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 2021

Vivienne Shark leWitt : The wind blows where it will : Anna Schwartz Gallery, Melbourne

Born at the Mercy Hospital and educated by the Sisters of Mercy, your correspondent yesterday walked the Works of Mercy path at Anna Schwartz Gallery. A pilgrim path.
                                                           click image to enlarge
Works of Mercy, 2020
14 paint­ings, water based paint on linen
61 x 31 cm each
Instal­la­tion view, Anna Schwartz Gallery
Pho­to: Zan Wimberley

Midway upon the journey of our life
I found myself within a forest dark,
For the straightforward pathway had been lost. 
- Inferno, Canto I - Dante Alighieri (1265-1321) 
Midway along the Works of Mercy
I found myself regarding a man pictured deep in thought.
Aside : Methinks the Divine poet travels with us.

- TARist 

Works of Mercy, detail (counsel the doubtful), 2020
water based paint on linen

The Thinker was initially named The Poet (Fr: Le Poète), and was part of a large commission begun in 1880 for a doorway surround called The Gates of Hell. Rodin based this on The Divine Comedy of Dante Alighieri, and most of the figures in the work represented the main characters in the poem with The Thinker at the center of the composition over the doorway and somewhat larger than most of the other figures. Some critics believe that it was originally intended to depict Dante at the gates of Hell, pondering his great poem. Other critics reject that theory, pointing out that the figure is naked while Dante is fully clothed throughout his poem, and that the sculpture's physique does not correspond to Dante's effete figure.[1] The sculpture is nude, as Rodin wanted a heroic figure in the tradition of Michelangelo, to represent intellect as well as poetry.[citation needed]

This detail from the Gates of Hell was first named The Thinker by foundry workers, who noted its similarity to Michelangelo's statue of Lorenzo de Medici called Il Pensieroso (The Thinker),[2] and Rodin decided to treat the figure as an independent work at a larger size. The figure was designed to be seen from below and is normally displayed on a fairly high plinth, although the heights vary considerably chosen by the various owners. 

Regarding these works by Shark leWitt and Rodin got us to thinking about the representation of thinking. Most often that's of men thinking

As a 1960s teen philosopher, we attended The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis. Each episode began with teenage Dobie, self-styled protégé of The Thinker, telling us what he was currently thinking about, which was usually girls. 

Years later, possibly misled by Rodin and Gillis, this fool of a man :

1974, in response to a Ewing and George Paon Galleries theme show question: When you think about art, what do you think?

Whaddya reckon so far, Andy? 
Andy Warhol, Self-Portrait, 1966 MoMA

Now, this emailed image has just arrived from the Castlemaine Art Museum, the latest of their weekly series about works in the collection. Snap!

Hugh Ramsay, Nude Study, Old Man, c.1900, oil on canvas. Castlemaine Art Museum, Presented by Mrs J. O. Wickin, 1947. Image Ian Hill

We do not know, we cannot know the thinking process or the thoughts, if any, of the Shark leWitt 'Dante' figure; nor of the other posers above.

Thought (or thinking) encompasses an "aim-oriented flow of ideas and associations that can lead to a reality-oriented conclusion".[1] Although thinking is an activity of an existential value for humans, there is still no consensus as to how it is adequately defined or understood.

 - Wikipedia

We can speculate ...
(late 16th century: from Latin speculat- ‘observed from a vantage point’, from the verb speculari, from specula ‘watchtower’, from specere ‘to look’.) 
but that would only return our own projections. 

Besides, not everyone thinks (conceptual) thinking is all it's cracked-up to be :

Unsheathe your dagger definitions. Horseness is the whatness of allhorse. Streams of tendency and eons they worship. God: noise in the street: very peripatetic. Space: what you damn well have to see. Through spaces smaller than red globules of man’s blood they creepycrawl after Blake’s buttocks into eternity of which this vegetable world is but a shadow. Hold to the now, the here, through which all future plunges to the past.

- James Joyce, Ulysses

Across the room from the Works of Mercy and the comfy-slippered thinking man is The Unity of Opposites group of works. Below is a detail (sky blue). Hessian on hessian. Pigment on hessian. Receiver of eyes : image on hessian, inward gazing. Merciful, she who clears away all self-obstruction. The ground is revealed. Nature of mind, naked, vast, sky-like, clear, wholly present.

Hold to the now, the here, through which all future plunges to the past.

The Unity of Opposites, detail (blue sky), 2020
water based paint on hessian
96 x 30cm

Lucid, the sky

ḍākinī is a type of sacred female spirit in Hinduism, while in Vajrayana Buddhism the term is often wisdom dakini. The term can also be applied to human women with a certain amount of spiritual development. 
The Sanskrit term is related to ḍīyate - to fly, as in uḍḍayanam (meaning flight). The Tibetan term means "skygoer" and may have originated in the Sanskrit khecara, a term from the Cakrasaṃvara Tantra.[1]

Dakinis are energetic beings in female form, evocative of the movement of energy in space. In this context, the sky or space indicates śūnyatā, the insubstantiality of all phenomena, which is, at the same time, the pure potentiality for all possible manifestations.[citation req.]   
 - Wikipedia

Lucid, the sky is diamond (sutra)

The Diamond Sūtra (SanskritVajracchedikā Prajñāpāramitā Sūtra) is a Mahāyāna (Buddhistsūtra  
from the Prajñāpāramitā sutras or 'Perfection of Wisdom' genre. Translated into a variety of languages over a broad geographic range, the Diamond Sūtra is one of the most influential Mahayana sutras in East Asia, and it is particularly prominent within the Chan (or Zen) tradition,[1] along with the Heart Sutra.

The Sanskrit title for the sūtra is the Vajracchedikā Prajñāpāramitā Sūtra, which may be translated roughly as the "Vajra Cutter Perfection of Wisdom Sūtra" or "The Perfection of Wisdom Text that Cuts Like a Thunderbolt".[1] In English, shortened forms such as Diamond Sūtra and Vajra Sūtra are common. The title relies on the power of the vajra (diamond or thunderbolt, but also an abstract term for a powerful weapon) to cut things as a metaphor for the type of wisdom that cuts and shatters illusions to get to ultimate reality.[1] 
- Wikipedia

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29 March 2021

hyper-TAR ] re. STANDING (

ArtDaily Newsletter: Monday, Mar 29, 2021

Exhibition at Maruani Mercier brings together works by Stefan Brüggemann and On Kawara

Stefan Brüggemann, Hyper-Palimpsest, 2019.

Acrylic and spray paint on wood. 

2 panels, each: 205 x 120 x 5.5 cm.

BRUSSELS.- This exhibition brings Stefan Brüggemann’s Hyper-Palimpsest and On Kawara’s Today series together for the first time. The works share a central concern in their engagement with the experience of time and being in the world. Where Kawara’s work explores these ideas in series, developing his investigation from one canvas to the next over the course of a lifetime, Brüggemann works on a different axis. His engagement with these questions is a layered exploration that belies an archaeological sensibility in its emphasis on depth and its invitation to the viewer to dig down into the work. Brüggemann’s work requires that the viewer spend time unearthing and piecing together its fragments, while Kawara’s work plays with the fragmentation of time revealing the deeply arbitrary nature of the symbols and systems that we use to codify it. Between these axes of contemplation and immediacy we can chart the hyper 

... More

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27 March 2021

Mirror Ball Mistaken For A Piñata At Annual Collectors Club Dinner


Now we are about to begin, and you must attend; and when we get to the end of the story, you will know more than you do now about a very wicked hobgoblin. He was one of the worst kind; in fact he was a real demon. One day he was in a high state of delight because he had invented a mirror with this peculiarity, that every good and pretty thing reflected in it shrank away to almost nothing. 

illustration by Edmund Dulac
On the other hand, every bad and good-for-nothing thing stood out and looked its worst. The most beautiful landscapes reflected in it looked like boiled spinach, and the best people became hideous, or else they were upside down and had no bodies. Their faces were distorted beyond recognition, and if they had even one freckle it appeared to spread all over the nose and mouth. The demon thought this immensely amusing. If a good thought passed through any one's mind, it turned to a grin in the mirror, and this caused real delight to the demon. All the scholars in the demon's school, for he kept a school, reported that a miracle had taken place: now for the first time it had become possible to see what the world and mankind were really like. They ran about all over with the mirror, till at last there was not a country or a person which had not been seen in this distorting mirror. They even wanted to fly up to heaven with it to mock the angels; but the higher they flew, the more it grinned, so much so that they could hardly hold it, and at last it slipped out of their hands and fell to the earth, shivered into hundreds of millions and billions of bits. Even then it did more harm than ever. Some of these bits were not as big as a grain of sand, and these flew about all over the world, getting into people's eyes, and, once in, they stuck there, and distorted everything they looked at, or made them see everything that was amiss. Each tiniest grain of glass kept the same power as that possessed by the whole mirror. Some people even got a bit of the glass into their hearts, and that was terrible, for the heart became like a lump of ice. Some of the fragments were so big that they were used for window panes, but it was not advisable to look at one's friends through these panes. Other bits were made into spectacles, and it was a bad business when people put on these spectacles meaning to be just. The bad demon laughed till he split his sides; it tickled him to see the mischief he had done. But some of these fragments were still left floating about the world, and you shall hear what happened to them.

Hans Christian Anderson
The Snow Queen : A Tale in Seven Stories
First Story : Which Deals with a Mirror and its Fragments

...and you shall hear what happened to them. 

Earlier that evening, before the awful mistake...
Theatre of the Actors of Regard  
 A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/
 someone looks at something...


24 March 2021

TARists of/f The Field

 Vesta II (1968) by Paul Partos : exhibited in/on The Field (NGV, 1968) 
Lot 1065
Leonard Joel : Daytime auction, Thursday 25 March 2021
*Please note that The Auction Salon will take place online only with no physical auction attendance on Thursday 25 March

Estimate $600-850

Bob Jenyns interviewed (2010-11) by Deborah Edwards,
the then senior curator of Australian Art at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, for the Balnaves Foundation Australian Sculpture Archive Project.

Vale Bob Jenyns - a brief recollection
bLOGOS/HA HA 21 November 2015

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


23 March 2021

regisTAR of flotsam

 a house floats down the Manning River in NSW yesterday

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 someone looks at something...


22 March 2021

regarding downfall

 Residents evacuated as Sydney's Warragamba Dam overflows  
 A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/
 someone looks at something...


21 March 2021


Take the l out of lover 
and it's over*

Take the s out of slaughter 

and it's laughter

Take the i out of Haiku

from hokku to haiku 
         Main articles: Renga and Renku
Hokku is the opening stanza of an orthodox collaborative linked poem, or renga, and of its later derivative, renku (or haikai no renga). By the time of Matsuo Bashō (1644–1694), the hokku had begun to appear as an independent poem, and was also incorporated in haibun (a combination of prose and hokku), and haiga (a combination of painting with hokku). In the late 19th century, Masaoka Shiki (1867–1902) renamed the standalone hokku to haiku.[18] The latter term is now generally applied retrospectively to all hokku appearing independently of renku or renga, irrespective of when they were written, and the use of the term hokku to describe a stand-alone poem is considered obsolete.[19]
- Wikipedia

from hokku to haiku to HAku  

Theatre of the Actors of Regard  
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 someone looks at something...


18 March 2021

autumn LOOKS :

This promo received from the SALVOS online 

And we have just the thing...

  c.1976 Art Cult convict jacket               collection FIAPCE [Convictions]
click image to enlarge   
 A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/
 someone looks at something...


16 March 2021

Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack : "I'm certain that we'll absolutely look at it."

We recently quoted Scott Stephens (ABC.RN) bewailing 
"...the hyperbolisation of language." He mentioned some examples that annoy him. 

Our pet hyperbolisation hate is the widespread use of 'Absolutely!' and 'Absolutely not!' when 'Yes' and 'No' would suffice. 

Are you concerned about polarisation? Absolutely! 
Are you concerned about extremism? Absolutely!
Are you concerned about the loss of the middle way?

Michael McCormack & Janine Hendry. 

ABC News: Luke Stephenson

So, yesterday, when we heard Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack's response to March4Justice co-organiser Janine Hendry's demand for him to act on the recommendations of the Sexual Harassment National Inquiry Report ... Grrrrr!!

"I'm certain that we'll absolutely look at it."
"I'm certain that we'll absolutely look at it." 
"I'm certain that we will absolutely look at it." 
"I'm certain that we'll absolutely look at it." 
"I'm certain that we'll absolutely look at it." 

Regulars to this blog will know that we 'look at' look at ... a lot.
That's about appreciating the visual arts. Our visual arts. The act of looking. The art of looking. It's about seeing, perceiving, conceiving the world into being. About vision and having a vision; our world view and our consequent views. Image, appearance, illusion, all examined. Being conscious, self-aware and empathetic. Having insight and regard for others.

It's not to provide some sincerity-gutted "we'll absolutely look at it" excuse for ignorance and inaction.

That bloke needs to take a good hard look at himself. 
- Ed.
Theatre of the Actors of Regard  
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 someone looks at something...


15 March 2021

Women’s March 4 Justice : Australia, today

Women’s March 4 Justice/#home
 Brittany Higgins addresses the protest outside Parliament, Canberra

 Grace Tame (2021Australian of the Year) addresses the Hobart protest 
Again, women linked arms against violence
  Embrace the Base. Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp 1982 
  by Margaret Leunig
  click on the image to see this 1982 needlework in full

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


10 March 2021

TAR Witness Statement : Regarding that WOA had a real impact on me.

Call for Panels | IMPACT
AAANZ 2021 Conference , 8-11 December 2021, The University of Sydney

The Sydney Conference Committee invites proposals for panels for the AAANZ conference, to be held at University of Sydney, 8-10 December 2021.

All proposals are due by midnight, Friday, 23 April 2021.
Submit your applications here: https://powerinstitute.submittable.com/
Call for papers as a pdf here PDF

Conference Theme: Impact

We seek panel proposals that examine the vexed term ‘impact’, in its relation to art, design, film, culture, society and politics. 

This includes the impact of history, colonialism, politics, technology, capital, nature, migration, and markets on art, design, film, and visual culture. The consequences of impact may be: aesthetic, sensory, social, epistemological, environmental, economic, material, institutional and/or bodily, and may involve consideration of human-animal-plant relations, as well as intersections of race, ethnicity, class, gender and sexuality.

For panel ideas, visit 
where considerations include :
· How does art impact conceptions of futures?
· How might art resist impact? How and when does art fail to have impact? Who or what bears the labour of having impact?
· How is art’s impact instrumentalised and measured? Might art’s impact be beyond measure?

Theatre of the Actors of Regard  
 A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/
 someone looks at something...
"...also the way that we use "impact". Impact, unless it's referring to your teeth, in which case you need to go see a dentist, IMPACT IS NOT A VERB. In some conditions it is an adjective. But it is not to be used either grammatically or aesthetically or in any proper human company to refer to something  being effected by or influenced by something else. So all of these things, I think, are part and parcel of the hyperbolisation of language, things that used to be the extreme or limit cases are now being used to describe something that is fairly, kind of, medium."

Scott Stephens, The Minefield, ABC.RN, 4 March 2021

  FIAPCE (-1974-1984-)                collection : Monash University

(And while she shares a sense that disrupting conventional reading habits can disclose new possibilities of thought and feeling, Hunt, who has worked as a housing organizer and labor reporter, seems skeptical of the avant-garde fantasy that writing difficult poetry constitutes meaningful political action: “One troubling aspect of privileging language as the primary site to torque new meaning and possibility is that it is severed from the political question of for whom new meaning is produced.” *)

*See Hunt’s “Notes for an Oppositional Poetics” in The Politics of Poetic Form: Poetry and Public Policy, edited by Charles Bernstein (Roof, 1990).

- from 'Past Imperfect', Ben Lerner in the New York Review of Books re. Erica Hunt, 'Jump the Clock: New and Selected Poems'.  February 25, 2021 issue

Theatre of the Actors of Regard   
 Regarding that WOA

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


 had a real impact on me.


08 March 2021

Good, better, written on rice

Man holds record for writing 1,749 characters on rice grain
by Shubhodeep Datta - 23 Jan 2017

A man from Jaipur, Surendra Kumar Apharya, holds the Guinness world record for writing 1,749 characters on a single grain. He also has to his credit, a world record of writing 249 characters on a strand of human hair. To master this form of precision writing, Apharya learnt yoga and he can even hold his breath for two minutes.


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