entropy and tuvalu?

Regular readers of she sees red will know that i’ve developed a piece called Entropy, which will be showing at Platform 2 in Melbourne, in November. Checking out the Art Life blogspot yesterday, I noticed that Tim Silver, who I might say is one of my super-favourite artists at the moment, is developing photographic works on entropy in Tuvalu! (For those who aren’t fantastic on geography, Tuvalu is the island most noted for its domain tag .tv that has enabled them to build roads and hospitals from the proceeds of selling domain space to tv networks!)
How does that happen? Entropy isn’t exactly a term bandied about, and I find out that someone who i totally dig is working on it as well! Not that I have to be exclusive – not at all! I’m stoked that I seem to be keeping some half-decent company, but the same happened with Liminal Personae – we thought we were being all niche-like and selective, then there are 3 shows that deal with liminality within 3 months of each other!
It’s all just freaky man!!

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melbourne jaunt part 1

hey kids,

I’m stealing a quick 5 minutes to update you all on my melbourne sojourn. am at the melbourne art fair, working at a stand and so far it’s going pretty well! there was lots of ‘sweety darling’ action last night with the who’s who of the australian art scene and me standing, watching and trying to figure out who was who. apparently name tags aren’t in this year.
there are a few really ace stands which i’ve had a little bit of a chance to check out and hopefully when i’m back here on saturday i can check out the balcony level.

cool stuff on the ground floor so far has been Alasdair Macintyre’s Journeyman dioramas. i’m so in love with alisdair’s work it’s ridiculous! When I have a cool couple of grand lying around, Joanna and Ursula from Sullivan and Strumpf can expect a knock on their door from me. Other highlights include Darren Knight’s stand – haven’t had a chance to really check it out, but when i walk outside for a cigarette, i love gazing at the whole thing. Kate Just’s LOVE work is cuddly as always, as is her super-furry policeman that just makes you want to hug a law enforcement officer for the hell of it. There are these amazing wall pieces which look like Kyle Jenkins‘ work in a gallery somewhere along the back.. possibly Conny D, possibly Greenaway… as you can tell, i’ve been here with my note pad and pencil and a killer memory!. The thing is with the fair, it’s overkill. There’s so much stuff that some of it all melds into one, like acrylic paints in egg containers at the Belvedere Kindergarten. But we all know that and we do what we can.

Yesterday i popped into CCP and checked out the show with Kate Just, Guy Ben-Ner, Derek Henderson, Julie Davies and Dominic Redfern. Julie Davies’ A Study of the Insignificant was amazing, although I wanted to throw up. I walked through the gallery with my hand almost over my eyes. The images of dead birds were almost more than i can handle and i’m a tough nut when it comes to blood and guts. The way she presented them reminded me of Anne Ferran’s works of children’s dresses a few years ago. The other work at the CCP that almost made me throw up was one of Guy Ben-Ner’s video works. He was trapped in a cot, a prisoner of a nursery and couldn’t reach the desperately-needed bottle of water. He chewed his finger off to get it and you got it in high definition detail! Oh my god, it was revolting. In an exciting kind of way. Dominic Redfern’s discussion to a lover was quite entertaining video too. Apart from being in the little hidey hole gallery, which is a nice place to sit and ponder, the work was intimate enough to want to stay there for a while. Although the main character, which may or may not be Dominic, had a very hairy chest, which was not quite as bad as the dead birds, but definitely more disturbing than the images of New Zealand outback by Derek Henderson. His photos were beautiful, but honestly, I’m bored of urban, suburban, pastoral portraits on 6 x 6. Nothing personal, there’s just a lot of them and i’m a little ho-hum about them now.

And speaking of ho-hum, the Picasso Love + War at the NGV was BORING!!! I took my mum and my nanna, so there was a nice little intergenerational appreciation of Picasso thing happening, but that was probably the most gratifying thing about the whole day. I love Picasso’s work. I’m daggy and think he is one of the most important artists of the 20th Century and without him we wouldn’t have a whole bunch of artists, etc. But the NGV did an absolute disservice to the man by putting on this exhibition. The choice of works were loose, the connection to Dora Maar was tenuous and there was loads of works by her, which is fine, but put her in a room of her own, for crying out loud. The way the show was over texted – ie too much wall text for the general public, which i always find slightly patronising. Although the audio guides are now iPod, which is rad, ‘cos a whole bunch of people walking around a gallery with a mobile phone-looking audio guide used to drive me spare. The best pieces of the show were actually sculptural works, although a few of his early Minotaur etchings were beautiful and his Vert Galant piece is amazing in its separation of spacial treatment. I loved it and I kept thinking of Ron Adams’ work. Which is not meant to be a put-down, although Ron, if you’re reading.. hi.

The other thing that pissed me off was that the show was supposed to be about Love and War, according to the title.
Well, they didn’t really address the plethora, yes plethora, of Picasso’s other lovers and they sure didn’t investigate Picasso’s treatment of War. A few death heads and vanitas pieces just don’t cut it really. Nothing from Guernica. And I mean nothing, not even a little drawing study of the left hand corner! Maybe I’m mistaken, but isn’t Guernica the most well-known discussion he ever did on war?

Enough ranting from me.

Tomorrow I’m off to West Space, Platform 2 and Outre Gallery, to see my friend Gemma Jones and hopefully I’ll get to see Conical and Gertrude on the weekend. Watch this space for more rants and ramblings.

thanks for subscribing to she sees red by lauren brown. xx

we built this city on rock and roll

I’ve just come back from the pub, hanging out with Jaki Middleton, David Lawrey and Kathy Gray after the opening at the Wollongong City Gallery. Jaki and David’s work The Sound Before You Make It is showing in the Mercury Gallery at the moment and it’s so refreshing to have some cool shit to see in town at the moment. I feel like going into the space every 20 mins, just to get my groove on. In fact i feel like going in there every 20 minutes with a stack of friends and dancing to it with all the Thriller moves so it really feels like a party! I can see why a kid nicked one of the figures when the work was at Campbelltown.
It was also pretty cool to have the sydney kids in town – introducing them to sushi train, exposing them to the dive and comfort of the oxford tavern and giving them suggestions of cool things to do in Wollongong, and I realised that I’m a terrible tour guide. They’re going to check out Project tomorrow, which is cool. Hope they like it – I’m becoming more proud of the space the more I find out about other spaces, especially the other ARIs in Sydney.
At the opening at MOP last night I was talking to a friend about sitting spaces and having people come to see work there and he was saying how few people the artist run spaces get through the door in the big smoke. I was proud to say that liminal had 640 checking out the show over the 2.5 weeks it was open. That’s a pretty good turn out! I think it’s the 2nd or 3rd largest show we’ve had since the gallery opened and it actually measures up to the what the ‘big kids’ are doing elsewhere. OK, so the rest of the shows they may put on are kick-ass all the time, but hey, we’re getting there.


Speaking of the show – it was so awesome to see a show that was genuinely entertaining. I’ve known Christopher Hanrahan a while, so I knew it would be fun, but it was a ripper. His performance video was so cooln – He spelled out in human letters (YMCA style) ‘the old grey mare, she ain’t what she used to be’, while singing it, a la the Simpsons. You couldn’t hear it when the opening was in full swing, but being a girly swat, i got there early and experienced the joy of it as a whole – it was ace! And the other highlight for me was the smell of the packing crate work – Falling Down (?). The smell? Yeah, i know it’s weird, but the warmer the piece got, with the lamps inside it, it emitted this wonderfully nostalgic smell of warm wood, reminiscent of cosy places and open fires or saunas, or something comforting. It was probably so far from the experience Chris intended from the piece, but hey. His coffee mug tree was choice – so precise, yet so precarious, which I think is Christopher’s artwork in a nutshell.

I’ve got an appointment with the tax gal in the morning before an artists’ lunch for the liminal personae kids tomorrow, so I’ll do a wrap up blog about the show and a guide to finding a good artists’ tax agent over the weekend sometime.

thanks for subscribing to she sees red by lauren brown. xx

ketchup and inspiration

it’s been ages since i’ve written a blog here and i’ve had so much to catch up on! last wednesday was a day of inspiration for me: went to the preview of the Sydney Biennale and saw some great stuff, but the Antony Gormley Field was fucking amazing. It’s been a really long time since I’ve stood in front of a piece of artwork and had goosebumps, and this piece gave me a serious case of them. It was sublime. Standing in front of it, i almost cried with the expanse of it all as well as, for me, a sense of history about the work. I felt like i was looking at a historical movement of a population for a greater cause.. may not have been the intention of the work, but it sent shivers down my spine nonetheless. the other highlight from biennale stuff is blatantly egotistical, but hey. when Fiona Tan came into town last year, i lent her some of my photo albums with which to do her vox populi work. When i rocked up to AGNSW, i had forgotten about the work and when i stumbled upon it, i found 2 images from my albums in there, neither taken by me. the first one is a hilarious photo of my stepfather with deep red lipstick on in a gaudy stylised smile shape.. it is both hilarious and awful at the same time! and then an image of me, taken by my ex-boyfriend, with my huge blue mohawk in the back alleys of Stanmore. it was a nice little treat for the day.

there were heaps of works throughout the other 2 venues i saw (MCA and AGNSW), but the truth of the matter is, i can’t remember a whole bunch of them. that, i think, is the reason that the biennale is on for 2 months. time to revisit and absorb so much. i’m really looking forward to going back to some of the venues i’ve already seen, and to venture to some of the smaller venues as well.

other major highlight for the day was the talk by Mike Parr. As part of the SafARI fringe contemporary art festival, Mike was speaking about the beginning of inhibodress, one of the first ARIs in Sydney as well as his own early practice of that time. In the SafARI zine, I’m quoted as saying Mike is ‘the best thing since sliced bread’ and i stick by that. He’s managed to continue creating thought-provoking, inciteful and insightful works for the last 35 years and when he spoke, i was captivated. Now, when some people contradict themselves, i’m the first one to tune out, but hearing Parr talk, i didn’t care that he did that. I didn’t care that I’d heard some of it before, like a mantra about not getting sucked into the lottery of government funding. I really needed to hear what he was saying. I loved hearing how important it is for ARIs to push the boundaries, despite it being impossible to do so these days, but that at the same time, it’s important for us to show works that will never get shown in a commercial gallery because its, well, not really gonna ever get there. I had also been driving myself nuts with the fear that i have all these ideas, not enough money and not enough time to get my artistic career where i want to go, and I heard the word ‘longevity’ that night. It was like a bright light in a dodgy park and seems to have been the salve for what was ailing me. It’s about continuing to keep plugging away, do what you do with as much integrity as you can muster in this cut-throat world. Perhaps a little dramatic, but hey.

I was so fucking inspired that within 24 hours, i had come up with 3 new ideas for projects about rhythm and time that i thought i was going to burst! This is, in and of itself, not a new phenomenon, but it felt different this time. I felt like i had been given a huge kick up the ass, with a lunchbox and swag with which to move forward. So watch out world, here i come. Even if i only arrive in 30 years’ time, it will have been worth it.

thanks for subscribing to she sees red by lauren brown. xx