David Jones, artist and poet (1895-1974) begins his PREFACE TO THE ANATHEMATA :

'I have made a heap of all that I could find.' (1) So wrote Nennius, or whoever composed the introductory matter to Historia Brittonum. He speaks of an 'inward wound' which was caused by the fear that certain things dear to him 'should be like smoke dissipated'. Further, he says, 'not trusting my own learning, which is none at all, but partly from writings and monuments of the ancient inhabitants of Britain, partly from the annals of the Romans and the chronicles of the sacred fathers, Isidore, Hieronymous, Prosper, Eusebius and from the histories of the Scots and Saxons although our enemies . . . I have lispingly put together this . . . about past transactions, that [this material] might not be trodden under foot'. (2)

(1) The actual words are coacervavi omne quod inveni, and occur in Prologue 2 to the Historia.
(2) Quoted from the translation of Prologue 1. See The Works of Gildas and Nennius, J.A.Giles, London 1841.

28 June 2009

avoiding myth & message: Australian artists and the literary world


A little more background to yesterday's post. That interview, part of the Sydney Writers' Festival, took place on the 4th floor of the Museum of Contemporary Art, within the Glenn Barkley curated exhibition avoiding myth & message: Australian artists and the literary world. It continues until 12 July.

Published here for the first time is the impromptu sketch that was later, fuller and more formally realised in the composition above.

1989-peter sketch

26 June 2009

Christos Tsiolkas : a song that will forever make me happy

Michael Jackson, the King of Pop died today.

Last month, as part of the Sydney Writers Festival, Christos Tsiolkas talked with Matt Levinson about the influence of music on his writing. The following is an extract, transcribed by bL .
The full conversation can be viewed online at SlowTV.

I want you Back
, The Jackson 5

Christos Tsiolkas :
One of the realities about 'I want you back' is that it is a song that will forever make me happy. And so when I was writing my first book ‘Loaded’ which the original title was ‘Novel with soundtrack’ it was a story about about an 18 year old gay Greek guy in Melbourne who didn’t want to be a poofter and he didn’t want to be a wog. In a very constrained set of circumstances, where joy came from him was music.

And people have always asked me when that novel came out is it autobiographical? And maybe in a sense all first novels are a little bit autobiographical but actually the real autobiography in that novel is Ari’s love for music. Ari’s actually a construction, he’s an alter-ego, he’s not me. But in his love and passion for music that’s where we co-exist.

Matt Levinson :
I love that idea of him just wandering around the city with a tape with ‘I want you back’ just recorded back to back and just listening to it over and over and over again.

Christos Tsiolkas :
That actually came from a real moment when I was not in a very good space emotionally and there was a place down the river Yarra in Melbourne and I had a Walkman and I had ‘I want you back’ about ten times on it and I would just would go and sit by the river and listen to that track.

23 June 2009

Frank Gallagher Staggers into an Art Museum ( Now Read On )

Last night on SBS : episode 6.13 of Shameless. David Threlfall both directs and plays Frank Gallagher. ( Now Read On )

Frank's youngest child Liam is taken by the Social, so Frank gets smashed. Somehow in the dark he wanders into an Art Museum.
"Where the fuck?!"

A security guard knocks him to the floor.
"Oh this is how it works, does it? A human being seeks sanctuary and you put me outside ... and my next move is a bomb in a kit ... I just need someone to talk to ...."

The guard takes pity and soon they are sitting across from each other sharing spirit ("What, you think just because I'm Polish I drink?") and comparing pain.

"I have big feelings, and I am articulate about them. It's like there is a stalactite that hangs cold and hard from my heart to the pit of my stomach and I am cold inside, Frank ...".
"Oh stop your fucking moaning ...".

Two untethered souls debate their pain-filled definitions of Real Loneliness. We see, we are shown between them an illuminated backdrop, a golden framed image of The Good Samaritan (George Frederick Watts, 1850).

Finding no solace in Frank, the guard leaves him. "For a shit!". Frank falls to his feet and through his blur responds to the summons of another golden framed depiction.

Christ Blessing Little Children (Sir Charles Lock Eastlake, 1839). Frank recognises the scene. He knows these children.

"... don't look at me like that ... at least now you've got a sporting chance ... not that you need it ... you all turned out stunning ... I always thought that you can't be mine ... but you can't be mum's either ... but you're all leaving ... Fiona, Lip, ... the fuck is it ... and before you know it .... Ian, Carl, Debbie ..."

"... and then what have I got ... you're my life's work ... my Sistine Chapel ... you might be better off without me ... but I'm fucked without you ..."

Clear for a moment, Frank's interior voice soberly announces the epiphany :
"And there it was, that feeling - neurons forming, synapses firing, brain chemistry kicking in - a decision being made like fucking granite."

In his agony Frank is Christ as Brando:
"Stellaaaaaaa! Liammmmmm! Ste............. ..! (unclear)"

20 June 2009

Iran today : the sites and sounds of silence

The following is taken directly from the blog Language in the Vicinity of Things :

"Meanwhile, here are two images from a blog by an Iranian artist, who shall remain nameless for safety reasons. (The blog, written under a pseudonym, is at https://un.poivron.org/~tasche/). The (first) one is a photoshopped version of a photo this same artist had posted earlier. Subtitled "Waking up to a bad dream," it shows a woman holding up a folder newspaper; the visible part of its front page - both text and images - has been largely blacked out. The original image, posted on June 13 with its front page still visible, was titled "Mahmoud is gone." Since I don't read Farsi, I cannot be sure of the contents of this page, but the title suggests that it might be a paper which, on the basis of the on election day reports about Moussavi's victory, later revoked, still suggested that Moussavi had won. In any case, this blackout functions as a mute indictment of the patent mockery into which the political-theological hardliners and their paramilitary stooges - or is the other way around? - have turned these elections."

Perhaps this Black Label study made some months back is appropriate here. (bL)

Continue from Language in the Vicinity of Things :

"...The second (non-)image, from a new posting by this artist, shows a different kind of erasure: the shameless censorship with which the Iranian government tries to quell the uprising, blocking more and more web sites and proxy servers."

Submit? (Left open)

18 June 2009

Projection-Space Thriller (2)



American Impressionism & Realism_brochure cover_351x745

Michael "Thriller" Jackson
though here we do not actually come face to face with his face
in fact just the reverse.

Apparently he looks at
a floating (unsupported) gold-rimmed image of
a lady who also does not come face to face with his face.

She looks at a gold-rimmed cup.
a gold-rimmed cup.

Why Michael "Thriller" Jackson to represent us
as The Actor of Looking?

Why not Mickey Mouse? or Charles Manson?

Why not The Man With The Golden Arm
to hold the Golden Frame
that holds the Painted Lady
who holds the Gold Framed Tea Cup
... at the Court of King Caractacus?

American Impressionism & Realism_SOME TRUE AMERICAN ICONS #4
(Do I get the job?)

"Now if you want to take some pictures of the fascinating witches who put the scintilating stiches in the britches of the boys who put the powder on the noses on the faces of the ladies of the harem of the court of King Caractacus...

...you're too late! Because they've just... passed... by!"

- Rolf Harris, 1965


Projection-Space Thriller (1)

Male reproductive technoLOGOS/HA HA writ (en)large(d).
With a touch of the double deities too : created in the Image of

2009.06.18_man looks at enlarger image_400x600

17 June 2009

Alison Croggon : her Pascall Prize speech

The following is taken directly from Alison Croggon's
Theatre Notes (15 June 2009):

My acceptance speech for the Geraldine Pascall Prize for Critical Writing is now online at the Geraldine Pascall Foundation site. The important bit:

But I also see some sparkles in the gloom. There are a lot of smart young bloggers in Australia, hungrily seeing art and responding to it. And artists themselves are vocal in demanding more and better responses to their work. The internet has stepped into the breach. Theatre Notes was the first theatre blog in Australia, but these days it’s by no means the only one. Melbourne in particular has a rich and lively culture of theatre blogging. This prize means a lot to me in many ways, but a major reason is that it demonstrates conclusively that blogging is not just the province of bored teens. And I hope it will encourage not only me, but the talented younger critics I see developing around me. They need encouraging. As we all know, criticism is no easy career choice. It sometimes feels thankless, and it requires the skin of a Sherman tank.

16 June 2009

Change Your Point Of View - Save 30%


bLOGOS/HA HA received this email solicitation yesterday:
Change your point of view
Is that all?

Thoughts of that great imperial convert Constantine 1.
He too was similarly solicited:
In this Sign, Conquer

15 June 2009


Add Noise is a Photoshop filter option, one of many such. Despeckle is another from the same Noise set, but it's effect is minimal.

It's like having an extensive filter set for "See through a glass, darkly" and an inadequate set for "See through a glass, clearly".

2009.06.15_ADD NOISE
..( reprocessed from here )

11 June 2009

Paint - Auto = Projection-Space Splatter Act


Snow + Auto = Projection-Space Stencil Act
Paint - Auto = Projection-Space Splatter Act
A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/
someone looks at something ...


10 June 2009

Snow + Auto = Projection-Space Stencil Act

It's midday and 4 degrees in the highlands of central Victoria. Snow is predicted down to 5oom, which usually means for us. Like children, we await its simple magic. This photo is from 1998 when we tramped through a rare heavy fall.

1998_snow ideogram projection-space at HepSprings

08 June 2009

A Bonza Queen's Birthday Commemoration


Queen's Birthday choristers whispered Bonzaview awake to the sound of blessed rain. We thanked you M'am as we opened the blinds to heavy fog. The first of the official party - a Heraldic Supporter mind you - was sighted already in the grounds by 10am recumbent on the crest beneath the mulberry. As preparations continued I passed by him several times. We acknowledged each other and wished the Queen long life.

The Official Party arrived early afternoon, by which time H.M.Supporter had taken his leave. The rain looked like setting in. Miss Hazel aged 7, accompanied by R & S and her canine companion Toby aged 3 months, when told of that sage local insisted upon the immediate production of a Commemoration.

04 June 2009

For Those About To Blog ( We Salute You )

Congratulations to Alison Croggon, winner of this year's Pascall Prize for criticism. bLOGOS/HA HA first read this news not online, not in a blog, but in the smudge and wrinkle of the daily paper as is our habit.

As well as recognising the admirable contribution of Ms TN's theatre notes this award also brings a greater focus and further normalises (duh!) a means of production so easily available to all (sic). For those who already blog or who regularly follow their own blog favourites this is all very what's-the-big-deal? bLOGOS/HA HA though new as a blog contributor is frequently surprised at those in the Arts and Media who never or rarely visit a blog site yet express frustration at the paucity of reviews in Hard Print, as if that is still the only legitimate slate.

Yesterday, Mark Holsworth at Melbourne Art & Culture Critic also addressed this topic.
The impact of blogs is growing. Contrary to the mainstream media blogs are not simply source of gossip and unsubstantiated claims. Many blogs contain first hand reports from educated and informed correspondents. Many blogs appear to be the very essence of traditional journalism. In the golden age of print journalism there would be a writer at every play, exhibition and concert. Now, in the dying days of print journalism unless a blogger reviews it, it is unlikely to be reviewed...
( full article here )
Also yesterday, re-reading some of Alison Croggon's writing:
When bL read this,
My feeling is that if you're uninterested in Beckett, you're uninterested in art. And yet of all artists, he is surely the least compulsory: no one took more responsibility for his writing - poems, prose, criticism, plays - while making the least claims for it. "I produce an object," he said of his plays. "What people make of it is not my concern." He might have agreed with the poet Paul Celan, who said that his work was "a message in a bottle, sent out in the - not always greatly hopeful - belief that somewhere and sometime it could wash up on land, on heartland perhaps". Beckett's uncompromising, strangely tender bleakness has the kind of truthfulness which makes him, of all playwrights, the least biddable to the commercial vulgarities of theatre.

Review: Beckett's Shorts ( full article here )
Thursday, April 23, 2009
bL remembered this image of a LOGOS in a bottle

Undelivered mail of World War soldiers
(crucifix in bottle)

July 28, 1925. Washington, D.C.

from the bLOGOS/HA HA sub-heap Theatre of the Actors of Looking, via the digital online archive of the Library of Congress.

02 June 2009

Melbourne's Latest Dance Craze

Yes, it's the IdeoDance!
Do that dance. Do thaat daaaaaaance.
Doooo thaaaaaaat ideeeeooooodaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaance!

2009.06.01_DOING THE IDEODANCE_sRGB_ 400