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.

14 August 2013


First, 100 days.

NGV counts down – 100 days until Melbourne Now opens :

August 14 marks the 100th day until the opening of Melbourne Now, the largest initiative ever undertaken by the National Gallery of Victoria. Bringing together over 200 contemporary artists, Melbourne Now celebrates the latest art, architecture, design and performance to reflect the unique cultural landscape of Melbourne." 
Read the full NGV media release here

Now, 100 years.

Here are The Three Figures.

 They perform for Theatre of the Actors of Regard
as a rebus  
a tableau vivant
a turning 100 
Let's start with Figure 2.  That's Marcel Duchamp's Bicycle Wheel of 1913. A circle, a cycle, and the first turning of a revolution in Art. Re-conceived in 1915 as the first "Readymade".

In the 1960s, Duchamp said to Arturo Schwarz:
"The Bicycle Wheel is my first Readymade, so much so that at first it wasn't even called a Readymade. It still had little to do with the idea of the Readymade. Rather it had more to do with the idea of chance. In a way, it was simply letting things go by themselves and having a sort of created atmosphere in a studio, an apartment where you live. Probably, to help your ideas come out of your head. To set the wheel turning was very soothing, very comforting, a sort of opening of avenues on other things than material life of every day. I liked the idea of having a bicycle wheel in my studio. I enjoyed looking at it, just as I enjoyed looking at the flames dancing in a fireplace. It was like having a fireplace in my studio, the movement of the wheel reminded me of the movement of flames."
2013 is the 100th anniversary of this simple unlaboured act of regard.

Later this year Monash University Museum of Art will mark this anniversary with their exhibition Reinventing the Wheel: the Readymade Century.

.   .   .   .

Next, Figure 3. Kasimir Malevich's Plane in Rotation, usually referred to as Black Circle. Another turning circle, another revolution.

Another 100 years. Some references give the date of this work as 1915, but just as Duchamp's 1913 "Readymade" was so designated in 1915, so too 1915 is only when Malevich first exhibited this radical work, as one of his "Suprematist" paintings in the 0.10 exhibition. Camilla Gray, in her book (our ref. here) dates it with Black Square and Black Cross as c.1913.

Malevich wrote:
“…in the year 1913, in my desperate attempt to free art from the burden of the object, I took refuge in the square form and exhibited a picture which consisted of nothing more than a black square on a white field”. 

.   .   .   .

Figure 1. is a form of ...
/ideogram of dependent-arising...

 Peter Tyndall    -1978-    Collection: National Gallery of Australia
/consequence and its cause...
/foil to The Thing-In-Itself
/projection-space suspended...
/something because...
/someone because...

By the close of Melbourne Now, in 2014, 
it will be the 40 years anniversary of 
/this uncertain something...

A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/
someone looks at something ...