existence shall cry, sis.

the painful thing about the residency i’m doing at collingwood housing estate is that it throws into question my purpose as an artist, in a way that none of the other recent residencies have.
i reckon i’ve had at least three grades of existential crisis in the last two weeks, the deepest last weekend, rescued by a fellow artist who reminded me that i actually don’t get a choice over the future and what it thinks of me and my art. all i can do is be as attendant to the workliness of the work as possible (paraphrasing heidegger in his origin of a work of art).
going to too many openings, or other people’s shows is too much for me when i’m in this state – i get caught up in my own sense of ridiculousness, so i have to pare it back.

having said that, i was able to check out two visual art shows and two sound art shows on the weekend and enjoyed myself immensely.
stephen palmer has a wonderful sense of putting shows together and the group show at light projects at the moment is a testament to that. the show focuses primarily on ‘simulacra’ and artists who replicate daily objects with such alacrity that we assume it is that item, lest we look closely, plus a light-hearted ‘huzzah!’ work by clare rae. in fact, her work was so unlike the others, that what it did state was ‘this IS real’. which i liked.
the other exhibition is at dear patti smith – a gallery after my own heart. their brand hock show, in loving memory of amnesia is amazing – sculptural and narrative and slightly unnerving choices of symbols. i would even say feminist. it’s well-crafted, well-lit and just exudes ‘we are here’.

after both those shows, i attended two separate sound art gigs: one curated by nic tammens at the NGV studio, as part of his interesting collaborative residency there. we stood amongst oh-so-placed objects – attempted simulacra but to my mind were a bit, well, contrived.

clearly i was sinking in my own cynicism and i was too up-to-my-eyeballs-in-my-own-garbage to really enjoy most of the music, although it was nice to see some peeps and nic’s band at the end was a great intense cello/violin/guitar distortion build and expressed my own mounting tension.

on saturday, after i had mostly dealt with my own internal combustion, i was able to really enjoy the embedded gig, presented by ben byrne and avantwhatever. all similarly toned bands (deep frenetic bass/low freq chaos
and a counterpoint of super-high pitch/frequency overlay), i enjoyed the different processes and instruments on display: upright bass, sub-bass actuators+40gal drums, jim denley‘s water-filled sax, trombone, accordion and alice hui-sheng cheng‘s vocal intensity.

the whole crew there were great and i felt really welcome at art beat – exactly the kind of art space that i believe melbourne needs a whole lot more of.

brand hock #2 (sorry, i chucked away the room sheet and can’t remember the title)
new music series 001

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