curated by Claudia Massie
Review: Géraldine García
Chinese art II: Allan Harkness
Review: Zoe Green
Chinese art: Allan Harkness
Words and drawings: Ross Macgregor
Fellow artists, do your lovers complain that they wish they didn’t have to smell the whiff of turpentine when making love? Hold on to your relationships, there could be a solution at hand. Touch sensitive interfaces are paving the way for an electronics hardware that facilitates the same kind of intuitive & expressive mark making which, up until recently, only smelly art materials would allow…
The Master Builder
Ibsen is a comic playwright. I hadn’t realized this till I watched the first half of Philip Franks’ production of The Master Builder at Chichester Festival Theatre. It’s a play about man’s urge to realize the unrealisable – to celebrate his own achievements by both building and climbing the highest tower – about arrogance and ambition – and what are these qualities but comic when exposed?
Actually, that’s not true. In King Lear, the outcome of man’s arrogance is tragedy; in Titus Andronicus the outcome is horror and fear. So perhaps it is not so much the qualities themselves but the knowingness with which Ibsen portrays the Master Builder’s cupidity that makes the first half comic as the architect busies himself with placating his mistress, concealing his affair from his wife (who knows full well the score) and subjugating Ragnar, his apprentice (the fiancé of his mistress), in order to quell Ragnar’s ambition to strike out on his own. At times it verges on farce; at others, the twists of the plot resemble those of Congreve or Wycherley…
Paths to Abstraction
I confess when I decided to visit the Gallery of New South Wales recent exhibition I was sceptical of its purpose. My general feeling is that any show that features the impressionists has the overriding but unsung purpose of raising revenue for the gallery. ‘Paths to Abstraction’ has all the hallmarks of a good revenue raiser with those familiar names such as Whistler, Picasso and Cezanne, a hefty 20 dollar entry fee, a large corporate sponsor, and an exit through the gift shop. Despite this the curator, Terence Maloon, has assembled an interesting and relevant show that is subtly grounded in post-modernist rhetoric. It is an exhibition that plays into the public thirst for the blockbuster artists but does so in an innovative way by analysing their parallel but independent move to more abstract work between 1867 and 1917. The exhibition brings together over 150 pieces from Impressionism, Nabis, Fauvism, Cubism and Dada, to name a few. The basic premise challenges the idea of a hegemonic narrative and suggests is that there was no single movement to abstraction but rather there were several currents and influences. The proposal is that abstraction was never a movement rather the paths to abstraction in European art were varied and unpredictable…
No Fit State Circus: ‘Tabu’
Part dance, part physical theatre, part circus, Tabu is hard to define. The show takes a single emotion – fear – as its starting point, and then stands this on its head, sometimes literally. The world-class acrobats of No Fit State circus are of course well-equipped to illustrate the power of physical fear. Watching them from below as they somersault through the air on the flying trapeze in the upper reaches of the big top, it is impossible not to hold your breath each time they reach out into thin air, trusting to find their partner’s hand. But the real power of the show comes from the way that physical fear – and physical trust – as exemplified by the acrobats, become symbols for sexual and emotional fear and trust….
Dances With Birds: About Legs and Wings
I began to go to dance shows with the idea that I would not be disappointed, at least I would know what I didn’t like and this has lead me to discover, over the course of the past four years, various gifted artists who really should be far more famous.
The dance scene in Paris is very rich. There are so many theatres and festivals that you have to keep your eye on the ball in order not to miss the big shows of the season. I am personally more interested in contemporary dance and I usually begin to put red marks in my diary when Theâtre de Chaillot and Théâtre de la Ville, two big cultural institutions of the city, announce their new seasonal programmes….
Ideas of National Identity in Hong Kong’s Biennial of Art
Unlike the more well know Biennials of Art, the Hong Kong Contemporary Art Biennial Awards takes a local focus rather than an international one. The aim of the Award is to provide an open platform for the display of the best work from Hong Kong artists over the last two years. The Awards were decided in 2009 but are showcased between May and August 2010…
‘Against guitar solos, against any kind of sedative art, against conservation of art in museums, reconstruction against any individual retrospective now and in the future’ Kroot Juurak, Naked.
NLP travels to Dundee to take a look at the new feminism espoused by Euro art group Chicks on Speed.
The Sydney Biennale 2010
Roll up, roll up, the 17th Sydney Biennale of Art is in town. Designed to do more that just entertain by a ringmaster who has heralded it a show for wonderment, where cultural boundaries have been broken down and power distributed evenly. It is no small task to unify the work of 440 works by 166 artists in seven different venues. This year’s curator David Elliott has given the biennale the wordy title ‘The Beauty of Distance: Songs of Survival in a Precarious Age’.
An Encounter with the Maestro
In the early Seventies Giorgio di Chirico used to come most days at noon to the Caffe Greco in the Via Condotti in Rome. He was a very old man (born 1888) and he dressed in a dark suit. He looked like a senator and the waiters greeted him as “maestro”. It was a long time since he had painted in the style that made him famous and had been a sort of prelude to Surrealism….