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 March 2017

re. Right

Four concurrent threads : two in Oz ...

Right to ****** #1

The on-going-on-going debate in the Parliament of Australia 
re. the wording/re-wording of :

Offensive behaviour because of race, colour or national or ethnic origin
             (1)  It is unlawful for a person to do an act, otherwise than in private, if:
                     (a)  the act is reasonably likely, in all the circumstances, to offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate another person or a group of people; and
                     (b)  the act is done because of the race, colour or national or ethnic origin of the other person or of some or all of the people in the group.

Note:          Subsection (1) makes certain acts unlawful. Section 46P of the Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986 allows people to make complaints to the Australian Human Rights Commission about unlawful acts. However, an unlawful act is not necessarily a criminal offence. Section 26 says that this Act does not make it an offence to do an act that is unlawful because of this Part, unless Part IV expressly says that the act is an offence.
             (2)  For the purposes of subsection (1), an act is taken not to be done in private if it:
                     (a)  causes words, sounds, images or writing to be communicated to the public; or
                     (b)  is done in a public place; or
                     (c)  is done in the sight or hearing of people who are in a public place.
             (3)  In this section:

"public place" includes any place to which the public have access as of right or by invitation, whether express or implied and whether or not a charge is made for admission to the place.

*Last night, the attempt by the Government in the Senate to alter this legislation was defeated.

  Cathy Wilcox / SMH

Right to ******  #2

National Gallery of Victoria : 3 March - 4 June 2017

Brook Andrew is an artist of considerable daring and flair whose work often confronts dangerous ideas, or questions conventional readings of the world. His constantly shifting, interdisciplinary practice challenges stereotypical notions of history, identity and race, without apportioning blame or guilt.

In re-discovering and re-positioning a complex practice, Brook Andrew: The Right to Offend is Sacred includes many of Andrew’s most memorable works, contextualised in exciting new ways, juxtaposed with formative works that have had very limited exposure. As a map that scopes, records and pinpoints great moments in Andrew’s career, this solo exhibition will also include a new sculptural work, enabling viewers to intuit future directions in the artist’s ever changing practice. These sculptures, like much of Andrew’s work, will draw on the artist’s extensive personal archive and respond to important themes in his practice that issue from and resonate in books, objects, photographs and postcards, newspapers and the media. The exhibition also confirms the importance of the collaborative process in Andrew’s practice.

This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.

 Brook Andrew : Tea Towel, Blue -The Right to Offend is Sacred

Four concurrent threads : two in USA ...

Right to ******  #3

On SBS last night : ATLANTA - Season 1 Episode 9

Van brings Earn to a "Juneteenth" party at the home of a wealthy acquaintance, but he is less than enthusiastic at the "emancipation" theme or the snobby nature of the bi-racial host-couple, and their guests. Van thinks the event could be a stepping stone to a new job, but it will require Earn playing his part as a dutiful "husband," and he finds pretending to be something he’s not – namely wealthy and successful – to be more trying than expected. Regardless, he does his best and as the evening progresses things seem to be going well enough, until Earn is recognized as "thug-rapper" Paper Boi’s manager, which creates a conflict that he just cannot ignore.

I'm sorry.
This is whack.
This is this is whack.
- Babe, please.
- No, no.
Okay, like, this isn't real life, okay? This this party is dumb.
She's dumb.
This is all dumb.
You know that, Van.
- Okay.
I'm sorry.
- This is dumb.
This is dumb.
We're gonna head out, right? And you know what? Stop stunting on me about my culture.
Like, I'm not gonna go back to Africa and find my roots, because you know what? - I'm sorry.
- I'm fucking broke, dude.
- I'm broke.

- It's my bad.
- No, don't do that.
- Hey.
Don't "my bad" it.
And stop being so likable.
Stop being so likable, like, I get don't - and don't be like "I understand" - Earn, we're heading out now.
- Because you don't understand.
- Now! - We're going now.
- Like, I'm - Good night.
- For your hospitality.
Okay, well, we we'd love to see you soon.
Thank you very much for coming.
- Mm-hmm.
- Good night.
- Mm-hmm.
- Happy Juneteenth.
- So weird.
- Great party.
Let's go, babe.
So weird.
This is a weird place.

Right to ****** 

Since the 2017 Whitney Biennale opened a few weeks ago, exhibition invitee Dana Schutz' painting of/after a 1955 photo of the battered body of Emmett Till on public display in an open coffin has been the focus of protest and wide discussion.

Scott W. H. Young : see photo below and twitter commentary  (here)
Siddhartha Mitter : “What Does It Mean to Be Black and Look at This?” A Scholar Reflects on the Dana Schutz (here)
Priscilla Frank : A White Artist's Painting Of Emmett Till Sparks Protest, Controversy And A Viral Hoax (here)
Coco Fusco : Censorship, Not the Painting, Must Go: On Dana Schutz’s Image of Emmett Till (here)
Benjamin Sutton, Whoopi Weighs in on Emmett Till Painting as Schutz Storm Reaches Daytime TV (here)
Adam Shatz : Raw Material (here)
Andrew Goldstein : Why Dana Schutz’s Emmett Till Painting Must Stay: A Q&A With the Whitney Biennial’s Christopher Lew (here)
Christopher Benson : The Image of Emmett Till (here)
Theatre of the Actors of Regard  
 A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/
 someone looks at something... 


29 March 2017

Erin Phillips wins inaugural AFLW Best & Fairest

Congratulations to everyone involved in the arrival of the AFLWomen at the top level of the game. Especially to Erin Phillips, co-captain of the Grand Final winners, Adelaide Crows, and voted AFLW 2017 Best and Fairest.

AFLW: Erin Phillips wins competition's inaugural best and fairest award
- Samantha Lane / The Age

Simply the best: Phillips named AFLW finest
-Dinny Navaratnam / AFL Media

 Phillips takes a screamer against the Brisbane Lions in the 2017
 Grand Final

 Erin Phillips : eyes on the ball

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


27 March 2017

Vale Robert Rooney (1937-2017)

Robert Rooney, Melbourne artist photographer writer reviewer and musician, died last Tuesday, 
21 March 2017.

Robert Rooney was born on 24 September 1937. 
Every artist born in 1937 so far located 
Robert Rooney

Medium                    ballpoint pen on 204 cardboard index cards, 
                                 cardboard box
Measurements         (1-230) 9.8 × 15.0 × 13.7 cm (overall)
Accession Number   2009.501.1-230
Department              Australian Prints & Drawings
Credit Line               National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
                                 Gift of Robert Rooney through the Australian
                                 Government's Cultural Gifts  Program, 2009
Gallery location        Not on display

During the last decade, Robert made colourful paintings from black and white line illustrations derived from a 1937 edition of the weekly French magazine Le Rire (The Laugh/Laughter). 

Robert Rooney, Le Rire: Beard and Baby (PIcq), 2008

Several years ago, on Robert's birthday, we were able to send him the edition of Le Rire published on his actual birth day, 21 Sept 1937. Such fun.


Our first encounter with Robert was in the early 1970s at The Source in central Melbourne.

Others also associated him with that excellent bookshop. 
Sol LeWitt, 1967 :

Ian Robertson, today :

clearly remember buying poetry books from him in Sweeney Reed’s bookshop in Exhibition Street in the late ‘60s/early ‘70s

… I think it was called East End

we always had cryptic conversations and he perpetually wore a small and somehow quite private smile, something was quietly amusing him

in ’89-90 I visited his house with Philip Brophy when putting together an issue of Stuff on Graphics, to which Robert contributed a compendium of quotes from Ed Ruscha

the house was like a 3D spotless scaled up image from a late 1950/early 1960s Australian Home Beautiful pictorial, perfectly maintained… 

the pantry was memorable, with rows and rows of tinned foods and packaged goods as though in preparation for a Nuclear bomb

a glimpse into his room has left an image of packed bookshelves on four walls

From Robert's more recent bookshop associations, pinned to our office wall here, is this Black Square edition of his design for the Sainsbury's Books tote bag.

AAA_Art Archive Australia  

Robert Rooney was the only artist to be included in these two generations of breakthrough exhibitions at the NGV :

The Field in 1968 with Kind-hearted kitchen-garden IV (ref.)

 Robert Rooney, Kind-hearted kitchen-garden 11, 1967

...and POPISM in 1984, curated by Paul Taylor.
(Philip Brophy essay : Re-Generation: Robert Rooney as Pop)

Robert Rooney, Portrait of Paul Taylor, 1984

Robert was also a key inclusion in Melbourne Cool, curated by Daniel Thomas and Mary Eagle at the NGA in 1983.


I have always preferred to work from secondary sources, particularly mass-media ones, rather than paint or draw from the actual subject. Robert Rooney 1986

The sources for Rooney’s highly regarded 1960s abstract paintings were breakfast cereal cut-outs and other found material such as knitting patterns. His work has changed considerably over the years but the one constant, as Charles Green pointed out in 2000, is a ‘love affair with the legible signs of nomadic suburbia (logos, trademarks, street signs).’

From the 1990s Rooney’s hand-painted acrylic pictures have been based on illustrations in esoteric children’s books. More recently he has been concerned with artworks made by children themselves, though it is not his aim to draw or paint like a child. Rooney’s interest is more in ‘modern Art (or Modernism) and childhood, or, if you like, the early childhood of Modernism.’

Acknowledged as one of the most important abstract painters in the landmark 1968 exhibition The Field at the National Gallery of Victoria, Robert Rooney has exhibited widely during his long career. A major retrospective - From the Home Front - was held at Monash University Gallery in 1990.

His work has always had the freshness of youth but also the elegance and intelligence of maturity. It wears wonderfully well, and therefore must be as good as any works of art can be.

- Daniel Thomas 1997


In the 1980s we were able to acquire one of the edition of two Corners, Robert Rooney's photo series of Bruce Pollard's Pinacotheca Gallery, Richmond. Such a treasure. Corners 1/2 is in the collection of the NGV; Corners 2/2 now at AGNSW.

Robert Rooney, Corners, 1972  (click to enlarge)

Two other Robert Rooney photo series are now on show at 
Spare Room 33 in Canberra.

Robert Rooney, Luna Park: St Kilda, January 1975, 1975 

Robert Rooney, Scorched Almonds, 1970 

This exhibition, Serial and Conceptual Photography, opened on Tuesday last, the day of Robert's death. That sad news has reached us only today. Vale Robert.


Robert Rooney, Portrait photographs 1978–1987, Tolarno Galleries, 11 September–11 October 2014

At the 2014 opening of 'Portrait photographs 1978-1987' 
Jon Campbell, Robert Rooney, Doug Hall and a photographer
all photographed, and here regarded

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


26 March 2017


 AtlanTAR Season 1 Episode 5 : Darius goes to a shooting range.
 He books a bay, buys some bullets, pins up his TARget and 
 starts shootin' ...

 Nice cap, yo!

 Pretty soon, the dog TARget gets some special TAR attention. 
Theatre of the Actors of Regard  

Theatre of the Actors of Regard  
FIAPCE  ( -1978- )  
 A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/
 someone looks at something... 


25 March 2017

Regard of Photograph of Upholder of Falling Wall of Photographs Reportedly Unstable

1970 - now 
NGV Festival of Photography continues...

Theatre of the Actors of Regard
Collapsing Wall Of Photographs Held Back
Eric Westbrook, Director of the National Gallery of Victoria,
at “The Perceptive Eye Exhibition”, 1970 
photo : Australian Women’s Weekly, 7 January, 1970
AAA_Art Archive Australia

With weeping and with laughter 
Still is the story told, 
How well Eric held the wall 
In the brave days of old.

- after Thomas Babington, Lord Macaulay

They never re-staged that fallen haul
They just placed a marble in front of it all.
These few words are written by that stand
At the bottom of this heap lies a big, big man.

- after Jimmy Dean

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


24 March 2017

Private TAR Tour

Have you dreamt of a private tour in the Gallery’s collection store with Gallery Director, Jason Smith? One lucky Gallery Member who joins before Friday 31 March will go in the draw for a one-on-one tour.
Treat yourself to a Geelong Gallery Membership, and try your luck by following the link:
Image : Gallery Director Jason Smith, and Georgia Chara inspecting Peter Tyndall’s ‘detail: A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/ someone looks at something…’ 1989, in the Gallery painting store.
Theatre of the Actors of Regard 
Garry Flanigan      Wow..... we would love a tour

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


22 March 2017


after Shinkichi Tajiri 

Theatre of the Actors of Regard
 A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/
 someone looks at something... 

21 March 2017

Serial and Conceptual Photography

Spare Room 33 concluded their 2016 home gallery program with a Lawrence Weiner Early Works exhibition.
They return tonight with Serial and Conceptual Photography.
Works by Rooney, Coventry, Tyndall, Ruscha, Huebler, K├Ânig, Boltanski, Feldmann, the Bechers, Tajiri, Groover, and more.

open on Saturday 25 March and Saturday 1 April 2017
11.00 am - 4.30 pm
and by appointment :

Spare Room 33
Canberra, Australia

Spare Room 33  
 A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/
 someone looks at something... 

20 March 2017

++++ delirium XXXX delirium ++++ delirium XXXX delirium ++++ delirium XXXX delirium ++++ delirium XXXX delirium ++++ delirium XXXX delirium ++++ delirium XXXX delirium ++++ delirium XXXX delirium ++++ delirium XXXX delirium ++++ delirium XXXX delirium ++++ delirium XXXX delirium ++++ delirium XXXX

In Principio LOGOS
Lelio Orsi (1511-1587)
Kiyoshi Koishi (1908-1957)

Turning and turning in the widening gyre   
The falcon cannot hear the falconer; 
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; 
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, 
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere   
The ceremony of innocence is drowned; 
The best lack all conviction, while the worst   
Are full of passionate intensity. 

Surely some revelation is at hand; 
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.   
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out   
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi 
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert   
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,   
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,   
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it   
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.   
The darkness drops again; but now I know   
That twenty centuries of stony sleep 
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,   
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,   
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

- The Second Coming, W B Years

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

19 March 2017

Secret bLOG for a Secret Person in TARland

 l'enfant TARrible, 1952  

Joseph Beuys + Mihai Olos matrix  
Documenta 6 (1977)  
 A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/
 someone looks at something...