In a time of cultural anxiety, David Rosetzky creates entrusted spaces by
establishing relationships between himself and others, initiated through
conversations he has with the people who appear in his works. He does this
with a professional eye that speaks to art history and concepts such as
modernism/post-modernism, gender difference and performativity while
maintaining a minimal aesthetic that is inclusive and multi-dimensional, often
involving collaborations with other artists and professionals. A Rosetzky
performance, video, installation work might include dancers, choreographers,
dramaturges, designers and actors, as well as people who have no experience
in the arts at all.
The state of the art world and of feminism in the twenty-first century ushers in different ways of doing political activism, cultural work and theory. The intergenerational aspects of feminism and how this has been enacted in the visual arts in recent years represents a refreshing change from earlier perceptions of waves of feminist theory that tended to privilege the new.
I have always been convinced that Australians don’t take their own art as seriously as they do art from elsewhere, from older, more established cultures and civilisations, the Greeks, Romans, Europeans and, more recently, North Americans.
First premise: For over two decades art criticism celebrated second-degree representation as the new cool. From the ‘anything goes’ decade of the 1980s to the conceptual remakes of the 2000s the incubator of the art world has remained clean, preserving the white cube of the modernist museum.
Image: Mike Parr ‘IX. Self Circle of Wheat with Chickens’, in Rules and Displacement Activities Part III 1977–83, film still
Mike Parr: Foreign Looking strikes deep at the heart of the nation. Here, surrounded by parliament and government bureaucracies that have fashioned our detention centres and offshore processing procedures, the artist installs himself and a vast collection of his work in the National Gallery of Australia.
Image: Mike Parr, Jackson Pollock the Female, performance, 11 August 2016. National Gallery of Australia, Canberra. Photo: Zan Wimberley
At the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) in Hobart Marina Abramović’s long
awaited exhibition Private Archaeology (13 June–5 October 2015) showcases
video documentation of her early works alongside more recent projects.
Image: Point of Contact/Rest Energy, Marina Abramović.
In Selected Works by Eugenia Raskopoulos. The experience of being outside of the language of the social sphere whilst simultaneously being inside the familial language has long haunted and inspired the work of Greek-Australian artist Eugenia Raskopoulos.
Image: Eugenia Raskopoulos, Turn on the Tongue (still), 2000, video, sound, 5:07 minutes, courtesy the artist and Arc One Gallery, Melbourne & William Wright Artists Projects, Sydney.
In the late 1990s scholars in the USA warned against the convergence of art and theory where practice appears to pitch itself to critical discourse or seeks to engage in that discourse. Rosalind Krauss has termed the current era the “the post-medium age in which the aesthetic option of the medium has been declared outmoded, cashiered, washed-up, finished”.
Image: Peter Kennedy, installation view of A Language of the Dead, 1997-1998, from Requiem for Ghosts, Blue neon light mounted on freestanding timber panel. 3120 x 6460 x 300 mm. Photo: K. Pleban.
In this paper I consider recent critical positions on performance art and its documentation. The experience of a live event. Jill Orr’s She had long golden hair (1980) is then used as a case study to explore the debates. I was present at the performance and I have subsequently tried to reconstruct this experience for students and the art public with the aid of photographs and video. My purpose here is to think through the issues concerning the document of the event, the event itself and the re-make for the camera. I have asked Jill Orr to respond to my interpretation and to the issues concerning documentation. In this way I hope to generate a paper that is both critical and reflective.
Jill Orr, She had long golden hair, Adelaide Festival of Arts, Experimental Art Foundation, 1980. Frames from video recording made by the Experimental Art Foundation.
Pat Brassington's photographs began to receive critical attention in the 1980s when photographic theory and criticism was experiencing a renaissance. Her work spoke loudly in a postmodern culture that deconstructed notions of the original and authenticity, interrogated the epistemology of the gaze and the stereotypes of feminine sexuality....
Image: Pat Brassington, In my Mother's House, 1994, four silver gelatin prints 52 x 142cm (overall dimensions). Courtesy the artist and Stills Gallery, Sydney, Arc One Gallery, Melbourne and Criterion Gallery Hobart.
In the year 2000 Bernard Smith published two articles in Art Monthly, In Defence of Art History (I and II), which raised important issues that had been brewing within the discipline for decades. These essays put forward a strong case to preserve the tradition of art history and to resist the push to subsume the discipline within cultural studies.
Walter Benjamin's thesis 'The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction' originally published in 1936 was an important modernist text which was cited throughout the postmodern era and continues to be referred to by critics who are analysing the end of postmodernism (Krauss 1999a).
The end of this century is before us like an empty beach. The grand picture of the bad future unfolds. Boundary riders of the cosmos inscribe imperialistic lines of force across the universe and biocompatible technology colonizes the body's surface and interior. Before us is the impinging doom of a society of surveillance, monitored and controlled electronically and biologically; the prospects of a society without subjectivity; an inhuman world populated by robots and cyborgs. Another image of the future pictures a catastrophic end which leaves a fiery damnation on earth and sees man revert to an animalistic state. Many of these representations duplicate the major paradigms of the present. Fears about social disintegration are fed by 'bad future' representations set after the apocalypse.