Friday, July 11, 2008

Relational Aesthetics Again

The Artswipe
This is Performance Art, 2008
Probable Biennale Satellite Event

The Artswipe has had a lovely holiday. Thanks for asking. I spent my three week annual leave just wandering the cold streets of Sydney looking for an artworld I can call home. I've wizzed through the Biennale exhibitions but haven't absorbed enough to be quite honest. I did see these guys sleeping at Circular Quay and wondered if this was either a Biennale Satellite Event or simply a definition for Relational Aesthetics. I have overheard people at art parties saying, "The Artswipe is all about Relational Aesthetics." I'm still unsure what that is but I'll pay that. I have a theory that Relational Aesthetics is a way of helping our ugly relatives become aesthetic. I'm guessing it's when the whole family pulls together to help Aunt Sigourney pay the facelift bills.

If I get around to writing about the Biennale it is bound to be about Cockatoo Island. I've been there a few times already. In fact I was at the artist party there and am still convinced to this day that someone slipped Rohypnol in my drink. How else could I account for lost time and the strange feeling I had either been impregnated or dipped in hot Camembert (a sensation I've only experienced with Skanky Jane and it was early in our marriage). I have been to Cockatoo Island since the party and seen bits of art but way to many art people to be able to absorb it meaningfully. I'll go again soon with my Artswipe notepad and mobile phone camera.

Meanwhile, The Artswipe has been a bit quiet on seeing anything else in Sydney. Here is my review of what I am yet to see: Scott Redford at Breenspace, John Citizen (aka Gordon Bennett), Mitch Cairns at MOP, James Angus at Ros Ox (Dale Frank too, I suppose), and then some. I suppose all these shows will close soon and then I will be damned to an eternity of not knowing whether I missed out on brilliance or bile. I sense a country song coming on.

Sarah Goffman as Glue Gun Warrior Woman

Some crazy things I have experienced in art land, which have been very thrill-a-minute: Terminus Projects (a space without a place) hosted a Bazaar at the Clair Hotel on Broadway on 6 July. Artists like Joan Ross, Renny Kodgers, Sarah Goffman, Rachel Scott, Danielle Coonan, Lisa Andrew and many others had stalls where they sold their artist wares. For instance Sarah Goffman made words out of glue gun glue (see picture); Joan Ross sold lots of 'nothing', Renny Kodgers was offering his spreadable hot meat. What a manwhore he is! The twins behind Matchbox Projects were being powerhouse saleswomen of their own cause - all they needed to get the point across further was a flow chart and PowerPoint presentation. In case you haven't been accosted by them, they have a readymade portable exhibition space made of perspex and which to the untrained eye is really just a briefcase. Someone should roll them for that briefcase and throw it in the river. Enough already! Simon Barney did that years ago and with so much more panache. Aside from that being a cause for an Artswipe art tantrum, the brief 24 minutes I spent at the Clair were well spent indeed, despite the serious indigestion from Renny's man meat. Geez I hope he's clean!

The other bit of art I have seen of recent days is that ubiquitous performance artist darling Sari Kivinen do her thing in a glass aquarium-like tank last weekend at Exquisite Corpse at Oxford Art Factory. The Artswipe has written about Kivinen in past posts. A refresher course: Kivinen's live schtick is composed of three sister selves who all have major booze issues. The three girls do dysfunctional things like sucking their toes in public and reciting psychobabble poetry. It's got shades of Tori Amos weird and Patti Smith cool. Behind the bar was a kinetically edited video projection of Kivinen playing out her madness with the help of artists Liam Benson (who was recently seen in SafARI at Gaffa) and Bridie Connell (who has work showing at present at At the Vanishing Point in Newtown). After witnessing Kivinen transition between her three selves for what seemed like a schooner eclipse, I went into the dark night and felt whole again.

Sari Kivinen performing at Exquisite Corpse at Oxford Art Factory

1 comment:

Skanky Jane said...

Great photos! The first is funny as and the shots of Sari Kivinen really are exquisite and - with the blue aura - out of this world! They're a treat as I'd heard of the performance and so wished I could see it.

Discussing relational aesthetics the other day - a local bookshop owner said they had the impression that Nicolas Bourriaud had mentioned it almost in passing, not intending (or imagining) it to be a 'thing' in it's own right or such a big deal. A bit like Jesus!