Tuesday, February 21, 2012

To curate or not to curate....

So what's your take on curating and curators?

Curators' Series #3: History of Art, the

David Roberts Art Foundation, 111 Great Titchfield Street, London, W1W 6RY,  14 Jun 2010

Curators' Series #3: History of Art, the

curator (from Latincura meaning "care") is a manager or overseer. Traditionally, a curator or keeper of a cultural heritageinstitution (e.g., gallerymuseumlibrary or archive) is a content specialist responsible for an institution's collections and involved with the interpretation of heritage material. The object of a traditional curator's concern necessarily involves tangible objects of some sort, whether it be inter alia artwork, collectibles, historic items or scientific collections. More recently, new kinds of curators are emerging: curators of digital data objects, and biocurators.

found here  - This is young!

Today I found something on this subject that really interested me at Brain Pickings where Maria Popover wrote a post on Feb 14th titled:

This Will Make You Smarter: 151 Big Thinkers Each Pick a Concept to Enhance Your Cognitive Toolkit

Click on that title and read the whole post...about this book below its well worth a read!

I've posted here this excerpt quoting 'curator extraordinaire' Hans-Ulrich Obrist:

Lately, the word “curate” seems to be used in an greater variety of contexts than ever before, in reference to everything from a exhibitions of prints by Old Masters to the contents of a concept store. The risk, of course, is that the definition may expand beyond functional usability. But I believe ‘curate’ finds ever-wider application because of a feature of modern life that is impossible to ignore: the incredible proliferation of ideas, information, images, disciplinary knowledge, and material products that we all witnessing today. Such proliferation makes the activities of filtering, enabling, synthesizing, framing, and remembering more and more important as basic navigational tools for 21st century life. These are the tasks of the curator, who is no longer understood as simply the person who fills a space with objects but as the person who brings different cultural spheres into contact, invents new display features, and makes junctions that allow unexpected encounters and results.
To curate, in this sense, is to refuse static arrangements and permanent alignments and instead to enable conversations and relations. Generating these kinds of links is an essential part of what it means to curate, as is disseminating new knowledge, new thinking, and new artworks in a way that can seed future cross-disciplinary inspirations. But there is another case for curating as a vanguard activity for the 21st century.
As the artist Tino Sehgal has pointed out, modern human societies find themselves today in an unprecedented situation: the problem of lack, or scarcity, which has been the primary factor motivating scientific and technological innovation, is now being joined and even superseded by the problem of the global effects of overproduction and resource use. Thus moving beyond the object as the locus of meaning has a further relevance. Selection, presentation, and conversation are ways for human beings to create and exchange real value, without dependence on older, unsustainable processes. Curating can take the lead in pointing us towards this crucial importance of choosing.”
The crucial importance of choosing... I find value in whats is being said here! Certainly worth thinking on. Perhaps many of us bloggers are engaging in a spot of curating ourselves.... perhaps frequently when you think about it. Well the potential is there.

Ulrich Obrist
Obrist's moleskin notebook
I found Obrist's notebook at a Moleskin website...a video takes you through the book if you're curious... I was! I rather liked the way his diary/notebook contains almost decipherable personal references rather than methodical note taking. I don't know about you but sometimes for me the marks hold the memory more than the words!

About this notebook: 
Obrist's notebook is a collage of his busy schedule while traveling in Asia last year, visiting many art exhibitions, like the 7th Gwangju Biennale, the 3rd Guangzhou Triennial and the 7th Shanghai Biennale. In a slot of one month he had many meetings and kept notes and stripes of paper, making his notebook into a conceptual work.
Born in, Zurich, Switzerland in 1968, Obrist is a curator, art critic and writer. After studying economics and politics he turned to contemporary art and has since gained wide acclaim for his extraordinary exhibitions, which often take place in spaces not previously used for such venues. He has curated exhibitions at the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, the Kunsthalle Wien, the Deichtorhallen in Hamburg, the Serpentine Gallery in London and the PS1 New York. He presently is the Co-Director of the Serpentine Gallery in London.TEMPORARY DIVERSION: Whilst at the my moleskin pages I spied this entry below... a painting by Borsa Valori which was quite a different image to what is often found on Moleskin pages.

borsa valori
Borsa Valori

Then, because I wanted to know more on Obrist I skipped over to this post here

Since 1993, curator, critic and art historian Hans-Ulrich Obrist, whom you might remember from the 2010 documentary The Future of Art, has been interviewing hundreds of noteworthy characters who have piqued his curiosity, from renowned luminaries to emerging artists, including writers, scientists, designers, composers, architects, and other thinkers and doers. The project was inspired by two long conversations HUO, as Obrist is often referred to, read when he was a student — one was between Pierre Cabanne and Marcel Duchamp, and the other between David Sylvester and Francis Bacon.
Throughout The Interview Project, HUO has amassed thousands of hours of tapes and more than 300 interviews to date. The first batch of 75 were released in 2003 in Hans-Ulrich Obrist: Interviews, currently out-of-print and a collector’s item. In 2010, HUO released the highly anticipated sequel, Hans Ulrich Obrist: Interviews, Volume 2 — an epic 950-page tome featuring 70 fascinating interviews with great minds from inside and outside the art world born between 1900 and 1989, organized by date of birth. Though you might recognize some of the bigger names, like Ai Weiwei and Miranda July, the beauty of the project is that many of its “endless conversations” live in the fringes of culture, where the most provocative art and thought take place.
A meditation on the art of the interview by the exceptional Douglas Couplandcaptures HUO’s unique gift:
Hans is one of the few people who know what a true interview out to accomplish, and he has an amazing knack for getting to the essence of a person. He’s the press equivalent of laser eye surgery. With HUO you never get to the twenty-first minute, and with HUO you feel like you’ve had a conversation. He does it the old fashioned way, in person, with a microphone, transcribing the results. This second volume of HUO’s interviews is more diverse than his first, and reflects a broader span of voices and points of view. Each person is a person, and each person is unique. This is a difficult feat to accomplish.”

Hans Ulrich Obrist: Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Curating But Were Afraid to Ask
so here's the book
At e-flux you can find out about the book.

Whilst on this theme ...here's a journal:

Manifesta Journal: around curatorial practices
Read about Manifesta Journal Issues here.

I'll close with this book:

Read about this here... towards the end of the post!
Words of wisdom indeed... 

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Spicing up the life!

Home again and catching up today...

Downloaded some images from Sydney and wrote a post at the Homage blog on Spices after visiting a wonderful Sydney store aptly named Herbie's Spices.

Pop over here to read all about this fabulous store ....homage to the seed weblog . . .: Adding spice to one's life! You'll find lots of images as well and you can order if not visit in person if you want to try some of their more unusual offerings!

Being the largest city in Australia you can be sure there's thousands of places tempting one's palate. But didn't just eat out... I also cooked some evenings at home with my brother and his wife as company and others too!

One place I was most inspired by I have posted photos of and a mention goes to Phamish where I had
this scrumptious offering to try.

best go read all about these!
this was the venue...
via here.
I passed by this place... Bourke St bakery and had to stop in. That's the look most of their customers are wearing when they pause at the counter.
Just found these pics below
Ginger brulee tart
ginger brulee tart with pistaccio

Strawberry and vanilla brulee tart
seriously good... whoever thought up this I wonder?
at this blog ... The Melbourne Gastronome who was obviously holidaying in Sydney when writing this post!

Newtown is always a lively place to walk the streets ... I lived here in 1982 

lots of art on walls everywhere: image from Beastman

partial to these... Affogato - espresso and ice cream. Image found here

My Sweet Memory - Korean cafe and stationery store
One place I ended up by chance for an hour was a distance from the city - I drove a friend to a doctor's appointment and waited at this Korean cafe selling stationery items. Not kitch but rather stylishly designed stuff that was eco and minimal/ Its been almost 30 years since I spent time around here ... so to find the suburb of Strathfield bursting with Korean eateries and shops was fascinating.

That was my experience there this time... finding new and old places, drifting around some of the time in order to happen upon things rather than be on a mission with a long list of must dos!

On Sunday I got along to the Marrickville Growers Market which was a very eco-oriented market indeed. Colourful, alternative and organic etc. Like this stall:

I watched the woman behind this counter making
the most fabulous towers of interesting tidbits on
lebanese bread dishes .... as in these below.

image from here.

Also at the market... via here.
ON I still haven't told you about the secret garden... my photos are on the other computer. Time to go now... I'll be back.

Hope your week is going well all you lovely passers by!

ps: Here's the secret garden photos I have been meaning to post from my first weekend in Sydney.

This garden tumbles down the hill at the back of the house that's home to Wendy Whitely at Lavendar Bay. Looking out from the top of the garden the view is like this:

For those who've not heard of Wendy Whitely before, she was married for many years to eminent Australian artist Brett Whitely. His death in the early 90's was followed later on by the untimely illness and death of their only daughter... and so the garden became the place in time where she took her grief and made something come to life.

A new exhibition of Brett Whiteley’s work curated by his widow, Wendy, includes Australia.

This particular photo I found here. Also more on the garden there as well.

An image of The balcony 2
'The Balcony 2'  or 'Sydney by night' - from  here: 

'Windsor and Newton Deep Ultramarine oil colour has an obsessive, ecstasy-like effect upon my nervous system quite unlike any other colour.'
- Brett Whiteley 1975
'The paintings ... begin from the ... highest point of affection - points of optical ecstasy, where romanticism and optimism overshadow any form of menace or foreboding ... Almost all the works have been rendered in a lyrical and personal style where colour ... has this time been used in saturation.'
- Brett Whiteley 1974
Encapsulating key elements of Whiteley's art - his beloved harbour, fluent draughtsmanship, an erotically charged curvilinear line and ability to invest minimal brushstrokes with multiple associations - 'The balcony 2' is one of his most poetically evocative paintings.
Whiteley's return to Australia in 1969 heralded a new preoccupation with colour and beauty. Inspired principally by Matisse, but also by the tranquil ambience of his house at Lavender Bay on Sydney Harbour's north shore, he created a series of spectacular paintings: expansive interiors and views evoking the sumptuousness of the harbour's liquid presence. Text from the site where the image above  was found.
Brett Whiteley: Art & Life
Book published in 2004
Its so in keeping with the spirit of this artist that a lovingly created garden tribute exists by the harbour which so many of us saw brought to life in the artist's magnificent large canvases.

If you are ever in Sydney and want to go somewhere off the tourist path this is a peaceful place to wander to and take a picnic, rug and good book! It must be said though ... the harbour is so extensive that you may find it easier to go somewhere by ferry to relax... still this is maybe 10 mins from North Sydney railway station... and not hard to find!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Luminous luminaries


luminous the landscapes of elisabeth cummings
Edge of the Simpson Desert  2011

On Friday I got to see a couple of shows...one by Australian artist Elizabeth Cummings and the other...well ....you'll see.

Elisabeth Cummings
from a SMH article
Text from SMH article:

Elisabeth Cummings is the subject of two exhibitions but the artist remains reluctant to talk about herself, writes Steve Meacham.
Elisabeth Cummings apologises for taking her time opening the door. She's temporarily confined to a wheelchair in a friend's house in Balmain, recovering from a bone fusion operation on her right ankle, the result of dilapidating arthritis. Fortunately, her wrists aren't as badly affected, so she can wield a brush: ''They're not marvellous, but I can still paint,'' she says.
At 77, Cummings was recently described by The Australian Women's Weekly as ''the Invisible Woman of Australian painting''. Even the media release for the grandest exhibition of her career (so far) - a survey of her work over the past 30 years at the S.H. Ervin Gallery titled Luminous: The Landscapes of Elisabeth Cummings - introduces her as ''one of Australia's visual art quiet achievers''.
So, unless you are an artist yourself, an art critic (the Herald's John McDonald wrote in 1994 that her painting ''calmly restates the imperishable value of a fundamental visual intelligence''), or one of those astute collectors who have discovered her increasingly sought-after works over the past 20 years, you may not have heard of her.

Read more by clicking on Text heading above!

 Pilbara  read more here.

Images from the artist's King St Gallery shows:

The Shearer's Kitchen, Mt Murchison  2011

Post Prandial  2011

For images from her latest show at that Gallery click here..

To read about the show I just saw visit the National Trust website.

I now think Today maybe the last day of that show... I was lucky my friend was so keen to go on friday. We also spent a few hours viewing this show, which depute being a blockbuster allowed us some intimate time with an artist we rarely see work of in Australia.

From the NSW Art Gallery website:

Picasso: masterpieces from the Musée National Picasso, Paris

More than 150 important paintings, sculptures and drawings created by Pablo Picasso, which have come from the artist's personal collection.

The Art Gallery of New South Wales will host the most significant exhibition of Picasso’s art ever held in Australia. More than 150 important paintings, sculptures, prints and drawings created by Pablo Picasso (1881–1973) have come from the artist’s personal collection – works he was determined never to relinquish.

Picasso: masterpieces from the Musée National Picasso, Paris is the most ambitious exhibition ever undertaken by the Gallery. Jointly organised by Musée National Picasso, the Art Gallery of NSW and Art Exhibitions Australia (AEA), the exhibition is part of the Sydney International Arts Series, bringing the world’s outstanding exhibitions to Australia.

The exhibition was conceived, curated and mounted by Anne Baldassari, general commissioner and president of the Musée National Picasso and one of the world’s leading experts on the artist’s work. The international tour was initiated and created by the Musée National Picasso, the largest and most significant repository of the artist’s work in the world. Since 2008 works have travelled to cities including Madrid, Tokyo, Moscow, Seattle and San Francisco. This unprecedented opportunity to bring this exhibition to Sydney is possible because the Musée is closed for renovations.

image found here

The bathers

The opportunity to see things up close rather than online and in books presents one with  just how different one's preconceived image might be from the real work.

This painting is tiny compared to how my mind saw it. I was shocked and delighted to finfd it to be such a small work. The collection of works on show was stunning. Far better than I was expecting. Why do I say this?

enjoyed his work with the motif of the guitar - this looks to be an interesting book.

The tedium of walking through a show with hoards of people can really put one off.... on this occasion staggered hourly viewing sessions made a difference. Even though E and I sat midway to muse and talk at length no-one moved us on... we simply took in the show at our own pace which made it quite wonderful experience.

Ive not been able to find online images of the works I particularly enjoyed. All I can say is it was deeply satisfying to see so many works I'd not seen before. The Picasso Museum was closed in November when I managed to get to Paris briefly.... so this certainly made up for that disappointment.

The acrobat

Well I am setting off soon to take in some interesting places. Back soon. The sun's out after a grey old week... and I have a car today to get around easily!