Victoria police have charged 25 year old artist Paul Yore with the possession and production of child pornography. The charges relate to collages by the artist of sexually questionable material that appeared in the group exhibition Like Mike at Linden Gallery in June (read more about the furore here).
This is a highly concerning case of censorship that has serious implications for the art community here in Australia. If you wish to support Paul Yore, LOL recommends attending his exhibition opening at Neon Parc this Thursday the 12th at 6pm.
Leg of Lamb’s written a short list, in chronological order, of five very disparate art highlights of the year. There were other highlights too of course; Tony Clark and Polly Borland at Murray White, Layla Rudneva-McKay at Starkwhite and et al. at Kaliman Rawlins all get honourable mentions…
Henry Jock Walker’s Somethingland at TCB, Melbourne, 30 May – 16 June Walker’s a painter. He’s a surfer too. And sometimes he surfs on his paintings. One of the artist’s paint/surfboard hybrids was included in his show at TCB. Scrubbed with surf wax, the monochromatic canvas cleverly poked fun at the lofty ideals of modernist painting. The front space contained remnants of a painting performance as well. Walker’s bodysuit-clad alter ego transformed the gallery thanks to a souped up, faux abstract expressionist painterly frenzy, recorded and replayed in situ.
Berlinde De Bruyckere’s We are all flesh at ACCA, Melbourne, 2 June – 29 July De Bruyckere’s giant headless horse forms and contrastingly delicate wax sculptures of antlers and other ephemera reflected on life’s transience with great subtlety. The pared back show contained only a handful of works – each a haunting testament to the slippage between life, death and transcendence.
Looking East: ARTJOG12 at Taman Budaya, Yogyakarta, 14 – 28 July For an immersive introduction into the vibrant contemporary art scene in Yogyakarta, look no further than ARTJOG, a key event in the city’s cultural calendar. ARTJOG doesn’t include individual stands. Rather, it’s a ‘curated’ event in which works are selected for exhibition following an open call for submissions. A highlight each year are the commissioned projects, that often transform the exterior of the venue, Taman Budaya. The works above are by two of this year’s commissioned artists, Joko Dwi Avianto and I Made Widya Diputra.
John Spiteri’s Still Life Social Climber at Neon Parc, Melbourne, 22 August – 22 September Leg of Lamb is a long time fan of Sydney painter John Spiteri, so much so that one of the works in this show came home with me. The canvases in Still Life Social Climber were scraped and scratched, covered in little cross hatches and muddy ambiguities. These abstractions were enlivened by hints of figuration and narrative, suggested in nebulous half forms and titles like ‘Busy People’ and ‘Sultan’. Mysterious and dreamy, Spiteri’s paintings are slow burns.
Theatre of the Worldcurated by Jean-Hubert Martin at MONA, Hobart, 23 June – April 13, 2013 Martin, former director of the Pompidou, has selected over 400 objects from the collections of MONA and the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery in an exhibition that collapses conventional museological divisions between ancient and contemporary. Seemingly disparate objects (like a Picasso painting and an African tribal shield) are juxtaposed in a manner in which art historical context is subsumed in favour of curation that promotes the very act of ‘seeing’. Invigorating.
Included in Three Imaginary Boys, the current group show at Neon Parc is Cats (above), a recent video by Charlie Sofo that also features in the current Anne Landa Award exhibition at the Art Gallery of New South Wales.
Sofo is a collector. He wanders the streets of Melbourne accumulating objects – like little rocks he picks out of his shoe. These are presented on the floor at Neon Park beneath a Perspex case as artefacts of his travels.
Sofo also collects moving images. In this instance, of cats in the Northern suburbs of Melbourne. The video’s premise is simple, it’s a series of quick, uniform cuts, in which the artist zeros in on unassuming felines one by one, interrupting them as they go about their secret cat business. The work’s very funny, strangely voyeuristic and wonderfully rhythmic too, with the clack of the camera’s quickly executed zoom syncopating each cut.
We live in the age of YouTube, where clips of cats jumping into boxes receive thousands of hits a day. Sofo’s video plays with these amateur trends yet also transcends them. Cats is part of the wandering artist’s much bigger project. Quietly and tenderly he finds patterns in the everyday, accumulating collections of things that all too often go unnoticed.
Three Imaginary Boys, Neon Parc, 1/53 Bourke Street, Melbourne, until July 9th.
Neon Parc co-founder Tristian Koenig has left the gallery in the hands of fellow director Geoff Newton and started his own eponymously titled space. Koenig will launch his new venture in January at Art Stage Singapore with a booth featuring work by Karen Black, Christopher Hanrahan and Riley Payne. His South Yarra gallery is set to open later next year.
The Kingpins used to show at the now-defunct Kaliman Gallery in Sydney, but have recently made the move to Neon Parc. While plans for their first exhibition with the gallery are yet to be confirmed, one can’t help but wonder what Melbournites will make of Sydney’s infamous ‘Drag Kings’ and their light-weight performances that – let’s face it – would look more at home on MTV.
Of Skins and Heart, Colleen Ahern’s current exhibition at Neon Parc is a slow burner. Earlier oil paintings depicting rock and roll heavyweights like David Bowie, Johnny Winter and Prince have been replaced by enigmatic works on paper. Music provides a starting point here – the artist paints performances by T-Rex, The Clash and The Who, but she concentrates on abstracted TV stills, not money shots. Each painting is rendered in delicate layers of colour that convey a technical sophistication less evident in earlier works. The show trades swagger for subtlety – Ahern is one to watch.
Of Skins and Heart, Neon Parc, 1/53 Bourke Street, Melbourne, until July 3.