Entries Tagged 'NEWS' ↓

Time to rethink The Aboriginal Memorial

Just published at emaj art journal:

NIGEL LENDON | Relational Agency: Rethinking The Aboriginal Memorial

See also:

Nigel Lendon: Relational Agency: The Elcho Island Memorial

The Endless Column is 100 years old

The first version of Brancusi’s Endless Column was made in Paris in 1916. The largest version, at Targu Jiu in Romania, was finished in 1938. It is a memorial to those Romanians who died defending Targu Jiu during the first World War.


Nigel Lendon: Modelling the now

Videography by Axel Debenham Lendon, photography by Rob Little.

modelling the now


Image: video still from “Self Portrait (Homage)” 2013 (Rob Little, photographer) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2sS1JLcbnp0

And see the discusssion that came with the companion exhibition at the ANU Drill Hall Gallery:


outsourcing is all the rage

and Bob Dylan’s doin’ it. Read Greg Allen’s forensic analysis here at greg.org

new street art in Kandahar ups the ante…

Some months ago I wrote about the growing phenomenon of “street art” at the KAF base in Kandahar, in south-eastern Afghanistan. There was even a response to the incarceration of Ai Weiwei here and there on the concrete blast walls.  Now we find the Australian official war artist Ben Quilty getting in on the act. His variation on the Australian coat of arms is a radical challenge to iconographic analysis. While the Australian War Memorial has mentioned his mural in passing in last week’s pre-publicity, we are yet to see them publish a photograph of the work, or to offer an account of the meaning of its symbolism. The inclusion of skulls and serpents (locally symbolising the infidel crusader) may pose a challenge to officialdom. This may yet prove to be the most radical “war art” yet. We look forward to the official account. Here’s what they say thus far… (This photograph was published in Air Force: the official newspaper of the Royal Australian Air Force, (Vol 53, No 22, Nov 24, 2001, p.17).

And this is the first version of the image: the one above has (for better or worse) been made specific to the KAF context:

Ben Quilty, Landcruiser, 2007, Chinese Ink and Gouache on Aquari paper, 188 x 282cm (from the QUT Ben Quilty Interpretative Guide)

This text by Don Walker accompanies the image: “It’s an old trick. Take a universal, publicly owned snatch of melody, fanfare, phrase or image and pervert it. Ben Quilty has used the Australian coat of arms, an image so official and hoary it’s almost invisible, and mounted it on a mesa piled with skulls. The shield-bearers are presented as road-kill, the kangaroo muzzle flattened by a double bogie. Between them now is a cairn of skulls knitted by worms and lies. The crest is a convict shackle, looking as though it was cut from a kerosene tin, just to make it clear that not all the bones belonged to Indigenous Australians. Like most people, Ben Quilty defies caricature. A bogan who chose to pursue a degree in Aboriginal culture. A petrolhead who buys his art supplies at Bunnings, yet carries tiny notebooks full of the most exquisite pen-and-ink sketches of Venice done in his recent youth. Close in, where Quilty works, his paintings look like a bad paving job. Step back twenty feet and he’s caught the whole sorry tale, a country built by the survivors of pogroms, massacres and land clearances elsewhere, who found a haven here on land cleared by massacres of our own.”

The image and text above was found here. We’re waiting to hear the AWM’s version…


Intrepid whale watchers

discover that The Saint Effect has expired…

outsider design

slip across and see cai guo-qiang’s exhibition of “peasant da vincis” at the Rockbund Art Museum, Shanghai until August 8th, 2010 on designboom now

and what’s wrong with this?

Symbolic Objects: The Declaration Bell

Read the backstory on the ABC The Drum. Then read Lindsay Murdoch in The Age on Saturday, then Bob Gosford: “Yesterday Geoff Scott, CEO of the NSW Aboriginal Land Council made a gift to the Alyawarr people that was both symbolic and ironic and will ring a loud and clear rallying call to the Alyawarr people who just a few months ago walked off the literal cess-pit that the Ampilitawatja township had become after years of neglect from all levels of Government.

Geoff Scott gave the Alyawarr people a bright and shiny brass bell inscribed with the following message:

This Declaration Bell is presented to the Elders and families of the Alyawarra Nation by the New South Wales Aboriginal Land Council on February 14, 2010 in recognition of their principled walk-off and continuing fight to uphold their land rights, culture and heritage. May it ring for justice and change.

Banjo Morton and Frank Holmes with the Alyawarr Declaration BellBanjo Morton and Frank Holmes with the Alyawarr Declaration Bell
P.S. I have to say (it’s been drawn to my attention) that it’s by no means clear for whom the bell tolls to whom the Declaration Bell addresses its message: the Federal or the Northern territory Government, or, for that matter, local administrators? Who is primarily responsible for the mess that is Ampilitawatja?