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.

29 November 2013

Dr Who : LOL part 3

Why exactly has the Doctor been so urgently summoned to the National Gallery?

Dr Who :  What happened?
Kate L-S : Easier to show you.

Kate L-S : Welcome to the Under Gallery. This is where Elizabeth the First kept all Art deemed too dangerous for public consumption.
This Doctor is a fan of the fez. While he is looking to knick this one, behind him Clara is looking at a painting. 

It's Géricault's original study for The Raft of the Medusa Cybermen, made before the better known State-censored version.

They arrive at a gallery with broken glass strewn across the floor.

Kate L-S : This is why we called you in.
Dr Who : Interesting...
Clara : The broken glass?
Dr Who : No. Where it's broken from.      
Dr Who : Look at the shatter pattern. The glass in all these paintings has been broken from the inside.

Kate L-S : as you can see, all the paintings are landscapes, 
no figures of any kind.
Dr Who : So?
Kate L-S : There used to be.
(Kate hands the doctor a projection screen.)

Clara : Something's got out of the paintings.

Dr Who : Lots of somethings. Dangerous...

more Dr Who : LOL soon...

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


28 November 2013

Dr Who : LOL part 2

"And nothing is but what is not."
Shakespeare, Macbeth
We divert to Elizabeth's England, 1562.

Who or what is this? Is it a disguised Zygon?

Elizabeth's horse has just revealed itself as such, so why not this creature too.

The Doctor confronts the alien.

Dr Who (Tennant) : Woah woah woah! Oh, very clever. Whatever you've got planned, forget it. I'm The Doctor. I'm 904 years old. I'm from the Planet Gallifrey and the constellation Kasterborous. I am the Oncoming Storm. The Bringer of Darkness. And you...

... are basically just a rabbit. OK carry on. Just a general warning. (A silent aaaargh!)

We know and recognise this ancient scene.

Joseph Beuys: How to Explain Pictures to a Dead Hare, 26 Nov.1965
Galerie Alfred Schmela, Düsseldorf.  Photo: Ute Klophus
A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/
someone looks at something ...  


25 November 2013

Dr Who : LOL

Those new to the acronyms of texting often reveal their newbie status in the way they use LOL, believing it means Lots Of Love.

LOL is the abbreviation for Lots Of Looking :

A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/
someone looks at something ...
Even Dr Who says LOL. Not sure what he imagines it means?
Dr Who (Smith) : Now, I want this stone dust analysed. And I want a report in triplicate, with lots of graphs, and diagrams, and complicated sums, on my desk tomorrow morning. ASAP! Pronto! LOL!

- 50th anniversary episode, The Day of the Doctor
.   .   .   .
Joining with 93 other countries of the Cast of Earth : Theatre of the Actors of Regard, bLOGOS/HA HA tuned in at 6.50am yesterday to watch the simultaneous broadcast of the 50th anniversary episode of Dr Who : The Day of the Doctor.

We were not disappointed. LOL indeed!
.   .   .   .
LOL #1 : The Doctor is summoned to the National Gallery by Britain's Chief Scientific Officer, Kate Lethbridge-Stewart (daughter of 'The Brigadier'). 

She hands The Doctor a letter from his employer Queen Elizabeth 1. (Apparently, he still works for her Unified Intelligence Task Force, investigating aliens.) To confirm that the letter and its message are genuine, he and Clara are escorted into a secure section of the Gallery to look at a painting, Her Credential.

The Doctor recognizes the painting. 
Dr Who : "No More"
Kate L-S :  That's the title.
Dr Who : I know the title.
Kate L-S : Also known as "Gallifrey Falls".
Dr Who : This painting doesn't belong here. Not in this time or place.
Clara : Obviously
Dr Who : It's the fall of Arcadia, Gallifrey's second city.

Clara: How is it doing that? How is that possible : it's an oil painting in 3D. 
Dr Who : Time Lord Art. Bigger on the inside. A slice of real time. Frozen. 

Dr Who : He was there.
Clara : Who was?
Dr Who : Me. The other me. The one I don't talk about.
LOL #2 : In the War Room of Dalek-beseiged Gallifrey, the Time Lords worry at their desperate defence. 

Here, they examine a security breach to the Time Vaults of the Forbidden Weapons. Included among these is The Moment, the most dangerous weapon in the universe, turned sentient, and now with a conscience. It has been stolen.

Who would do that? John Hurt as The Doctor.

Another cube, (requires) another Act of Looking  :

Billy Piper in the form of Rose Tyler / Bad Wolf looks on as The Interface, the conscience of The Moment. 
Later, this Doctor will commit to use the terrible weapon. He will declare: "The moment has come".

LOL #3 : Still at the National Gallery, the Doctor reads his letter from Elizabeth the First.

Elizabeth I : My Dearest Love, I hope the painting known as 'Gallifrey Falls' will serve as proof that it is your Elizabeth who writes to you now.You will recall that you pledged yourself to the safety of My Kingdom. In this capacity I have appointed you as Curator of the Under Kingdom, where deadly danger to England is locked away. Should any disturbance occur within its walls, it is My Wish that you be summoned. God speed gentle husband, Elizabeth R

more Dr Who : LOL soon...

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


24 November 2013

VALE Gunter Christmann

Notice published in The Sydney Morning Herald on Nov. 23, 2013
23.04.1936 - 19.11.2013
Passed away at Sacred Heart Hospice and joined his beloved wife Jenny.

Friends and admires are invited to attend a Service on Wednesday (November 27, 2013) in the South Chapel 
at Eastern Suburbs Crematorium, Military Road, Matraville commencing at 2.15 p.m.

No flowers, donations to Sacred Heart Hospice.

Such sad news. 
Looking forward to Gunter's 2014 retrospective at Heide MoMA, and unaware of his terminal illness, we prepared the following post several months ago. As sometimes happens here, other matters caught our attention before this made it online and it was set aside for the time being.
Gunter Christmann exhibited in The Field at the National Gallery of Victoria in 1968 and at the NGV again a few years later in Harald Szeeman's 1971 Kaldor Project I want to leave a nice well-done child here.

The first works of his that we saw and appreciated were unframed stretched canvasses with boundary questioning edge strips from the spatter paint period .

Gunter Christmann, Composition, 1975

If only more individuals and, in particular, our Art Institutions would conduct and then publish online such interviews as those James Gleeson made while at the National Gallery of Australia. Here's a brief extract from

19 APRIL 1979

JAMES GLEESON: Those two were from the same exhibition? 

GUNTER CHRISTMAN: Yes. Then I think I realised that I didn’t need these grids.


GUNTER CHRISTMAN: I shifted them to the edge of the painting and they did the same job there. I always kept them a little black visually, like either darker or cooler, like more blue, or just darker than the central (inaudible).

JAMES GLEESON: I see, yes.

GUNTER CHRISTMAN: By which the edges receded and brought the whole of  the central surface forward.

JAMES GLEESON: Did this arise out of your realisation of that after image you got from your earlier painting, and was it an attempt to control that after image?

GUNTER CHRISTMAN: I wasn’t concerned about after image because I didn’t have any so to speak of.

JAMES GLEESON: Not in these spotted ones?

GUNTER CHRISTMAN: Not in the spotted ones any more.


GUNTER CHRISTMAN: But without etches or bands, it could have looked too much like a cut off area out of some microscopic—

JAMES GLEESON: I see. So it was virtually to frame it, to hold it within an area?

GUNTER CHRISTMAN: Yes. My concerns were still of the colour field painting, keeping the so called object–but also I don’t like that name much–to keep it totally flat and have no deep space illusions, and have everything up front.

JAMES GLEESON: The integrity of the surface.

GUNTER CHRISTMAN: That’s the word that was used at the time, I think, yes.


GUNTER CHRISTMAN: What’s the next one? This one, yes. 

JAMES GLEESON: This is one with the line around the—

GUNTER CHRISTMAN: This is the show in 1970.

JAMES GLEESON: This has the line around the edge that you were speaking of  a moment ago?

GUNTER CHRISTMAN: Yes. I then started to use several different lines. 


GUNTER CHRISTMAN: Sometimes a combination of two. Well, say for instance, I would, on the edge, screen out all the warm colours – all the oranges and reds, yellows, et cetera – and mask them off, but not mask the blues and whites and blacks, whatever. That way I had the edge integrated with the central field, but still sitting behind the central field visually, you know.

- click here for the full interview
The viewer-trapped-in-paint-amber fossil record below is not by Gunter Christmann, but it is what set us thinking again about his work. We look forward to his 2014 survey at Heide MoMA.

collection : Theatre of the Actors of Regard   

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


23 November 2013

Melbourne Now

Melbourne was its own self-regarding scene 
last night for the official opening of
Melbourne Now.


 FIAPCE,     M E L B   N O W,     2013

 Marco Fusinato, detail of Aetheric Plexus (Broken X), 2013

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

21 November 2013

Melbourne Black

Melbourne was its own self-regarding scene 
last night for the official opening of
Melbourne Black.

This exhibition observes the centenary of Kazimir Malevich's Black Square, Black Circle and Black Cross.

It links Moscow 1913 to Melbourne 2013 with four groupings of black/paint/art/ist/Melbourne :

Late 1960s - early 70s
Ian Burn / Mel Ramsden / 
Paul Partos /Dale Hickey / Peter Booth /
Pinacotheca gallery

1970s - 1980s
John Nixon / Peter Tyndall / Brett Colquhoun /
Art Projects gallery

1980s - present
Raafat Ishak / Tom Nicholson / Marco Fusinato /
Silvana Mangano & Gabriella Mangano / 
BLACK BATS (MELB) /Anna Schwartz Gallery /  
Sutton Gallery

Black Inc / Discipline

Mel Ramsden / Art & Language, Secret Painting,1967-68
The  text reads : The content of this painting is invisible: the character and dimension of the content are to be kept permanently secret, known only to the artist.

The content of this painting is invisible; the character and dimension of the content are to be kept permanently secret, known only to the artist. - See more at: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/arts/review/noise-in-the-void/story-fn9n8gph-1226711380051#sthash.YsGKTjwd.dpuf       

Ian Burn, Installation photograph for Xerox Books, 
Pinacotheca (St. Kilda), 1969

Paul Partos, Black Screen, 1969

Dale Hickey, Black Painting, 1969
exhibited: Pinacotheca (Richmond),1970, opening Group Exhibition
John Kaldor Art Project 2 - Harald Szeeman Exhibition, NGV 1971  

 Peter Booth, Untitled, 1971 
 collection: National  Gallery of Victoria

John Nixon, Black square, 1984
collection: National Gallery of Victoria

John Nixon, Black square, 1984 :
as projected by Rex Butler in John Nixon: A Communist Artist
first of the Gertrude Contemporary - Discipline : Contemporary Art Lecture Series, April 2013

Peter Tyndall, -1979-
with Puppet Culture Framing System

Peter Tyndall, meta installation at Art Projects, Melbourne, 1980
Brett Colquhoun,  c.1980s  
Brett Colquhoun, Charge 1, 2008

Tom Nicholson, Document from a Banner Marching Project,  
Melbourne 2004, 2007

Tom Nicholson and Raafat Ishak, Proposition for an action for banners and a black cube hot air balloon, 2004

Raafat Ishak, apparition of a miserable acquaintance No.2
Ian Potter Museum of Art, Melbourne 2010

Marco Fusinato, Mass Black Implosion (Maandros, Anestis Logothetis), 2008

Marco Fusinato, Spectral Arrows, Artspace 2012
documentation of durational noise performance

Marco Fusinato, MASS BLACK IMPLOSION: Treatise_Cornelius Cardew, 2013
click image to enlarge  

BLACK BATS (MELB), Border Security : project for an Offshore Australia(n) Pavilion, 2011

BLACK BATS (MELB), umbrellatecture logo, 2011

Gabriella Mangano and Silvana Mangano, Monument for Monument, 2011

Gabriella Mangano and Silvana Mangano, study for Rewind, 2012

Black inc.


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