31 March 2004

Makara at midnight

If you live in the Wellington area, I strongly recommend a late-night trip to Makara Beach sometime. The car's headlights on the ocean look amazing. Throwing sticks for the dog can be a bit tricky, as can stumbling around. It's all well worth it though. The sound of the ocean, the blackness, the stars.

We weren't the only ones with this idea either. A car drove up to the start of the walking track and then someone came walking out of the darkness and got in. The car then drove away. Maybe there's an innocent explanation, but it looked pretty dodgy to me. (They were probably thinking the same thing about us.)

30 March 2004

Skeleton Guy rides again

Rose's daughter Chloe asked her, 'How long is he going to keep on painting skeletons for?' The quick answer is a bit longer yet. I'm not bored with them yet.

As well as doing new ones, I've been quite successful in rescuing ones I thought I'd completely fucked up. There's only one that might be a total dead loss. That one I might have to redo from scratch (it's just the execution that I screwed up - the idea and composition are fine).

It's a funny thing. I've probably said this before, but several of the ones I initially thought were pretty crap have grown on me. Sometimes you just have to give it a bit of time and come back with a fresh eye. Getting other people's opinions can help too (though at other times other people's opinions can be something of a hindrance).

I'm having fun with the family crest in one of the new ones, replacing Neptune with (surprise, surprise) a Skeleton Guy.

I'm not sure what to call them. I am tempted by 'Untitled (Skeleton Guy) No 1' etc, but don't know. Titles can be a big influence on the viewer's interpretation of a work, so maybe something to give the viewer a prod in a certain direction might be the go. I've no idea what though.

The old website update hasn't made much progress. I've got to take photos and tidy them up, which I get the feeling might be a somewhat time-consuming process (me being so technically inept). The weekend was a bit of a washout on that score. I had hoped to get started then. Rose had drinks to farewell her old office on Saturday night (yet another excuse for a day off the non-drinking thing - the excuses have been coming pretty thick and fast), and that was pretty much that.

Naughty Jorg

The German artist Jorg Immendorf has been accused of cocaine possession (27 cocaine and sex parties over a three-year period apparently).

Naughty US Army

The strange case of Chaplain Yee.

Naughty Saatchi

Charles Saatchi has been accused of monopolising the British art market. The guy making the complaint is not only Stella Vine's ex-husband but also a Stuckist.

Hundertwasser's loo...

...is causing a bit of a stink. I particularly like 'When the sun of culture is low, then dwarves create long shadows'!

29 March 2004

Life on Mars?

Well, the presence of methane might be a clue.

Kind of funny

'The Model Vs. Photographer series was created during a period of modest desperation. I had nobody available who was willing to model, but I wanted to keep moving ahead with cranking out images. While sitting around pondering this, I was struck by the idea that it would be hilarious if I would mimic the poses of models I had shot previously.'

Check them out here.

Fascist bastards

No Right Turn has a link to this story. NZPols responded, and then No Right Turn responded right back. Those bloggers, eh?

There's something pretty Kafkaesque about this whole SIS thing - a shadowy bureaucracy that doesn't tell you what you're charged with or what their evidence is, but just takes your passport away. It's worth bearing in mind that this is just the latest in a string of legislation curtailing civil liberties in the wake of September 11.

What would have happened in the Aziz Choudry case if it had been now rather than the late 90s?

I did consider applying to the SIS when they were recruiting intelligence agents (as a bit of a joke), but decided against it. One of the problems with the SIS is its lack of a sense of humour. Well, apart from the evidence against Ahmed Zaoui being a joke that is.

Oh well, if you believe the alleged time traveller John Titor, the US will have a civil war this year and then it'll be all on.

27 March 2004

Appropriation and copyright

New York painter Joy Garnett is faced with an interesting copyright issue over this painting. She's been getting a bit of solidarity.

Appropriation has a long and honourable history. Some people think it's a recent thing, but Renaissance artists quoted each other pretty liberally (though of course they didn't have copyright absurdities to deal with). Nowadays people sometimes make art specifically to break copyright.

Some more stuff to check out

Rob McLeod's website and Jo Russ's website.

I believe there's still a bit more building to be done for both of these, so check them out again in the next few days or so.

26 March 2004

Well, there you go...

Noam Chomsky's got a blog.

Changes at home

Rose is moving her office home today. It's the end of an era and the start of a new one. We'll both be here all day every day. I wonder whether we'll drive each other nuts. She's just bought a swanky new laptop and loaded it up with all her rinky-dink designer software. I hope to use it to finally update my website (it'll be a lot easier using that than my computer). With any luck I'll be able to do that next week.

New buttons

Observant readers will have noticed the addition of new buttons at the bottom of the page. Well, they would've had they scrolled down to the bottom of the page anyway (and how likely is that?). This blog is now listed on Blogarama and in a whopping great queue to be listed on Blogwise. I'm not sure why really.

I suppose it's not that surprising that Blogarama's most popular blogs tend to be sex blogs.

24 March 2004


Ben's opening was good. Lots of people showed up. He sold six, with options on three others. Got to love those little red dots. Rose bought a couple of Stuart Forsyth paintings (he's showing at the Bowen Gallery - they share the space).

The group show at Janne's was a much more low key affair. It's new work in stock, so I suppose people think the opening isn't such a big deal. Matt's work looked great. I also liked the Helm Ruifrok, which reminded me a lot of Leonardo's studies of Leda's head (the painting doesn't actually look anything like that - it's the elaborate hairstyle that reminded me of it I think). Another stand-out was Peter Ireland's 'Landscape Sampler', which was a circular oil on paper copy of a Fox painting with 'TANZA' written across it - a note next to it said that TANZA was the first NZ record company. It stands for 'To Assist New Zealand Artists'. I was very tempted by it.

The social stance of the artist

1 The talent for self-promotion is a prerequisite for those inclined to pursue the artistic calling.

2 The budding genius must learn above all else to respect money and power.

3 A reverence for critical authority must dominate his life. He must strictly adhere to his subservient standing, and never forget that art is merely an object whose purpose is to facilitate the critic's realisation of his critical potential.

4 The riskiest thing an artist can have is too strong a backbone. Woe betide that miserable creatively inclined creature not able to subdue his obdurate spinal column in the course of daily bowing and scraping.

5 Let him therefore take cognisance of the fact that he is a subservient member of society, nothing more in essence than a slightly better employee. His demands can, of course, be taken under consideration only when society's more essential needs for a family car and a holiday to the Pyramids have been satisfied.

6 The artist may take quiet pleasure in his craft. Let him not, however, forget that fashion changes every five years. He would therefore do well not to indulge in too much 'quiet pleasure', and stay well informed of every new set of marching orders.

7 Aside from the talent for self-promotion, the most important asset an artist can have is a girlfriend or beautiful wife. Her utility can be imagined in a variety of ways. Who other than the artist's beloved could better soothe the transaction riddled, multinational takeover scheme saturated, cosmic thunder stricken brain of the champagne manufacturer or leather dealer? With her gentle hand she can stroke the mighty one's chaotic brow and, resting him against her soft body, induct him into the mysteries of dreaming and art.

8 The artist can know nothing of religion, politics, and life. He must not forget that sylphlike prescence that he is, his only purpose consisting in sprinkling the world with brightly coloured pollen. He must serve the amusement and delight of the mighty. The 'merry little artist folk' had best keep in mind their humble limitations. It is therefore advised that should the artist be endowed by nature with a little sense and a modicum of critical faculty, he keep these qualities to himself. Only insofar as he maintains an aura of artlessness can the artist expect to be recognised by the public.

9 The best thing an artist can do, of course, is to die. Only when the last living vestige of this bothersome personality has disintegrated in his grave can his fellow men take pleasure in his work. Only then does the artist's work truly belong to his contemporaries, for if they buy it at the right time it is as good as if they had made it. The artist is strongly advised to die at the right time. Only thereby can he put the finishing touches on his work.

10 The artist who follows these principles will have a good life. His fellow men will gladly accord this well respected and untroublesome element in the fabric of the state all the love and recognition he deserves.

(Max Beckmann, 1927)

23 March 2004

Conservative punks

You need to register to read it, but here is a New York Times article on conservative punks (of all things). It seems they're pro-Bush and not into things like Punkvoter, and so have set up things like Punkvoter Lies and Conservative Punk.


Yet another silly quiz

Which classic novel do you belong in?

22 March 2004

The new Doctor Who...

...is Christopher Eccleston.


Ben's show at the Christopher Moore Gallery (35 Ghuznee St) opens tonight at 5.30 pm.

Matt's got a piece in a group show at Janne Land's opening tomorrow (see this for details).


NoRightTurn has a link to this story about discussions straight after September 11:

'Rumsfeld was saying that we needed to bomb Iraq,' [former White House terrorism advisor Richard] Clarke said. 'And we all said ... no, no. Al-Qaeda is in Afghanistan. We need to bomb Afghanistan. And Rumsfeld said there aren't any good targets in Afghanistan. And there are lots of good targets in Iraq. I said, "Well, there are lots of good targets in lots of places, but Iraq had nothing to do with it."

'Initially, I thought when he said, "There aren't enough targets in - in Afghanistan," I thought he was joking.'

Well, you would, wouldn't you?

In another part he says:

'The president dragged me into a room with a couple of other people, shut the door, and said, "I want you to find whether Iraq did this." Now he never said, "Make it up." But the entire conversation left me in absolutely no doubt that George Bush wanted me to come back with a report that said Iraq did this.

'I said, "Mr. President. We've done this before. We have been looking at this. We looked at it with an open mind. There's no connection."

'He came back at me and said, "Iraq! Saddam! Find out if there's a connection." And in a very intimidating way. I mean that we should come back with that answer. We wrote a report.'

Clarke continued, 'It was a serious look. We got together all the FBI experts, all the CIA experts. We wrote the report. We sent the report out to CIA and found FBI and said, "Will you sign this report?" They all cleared the report. And we sent it up to the president and it got bounced by the National Security Advisor [Condoleeza Rice] or Deputy. It got bounced and sent back saying, "Wrong answer. ... Do it again." '

21 March 2004

The weekend

Rose and I watched The Man Who Fell To Earth on Friday night. Strangely enough, I'd never seen it before. I really enjoyed it - though some people might find it pretentious and a bit dated. I thought Bowie was brilliant and that it was nice not to have everything spelled out for you. The story-telling was very linear. It was just that there were sudden jumps in time and location, not to mention the surreal inserts, and lots of things were left for you to fill in.

We had some friends round for lunch on Saturday. Sarah was dropping off a small proofreading job for me, so we decided to 'make it a bit social' (as Sarah put it). It was a stinking hot day. We took the table out on to the balcony and had lunch out there. Very nice.

On Saturday night, we went to Festival stuff. Rose had manged to double book herself - gettings tickets to go to Saltarello with her daughters and to Tan Dun with me at the same time. Rose ended up going to Saltrello and I went to Tan Dun with Paul. Tan Dun was excellent, particularly the water percussion in the first half and the integration of videos of Chinese folk music with the orchestra in the second. I really liked the stone drumming.

On the front page of the paper this morning is a big story about the al-Qaeda no 2 man apparently coming to NZ in the early 90s. No doubt that'll get the pundits buzzing.

20 March 2004

Dodgy dealing

Heard about the art dealer with the not very original plan for selling the same painting several times? There's a Doctor Who story that does something similar.

19 March 2004

Bowie art

I'm on a bit of a Bowie kick at the moment. I'm listening to my all-time favourite, Hunky Dory, quite a lot (and, yes, there's even a quiz about it). Did you know he's into his contemporary art and a big supporter of emerging artists? Check out the website.

Burroughs interview

I found a link to this Burroughs interview with Creem magazine at BoingBoing.

17 March 2004

Ah, the joy of online personality tests

According to the freak test, I'm 97% freak. Though with all these types of things, I think they tend to reflect self-image more than reality.

The morality test results are as follows:

Moral attitudes results:

Your values are liberal and progressive; you tend to be tolerant of different views.
When it comes to social morals, you feel that society's current laws need to be more liberal and flexibile across the board.
You believe that the government is too conservative and do not agree with many of the current practices and policies.

Personality survey results:

You enjoy having novel experiences and seeing things in new ways.
You probably have a messy desk!
You tend to shy away from social situations.
You find it easy to criticize others.
You aren't particularly nervous, nor calm.

16 March 2004

Painting again

I'm about to get stuck into doing some painting again. I've been a bit slack recently. I've got a couple to finish off and then some new canvases to gesso up, ready for the next bout. I think they'll be yet more Skeleton Guy ones. I am starting to think about what I'm going to do next, though I think I need to do some more Skeleton Guys in order to have a large pool of them to pick from for this group show that's rapidly approaching. I don't know though. I'm quite keen to do something different. Decisions, decisions.

I was thinking of having some Illuminati Guy and some Skeleton Guy paintings in it for a while, but nixed that idea in favour of just Skeleton Guys quite a while ago. I've got enough of them now if needs be, but it's always nice to have the options - even though the earlier ones tend to be better than the more recent ones. There's a couple in the most recent batch that aren't too bad and that might make the cut.

I'm really not too sure what's next on the agenda though. I've a couple of ideas, but nothing firm. Someone made some comment to me on a mailing list I'm on about my having not just a chip on my shoulder but a whole field of potatoes. I thought that was really funny, and immediately wanted to do a painting of a shoulder with a pottle of chips on it. I wouldn't want to do a series of things like that - the joke'd wear thin really quick. Maybe I should just do a Clayton's series - the series you're having when you're not having a series - a string of completely unrelated paintings. (Now there's a reference that dates me!)

Bad politics baby

You can see a screenshot of the defaced Nat website here.

And if you thought the political debate in this country couldn't get any sillier, you were wrong.

15 March 2004

Gee, I wonder why?

Hackers deface the National Party website.

If you haven't already...

...check out Russell Brown's links to the stories of the five Britons recently released from Guantanamo. They're pretty full on.

On another note, it's a worrying sign that a single terrorist attack can change the outcome of an election. Though of course it seems to be the PP's attempt to spin the attack for its own political gain by blaming ETA (which never seemed overly likely) that really affected the outcome. Still, it makes you wonder what's going to happen in the US between now and November.

Matt has updated his website once more, changing the format (which I believe looks much better on a Mac than it does on a PC) and including a couple of new things. I checked out Tom Sach's website, which has the craziest set of links I've come across in a wee while, including this manifesto.

And, last but by no means least, check out Philip Guston's Poor Richard.

14 March 2004

Overcoats and projectors

Rose and I went to see The Overcoat last night. I was a bit dubious about the 'physical theatre' aspect, but I ended up being pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed it. One minor thing that annoyed me though was the TV-style credits projected on a screen at the start.

Speaking of projectors, this is kind of funny.

12 March 2004

It's my birthday

So I turned 34 today. I don't feel 34, not by any means. The years are ticking over far too fast. I can't keep up.

I'm going out to lunch with Dad, and then out to dinner at Il Casino with Rose.

I've long been enamoured of the idea that UFOs are agents of advanced socialist alien societies. It's all there in Marx: if capitalism is only a stage in the inevitable development towards socialism, then a technologically advanced civilisation capable of sending UFOs must necessarily be socialist. Ken MacLeod provides a link to where the idea seems to have originated. Brilliant.

11 March 2004

Dirty tricks

NoRightTurn has a good link here.

US politics

A Guardian piece by Sidney Blumenthal on Bush's negative campaign. As lots of people have mentioned, it's going to be a long and bitter campaign.

Ben's opening

Ben's got a new show at Christopher Moore Gallery opening at 5.30pm on Monday, 22 March.

There we go then

Matt has put up a useful thing on how to introduce yourself in Maori (well, useful if you need to introduce yourself in Maori anyway). I'm not sure how the olds got here. Mum arrived by boat when she was four (sounds like it was an amazing trip - boat to Canada, train across Canada, boat to NZ - you can kind of see her and her parents on that trip in the picture 'My mother, aged 4' here), but I don't know what the boat was. Dad arrived when he was 25, but I have no idea how, probably by plane.

Oh, the olds reckon the baby in the picture next to 'My mother, aged 4' is me, not Ben.

10 March 2004

Music purchases

I filled out the old record collection with some must haves today. David Bowie's The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars and The Man Who Sold The World, both on vinyl, as well as Lou Reed's Transformer, sadly on CD. Well, the Man Who Sold The World isn't really a must have, but the other two are.

Whitney Biennial

The Whitney Biennial is on. They've got quite a cool website, but when I clicked on a couple of the artists I found that the heading and picture was for whoever I'd clicked on but the text was for the previous person. Now this could be some sly comment on dislocation or something, but I reckon they've just stuffed up.

09 March 2004

Other David Cauchis

One of the consequences of being a member of the only Cauchi family in New Zealand (apparently) is that I've never met anyone with the same name as me. But now, with the wonders of modern technology, you can Google yourself. There's the David Cauchi who's a real estate agent in California (and who bagged the .com web address). There's the David Cauchi of The David Cauchi Band. There's the David Cauchi whom Austway helped to succeed. There's the David Cauchi named Director of Operations of NxtCycle (which seems to have something to do with electronic waste management). There's the David Cauchi who works in a bank in Malta. There's lots more other ones, but you get the picture.

Then there's all sorts of Internet traces I've left around the place over the years. It's pretty scary really.

Tee hee

Russell Brown mentions that someone at LKJ had written 'Don Brash - racist trash' on the blackboard in the loo. I'd originally written 'Don Brash wuz here' after Te Koopu's incendiary warm-up performance, but someone else had rubbed out the 'wuz here' bit and added the 'racist trash' bit sometime later. I think my version was funnier (but then I would, wouldn't I?).

Lost In Translation

We watched Lost In Translation last night. I didn't go and see it when it was on at the flicks, but Rose did. She liked it so much she bought the DVD. It is an exquisite film - funny and melancholy both at once, confounding the expectations learnt from most Hollywood fare (though some people just see it as racist).

What annoyed me was that we had to sit through bloody ads before getting to the main menu of the DVD. I thought that was really rude. We didn't buy this thing to have ads forced on us! Unbelievable.

Something to read

It's a bit on the old side, but here is an article on last year's Turner Prize winner.

08 March 2004

Art on the telly

Sky digital subscribers can check out the new arts channel on channel 59. There doesn't seem to be much in the way of visual arts stuff on it. I missed last Saturday's visual arts feature (being at LKJ and all), but might watch next Saturday's doco on the infamous Degenerate Art exhibition. The channel's being broadcast free during March, but you need to subscribe after that. I'm not sure yet if I will.

I thought, what with the Charter and all, that TV One would start making and showing some good docos on New Zealand artists. They can be done. The Profiles one on Tony Fomison from the early 80s I got out from the library a while ago was great. But no, it's just seems to be the same steady diet of crap.

Oh well, bugger the telly. There's plenty of good stuff on the old Internet after all.

07 March 2004


I went to see so-called dub poet Linton Kwesi Johnson at Bodega last night. Really low-key, just a guy reading poetry to a packed crowd. They were all excellent, but my favourites were (and I'm not going to attempt to spell them like he does) the one on the New Cross Massacre, 'My Revolutionary Friend', 'Make Time', and 'If I Was A Top Notch Poet' (which he finished with). His delivery was superb, with his 'rhythms and rhymes and ragged bass lines'. You almost didn't need to follow the words. But of course you did.

06 March 2004


Observant imaginary readers will notice some changes. The 'kiwi blogs' link under the description at the top right-hand corner of the page is because I've applied to join the Kiwi Blogs Ring (no, I'm not linking it here as well - that would be redundant). I'm sitting in their approval queue at the moment - number four of four waiting for approval.

I've also just added a webcounter (at the bottom of the page). Needless to say, it's only starting counting from today.


Okay, if you want to check out one of the German artists at BartleyNees at the moment, go here, click on the 'artists' button and then click on 'Stefan Kubler' (the 'u' in Kubler should have an umlaut, but that's beyond my meagre technical means).

05 March 2004

Photography is dead

Or so says David Hockney. Also check out the related article. He seems to be talking about journalistic photography, rather than art photography (which he says he finds dull), but I still don't buy it. Trick photography has been around since the birth of photography itself - so why should digital manipulation make a difference? It's the idea that photos are objective records that was the original mistake. And, as for art photography, I'd imagine that digital manipulation would make it more on a par with painting, not less.

Want some fun? Try editing your own Psycho shower scene (not that I've actually tried it yet - I've got a slow as dial-up connection so will do it when I've got plenty of time to spare).

Oh well

We flagged Hallelujah Chaos in the end, opting to stay home and watch Rose's new Stan Brakhage DVD instead. This was kind of foolish, seeing as they were on for only one night and we could watch the DVD anytime, but hey. What we watched (by no means all of it) was very good (you can find out more about him here). I thought it a bit unfortunate that the back cover read, 'Brakhage pioneered the art of making images directly on film itself––starting with clear leader or exposed film, then drawing, painting, and scratching it by hand.' Um, sorry guys, but Len Lye was doing that at least 20 years earlier.

I don't see the need to make ridiculous and untrue claims about someone when they can stand on their own perfectly well. The City Gallery is currently doing something similar with Rosalie Gascoigne. They've got a big promo thing out the front of the gallery that proclaims she is 'Australia's best known New Zealand artist'. What a load of bollocks. She moved to Australia at 26 and didn't start making art until she was in her 60s. Her work's very much influenced by the Outback, which is where she lived. New Zealand's got nothing to do with it. It's just another sign of our cultural immaturity. But then the City Gallery does tend to be piss poor. The catalogue for last year's Shane Cotton show still isn't out. The show closed in mid-October. It's a disgrace.

04 March 2004

Crazy things...

...that can happen to artworks.

And there's still more!

We went to a peculiar little opening last night - the photographers Peter Peryer and Andrew Ross at the Link Span Building on the waterfront (a picture of the building and the invite can be seen on Peter's site), organised by Paul McNamara. The building's tiny, but it's a great space. I wondered, though, whether it would've better just to have one person rather than two.

We're off to see Hallelujah Chaos at Happy tonight (assuming we can get tickets - I have a feeling it might be quite popular). We've been going along there quite a lot recently. It's a good little spot.

03 March 2004

Life on Mars

Well, it's looking like there's a pretty good chance there was once.

Another opening

We went off to an opening at BartleyNees Gallery last night. Three German artists from a gallery in Berlin. The idea is that it's an exchange type thing, and the Berlin gallery will have an exhibition of BartleyNees artists next year. Unfortunately, I didn't grab the handout and have a bad memory for names, and the link to the gallery above hasn't been updated with this show yet. We also went to an opening at Enjoy, which I at least thought was dreadful. We then kind of crashed the BartleyNees dinner at Anise. Huge amounts of extremely good food, not to mention vast quantities of wine (from which I abstained - ain't I good?).

Some other links to a couple of Auckland artists to look at: Andrew McLeod and Brendon Wilkinson (I own the painting, The Negative Space, that's fourth from the bottom).

01 March 2004


So the Lord of the Rings cleaned up at the Oscars. I'm so sick of the goddamn Lord of the Rings (look, honestly, you don't need a link to it now, do you?). I hated The Return of the King. Fucking mawkish sentimentality. Oh well, my friend Stephen deserved his technical one. And Keisha will no doubt have the distinction of being the youngest ever best actress nominee for a wee while yet. Why I am even gracing the subject with a mention!?!

Tonight's the last night drinking for a while. Rose and I have decided to give up the booze for a couple of months (at least). Maybe that'll mean the stupid ads that appear at the top of this blog will stop advertising hangover cures (they must pick up on what's being written about - for a while there they were art related but no longer). We're trying to have a baby and me drinking all the time doesn't help.

I'm in two minds about this. I don't think the 21st century's going to be an overly fun place to be. The oil's running out, the environment's about to collapse, consumer capitalism's just shit served up on a silver plate. I find everyday life miserable enough as it is at the moment. I hate to think what it'll be like in 20 years' time.

On the other hand, we're, I think, the only Cauchis in New Zealand (yep, the four in NZ are my dad, my brothers, and me). Someone's got to continue the line. Not only that but I'm a mutant. I've got one fewer teeth than the rest of you. I'm quite keen to pass that on.

Hmmm, sensible reasons versus silly ones - and the silly ones win out. That's human stupidity for you, eh?

Yes well...

This kind of once over lightly is one reason why I find a lot of media commentary infuriating.
visitors since 29 March 2004.