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.

31 December 2015

Another Record Year

Thank you to all our visitors in 2015

As you can see below, it's been a Record Year again

 Graphic Representation of Interest Rate (courtesy TAR)

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Happy New Year !

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30 December 2015

TAR End-of-Year Financial Report

Around this time of year, we receive various end-of-year reports from the State and National galleries. 

Below, unaltered, is a page from the NGV Annual Report (here). It serves as facing page to the report titled : Five Year Financial Summary. The speculative caption given to the image is:

Visitors enjoy the exhibition A Golden Age of China: Qianlong Emperor, 1736–1795

Once again, the use/value of such as this has the Accountants, Economists, Philosophers and -oLogists of every mask at Theatre of the Actors of Regard all in a spin, debating how the Value of our Acts of Regard might be calculated and weighed.

Use value : Origin of the concept
The concepts of value, use value, utility, exchange value and price have a very long history in economic and philosophical thought, from Aristotle to Adam Smith, and their meanings evolved. Adam Smith recognized that commodities may have an exchange-value but may satisfy no use-value, such as diamonds, while a commodity with a very high use-value may have a very low exchange-value, such as water. Marx comments for example that "in English writers of the 17th century we frequently find worth in the sense of value in use, and value in the sense of exchange-value." With the expansion of market economy, however, the focus of economists has increasingly been on prices and price-relations, the social process of exchange as such being assumed to occur as a naturally given fact.
Marx emphasises that the use-value of a labor-product is practical and objectively determined; that is, it inheres in the intrinsic characteristics of a product that enable it to satisfy a human need or want. The use-value of a product therefore exists as a material reality vis-a-vis social needs regardless of the individual need of any particular person. The use-value of a commodity is specifically a social use-value, meaning that it has a generally accepted use-value for others in society, and not just for the producer. ( from Wikipedia )

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29 December 2015


... is the latest Discipline (No.4)

Edited by Nicholas Croggon, David Homewood and Helen Hughes, with a guest edited section by Ferdiansyah Thajib of KUNCI Cultural Studies Center in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, designed by Robert Milne, and eighteen months in the making, Discipline No. 4 features:
Michael Ascroft, Amelia Barikin, Gordon Bennett, Rex Butler, Prihatmoko ‘Moki’ Catur, Centre for Style, Angus Cerini, John Citizen, Fiona Connor, Juan Davila, A.D.S. Donaldson, Giles Fielke, Amelia Groom, David Homewood, Helen Johnson, Nuraini Juliastuti, KUNCI Cultural Studies Center, Bronté Lambert, Matthew Linde, Liang Luscombe, Ian McLean, Elizabeth Newman, Hestu A. Nugroho (Setu Legi), Nikos Papastergiadis, Wendy Paramor, Francis Plagne, Satrio ‘Iyok’ Prayogo, Punkasila, Stuart Ringholt, Jon Roffe, Patrice Sharkey, Terry Smith, Simon Soon, Hito Steyerl, Amelia Sully, Syafiatudina, Ferdiansyah Thajib, Richard Tuohy, Kate Warren, Wok the Rock, and Danni Zuvela.
Discipline No. 4 is available for $30.00 pre-order (shipping January 2016) fromwww.discipline.net.au.

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24 December 2015

Last Minute Gift Idea : Peace on Earth

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        LOGOS/HA HA 


22 December 2015

Theatre of the Actors of Regard (TAR)


A Ca$hmas Panto : 
Buddy, Can You Spare 
a Dime

to be performed by

CSEF (Crowd-Sourced Equity Funding)
Now it is time for Australians to unleash their creative talents, dedicate themselves to the cause and claim their place at the table on the world innovation stage

- Deloitte Private

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19 December 2015

TAR presents Wake In Fright


The government's cultural barbarism and plunder of the arts, continued

That's the headline to today's Van Badham article in The Guardian. 

Behind the scene, same as it ever was, same as it ever was

 'Look Back In Anger' : TAR sub-performance at rear 
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Van Badham writes :

"... So what remains is the ideological symbolism of what Turnbull’s government is doing to the arts; rather than heed Henri Grégoire’s revolutionary advice to marry its reputation to an area of social activity that celebrates – dare I say it – “innovation”, the Liberals are pursuing a bloody divorce.
Theirs is a state uninterested in ornamenting itself with any reputation for creativity or diversity – in fact..."

 'I Like America and America Likes Me'
 grand tableau by ACT Theatre of the Actors of Regard 
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"A state that would rather give Australian money to Hollywood fantasy rather than its own local film industry is one that does not want anyone to look at its own society too closely.” Photo : Mike Bowers for The Guardian
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18 December 2015

for Jeff and Cath

Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird

Among twenty snowy mountains,   
The only moving thing   
Was the eye of the blackbird.   

I was of three minds,   
Like a tree   
In which there are three blackbirds.   

The blackbird whirled in the autumn winds.   
It was a small part of the pantomime.   

A man and a woman   
Are one.   
A man and a woman and a blackbird   
Are one.   

I do not know which to prefer,   
The beauty of inflections   
Or the beauty of innuendoes,   
The blackbird whistling   
Or just after.   

Icicles filled the long window   
With barbaric glass.   
The shadow of the blackbird   
Crossed it, to and fro.   
The mood   
Traced in the shadow   
An indecipherable cause.   

O thin men of Haddam,   
Why do you imagine golden birds?   
Do you not see how the blackbird   
Walks around the feet   
Of the women about you?   

I know noble accents   
And lucid, inescapable rhythms;   
But I know, too,   
That the blackbird is involved   
In what I know.   

When the blackbird flew out of sight,   
It marked the edge   
Of one of many circles.   

At the sight of blackbirds   
Flying in a green light,   
Even the bawds of euphony   
Would cry out sharply.   

He rode over Connecticut   
In a glass coach.   
Once, a fear pierced him,   
In that he mistook   
The shadow of his equipage   
For blackbirds.   

The river is moving.   
The blackbird must be flying.   

It was evening all afternoon.   
It was snowing   
And it was going to snow.   
The blackbird sat   
In the cedar-limbs.
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12 December 2015

Sky-like : Art observed without trace

 I've had a few
 But then again
 too few to mention.

- from Rebus No Songs
  by FIAPCE after Paul Anka, Claude François, Frank Sinatra
 Non, je ne regrette rien
(French pronunciation: 
[nɔ̃ ʒə nə ʁəɡʁɛt ʁjɛ̃]
meaning "No, I regret nothing")
- from Rebus No Songs
  by FIAPCE after Michel Vaucaire, Charles Dumont, Edith Piaf

 A thousand mountains. Flying birds vanish.
 Ten thousand paths. Human traces erased.
 One boat, bamboo hat, bark cape - an old man
 alone, angling in the cold river. Snow.

- River Snow, by Liu Zonghuan
  from the Preface (read here) of 'The Anchor Book of Chinese 
  Poetry : From Ancient to Contemporary, The Full 3000-year 
  Tradition' edited by Tony Barnstone, Chou Ping
Further on in that Preface :
Consider these lines from the poem "People's Abuse" by Japanese Zen poet Muso Soseki (1275-1351), translated bt W S Merwin and Soiku Shigematsu:
Don't look back
    to this world
        your old hold in the cellar
From the beginning
    the flying birds have left
        no footprints on the blue sky.
In Soseki's image, the flying birds fly through the sky without leaving a trace, as in "River Snow", which also shares with Soseki's lines a distinction between the human world and the natural world. Now consider these lines from Zhu Xizhen's poem "Fisherman, to the tune of 'A Happy Event Draws Near,'" in which the fisherman
spins his boat around at will
traceless like a bird across sky.
The fisherman on the water is like the birds in the sky, whose trackless flight is a symbol of the enlightened mind's passage through the world without grasping or holding or desiring. Compare "On Nondependence of the Mind"," a poem by Dogen (1200-1253) - founder of the Soto school of Japanese Zen Buddhism - translated by Brian Unger and Kazuaki Tanahashi :
Water birds
going and coming
their traces disappear
but they never
forget their path.
The mind that doesn't depend on the world leaves no traces, just as the "water birds" don't forget their path - a path we can understand as a mystical Way.  (i.e. the path of TAR - Ed.)

click image to enlarge  
 FIAPCE after 
 Kano Sanraku, Japan, 1559-1635
 Birds, tree and flowers, 1623-1635, Kyoto, Japan
 three panel screen (from an original of six panels)
 collection of Art Gallery of South Australia

 gift of Andrew and Hiroko Gwinnet

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08 December 2015


bL/HA staff are dedicated wireless listeners. Most of us have been so for a long time. From serials and music to The Goons (highpoint!) and matters serious. Wireless World meets Art, even : and the winners of our 'Draw Willie the Wireless Bird' competition are...

We listen to lots of Radio National here. Regretfully, there's one RN show we can't endure - Books and Arts.

When it comes to a visual arts assignment, the gushing inadequacy of the show's presenter has us mouthing "Chagrin!". Listen to him this morning ( click here to listen ), not so much interviewing or engaging as asking a basic research questionaire of the knowledgeable curators of Howard Arkley (and friends), the exhibition at TarraWarra Museum of Art that he has not seen.
MC : And how did he die?  
VL :  It was an accidental overdose and it was very tragic because he had just come back from representing Australia at the Venice Biennale, in the Australia pavilion. 
MC : Oh, that's right, he represented Australia, I'd forgotten that. The Venice Biennale. 
VL : He'd reached the absolute heights in his career and yes it was just one of those terribly tragic stories. He was only 48 years old. 
MC : ...and the drugs got the better of him. Hmmm, that's a sad ending. 
MC : Well, thank you so much for coming in. I feel quite exhilarated, you know. I've been looking at Howard Arkley overnight, and watched the little YouTube video on how to do airbrush painting - learned something. So, I'm looking forward to seeing the show. Thank you so much for coming in. It's been lovely to meet you both.
Other RN programs have knowledgeable or well informed, genuinely interested presenters - The Music Show (Andrew Ford); The Science Show (Robyn Williams); The Spirit of Things (Rachael Kohn); The Philosopher's Zone (Joe Gelonesi); Health Report (Dr Norman Swan) and many more. Fran Kelly, Geraldine Doogue, Mark Colvin. Why can't the national visual arts audience also be treated with proper RN seriousness?

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06 December 2015

Today is the Feast Day of the St. Nicholas(s)

Ikon (16th C.) : Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker.

Saint Nicholas (Greek: Ἅγιος Νικόλαος, Hagios Nikólaos, Latin: Sanctus Nicolaus); (15 March 270 – 6 December 343),[3][4] also called Nikolaos of Myra, was a historic 4th-century Christian saint and Greek Bishop of Myra, in Asia Minor (modern-day Demre, Turkey). Because of the many miracles attributed to his intercession, he is also known as Nikolaos the Wonderworker (Νικόλαος ὁ Θαυματουργός, Nikolaos ho Thaumaturgos). He had a reputation for secret gift-giving, such as putting coins in the shoes of those who left them out for him, a practice celebrated on his feast day―St Nicholas Day (6 December, Gregorian calendar, in Western Christianity and 19 December, Julian calendar, in Eastern Christianity); and thus became the model for Santa Claus, whose modern name comes from the Dutch Sinterklaas, itself from a series ofelisions and corruptions of the transliteration of "Saint Nikolaos".            
Who needs Santa? We've got Street Nick the Postie all year round to deliver us treats (today, unaware it was his gift-giver namesake's commemoration day, Nick brought a gift of his own freshly picked red cherries) (more here), even his own portraits : this latest as Postal Cowboy on New Steed (mask painted by Nick).

*Note the black X on the Holy Steed's white collar, as on the ikon above! 

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05 December 2015


What are the chances of being in two exhibitions 
both titled ..... ..... and Friends and which both open today? Yep.


5 December 2015 - 28 February 2016 
TarraWarra Museum of Art, Australia
Curated by Anthony Fitzpatrick and Victoria Lynn

Howard Arkley (1951-1999) is one of Australia’s most significant artists. He pursued a singular vision that incorporated aspects of high art and popular culture, such as punk and pop; a love of urban and suburban imagery and architecture; an ongoing preoccupation with pattern and colour; and a life-long dialogue with abstraction.

Howard Arkley (and friends…) includes over 60 paintings by Arkley from 1974 until 1999, featuring a number of works that have not been shown before along with some of his most iconic images. Key paintings have been selected from different periods of his career, including the sparse black and white paintings from the 1970s; his breakthrough into figuration with works such as Primitive and Tattooed Head; his surreal Zappo and cacti paintings; the electrifying house exteriors and interiors; and his final freeway works.
The exhibition introduces three distinctive perspectives to Arkley: his archive, his music and his friends. Photographs, visual diaries, sketch books and source material, on loan from the State Library of Victoria, reveal Arkley’s ideas, influences and working methods in developing his images; a selection of tracks from the artist’s record collection played throughout the exhibition, highlights the influence of music on his work; and the inclusion of works by Arkley’s friends and colleagues Alison Burton, Tony Clark, Aleks Danko, Juan Davila, Elizabeth Gower, Christine Johnson, Geoff Lowe, Callum Morton, John Nixon, Kathy Temin, Peter Tyndall, Jenny Watson and Constanze Zikos, provides insights into Arkley’s immersion and influence within a vibrant, artistic milieu.

 Howard with Georges and William Mora (1981) arkleyworks.com
Julian Dashper & Friends
5 December 2015 - 25 April 2016
City Gallery Wellington, New Zealand
Curated by Robert Leonard

Julian Dashper (1960-2009) has been a key figure in New Zealand art since the mid-1980s. Julian Dashper & Friends offers a tribute to an artist who changed the way we think about New Zealand art history.

Dashper made art about art. Some of his works pay homage to older celebrated artists, particularly canonical figures of New Zealand art, including Colin McCahon and Rita Angus; others address the workings of the art system. From the mid-1990s, Dashper increasingly exhibited overseas. Today, he represents a transitional figure between the ‘New Zealand painting’ that preceded him and the new generation of post-nationalist, post-medium artists that followed.

As Dashper's works were constantly in dialogue with art history, our show presents his works in conversation with works by other national and international artists—his elders, his contemporaries, and those who followed. These include Rita Angus, Billy Apple, Daniel Buren, Fiona Connor, Colin McCahon, Dane Mitchell, Milan Mrkusich, 
John Nixon, John Reynolds, Imants Tillers, Peter Robinson, Marie Shannon, Peter Tyndall, Jan van der Ploeg and Gordon Walters.

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01 December 2015

Society Notes

Scene about : well-heeled

AAA_Art ArchiveAustralia 
Successful : and well-shod, a who's-who of Melb TAR last night attended the annual end-of-year charity benefit : a performance of the traditional "Sekiri Daruma" (The One-Shoe Bodhidharma).
Theatre of the Actors of Regard  
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