29 February 2012

Examiners' reports

So I got back the examiners' reports last night, with names and marks removed. At first, reading Examiner A, I had a moment of horror: 'Oh no, don't tell me they're just going to accept it!?'

But then I got to Examiner B and went 'Phew!':
This is an unusual MFA exegesis and one is required to read between the lines negotiating meandering historical and personal narratives. The texts variously provide short narratives of the candidate's life, champion the marginalised artist (Picabia), the autodidact (pg.25); and makes claims to reject culture (pg.11), and the art academy (pgs.7, 12).

From this it is apparent that the exegesis preferences the attitude of the candidate positioned as avant-garde and antagonistic. This overriding attitude is given greater weight than how the work is contextualized and what it is attempting to do. The work is located in a limited range of existing practices and at times the candidate critically examines aspects of the topic, notably via the above discussion of della Francesea's Baptism of Christ and in the discussion and research into the avant-garde. The aims and purposes in the research are inferred in the exegesis, the overall structure makes this information not readily available. There is a comprehensive bibliography but there is no direct referencing of source material in the exegesis. This fails to meet minimum academic standards. Further to this critical thinking, analysis and argument do not contextualize the liberal use of profane language. Without this it is inappropriate for the topic and context.

No physical work has been presented for the assessment, making a thorough engagement with the art practice difficult. The subtleties of the work cannot be gleaned from the printed documentation provided. No dimensions are provided for the works. The documentation of the work Cauchi contra mundum does not include details of all components of the installation.

 (Emphasis added.)

24 February 2012

The Nobble Savage

So I've just been at the new City Gallery opening, their sculpture show, their as my friend put it Bizzaro-Prospect show.

We arrived during the speeches. Oh dear gods, I wish we'd missed them. Paula Savage, the Destroyer, whose cold dead hand has ruined that building, is a bad public speaker at the best of times. These were not the best of times. She gushed. Oh, did she gush. It was hilarious: 'This building ... I love it ... I love it ... I love it ... I just love it ... And I love you too ... Everyone of you ... And let me tell you about my sons ... And my new job ...' Seriously, she spent some time talking about her sons and her new job and, of course, how much she loves everything.

And look how she's left that place.

Ye gods, I wish I'd missed that speech. The start a sentence and then mumble into incoherence. The rambling. The inanity. The gushing.

And then the goddamn Registrar came up to me trying to talk about the argument we'd had over the Fomison library in the previous show, when she'd been summoned as soon as I started looking at the books. When she'd bossily and officiously not let me use the books, no no they're not for reference, told me they're just there for admiring, and other such bullshit. I don't know what the fuck she was going on about tonight, but it made no fucking sense to me.

But then I am insane. Every time I go to see my shrink, she brings up her power to institutionalise me under the Mental Health Act. What's up with that?

When I think back to the time I spent in that building as a child, the many hours, when it was a library, it's a bit rank, what's happened to it.

The least they could do is put on some good shows.

What a load of shit.

(As you may have gathered, I've been a cunt tonight. I do enjoy it so. Up yours.)

20 February 2012


Are the secret police sneaking into my studio when I'm not here to move things about just to mess with my head? Is it maybe alien robots from the future using amplified telekinetic ray projectors? Maybe I'm slipping into yet another alternate world every time I leave the house, each separate world distinguished by subtle changes in the arrangements of objects? Or is it hostile telepathic interference from a higher power falsifying my memory of the supposed previous arrangement of those objects?

Did those objects even exist before I walked into the studio today? Did I exist before I woke up this morning? Is my alleged memory of a continuous identity before today merely a psychogenetic implant? Am I I? If I say I and you say I, to what does 'I' refer? Am I you? Are you I? Which I? What is I?

Might be time to do another self-portrait. Just to check.

Hey, does that reasoning thereby make me an impressionist!?

Ha ha.

17 February 2012

Camp A Low Hum

Rose, our friend Dan, and I have spent the week recovering from the rigours of last weekend. And what rigours they were! It was awesome. We had an excellent time.

So on Friday morning Rose and I drove over the hill to Wainui. It's such a strange closed-in place, Wainui, especially with low-lying cloud. I was a bit worried about putting up the tent, what with it raining and me being hungover and all. Richard Bryant's show at Robert's opened the night before (go and check it out!).

As it turned out though, putting up the tent was fine. The rain cleared up at that stage. However, inflating the air bed was a different matter. The pump for it is powered by a car cigarette lighter, and we discovered that ours didn't work. That's fine, we told each other. We'll just wait for Dan to show up after work and use his.

So, we started in on the rum and wandered around the site and checked out a few bands. The rain started in earnest when we were watching Quarks. It was a great demonstration of spontaneous self-organisation. The rain started and the umbrellas over the stage weren't cutting it, so people from the audience stood around him on the stage holding a sheet of plastic over him and his equipment as he played his set. Kropotkin would be proud. (Actually, I doubt that.)

After that, things started to get messy. Dan showed up and we inflated our mattress, and managed to get it completely soaked. I slid down a muddy bank, and Rose and Dan stood around and laughed at me. Bands got shifted around cos of the rain, so we just wandered around at random, sticking around for stuff that appealed and wandering off if it didn't. I much preferred that to running around according to a schedule. Got lost, got found, got lost again.

I would've thought things would be grim with bad weather, but they weren't at all.

Then we crashed. Ye gods, sleeping on the ground. At about 3 or 4 in the morning it gets really cold. Really really cold. Haven't done that since my 20s.

Then, the next day, the weather cleared up, and everything was glorious. Sitting on the grass smoking and drinking and watching someone play against a backdrop of bush-covered hills. Extremely very pleasant.

And that night was even messier than the first. That's the night I ended up in the first aid tent after being picked up out of the bushes near the lagoon. Being unable to give my name, I went down on the (very long) sick list as 'Lagoon Boy'. That's when I lost my phone. It's all Rose's fault, but let's not go into that.

Of all the various acts we saw, I really liked the single person ones the most. I found the bands a bit boring. But the single people! Sexy Merlin with his drums and Cartoon with his drums were an interesting comparison. However, easily my favourite act wasn't on any of the main stages but in the Renegade Room: Bow Arrow. We chatted to him afterwards. He's an amazing guy. I won't tell you his story. Go check it out for yourself. Download the album, and go see him play if you ever get the chance.

Anyway, here are some photos:
That was me, well on the way to becoming Lagoon Boy.

Here's a couple of another highlight, Kirin J Callinan:
Somewhere under the blue here is Quarks playing in the rain:
And here's Jon Lemmon with our lantern on a dark and muddy path:
I am very much looking forward to next year. Of the music festivals I've been to, this one's easily the best.

Oh, it's somewhat unrelated but speaking of downloading albums, check out the very excellent Andy Hummel's album.
visitors since 29 March 2004.