Visitors, from Koyaanisqatsi-director Godfrey Reggio
There is an increasing trend in Australia toward physical challenges, either obstacle courses such as Tough Mudder, or the latest venture on the scene, the Colour Run, where the inaugural event happened in Sydney earlier this morning. The middle class need to struggle to achieve something, I guess.
Comparing the Tough Mudder and the Colour Run will no doubt raise some eyebrows but they are both extremely fun, with the former being much more of a challenge (much, much more) and the latter having a closer resemblance to a large scale music festival. The Colour Run describes itself as the happiest 5km on the planet and for once, a slogan lives up to its name. The atmosphere was electric and it there wasn’t a face without a smile on it. I’ll be doing this one again!
“If I go into a butcher’s shop I always think it’s surprising that I wasn’t there instead of the animal”.
So says Francis Bacon in one of his many quotes which in their brevity still manage to pierce deep into his psyche. The exhibition at the Art Gallery of NSW intrigues with details of the late painter’s life while going through the phases of his artistic development.
The rawness of his paintings catches you off guard as humans meet animal flesh in abstract confrontations. A friend of mine went on acid but the emotionally charged response that Bacon’s artwork invokes is not in need of any enhancement. A meander through the gallery is the equivalent of a portal into the terror and beauty of the human condition.
The exhibition closes at the end of February.
A friend was telling me the other day that when Anish Kapoor makes works of art, the only purpose behind it is to evoke emotion. The cavernous black abysses that permeate his work, or at least the work at the MCA, were not created to make you think about anything in particular, but just to make you feel. If this was Kapoor’s grand plan, then it would be a brave critic to say that he was unsuccessful.
I’ve never quite seen an art exhibit like this one. It had children and adults equally enthralled but it was their faces that revealed the true genius behind the art. It was a mixture of confusion, joy and curiousity and it was infectious. People tried to take photos of the mirrors, light and materials which created these emotions but all too often they didn’t come out. This is because many of the artworks were as much tricks of the mind as they were visual pieces and a photograph cheapened the bewildering experience you’d just had.
The exhibition is one of the better ones I’ve ever been to because it is so accessible to people who are not “in to” art. Kapoor’s ideology, if my friend was quoting him correctly, suggests that all art can only be subjectively experienced which reminded me of an argument I had once about whether the Mona Lisa could be considered art if no one saw it but Leonardo. Is only the artist see an artwork, is it really art? If an artist knowingly creates a piece of an art without meaning but it is perceived as art, is it art? If an elephant paints a picture which causes emotion in those people who view it, is that art? I don’t think there is any right answer to these questions which is what makes them so interesting to ponder.
Kaskade makes an interesting point on “selling out”. His entire rant is worth a read.
If there’s a formula to selling out, I think every band in the world would be doing it. The fact that you write good songs and you sell too many of them, if everybody in the world knew how to do that they’d do it. It’s not something we chose to do.
It was in 2005 that the idea of a manor house party first brewed in my cerebellar cortex. I’d just arrived in London at the start of a six month trip around Europe that would eventually lead me back to London to live for a time. My cousin had invited me to a weekend away which his friends put on every year where they’d hire an old manor house in the English countryside, buy enough food and booze for a weekend and then hold a weekend long party in the middle of nowhere amongst a group of 30 or so friends. Often they would dress up and set up themed rooms and other oddities. Despite being in Europe for two of these amazing parties, for one reason or another, I never got to experience one and it has haunted me ever since.
After coming back to Australia in 2006, I kept my ears to the ground for the perfect venue. However, finding a manor house in Australia isn’t as easy as it sounds as there simply aren’t that many older style properties that fit the bill and that would allow anything like the party we wanted to have i.e. not a wedding. I’d almost given up on the idea but it came up on the long training walks in preparation for the 2012 Oxfam Trailwalker. A friend recommend the Glen Davis Boutique Hotel, and what a recommendation!
Soon the ideas were flowing amongst my mates. We’d tie the party in with the 13th b’ak’tun of the Mayan calendar with an End of the World theme and a manor house decorated accordingly. And all of a sudden it was upon us: think 30 people in an art deco mansion in the middle of the Capertee Valley (it’s bigger than the Grand Canyon), our own fireworks display, a haunted abandoned refinery, dry ice cocktails and our own moonshine. By all reports it went swimmingly well for all involved and there is even talk of having another one. I love it when a plan comes together!
Fate is a funny thing. Take for instance my recent involvement in a pop-up bar. Avid readers of this blog (yes, I’m looking at you Mum) would know that designing and running a bar has been a dream of mine (read: bucket list) for some time. So when a close friend called and asked if I wanted to be a part of the inaugural Tall Poppy Collective pop-up bar, I jumped at the chance.
Things moved very quickly. From quiet discussions in an inner city apartment amongst friends to the involvement and backing from OzHarvest, we were provided with an opportunity and had to provide the means to make it work in less than 6 weeks. When you factor in that we actually had to make the bar with three distinctive areas for each of the food trucks (Al Carbon, Agape and Tsuru), negotiate a site for the pop-up, create a website and effectively start an organisation in that time, it was to say the least a very busy time.
For those of you playing at home, Tall Poppy Collective is a not-for-profit venture connecting young professionals and students in the design industry to support a worthy cause. You can see more photos of the night on InDesignLive and Illumni. The next Tall Poppy Collective pop-up venture will happen in the first half of 2013. I, for one, can’t wait!
Tall Poppy Collective