Monday, July 09, 2007

Cereal Killer

Photos by The Artswipe
Don't question my sense of focus - someone must have spiked my drink

The Artswipe
features in a show at Mori Gallery, Sydney. The show in question is by Sari Kivinen and Contributors, and is called Serial Box Art Degree, an exhibition about the 'art school problem' we are facing in Australia. "What problem?" I hear you ask. "I'll pretend you didn't ask," is my reply.

Seriously, it's that perennial art education problem. The one Artswipe has already touched on in earlier posts. A MySpace friend called "i should use this space for a cool pseudonym" recently sent me a drawing of a hand metaphorically engaged in a bit of 2B self-portraiture. In case you don't get my drift, the image featured a hand mid-wank, sans-cock, and rendered in the finest of grey lead pencil. I'll reproduce it below so you can get a sense of what's going on in the world today: yes, masturbation is back. Cyndi Lauper called it "she-bopping" back in the 80s. These days we call it person-bopping.

Fuckshit.... I always do it, mix my metaphors, tie my shoelaces in all kinds of choreographed configurations. How do you get from art school politics to masturbation? The link is so arbitrary, like signification itself - something the future gens might never know about if artschools die in the ass (no AIDS jokes please). But that's exactly what is happening. There was that whole UWS art blog protest last year and it hasn't gone away. If anything, those kids have gotten more angry and more radical with their aesthetic ethics. Sari Kivinen got the kids together crit-style for a rambunkshious (sic) opening night of art school protest. There were cereal boxes everywhere made by a bunch of contributors, Artswipe included. See my serial box photographed out of focus above... It's called The Visual Identity Manual and it is a Lent calendar featuring images from the UWS visual identity style manual. The what-not-to-do-with-the-logo. Well, if I was the designer of that little gem of a corporate tertiary logo, I'd say you should go off and avoid all visual references to Nike.

Note on focus: all photos above are out of focus because someone spiked my drink with some Rohypnol (aka roofies, aka date rape drug par excellence). Need I describe the rest of my night? Well, prior to having a few extra sexual cavities, I witnessed a grand happening at Mori Gallery featuring
a whole bunch of post-Spotlight performance artists, including Schappylle Scragg, La Donna Rama, Sonic Yootha, Dr Bernice Leach and the Motel Sisters. They all spiced up the evening with rollicking day-glo fashions. I am always getting in trouble for forgetting to turn the irony off when I leave for work - these kids are proof that the irony should never be turned off. If anything they make me wanna lay flat on the irony board and get steam pressed Prisoner-style. As long as the stray sequin doesn't catch fire, we'll all be OK. Casula Powerhouse director Kon Gouriotis opened the exhibition. I whispered to my friend Scooter, "What has he come as?" Scooter wasn't prepared to commit to a response (ever since he's had the Presidential pardon, he's been so fucking non-committal with authority, let alone the regional gallery kind). Seeing there was so much performance art going on, I couldn't focus on Mr Gouriotis's lengthy speech because I was too entranced in his own choice of costume: black pin-striped pants, brown shoes and turtle neck (as the Americans say). Sample and mash.

Anyway, I have drifted from the point. Again. If you prefer more linear trajectories sign every petition in town, protest every cause, and re-enroll in an artschool. I'm sure there's one at a TAFE near you. Really, go back to artschool if you aren't there already. Do a PhD or DCA or RTA even. They're in vogue this season. Going to artschool is the most sustainable thing you can do in this age of forest carnage and climate change. As petrol prices soar, I beg that you catch the train, ride the bus and enjoy it at student concession prices.

Illustration by Gareth aka


Skanky Jane said...

Oh! Arty! The Rowies really work for you! My only regret is that I couldn't be with you at the opening - it looks like such great fun! Your serial box sounds great too - will you be giving us a clearer look at it? I'm glad to hear the news that the UWS protest is still alive and kicking. More power to them.

SJ xx

Skanky Jane said...

I love the drawing and Sari looks like a little doll gift from a (cereal) box!

richard said...

Kon (god love him) was the biggest drag queen in the place...he outdid gene sherman in the worthy waffling stakes. standing on heels and supported by nothing more than a panadol extend I was shockingly impatient. 'post-spotlight' !! love it. PS it's YoOtha as in Yootha Joyce.
XXXXX Sonic Yootha

Artswipe said...

Thanks for the comments Skanky and Richard. And Richard, sorry for the typo, but don't fear... I put the oo back in Yootha.

Arty x

sari said...

Dear Artswipe - kudos to you - and I may have some clearer pics for some of the images, can email them to you - but the out of focus ones do seem to work for some reason...... let me know if you want me to forward them. xo

mayhem said...

Gawd - wot a loverly review - you got the politics and aesthetics down pat rool well. Scragg had a top night before she got dragged off by a bunch of scally boys that she'd picked up ad darling harbour, but that's another story...

the promotor was bloody DINVINE - beautiful and absurd - just like artskools themselves

Plum Clafoutis said...

Gone are the days when the federated UWS had two art schools and four Schools of Humanities. (One art school was at Milperra). I see the Quakers Hill campus has been closed to students, with the uni citing declining student numbers. In fact they've been declining especially since they stopped teaching arts at Quakers hill. Funny that.

Skanky Jane said...

I've been worried about my lack of focus lately the bus...I thought about your photos and got a different perspective. (I treasure your posts because there are so many ways to read them - like with the title)

SJ xx

ladonnarama said...

LUVVITTTTTTTT!!!!! but yes i MUST reiterate... coulda eaten 3 boxfulls of cornflakes (Aldi brand of course) during the time it took KON to "open the show" - TAXI!