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.)

Car Culture

Posted by Gemma on the 6th of September, 2011

Following on from Andrew's primer on art and suburbia in anticipation of Emma McPike's upcoming show at OK (September 30th), I've been looking into examples of the car in art as an accompaniment to Casey Ayres' current offering.

I've found it odd, the surprise that sometimes arises from Casey's interest in modified car culture, as though an interest in one kind of culture must preclude an interest in another supposedly outside of it. I'm not sure where it comes from, this idea that artists cry over sunsets, only read dead authors, are interminably drunk, are bad guests at dinner parties, burn money, eat paint, etcetera. This is also all true of course, because the arts are just as rich and varied a slice of humankind as any industry. Never mind.

The Italian Futurists loved the dynamism of the automobile almost as much as they loved writing manifestos on how the industrial revolution would cleanse the old world of its cancerous attachments to history. When Marinetti wrote his first Futurist Manifesto in 1909 the opportunity to move through the world quickly, propelled by fire and metal, was novel. The Futurists portrayed it in rapid-fire geometry and deconstructed form. While the Dadaists were opposing it, the Futurists glorified the First World War as the ultimate sign of the new society's power, connecting technology and death in the same way that J G Ballard would in his 1973 novel Crash. Ballard added eroticism to create the ultimate Freudian cocktail.

Fast forward from Futurism through Roland Barthes' 1957 proclamation that the Citroen was the contemporary version of the Medieval Gothic cathedral -" conceived with passion by unknown artists, and consumed in image if not in usage by a whole population which appropriates them as a purely magical object" - through Andy Warhol's Pop screen-prints of motor crash victims, to Matthew Barney's Cremaster 4. This is a huge leap, but bear with me. I'm making this up as I go. Cremaster 4 was made in 1994 and was actually the first installment in Barney's gargantuan, cinematic exploration of a not-quite-parallel symbolic world. Cremaster 4 sends blue and yellow modified racing cars and their drivers around an island track, while some kind of weird conception occurs that relates to a nearby room containing a tap dancing creature (Barney) who falls into the sea and then crawls through a vaguely starshaped tube of lube and tiny white pods (from memory. I worked on the Candy Bar when Artrage played these for their festival in 2007, so I saw them in stolen parts between rushes for popcorn. Apologies to Matthew Barney). Honestly, It blows my mind that people are shocked by Lady Gaga.

The Cremaster series is named after the muscle in the male that controls the accent and decent of the testicles due to changing temperatures. The cars in Cremaster 4 are, simplistically, connected to a sexual energy, the briefest reading being that their speed equates to to power and virility, that the racing teams replicate the race of sperm to the ovum. The car appears again in Cremaster 3 (made in 2002), in which the central character of the film is the Chrysler Building. Two Chryslers perform a dance of death in its basement (I think).

In the same way that Scottish Barney uses the Chrysler as a symbol of American consciousness, American Richard Prince uses parts of the car sculpturally as stand ins for his country's landscape and that classic homegrown Dream. Think of Jack Kerouac, the drive in theatre, Thelma and Louise and the Grand Canyon. Prince's photographs prior to this had explored the creation of masculine mythology in printed culture and his decontextualised car bonnets do something similar, except the landscape and the body within have dissolved into fields of colour.

Back on Australian soil, the Institute of Modern Art in Brisbane held an entire exhibition devoted to the automobile in 2005. Supercharged: The Car in Contemporary Culture featured work from 12 artists interested in the form and symbology of cars, including Australian heavyweights Patricia Piccinini and Tracey Moffat. The fascination with the car in Australian culture is similar to the American one; the road trip is a cultural institution, cities are often designed around freeways (Perth and its Corridor Plan), the expanse of the landscape is often thought of as something to be conquered, civilized by the road. The catalogue essay for Supercharged, written by Glen Fuller - an automotive academic who Casey put me on to when we were researching for his exhibition - is still available on Fuller's website. 'The Hoon: Taking over the Streets' and 'The xXx Test' are also good reads for the interested.

So, this has been long. It could be much longer though - I haven't even begun to talk about Vin Diesel and the Fast and The Furious series. Here are some pictures..

(Also, links:
There are a bunch of Futurist Manifestos here.
Roland Barthes quotation copied and pasted from here.
This is the official Cremaster website.
There's stacks on Richard Prince: perhaps The Frieze Foundation isn't a bad place to start.
Here's some text on Supercharged as well.)
Fuller's site is linked above.

Luigi Russolo, Dynamism of an Automobile, 1912-1913
First edition of JG Ballard's Crash, 1973
Matthew Barney, Cremaster 4: Three Legs of Man, 1994
Richard Prince, Second House Installation View, 2004
Installation View of Superchaged

Art TV: Artlife 'The 'Burbs'

Posted by Andrew on the 1st of September, 2011

This video is maybe a good primer for Emma McPike's solo exhibition 'True North', opening September 30th at OK Gallery.

Embedding is disabled. You'll have to click through here.

Howard Arkley, \'Pink House\', 1991