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.

18 June 2011

Australian artists at 2011 Venice Biennale

From Buddhism's enlightenment project (see yesterday's blog)
we return again to the Venice Biennale.

The overall title of the 2011 Biennale di Venezia is
ILLUMInazioni – ILLUMInations
La Biennale di Venezia is one of the world’s most important forums for the dissemination and illumination of current developments in international art – Bice Curiger stated. The title of the 54th International Art Exhibition, ILLUMInations, literally draws attention to the importance of such endeavours in a globalized world. As the biggest and oldest Biennale, la Biennale di Venezia has always been buoyed by an international spirit, and even more so now in an age in which artists themselves have become multifaceted, discerning migrants and cultural tourists”.

“ILLUMInations emphasizes the intuitive insight and the illumination of thought that is fostered by an encounter with art and its ability to sharpen the tools of perception – the director underlined. While the last Biennale ‘Making Worlds’ highlighted constructive creativity, ILLUMInations will focus on the ‘light’ of the illuminating experience, on the epiphanies that come with intercommunicative, intellectual comprehension. The Age of Enlightenment also resonates in ILLUMInations, testifying to the enduring vibrancy of its legacy”.

- from La Biennale di Venezia website

Australian artists participated strongly in this year's Biennale.
As well as Hani Armanious's The Golden Thread at the official Australian Pavilion ("one of the best" - Alain Seban, President of the Centre Georges Pompidou) and the three artists presented by the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art during the vernissage, there were also a number of other notable Oz contributions.

One of these was an off-site domestic-style pavilion by Theatre of the Actors of Regard. It is a direct and literal response to the Biennale's ILLUMInation theme.

2011.06_illuminate_ house sign_sRGB_400

Using a revolutionary new sight-sensing paint technology, the set's signage is engineered to register, amplify (feedback) and return any gaze directed onto it. This produces in the observer an unexpected mind-concentrating effect, as if blinded with one's own light/sight/projection capability.

We see in the image above the word illuminate "blissed out by the search light of the mind" (as described by T.A.R.). Similarly below, and elsewhere on the set.

A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/

someone looks at something ...