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.

07 October 2011

Regardism is go!

Yesterday, Power to the People : Contemporary Conceptualism and the Object in Art opened at ACCA.
" ...the exhibition celebrates the role of the audience within this expanded field of art making... "

- from the ACCA website
Today, The Monthly arrives in the mail. From it falls a postcard advertisement for a new exhibition at the NGV.

LOOKING AT LOOKING : The Photographic Gaze
The act of photographing people involves a process of observation, scrutiny and looking. At times photographers remain detached and anonymous. Other times they are complicit, directing their subjects and encouraging specific actions and poses. Sometimes the gaze is returned, and sometimes it is denied. The power of the gaze can create complex relationships between the subject, the photographer and the audience.

From people observed in a crowd, to surveillance photographs from war zones, and images that ‘split’ our gaze, the exhibition will present the work of a range of photographers who have explored ideas of looking. It includes international and Australian photographs drawn from the NGV Collection, and features works by Brook Andrew, Chi Peng, Anne Ferran, Ashley Gilbertson, Charles Green and Lyndell Brown, Bill Henson, John Immig, Thomas Struth, and David Thomas.

- from the NGV website
The advert features the NGV 2008 purchase (with the assistance of the Bowness Family Fund for Contemporary Photography) of Thomas Struth's Pergamon Museum 1V, Berlin, 2001.

Here's the local version, not in the exhibition (reproduced without assistance) : Theatre of the Actors of Regard, National Gallery of Victoria, 1974.

A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/

someone looks at something ...

(National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, 1974)

LOOKING AT LOOKING : The Photographic Gaze begins while the NGV is already staging the similarly-named exhibition
10 ways to look at the past
. (See our post here.)

There was a time, not so long ago, when Art was all about the thing-in-itself and art for art's sake; when I don't know much about art but I know what I like was the default mockery of the Standard Ignorant Viewer; when illustrations of the thing-in-itself (usually a painthing) were cropped at the inner or outer edge of the frame, usually cropping the frame, and invariably excising the hanging wires, the wall, the floor, the source of illumination and always the observer.

Now, slowly slowly slowly...

Regardism is go!

Here's looking at you, kids...

A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/

someone looks at something ...