'Worlds Away' at the Walker Art Centre, Minneapolis 2008

Posted by Gemma on the 6th of October, 2011

On the subject of art and suburbia, which is topical right now at OK, the The Walker Art Centre in Minneapolis programmed an exhibition of artists responding to American Suburbia in 2008:

Because suburbia occupies a dominant presence in so many lives--a place of not only residence but also of work, commerce, worship, education, and leisure--it has become a focal point for competing interests and viewpoints. The suburbs have always been a fertile space for imagining both the best and the worst of modern social life. On the one hand, the suburbs are portrayed as a middle-class domestic utopia and on the other as a dystopic world of homogeneity and conformity. Both of these stereotypes belie a more realistic understanding of contemporary suburbia and its dynamic transformations, and how these representations and realities shape our society, influence our culture, and impact our lives.

The intention of Worlds Away: New Suburban Landscapes is to demonstrate how the American suburb has played a catalytic role in the creation of new art. Challenging preconceived ideas and expectations about suburbia (either pro or con), the exhibition hopes to impart a better understanding of how those ideas were formed and how they are challenged by contemporary realities. The exhibition features artwork by Gregory Crewdson, Dan Graham, Catherine Opie, and Edward Ruscha, among others, and architectural projects by firms such as Fashion.Architecture.Taste, The Center for Land Use Interpretation, MVRDV, and Estudio Teddy Cruz.

What interests me is the uncanny similarity between the 'readings' of suburbia in western cities. I was talking to my friend Derek, who's Canadian, on the opening night of True North and he told me that he found Emma's work unsettling because it dislodged memories that he weren't sure legitimately belonged to him, as while there are certain elements of Emma's images that render then unavoidably Australian, there's also something beyond the local in there that taps into a kind of collective suburban consciousness.

Here's a short video on the Walker show, which is worth comparing and contrasting with the Australian one Andrew posted a while back. Both have really daggy soundtracks, but that's not really what I mean:


Posted by Gemma on the 5th of October, 2011

Photos courtesy Casey Ayres.

Emma McPike, True North (detail), 2011


Posted by Gemma on the 30th of September, 2011

I Probably should have posted this earlier, but we've been a bit busy.

Come and celebrate the opening of Emma McPike's True North tonight at OK, from 7pm.

It looks like summer.

Emma McPike, Possible Pools, 2008

Ben Barretto 'Wail Songs' at the MNM

Posted by Andrew on the 27th of September, 2011

A few photos from Ben Barretto's exhibition 'Wail Songs' at The Museum of Natural Mystery last weekend.

"Ben Barretto's art practice to date can be discussed as a single ongoing series of performative experiments that investigate the idea of an assisted painting. These experiments often result in an uncertain dialogue between the processes of the performances and the aesthetics of the paintings produced by them; does one inform the other and which is more important to the work?

Continuing this trajectory in Wail Songs, Barretto dons the hat of 'composer' and by rearranging his familiar materials (scrap timber, oscillating fans, paint scrapers, canvas) he will construct a painting with sound, further examining the tension between process and product."

Wail Songs by Ben Barretto at The Museum of Natural Mystery from Ben Barretto on Vimeo.

Wail Songs, Ben Barretto, 2011
Wail Song, Ben Barretto, 2011

OK at Outskirts

Posted by Gemma on the 21st of September, 2011

OnWilliam's Outskirts festival explodes all over Northbridge this Sunday, September 25th as over 100 creative events happen simultaneously in 34 locations.

Check out the full program here.

Pick up an Outskirts Passport from a participating venue (we're one of them) and collect as many stamps as you can.

OK will be stamping Outskirts passports 10am to 5pm during the one day only festival. It's also the last day of Casey Ayres' Picnic at Fanging Rock.

Come visit if you haven't yet!

PRE MIX at Galleria

Posted by Andrew on the 17th of September, 2011

Pre Mix at Galleria
55 Wittenoom street, East Perth.

Open until October 18th.

Reece York, 'John Wayne's World', 2011, Hired costume and hand rail
Megan Plunkett, 'High Non Partyware', 2011, Plastic cups with mixed media
Emily Morant, 'White Girl Joondalup', 2011, Mixed media collected from Warwick Grove and Whitfords City
Andrew Liversidge, 'ETERNITY IS REALLY LONG ESPECIALLY NEAR THE END (cop that you fat bitch), 2011, Cast avacado, Rob McLeish
Thomas Jeppe, 'The Guest, 2011, Pencil and ink on paper in custom frame
Gian Manik, 'Untitled', 2011, Lame
David Egan, 'Visiting Gods', 2011, Glow-in-the-dark fimo, chalkboard paint and found ceramic & 'Colour me mine', 2011, Pencil and gouache n canvas boards (Courtesy of OK Gallery)

Abdul Abdullah, MUA Human Justice Award

Posted by Andrew on the 16th of September, 2011

Congratulations to local artist Abdul Abdullah for taking out the MUA Human Justice Award, a category of the Blake Prize.

SBS Story Here

Abdul's Website

Them and Us, Abdul Abdullah, 2011, Digital Print

Galleria Opens Friday September 16th

Posted by Gemma on the 15th of September, 2011

2011 just keeps getting better for art in Perth.

Galleria opens at 6:30pm, 55 Wittenoom Street in East Perth tomorrow night (Friday, Sept 16th) with Pre-Mix, a blockbuster 20 artist party-themed group show, which has the most amazing lineup I've seen in Perth for a while.

From the source:

"Taking inspiration for its name from the etymology of the word 'gallery' and from a local suburban shopping centre, Galleria is situated within a centrally-located warehouse in East Perth where a number of artists have recently established art studios, a printing press and an arts-oriented graphic/ web design business. Working with the idea of the 'shopping complex', the space will run a number of satellite projects including a conceptual food court, a cineplex and late night trading events.

As an artist run initiative, Galleria aims to build on Perth's existing gallery models (state, commercial and independent), which either program more towards a non-art public, are dictated too much by funding or sales, or are democratic but lack a continuous standard of quality. Galleria hopes to promote a stronger sense of community and a better critical dialogue through exhibiting international art whilst working to create a platform for local artists and curators."

Pre Mix features work from Dan Bourke, Steve Carr, Robbie Dixon, James Doohan, David Egan, George Egerton-Warburton, Misha Hollenbach, Ruby Jeppe, Thomas Jeppe, Gian Manik, Emily Morant, Andrew Liversidge, Jacob Ogden Smith, Megan Plunkett, Jo Richardson, Benjamin Rodin, Lara Thoms, Clare Wohlnick, Brad Wynne and Reece York

Pre-Mix runs until Saturday, October 8th.

Gallery hours during exhibitions are 12:00 to 21:00 on Thursdays and Fridays, 12:00 to 18:00 on Saturdays, and by appointment.

Good times.

David Egan, 2011, 'Color Me Mine' Krater Studies.
Steve Carr, Donuts, 2007. Glazed Porcelain

Art & Australia Spring 2011

Posted by Admin on the 14th of September, 2011

OK News/good news:

Director Gemma Weston has an essay featured in the spring issue of Art & Australia, which has just hit the stands.

An excerpt from her piece on Tarryn Gill and Pilar Mata Dupont, who are currently showing in the main galleries at PICA, is available here.

Guest Lecture: Christian Falsnaes and Freddie Prinze Jr

Posted by Jamie on the 8th of September, 2011

We took a break from Guest Lecture during the lead-up to opening, so I thought it'd be worth starting back on a double.

Performance Art vs Hollywood, with Christian Falsnaes and Freddie Prinze Jr.

Existing Things, Christian Falsnaes, video, DV-PAL, 00:07:00, 2010

Hack-Y-Sac, Freddie Prinze Jr ('Zach': She's All That), 1999

(I'd really like to find the Rachel Leigh Cook performance art piece from She's All That, but it doesn't seem to exist on the internet. It should.)