Tag: Installation Art

Sydney Morning Herald Column

White Rabbit – Double Take

Saturday, September 22nd, 2012 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Ever since Deng Xiaoping plunged China into the era of reforms in the late 1970s, with the legendary words: “To get rich is glorious”, the nation’s leaders have spent a great deal of time resolving – or ignoring – contradictions. Karl Marx himself would have had difficulty explaining the paradox of a communist country with […]

Art Essays

The Clock, Marking Time

Saturday, May 12th, 2012 Art Essays, Australian Art, General Art Essays, Sydney Morning Herald Column, Uncategorized,

Switzerland gave us the cuckoo clock, and Swiss-American artist, Christian Marclay, has created the most preposterous time-piece in the history of art. The Clock is such a unique artifact it defies all but the most impressionistic responses. This is obvious from Zadie Smith’s essay in the brochure published for the work’s showing at the Museum […]

Art Essays

Parallel Collisions: The 2012 Adelaide Biennial

Saturday, March 10th, 2012 Aboriginal Art, Art Essays, Australian Art, General Art Essays, International Art, Sydney Morning Herald Column,

“We love language,” confessed the curators of Parallel Collisions: the 12th Adelaide Biennial. This may not sound controversial – for the purposes of communication it’s very useful. It was only as I read through the boxed, brick-heavy catalogue for this exhibition that I began to feel Natasha Bullock and Alexie Glass-Kantor may love language not […]

Art Essays

Wim Delvoye

Saturday, January 28th, 2012 Art Essays, International Art, Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Adolf Loos, the outspoken Austrian designer and critic, argued: “the modern person who tattoos himself is either a criminal or a degenerate.” Loos was writing in 1929, and one can only wonder what he would make of the present day vogue for tattoos that cover an arm and half a torso. He would probably see […]

Art Essays

Tokujin Yoshioka, Shen Shaomin & Chun Kwang-Young

Saturday, December 3rd, 2011 Art Essays, Chinese Art, General Art Essays, Sydney Morning Herald Column,

There is an emerging trend in town: slipper art, and it has nothing to do with the new Speaker in Federal Parliament. At two venues this week the viewer is asked to slip a protective covering over his or her shoes, so as not to soil the art. This is slightly at odds with the […]

Art Essays


Saturday, October 15th, 2011 Art Essays, Chinese Art, Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Guanxi is a curious word. It is usually translated as  “contacts”, but there is no single English-language term that captures all the connotations it has for a Chinese speaker. Guanxi refers to a special kind of relationship between people whereby one may always be counted on to help the other. Such relationships are long-term and […]

Art Essays

William Kentridge; Phillip King; Gareth Sansom

Saturday, July 31st, 2010 International Art, Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Dimitri Shostakovich was 22 years old and freshly out of the Leningrad Conservatory, when he wrote the opera, The Nose. The piece is based on Gogol’s famous short story of 1836, in which a minor civil servant wakes to find his nose missing from his face. The protagonist pursues the fugitive organ through the streets of […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Ron Mueck

Saturday, February 27th, 2010 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

There is no place in the upper echelons of contemporary art for a reasonable person: to be a success one has to be an extremist. There are artists whose work is so sloppy it might have been thrown together the day before an opening, and those with an obsessive eye for detail. Many curators and […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Olafur Eliasson

Saturday, February 13th, 2010 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

When a show is called Take Your Time, and runs for four full months, there seems to be no great urgency in visiting the Museum of Contemporary Art. So little urgency that I’m always talking to people who missed an MCA exhibition because they thought they might go next week, or perhaps the week after, […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Lynette Wallworth & Circa 1979: Signal to Noise

Saturday, January 23rd, 2010 Sydney Morning Herald Column, Uncategorized,

This year’s Sydney Festival follows the familiar pattern of being chiefly concerned with theatre and music. This comes as no great surprise, but it is important that the visual arts events are not treated merely as an afterthought. Olafur Eliasson at the Museum of Contemporary Art is the headline act, while the Campbelltown Arts Centre […]