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Tag: International Art

Sydney Morning Herald Column

2022 Biennale of Sydney: rīvus

Tuesday, April 26th, 2022 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

When he began to plan the 23rd Biennale of Sydney, this year’s director, José Roca, thought of Australia as a hot, dry country in which water was a precious resource. By the time the show got underway, a month ago, Sydney was well into its wettest March on record. Since then, the clouds and rain […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

23rd Sydney Biennale: A Brief Guide

Tuesday, March 15th, 2022 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Preparations for the 23rd Biennale of Sydney were well underway before somebody noticed this year’s theme – rīvus – was an anagram of “virus”. For director, José Roca, who has worked to assemble a vast international show in a locked-down world, it would have been impossible to ignore the pandemic. Roca is from Columbia but […]

Blog

2021: The Year in Art

Thursday, January 6th, 2022 Blog,

Looking back on 2021 it would require more space to list the exhibitions we didn’t see rather than the ones we did. So many shows were cancelled, cut short or handicapped by the pandemic it’s not hard to remember the highlights. The first notable event of the year was the NGV Triennial, a massive survey […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Melancholia

Tuesday, September 28th, 2021 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

When it appeared in 2011, Lars Von Trier’s Melancholia, was billed as “a beautiful film about the end of the world”. The story was apocalyptic, the narrative slow and moody, reflecting the way sensations are muffled by depression. Tell a depressive the world ends tomorrow, and the reply might be, “Whatever”. Some of Von Trier’s […]

Journals

It All Started with a Stale Sandwich

Friday, June 18th, 2021 Journals,

This year is the 50th anniversary of the Kaldor Public Art Projects, a testament to the persistence of a Hungarian migrant who needed to share his obsession with an entire city, if not a country. The birthday celebrations will continue to spread the Kaldor gospel via an unorthodox retrospective at the Art Gallery of New […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

NGV Triennial 2020

Tuesday, February 16th, 2021 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

It’s an old adage that success breeds success but it’s just as true that success breeds complaints. In recent years no Australian art institution has come within coo-ee of the National Gallery of Victoria when it comes to organising spectacular, ambitious exhibitions. These shows have been intended to draw the biggest possible audiences and in […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

The Art of the Spanish Flu

Tuesday, August 4th, 2020 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Anyone who thinks COVID-19 has claimed a huge number of lives should look at the Spanish flu of 1918-20. In Pale Rider (2017), a compelling history of that earlier pandemic, Laura Spinney writes: “Between the first case recorded on 4 March 1918, and the last sometime in March 1920, it killed 50-100 million, or between […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Shadow catchers

Thursday, July 2nd, 2020 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

In Adelbert von Chamisso’s gothic tale, Peter Schlemihl, the hero sells his shadow to the devil in exchange for a purse perpetually filled with gold, but all the wealth in the world is not enough to compensate for the horror he inspires when his lack of a shadow is noticed. For “shadow” we might read […]

Blog

Christo – His legacy in Australia

Thursday, June 11th, 2020 Blog,

Wrapped Coast, One Million Square Feet, Little Bay, Sydney, Australia. The most important piece of avant-garde art ever made in this country, or the the work of a madman? Both views got plenty of traction at the end of October 1969, when Christo and his wife, Jeanne-Claude (1935-2009), undertook the monumental task of wrapping part […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Some Mysterious Process

Friday, June 5th, 2020 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

When an art museum celebrates 50 years of its own collecting with an exhibition called Some Mysterious Process, it doesn’t suggest a highly developed sense of irony. One might imagine such a show would stress the insights and knowledge of the curators, the strategic planning involved in tracking and purchasing key works. To say it’s […]