EXTRA August 2019
Pace to expand its New York City footprint: is there room for anyone else?
Pace will open a new $100 million Chelsea space in New York City this September. The eight-story building, designed by New York-based Bonetti/Kozerski Architecture, consolidates the gallery’s stronghold of Upper East Side and West Side commercial art real estate. In a defiant statement of art world power, the project surpasses both the New Museum’s $89 million expansion budget and David Zwirner’s proposed fourth New York City location with a budget of $50 million.
Pace’s objective is to expand the capabilities of their existing New York City galleries beyond the purely visual. The new Chelsea space, with its focus on the experiential of art engagement, will offer a dining room, open art storage to allow visitors to see that which is normally out of sight, a performance space, and research libraries. What this expansion forces the art world to consider is whether there is any longer a distinction between commercial galleries and art museums in the contemporary market? The rampant commercialisation of public institutions and the populist expansion of commercial galleries renders their objectives increasingly similar in an art market that, dominated by a handful of mega-dealers, teeters on the edge of exclusion and unsustainability.
Image credit:Rendering of Pace Gallery’s forthcoming Chelsea location in New York. Photo: Bonetti / Kozerski Architecture, courtesy of Pace.
Yolŋu artist Djambawa Marawili AM wins the Telstra NATSIAA in a triumphant display of East Arnhem talent
On August 9, Djambawa Marawili AM was announced the winner of the 36th Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards in Darwin. From 68 finalists, Djambawa’s winning bark painting, Journey to America, was awarded for its mastery of rarrk - the intricate method of cross hatching - in a painting remarkable for its scale. Standing more than 2 metres tall, Djambawa’s painting emphasises personal and cultural strength through its unparalleled energy and detail. As a senior Yolŋu man, Journey to America highlights the empowerment of the East Arnhem community through the sharing of cultural philosophy. Artists from the Northern Territory dominated the 2019 awards with their inspired approach to materials and techniques. In the case of Noŋgirrŋa Marawili, winner of the Telstra Bark Painting Award, her radical reinterpretation of ‘found materials’ saw the inclusion of magenta print toner push the boundaries of traditional practice. Working from the Buku-Larrnggay Mulka Art Centre in Yirrkala, Noŋgirrŋa has forged a new language of unexpected colour, perfectly woven into her painting’s cultural iconography. This year’s Telstra NATSIAA demonstrates the ambitious contemporaneity of Australia’s First Nations artists.
Other winners include:
Malaluba Gumana, Yolŋu Matha language, Winner of the Wandjuk Marika Memorial 3D Award (Sponsored by Telstra)
Kaylene Whiskey, Yankunytjatjara language, Winner of the Telstra General Painting Award
Gutiŋarra Yunupiŋu, Yolŋu sign language (Clan language - Dhuwalandja), Winner of the Telstra Multimedia Award
Nyaparu (William) Gardiner (dec.), Nyangumarta/Warnman/Manjilyjarra languages, Winner of the Telstra Works on Paper Award
Titus Nganjmirra, Kunwinjku language, Winner of the Telstra Emerging Artist Award
Image credit:Telstra Art Award Winner, Djambawa Marawili AM. Courtesy Fiona Morrison
ROSEMARY LAING AT TEN CUBED
Ten Cubed brings together a selection of Rosemary Laing’s photographic series produced between 2004 and 2019. Characterised by a distinctive set of visual languages, each of Laing’s series are uniquely performative. This survey exhibition emphasises Laing’s obsession with activating human intervention in landscapes, where the history and politics of a place are only understood once the very fabric of the land has been manipulated.
Perhaps most evocative is Laing’s 2010 series, leak, in which an oversized upside-down domestic timber frame was built into a paddock hill of a sheep farm in rural New South Wales. It is the opportunity the work offers for an inverted pictorial frame (the work can be viewed either way: up or down) that creates an apocalyptic disorientation. This device at once normalises the works new orientation whilst provoking a series of questions: How? Why? And to what end? This is the effect of much of Laing’s work: the expert production and execution of ambitious staged scenarios that never fully suspend the viewers desire to understand the management, performativity and depth of the artist’s process. Ultimately, for Laing, disruption is the necessary precursor to reconfiguring our relationship to both built and natural environments.
Rosemary Laing at Ten Cubed
On show until October 26
Image credit: Rosemary Laing, Prowse, from the series: leak, C Type photograph, 2010, 60 x 134.5 cm
CAROLINE ROTHWELL AT ROSLYN OXLEY9
In Caroline Rothwell’s exhibition Splice, botanical etchings are a stark reminder of colonial expansion and histories of erasure. It is this necessary political truth that Rothwell handles so thoughtfully in her latest body of work. Drawing from Joseph Banks’ botanical etchings, produced as part of Captain Cook’s first voyage to Kamay/Botany Bay in 1768, Rothwell collages delicate watercolour reproductions of Banks’ prints with ominous, elongated tongues. This wrapping or splicing of historical moments and artistic sensibilities is a deliberate gesture to the climate doom that faces contemporary Australia. Offering exquisite images of increasingly endangered native species strangled in the embrace of long, unforgiving tongues, their beauty is underscored by their impending brutality.
A series of Rothwell’s latest sculptures step back from the archival, in their more literal exploration of human desire to control nature. Surreal and anthropomorphic, Rothwell’s sculptures force audiences to consider their own complicity in the increasingly tense human-environment relationship. Splice tenderly acknowledges the longstanding political contingency of protecting the environments we inhabit.
Caroline Rothwell at Roslyn Oxley9
On show until August 31
Image credit: Caroline Rothwell, Untitled 72, 2019, watercolour on Arches paper collage, on Joseph Banks Florilegium a la poupee print from copper play engraving, Plate 72, 300gsm Somerset mould made acid free paper, 76 x 59 x 3 cm
ROGER KEMP AT NATIONAL GALLERY OF VICTORIA
Roger Kemp’s tapestry, housed in the National Gallery of Victoria’s Great Hall, is a permanent fixture in the minds of many Australians. This iconic hanging work is contextualised at the NGV’s current exhibition, Roger Kemp: Visionary Modernist, the first major survey of Kemp’s practice since his passing. The exhibition presents an expansive collection of works from throughout his acclaimed career. The metaphysical nature of Kemp’s paintings, prints and sketches becomes the subject of this comprehensive retrospective that champions the artist as one of Australia’s great abstract painters.
Roger Kemp at National Gallery of Victoria
On show until March 15, 2020
Image credit: Roger Kemp, Flight in space I, c. 1960 - c. 1965, enamel paint on composition board, 136.8 x 183.0 cm. National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne. Purchased through The Art Foundation of Victoria with the assistance of the National Gallery Society of Victoria, Governor, 1983 © Kemp Trust
JUMAADI AT LISMORE REGIONAL GALLERY
In Comes from the shadow, Jumaadi draws from the long tradition of wayang kulit, or Indonesian puppet theatre. The result is a series of densely symbolic paintings on wood and calico, where themes of life and death are rendered in intricate forms. In the narrative structure of each work, the ‘absolutes’ of life’s beginnings and endings are afforded fluidity and instability. This exhibition is emblematic of Jumaadi’s work: complex in its iconography that grapples with oppositional human phenomena.
Jumaadi at Lismore Regional Gallery
Comes from the shadow
On show September 14 to November 17
Image credit: Jumaadi, In the garden 1, 2019, acrylic on buffalo hide, 92 x 76cm, King Street Gallery on William, Sydney
ROWAN CONROY AT GOULBURN REGIONAL ART GALLERY
For Rowan Conroy, photography is employed as an active and critical methodology. In his current exhibition, Sightseeing, field archaeology of natural and social sites is investigated through the lens of the camera: the collecting of memory, the archiving of historical resource and the personal processing of findings. In this exhibition, Conroy presents several sites across Cyprus, Turkey, Syria, and Lake George, NSW, to interrogate the assumed historical complicity of photographic images and expose collective cultural memory at moments of environmental and human intervention.
Rowan Conroy at Goulburn Regional Art Gallery
On show until September 7
Image credit: Rowan Conroy, Kiln #1, 2018, from the series The poetics of detritus, Piezography inkjet print, 114x 144cm. Collection of the artist
AGATHA GOTHE-SNAPE AT PERTH INSTITUTE OF CONTEMPORARY ART
Trying to Find Comfort in an Uncomfortable Chair is an immediately uncomfortable proposition. It is from this framework that Agatha Gothe-Snape’s exhibition declares itself a necessary critique of gendered economic and social frameworks. Invited by PICA and the Cruthers Collection of Women’s Art, Gothe-Snape undertook archival research of the collection, resulting in a series of site-specific works. Borrowed chairs become the centre piece for Gothe-Snape’s poetic response, as literal carriers of human weight and as symbols of domesticity and women’s labour. Emblematic of Gothe-Snape’s practice, Trying to Find Comfort in an Uncomfortable Chair disallows hierarchical distinctions between mediums, equally privileging sculptural forms, aural histories, written poems and any remnants of the pictorial frame.
Agatha Gothe-Snape at PICA
Trying to Find Comfort in an Uncomfortable Chair
On show until October 6
Image credit: Agatha Gothe-Snape, Trying to Find Comfort in An Uncomfortable Chair, studio view, 2019. Courtesy the artist and The Commercial Gallery, Sydney
KILGOUR PRIZE 2019 AT NEWCASTLE ART GALLERYBlak Douglas has won the 2019 Kilgour Prize for his portrait Queen of her Own Stage (Ms Ursula Yovich), a powerful commentary on social justice for disadvantaged Australians. On show at the Newcastle Art Gallery, Douglas’ portrait is imbued with symbols of power, calling for the improvement of rights for Aboriginal women. Manipulating the spatial composition of the expansive pictorial surface, the paintings subject, Yovich, demands the viewers’ attention without undermining the critical cultural presence of both land and sky.
Kilgour Prize 2019 at Newcastle Art Gallery
On show until October 13
Image credit: Blak Douglas, Queen of her own stage (Ms Ursula Yovich), 2019, synthetic polymer on canvas artist collection. Image courtesy Newcastle Art Gallery
CONTEMPORARY WORLDS: INDONESIA AT NATIONAL GALLERY OF AUSTRALIA
The National Gallery of Australia’s current exhibition of 20 emerging and established Indonesian artists is a comprehensive survey of what it means to be an artist living in one of the world’s fastest growing countries today. Addressing sexuality, gender roles, environmental concerns, the art market, the everyday, new materials, and forms from a culturally specific framework, Contemporary Worlds: Indonesia offers Australian audiences an opportunity to better understand their geographical neighbours. In this exhibition, contemporary art becomes a methodology for mutual understanding, teasing out the complex social, historical and political questions of our time.
Contemporary Worlds: Indonesia at National Gallery of Australia
On show until October 27
Image credit: Yudha 'Fehung' Kusuma Putera, Past, present and future come together, 2017, series of 9 inkjet prints with accompanying instructions for participatory elements of the work. National Gallery of Australia, Canberra. Purchased 2018
HIGHLIGHTS: BALLARAT INTERNATIONAL FOTO BIENNALE
Who are these strangers and where are they going?
Over the course of Dr Fiona Foley’s career, photography has been deployed as a methodology for watching, surveying and subverting the dominant White gaze of Australian identity. The medium has allowed Foley ownership of a personal and cultural gaze in her work, where she often assumes positions both behind and in front of the camera.
Presented in Ballarat as a significant mid-career survey curated by Djon Mundine OAM, Who are these strangers and where are they going? demonstrates her career-long commitment to mining archives, confronting cultural erasure and forcing audiences to challenge the myths that underpin our nationhood.
Foley will premiere a new work titled Out of the Sea like Cloud (2019). The film takes the oldest known Aboriginal song, which recounts Captain Cook’s first sighting of the Badtjala people of K’gari/Fraser Island at Takky Wooroo in 1770, as its historical starting point. The new work holds the preservation of the Badtjala language as its primary concern. Forming the film’s soundscape, Foley commissioned contemporary Badtjala musicians to develop two new verses to that songline in a protest against its being forgotten.
The exhibition’s title is taken from the opening line of the song, the only remaining evidence of its cultural importance. The new work sees Foley draw on the work of her late mother, Shirley Foley, who in 1996 compiled a Badtjala dictionary. As such, Foley’s career-long photographic practice, curated at BIFB in almighty force, exemplifies the artist’s commitment to truth-telling, historical criticality and the continuation of cultural traditions.
Who are these strangers and where are they going?
The Mining Exchange
12 Lydiard St North, Ballarat
August 24 until October 20, 2019
Image credit:Fiona Foley, Badtjala woman, 1994, type C photograph, 45 x 35cm (each) © the artist. Courtesy the artist and Niagara Galleries, Melbourne
It seems as though any installation tackling the doom of the global climate emergency could have been plastered as timely ever since the early 2000s. It would be crude to describe Han Sungpil’s outdoor intervention as merely timely; instead it could be described as categorically essential, or simply fundamental, in a political context of climate denial, governmental inaction and growing grassroots activism.
In protest, Sungpil presents the facts. His work transforms scientific evidence - which suggests that if the world’s ice sheets continue to melt at their current rate, it could lead to a catastrophic 60-metre rise in sea levels by 2100 - into immersive installations. As part of BIFB’s outdoor program, Sungpil presents an Australian premiere site-specific installation drawn from his photographic series Polar Heir. The installation will transform one of Ballarat’s most popular laneways into an urban iceberg of startling proportions.
Perhaps the most confronting and captivating aspect of this artwork will be seeing children flock naively to play among its formulated ice shards - a natural phenomenon that could cease to exist next century. Sungpil will force audiences to confront the consequences of either passing on or inheriting a world in climate chaos, no longer confined to distant natural occurrences and literally transported to the comfort of urban dwelling.
Hop Temple Laneway
24 Armstrong St North, Ballarat
August 24 until October 20, 2019
Image credit:Han Sungpil, layers, 2016, chromogenic print, 178 x 300 cm.
The inaugural FOTO FILMS series sees Ella Cawthorn, in partnership with Ballarat’s Regent Cinema, curate a collection of contemporary short and feature films interpreting the theme of photography. The series runs for the entirety of the festival in a commitment to film as a vital subsidiary of the photographic medium. The six films are united in their personal and historical frames of reference afforded by the act of image-making as a practice of archiving memory and configuring futures.
Highlights include Chris Marker’s La Jetée (1962), a film made almost entirely of still photographs. The half-hour film has long been touted a masterpiece for the illusive achievements of this method of stacking still images. Marker’s distinct process creates a tension between photography’s inherent cataloguing of memories and the film’s ambitious, futuristic narrative.
The series’ closing film, Tracey Moffatt’s BeDevil (1993), is the filmmaker, visual artist and photographer’s extraordinary debut feature film, which hauntingly weaves three childhood mysteries into one captivating presentation. The film builds on her earlier works - namely, her 1989 short film Night Cries: A Rural Tragedy, which explores a complicated maternal relationship within the context of colonial Australia. Shot exclusively in a studio, characterised by a dystopian mise-en-scène, the film is a response to Charles Chauvel’s celebrated film Jedda (1955).
FOTO FILMS promises to be a challenging and captivating survey of experimental world film.
Candida Höfer and Thomas Ruff
Saturday August 24, 4pm
Blow Up by Michelangelo Antonioni
Saturday August 31, 4pm
La Jetée & Night and Fog
Saturday September 7, 4pm
Faces Places by Agnès Varda
Saturday September 14, 4pm
BeDevil by Tracey Moffatt
Saturday October 19, 4pm
49 Lydiard St North, Ballarat Central
Image credit: BeDevil, film still, dir. Tracey Moffatt, courtesy of Ronin Films.