this function the curator should have a clear and comprehensive understanding of the contents and condition of that particular collection. Ideally the curator should also have knowledge of the history and derivation of the works that are in the collection. That is, how they came to be acquired and in what collection the work might have resided in before it’s present location - this is known as the provenance of the work. The curator ideally should be able to augment and complement that collection with the acquisition of new works. With permanent collections, this requires that the curator to make reports and presentations to the trustees and board of directors or funding committees arguing the importance of this new purchase. Within any Australian art gallery/museum environment funds are always scarce. There are usually a range of institutional priorities that govern acquisitions - for example there might be a policy of only collecting contemporary photography for a number of years and so on. There are also within any state gallery and museum several curators in charge of different areas. At the Art gallery of New South Wales there are curators of Australian Art, International Contemporary Art, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art, Prints and Drawings, European Art, Asian Art, Photography. All of these curators are vying for limited funds to augment and enhance pre existing collections. Consequently an important role for the curator is the ability to generate sufficient interest and excitement to gain sponsorship and monetary support from outside of the institution for the particular collection in their charge. The curator is also in charge of the preservation and conservation of the collection. He or she recommends that work be sent for repair etc to conservators. The curator oversees any loans to other institutions with the help of the Registrar. Since the 1960s the curators of permanent collections have had a more pro-active approach to their occupation. Today the onus on most curators is to give easy access of that particular collection to the general public. Curators have adopted a more public profile, speaking to the media, giving lectures and writing articles and reports about the collection. Often the curator is called upon to give advice about similar works in other private or public collections.
The Exhibitions Curator organises the display of the collection for public and or private view. This relatively minor part of the occupation is often seen to be the most glamorous and exciting element of the work of the contemporary museum/art gallery curator. It is with the exhibition of works that there is the possibility of making new stories or new associations with objects/ artefacts. While having a high level of final responsibility, in fact, curators choose arrange and display works with the help of a team of other museum specialists such as researchers, education specialists conservators, registrars, and preparers. As well as working with the permanent collection the curator often generates more extensive, larger scale exhibitions that combine works from other private and public collections, both interstate and international. Again, there are institutional demands. In order to get an exhibition up on the walls from the initial proposal requires numerous meetings and consultations with the gallery director, exhibitions manager, education/public programs and advertising managers of that institution. In general an exhibition in a state institution has a lead in time of 2-3 years sometimes up to 5 years! In this process the initial proposal or idea becomes diluted or completely changes. Smaller exhibitions have a lead in time of about a year. A Conservator restores a painting to be installed in a Museum’s permanent collection. A Gallery technician checks the level an Artwork during the process installing an exhibition. Lights often will need to be replaced or installed in the galleries for exhibits. Here, the Lighting technician is replacing some bulbs that have burned out.
FREELANCE OR INDEPENDENT CURATORS. Are not necessarily associated with a permanent collection or state institutions. In the last twenty years, they, like the curators of permanent collections have become more visible and vocal players in the world of contemporary art. The freelance curator is commissioned to gather together works and to organise an exhibition around a particular brief or theme. Sometimes this exhibition might tour, so the curator is also an exhibition manager coordinating venues, transport, insurance and publicity. In state institutions these activities are not collapsed into one person but are conducted by a team of individual professionals. Although there is an assumption that this person is an expert in the arts, curators can come from a range of experiences and backgrounds. Sometimes the curator is an artist or collector, sometimes the curator has a more traditional background that derives from the world of museology or academia. The Biennale of Sydney has commissioned individual curators as well as groups of people to choose works of art for display. The taste for individual or collaborative curatorship is largely determined by what is known as cultural fashion. Individual curators can create a more homogenised and unified response to a particular brief. Indeed over the last century some curators have gained star status because of their choices. For example, the first curator of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Alfred H. Barr,believed that Cubist art was the definitive beginning of Modern Art and so consistently collected and displayed artwork to underline his thesis. Barr’s vision has left such a stamp on art history that there is a tradition that states now that Modern Art begins with Cubism. There are now however a range of differing opinions as to that beginning. Without the curatorial diligence of Daniel Thomas at the Art Gallery of New South Wales there would not be the recognition and understanding of the importance of such artists as Grace Cossington Smith, Margaret Preston and Thea Proctor and their role in the promotion of Modernist tendencies in Australia. More recently, and again at the AGNSW Hetti Perkins, the curator of Yirribana Gallery has been pivotal in the development of a greater appreciation for Aboriginal Art. Hetti Perkins was the curator of the Papunya Tula Exhibition (2000). This comprehensive overwhelmingly moving display revealed for the first time the derivation and development of painting styles in the Western Deserts of Australia. The Biennale of Sydney has been organised around the two favoured models of curatorship; The individual vision and a collaborative approach based on a committee of curators with different expertise and different experience. The 1998 Biennale of Sydney, every day, had Jonathon Watkins as the sole artistic chair. In contrast, the Biennale of Sydney 2000 had a curatorium (a committee) of six highly regarded international and Australian curators.
Within the art gallery/museum world the committee approach to the creation of large-scale exhibition projects is now tending to be favoured - it lessens the workload for individual curators and it leads to more mixed or heterogenous exhibitions in terms of works and concepts. The proposal for Biennale of Sydney 2002 follows this model. Richard Grayson the new Artistic Director is working with a curatorial “think tank” or “sounding board” that includes practicing artists and curators such as Susan Hiller a UK based conceptual artist, Ralph Rugoff, curator and cultural critic from San Fransisco and Janos Sugar, a new media artist from Hungary. The Artistic Director ( for the 2002 Biennale, Richard Grayson) says that Invention and Imagination are to be the central themes of the exhibition. Grayson is excited by the idea of the fake, something not quite real or true but never the less convincing. He enjoys how models, miniatures and experiments can suggest different systems of knowledge and logic. The works in the exhibition will explore how artists use different ways of story telling and fictions to interpret the world. Curatorial Approaches. There are some curators who have a ”hands on” approach to their work as coordinator. There are some curators who demand and there are also some artists who expect constant consultation and negotiation in the production of art. This involvement is quite important and often essential for site-specific works and much installation art. Alternatively there are some curators who take a more distant and formal approach by delivering briefs and waiting for the works to be made to the specifications of the brief. The role of the curator is also to view the work and make some decisions as to the suitability of the artist and their work in relation to the brief. Ideally the artist and curator complement each other with the shared aim to provide the general public with a unique experience or encounter with objects materials forms and ideas.
ARCHITECTS AND DESIGNERS The art world also includes ARCHITECTS AND DESIGNERS who specialise in exhibition and lighting design. For example the Australian firm Denton, Cork and Marshall have designed the new Museum of Victoria, the Museum of Sydney and have recently gained the commission to design and build the new wing of the Art Gallery of New South Wales which is to house the collection of Asian art. Selected interior and exterior views from the Art Gallery of NSW, Tate (UK) and Tate Modern Museum (UK) and Met Museum (USA)
Art Schools ART SCHOOLS are the seedbed of the art world. Most major regional centres and cities have art teaching facilities. In the arc from Newcastle to Wollongong there are approximately 10 major art teaching institutions. These institutions provide intense “hands on” training and intellectual input to students aiming to provide a solid platform of skills and inspiration for the aspiring artist. Different art schools have different expertise to offer. It is not unusual for an art student to shop around or to move from one institution to another to gain skills. Because of the manner of teaching some art schools develop what is known as a recognisable house style which prospective art dealers and collectors can tap into, encourage and develop. Graduating or final year exhibitions are a showcase for both the student and institution alike. Student work, studio and exhibition spaces, COFA and ANU School of Art
Galleries The artist/producer makes, and then usually displays their work in gallery spaces. There are COMMERCIAL AND NON-COMMERCIAL ART GALLERIES. COMMERCIAL ART GALLERIES are display spaces are organised by a gallerist / art dealer. Commercial gallery spaces regularly exhibit a range of art for sale or consumption by the art audience. (Gallerist is a European title for the art dealer that is gaining more acceptances in the art world of Australia.) The gallerist organises the presentation of work to prospective collectors as well as the opening of the exhibition and any associated publicity. The art dealer also might invite critics and writers as well as other artists to view the work. The art dealer is part social secretary or social facilitator, part sales person and part counsellor/adviser to artists and clients alike. For their activities in promotion and sales the dealer takes a commission on any sales or publicity anywhere between 30-60%. The oldest commercial gallery in Sydney is Watters in East Sydney. Sometimes the commercial gallery also promotes the work of the artist on an interstate and international level. For example Roslyn Oxley Gallery in Sydney is agent for Tracey Moffat, arguably Australia’s most successful international artist to date. Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery Paddington Watters Gallery, East Sydney
The NON-COMMERCIAL GALLERY SPACE exhibits works that do not necessarily have a clear economic imperative. Consequently the director of a non-commercial space has a different set of priorities. These spaces foster new and emerging artists whose work might be viewed as either youthful and unformed or too “edgy” or radical for consumption and display in commercial galleries. These non-commercial gallery spaces are sometimes organised and funded by an artist collective but more often are autonomous government supported institutions. For example, Artspace and First Draft in Sydney and 200 Gertrude Street Gallery in Melbourne are well known galleries of this type. Many art schools also run galleries as an adjunct to the teaching of studio practices. Artspace, Woolloomooloo. NSW Gallery views and Promotional material
Art Prizes constitute one of the main additional sources of income for established and emerging artists. They also provide for artists, another avenue of exposure to a wider audience. Examples of these, applicable descriptions and links can be found on the following pages. AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL "FREEDOM" ART AWARD Every January, TAP Gallery holds the annual Amnesty International FREEDOM Art Award. Artists are invited to enter works based on Freedom and Human Rights, or the lack of it. 15% of all sales goes toward the amazing job that Amnesty International does to protect the rights all over the world. THE REAL REFUSES The annual Democratic Art Prize featuring works not hung in the Archibald, Wynne, Sulman and Dobell Art Prizes. Open to all who have entered these prizes. Exhibition always runs the week after the deadline for pickup from the NSW Art Gallery. Archibald Art Prize Season Entry fee: $25 per work per metre. 25% commission on all sales. Theme: Artworks submitted but NOT selected for inclusion in the Archibald, Wynne, Sulman, and Dobell Art Prizes. People's Choice Prize: Varies - often includes a solo exhibition at TAP Gallery. http://www.acay.com.au/~severn/prizes.htm A web listing of the major Australian Art Prizes Jan – Dechttp://www.acay.com.au/~severn/prizes.htm http://www.gcac.com.au/art_gallery/ The Gold Coast Arts Centre which is home to one of Australia's longest running art prizes now titled the Conrad Jupiters Art Prize, which has provided an exciting survey of contemporary Australian Art since 1968.http://www.gcac.com.au/art_gallery/
http://www.artfair.com.au/ Melbourne Art Fairhttp://www.artfair.com.au/ http://www.visualarts.net.au/home/default.asp National Association for the Visual Arts (NAVA)http://www.visualarts.net.au/home/default.asp http://www.acay.com.au/~severn/prizesNA.htm Prizes and Grants (Non-Australian)http://www.acay.com.au/~severn/prizesNA.htm http://www.mosman.nsw.gov.au/recreation/artgallery.html Mosman Gallery + Art Prizehttp://www.mosman.nsw.gov.au/recreation/artgallery.html http://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/aboutus/art_prizes NSWAG Art Prizes ( Archibald, Wynn, Sulman + Dobell)http://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/aboutus/art_prizes http://www.blakeprize.com/blake/index.htm Blake Prize Homepagehttp://www.blakeprize.com/blake/index.htm
Resources. http://www.artlex.com/ Artlex Art Dictionaryhttp://www.artlex.com/ http://www.artcyclopedia.com/museums.html Art Museums Worldwide ( A comprehensive listing of Major Galleries around the globe.http://www.artcyclopedia.com/museums.html http://www.chinapage.com/museum.html Major Galleries with collections of Chinese Arthttp://www.chinapage.com/museum.html http://artscenecal.com/ The Guide to Art Galleries and Museums in Southern Californiahttp://artscenecal.com/ http://vlmp.museophile.com/galleries.html Virtual Library, Museums + Gallerieshttp://vlmp.museophile.com/galleries.html http://www.amol.org.au/ Australian Museums and Galleries Onlinehttp://www.amol.org.au/ http://www.amn.org/ Art Museum Networkhttp://www.amn.org/ http://anulib.anu.edu.au/clusters/ita/subjects/austvisres.html ANU Library Australian Visual Art Websiteshttp://anulib.anu.edu.au/clusters/ita/subjects/austvisres.html http://www.nga.gov.au/sitesofcommunication/Abstracts.cfm Sites of Communication (about the function of galleries)http://www.nga.gov.au/sitesofcommunication/Abstracts.cfm http://www.christusrex.org/www1/vaticano/0-Musei.html Vatican Museumhttp://www.christusrex.org/www1/vaticano/0-Musei.html http://www.art.net/Links/Artref/museums.html Art Net Linkshttp://www.art.net/Links/Artref/museums.html
http://www.metmuseum.org/home.asp The Metropolitan Museum, USAhttp://www.metmuseum.org/home.asp http://www.mca.com.au/ Museum of Contemporary Art, Australiahttp://www.mca.com.au/ http://www.arts.monash.edu.au/visual_culture/projects/diva/young1.html Collection of works by Young Australian Artists, featuring; Hany Armanious, Maria Cruz, Helga Groves, Callum Morton, Patricia Piccinini, Kathy Temin, Lauren Berkowitz, Kate Daw, Melinda Harper, Rose Nolan, Kerrie Poliness, Gary Wilson, Stephen Bram Mikalahttp://www.arts.monash.edu.au/visual_culture/projects/diva/young1.html Dwyer, Stephen Little, Deborah Ostrow, Nike Savass, Constanze Zikos http://online.anu.edu.au/ITA/AusArts/www/CapitalWorks/capitalworks.html ANU Drill Hall Galleryhttp://online.anu.edu.au/ITA/AusArts/www/CapitalWorks/capitalworks.html http://users.senet.com.au/~dsmith/austcontemplinks.htm Australian Contemporary Art Links ( The most comprehensive listing in Australia)http://users.senet.com.au/~dsmith/austcontemplinks.htm http://www-library.uow.edu.au/eresources/subjects/crea/creavisual.html#visual University of Wollongong Library, Internet Resources, Image Collectionshttp://www-library.uow.edu.au/eresources/subjects/crea/creavisual.html#visual http://www.artspace.org.au/ Artspacehttp://www.artspace.org.au/ http://www.tafensw.edu.au/library/studylinks/arts.htm TAFE links to Art and Mediahttp://www.tafensw.edu.au/library/studylinks/arts.htm http://members.ozemail.com.au/~mghslib/w_sites/mghs_art.html
International Art Exhibitions Since the 1960s the phenomenon of the large-scale INTERNATIONAL ART EXHIBITION has become increasingly common. Deals are made between various institutions to allow for works to tour around the world. For example the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra allowed Pollock’s Blue Poles to be part of a major retrospective in New York. As a trade-off or contra-deal, the Museum Of Modern Art (MOMA) allowed the release of Monet’s Waterlilies to be in the current exhibition at the National Gallery of Australia, Monet and Japan. BIENNALES: The Biennale of Sydney is a different type of INTERNATIONAL ART EXHIBITION. It was founded in 1973 as an autonomous largely privately funded organisation devoted to the exhibition of contemporary art. Over the last thirty years the Biennale of Sydney has been the vehicle to introduce Australian audiences to the work of over one thousand international and Australian artists. There were 200,000 visitors to the Biennale of Sydney 2000 from Australia and international locations making this exhibition one of the most successful art exhibitions of recent times. The Biennale of Sydney is now one of 36 Biennales around the world. From Kathmandu to Havana and Santa Fe; from Kwang-ju to Lyon and Berlin; from Shanghai to Johannesberg, Dakar and Liverpool, these festivals are partly about underlining ideas of national prestige through the exhibition of local artists with international works. The proliferation of these events has promoted what is the emergence of what is known as “biennale art” - that is, the same names seem to appear again and again in each of these international art festivals. Perhaps this is another effect of Global Culture. Generally these events are non-commercial exhibitions of recent international and local artists.
Biennale of Sydney On Emotion and Reason In Descartes' Error (1995) the neurologist António Damásio analyses several neurological case studies to show that emotion is crucial to human intelligence. In another book, The Feeling of What Happens (1999) he discusses the importance of emotion and feeling in the construction of the self. In Looking for Spinoza (2003) António Damásio elaborates his ideas further. On Reason and Emotion has at its core an exploration of perception and its borders. There are several complex threads intertwining throughout the exhibition: the balance and connection between human consciousness and physicality; the architecture of the built environment as a parallel anatomy, and conversely that the body is my house (Lygia Clark); and the politics and poetics of human relationships, where communication is a mutual exchange rather than a passing on of information, and thus serves to connect ideas and people rather than become a platform for individual expression. Rather than the restrictions of the traditional cogito (I think, therefore I am), I am interested in art that creates a bridge between poles - the supposed north/south/mind/body splits. Now one can say that I feel, therefore I am. The project invites the audience to participate in an aesthetic experience using not only their sight, but also all the senses provoking active participation and inciting the emotions. The audience will be challenged to think and feel. Isabel Carlos, 2003 The following selection of images and exhibition notes are from the 2004 Sydney Biennale
AES + F Venue Museum of Contemporary Art (Formed AES, 1987 and F with Valdimir Fridkes from 1995) Tatyana Avzamasova (Born 1955, Moscow) Lev Evzovitch (Born 1958, Moscow) Evgeny Svyatsky (Born 1957, Moscow) Vladimir Fridkes (Born 1956, Moscow) All live and work in Moscow For ten years the collaborative group AES+F has made art that examines the effects of globalism. Action Half Life (2003) are a series of large photomontages that depict mock heroic groupings of fresh, young models, picked from a casting process of more than 500 applicants. The landscape backgrounds for the works have been shot in the Sinai Desert, not far from the areas where George Lucas's Star Wars series were made. AES+F have said about this work - Our heroes are teenagers, emerging from the most "heroic" of life's phases. The teenage moment is the moment when a young shepherd can take heart and gain victory over a hulking giant and when an abandoned child can find the inner unction to extract the magic sword out of a rock to become king, vanquishing all enemies. All of our young heroes are conquerors in the virtual world. Their enemy is absent, and pain and suffering are forbidden by the very nature of the game. They are so alienated that nothing, not even their common virtual battlefield, inhibits their giving themselves over to pure personal exploit, to securing victory over an enemy that does not exist. The driving concept behind our art is our perpetual attempt to precipitate the "genome of heroism" out of today's world of glimmer reality. Part science fiction dream, part perverse fashion shoot - with these images, AES+F consider the possible relationships of the future, of war, industry, beauty and death. Images courtesy the artists.
Action Half Life, Episode 2#14, 2003. Inkjet on canvas, 150 x 120cm. AES + F, Action Half Life, Episode 3 #3, 2003 Action Half Life, Episode 3#8, 2003. Inkjet on canvas, 150 x 450cm.
Minerva Cuevas Venue Museum of Contemporary Art Born 1975, Mexico City, Mexico Lives and works in Mexico City, Mexico Minerva Cuevas created The Mejor Vida Corp. (Better Life Corporation) in1998. This is a multi-national but non-profit company. At the time the artist was responding to the particular socio-political conditions that exist in Mexico City but now views the company's activities as outside time and space boundaries. The effects of late market capitalism are global. In the light of questioning social landscapes the MVC (Better Life Corporation) explores the politics of hope. The MVC distributes various products free of charge all over the world. Early activities of the MVC include the free distribution of public transport tickets, student identity cards, lottery tickets, or stickers with bar codes that can reduce prices on supermarket goods. Regarded as actions, interventions and manifestations there is a concentrated sensibility in Cuevas' work that makes clearer the unequal power relationships that exist within culture. Visit the website http://www.irational.org/mvc Images courtesy of the artist.http://www.irational.org/mvc
Del Montte, 2003. International media campaign, mural. Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France.
Matias Faldbakken Venue Art Gallery of New South Wales Matias Faldbakken Born 1973, Hobro, Denmark Lives and works in Oslo, Norway Matias Faldbakken is fascinated with systems of knowledge, of power, order and exchange. He is interested in how art and artists can be active participants in these systems, and uses text to highlight their influence. Faldbakken has written two novels under the pseudonym Abo Rasul (Macht und Rebel and The Cocka Hola Company). These highlight the differences and similarities of the so-called underground and the mainstream, and between the 'independent' and the 'commercial' in everyday life - subjects that are central to Faldbakken's recent art practice. Turn Off, appropriated from the Windows XP toolbar, is a mural that underlines how thoroughly we are hooked into the systems of information associated with the computer: part instruction, part play with the process of entering a space. The text addresses a mental process that occurs when we move from one physical location to another. The Turn Off logo also signposts other familiar social boundaries from the simple 'on' and 'off' to the states of working and not working. However, in Turn Off it is the physical, mental and psychological spaces away from the computer terminal or institution that are suggested. The title/instruction/concept also refers to the slang meaning of the phrase and its links to emotional/sexual and institutionalized responses. Images courtesy of the artist.
The Coffeetableization of Everything, 2000. Coffee table book, coffee table, dimensions variable. Shut Down, 2001-02. Wall painting, 1505x337cm. Photography by Dara McGrath.
Jens Haaning Venue Museum of Contemporary Art Born 1965, Hoersholm, Denmark Lives and works in Vordingborg, Denmark For the Biennale of Sydney 2004 Jens Haaning has made the work Sydney - Vietnam (Chair Exchange) which consists of swapping the chairs of the terrace of the Museum of Contemporary Art Café with those of another café in a harbour town in Vietnam. This exchange of chairs asks the audience to consider the effects of location on production. The intention behind the work is to establish a framework for reflection on the relationship between Vietnam and Australia and the unequal flow of immigration and tourism between the two countries. Haaning has made a number of similar projects, for example Copenhagen-Texas (Light Bulb Exchange)(1999) where there was an exchange of fluorescent tubes between a Danish exhibition space and The Luther King Food Store, a Vietnamese owned food store located in a black neighborhood in Houston, Texas. The main themes in the works of Haaning are the implications in the meeting between different cultures. He has been using different media to especially focus on immigration and to highlight the western world's difficulties in adjusting to a situation with influence from more than one culture.
Foreigners Free, 1997 - 2001. Free entrance for foreigners at art institution. My home is yours - Your home is mine, Rodin Gallery, Seoul, Korea, 2000. Courtesy Galleri Nicolai Wallner, Copenhagen, Denmark / Johann König, Berlin, Germany Merivale Street-Vinamaus Company (Light Bulb Exchange), 2001. The fluorescent tubes in one of the exhibition spaces at 60 Merivale Street were swapped wit the fluorescent tubes at the workplace of the Vietnamese-owned clothing manufacturer Vinamaus Company Pty Ltd. Both location are in Brisbane. Collection of Haubrok, Düsseldorf.
Susan Norrie Venue Museum of Contemporary Art Born 1953, Sydney, Australia Lives and works in Sydney, Australia Enola is a new work made for the Biennale of Sydney 2004. The title of this installation came from "Enola Gay“ the name of the aeroplane that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. Susan Norrie's video installations often promote contradictory emotions and responses. Throughout her career she has been refining this sense of the uncanny with the creation of exquisite combinations of paintings, objects, still and moving images and sound. Norrie sifts through the visual and written debris of the past and loops together the awesome and the sublime of nature and humankind... She draws on her background as a painter and applies these sensibilities to digital video technology. Enola is a complex journey for audiences which continue Susan Norrie's fascination with the causes and effects of disaster. However this work is more a meditation on what can come after apocalypse. Initially, inspired by a children's library designed by Kenzo Tange that was built after the bombings in 1945, the new project (Enola) is a children's cinema. The short film installed into this space uses images from a built to scale theme park based in the mountains near Nikko where there are perfect replicas of world icons such as the Eiffel Tower in Paris or the Twin Towers of New York (pre 9/11). While there are echoes of Norrie's on going exploration with the evidence of cultural imperialism, Enola is a work that is full of hope. With Enola Norrie is presenting peculiarly nostalgic imagery full of desire for a perfect dream world - a desire which in the new millennium is itself now uncanny. Images courtesy of the artist and Mori Gallery, Sydney. Photography by Greg Weight.
Yin Xiuzhen Venue Art Gallery of New South Wales Born 1963, Beijing, China Lives and works in Beijing Most Australians travel widely. Around the world, the invention of the jumbo jet in 1970 has been the catalyst for great political, economic and social changes. Made from discarded clothes, International Flight and Portable Cities refer to the processes and effects of travel on memory and the imagination. International Flight has a life and energy of its own. This piece has been exhibited before in Beijing, Singapore and San Francisco. In each city the work is slightly different because of the different types of clothes that are donated in each location for the project. Yin Xiuzhen uses discarded clothes as a way to make intimate connections between different bodies, communities, occupations, locations and experiences. Similarly the series Portable Cities (2004) uses found materials. The brightly coloured fabric cityscapes feature well known landmarks. Such structures often become symbols that are said to reflect the specific identity of that place. Yin Xiuzhen has made four new suitcase cities for On Reason and Emotion - Paris, Lisbon, Hong Kong and Sydney. Yin Xiuzhen's art explores how individual life experiences operate in the context of broad issues and in the links between external appearances and internal responses. Yin Xiuzhen's work in the 2004 Biennale of Sydney is supported by Sherman Galleries Images courtesy of the artist.
Catherine Richards Venue Museum of Contemporary Art Born 1957, Lives and works in Ottawa, Canada I was scared to death/I could have died for joy (2000) is an installation that features two large glass tubes placed on stainless steel tables at opposite ends of the gallery. Each tube encloses a glass model of the right and left lobes of a brain with a trailing 'spinal column' that tapers to an ambiguous, reptilian tail. The glass tubes are filled with a gas that, when excited by electrons, produces ringed columns of plasma - one white/blue, the other maroon/red. When touched, the columns of light glow and pulse, responding to the viewer's hand. The rhythmic pulsing of the brains is not accidental. According to Richards, both represent the patterns of brain activity that some neuroscientists claim will produce a feeling of benign enlightenment or trigger the abject fear of being haunted by a demonic presence. As the mauve/blue brain surges with enlightenment and the maroon/red brain flashes with terror, material presence is provided by the viewer who, by touching the glass tubes, becomes part of an electrical circuit, grounding the work as they themselves, are literally and figuratively, grounded by the gallery. Catherine Richards reveals the blurred boundaries between interior and exterior, fear and joy, pleasure and pain. Images courtesy of the artist.
I was scared to death / I could have died of joy, 2000. Installation, stainless steel, glass, electronics, electrodes, electron guns, luminescent glasses, dimensions variable. Photography by Mitch Lenet.