NAVA Future/Forward Conference

I attended this 2-day Visual Arts industry conference held at the NGA and Parliament House.

I was inspired by the idea that Artist Run Initiatives should be paying their artists to exhibit/perform rather than artists paying to exhibit/perform.

The NAVA codes of practice will soon include a section on ARIs.

Kelli McCluskey’s interactive game developed by PVI collective was a brilliant and entertaining way to share ideas and the highlight for me.

Framing Lives

I am presenting today AT 11:15 in the National Portrait Gallery at the Framing Lives IABA Conference which is the 8th Biennial Conference of the International Auto/Biography Association. I am celebrating the life and work of the renowned Western Arnhem Land painter and ceremonial leader, the late Bardayal ‘Lofty’ Nadjamerrek AO, respectfully known by his skin name Wamud of the Mok clan since his death on the 16th of October 2009. Yesturday I attended an emotive film screening and talk by a historian I got to know in Arnhem Land Dr Martin Thomas. Seeing people I know in the film and learning that two more important senior men in the community, Wamud Nayinggul and Kodjok both outgoing informants for researchers just like Wamud Namok, have passed away marks a sad year for Western Arnhem land and the generation that grew up in the rock shelters encountering Balanda or Europeans for the first time with their families in their lifetime.

Thierry de Duve

I enjoyed the masterclass with Thierry de Duve at the national Art School in Sydney yesterday.
ANU and the National Art School got his tick of approval when our teaching methods combining theory, practice and history in formative combined units matched his description of ideal artist education. We thought this was normal practice but discovered many universities have a theory only model so a conceptual/installation approach often results. Studio skill based teaching is now old fashioned, the traditional master/apprentice model has become rarefied indeed. De Duve’s interest is in revisiting Kant’s philosophy and I am looking forward to reading his book ‘Kant after Duchamp’1996. He found many of the installations in the Sydney biennale so bad they could hardly be called art, and this is coming from a theorist who recognizes today’s inclusive condition that anything can be art which he calls ‘art in general’. I have been reading Donald Kuspitt’s The End of Art which is a great book, he is an engaging writer, and I enjoy his critical approach to this idea of anything goes. From the entropy of Modern Art to the daily life banality of postart, I also borrowed his rebirth of painting as a pick me up. De Duve, in contrast to his assessment of the biennale, loved the Indigenous Triennial at the NGA, which I am looking forward to. He was particularly impressed by Mirdidingkingathi Juwarnda Sally Gabori and asked Roger Butler if she had seen the work of European modernists, which she of course had not. I explained that there is also grounds for considering indigenous modernism, and multiple modernisms occurring around the world in different cultures at different times. De Duve was agreeable to the idea and I can thank my supervisor Nigel Lendon for this idea shared by Ian McLean and his persistent debate concerning this phenomena in indigenous Australia.