27 February 2010

First week

So we've had our first week of school. It went pretty well. We've got studios sorted, and they're not too shabby at all. A great improvement on last year in fact. There is some threat that we might be encroached on by others. However, we're prepared to defend ourselves.

There are eight people doing PGDips, including me. It's a good number, and seems like a good group of people. Most of them have come from elsewhere. It was interesting hearing their first impressions of Massey.

There are a couple of aspects of the course that they picked up on, particularly the lectures consisting solely of the staff talking about their work. People requiring you to be a captive audience for them to talk about themselves is a bit rank.

I reckon that's a very minor quibble though. The actual assessment requirements are all good, with nothing obviously silly.

One of those requirements is that we keep a journal of reflective writing about our work. This writing should not be 'overly casual or idiomatic, sensational, sentimental, or "faux-academic"'. When I queried what this meant, I was pointedly told 'not ranting, David'. So that counts this blog out then.

23 February 2010

Back to school

22 February 2010

21 February 2010


Graham (a group show) finished yesterday. I came across this assessment ('a great little show'), which includes an explanation of the name.

Apparently, my stuff is 'where the show tends to lose its grip on "zen" and "calm" altogether'.

17 February 2010

Submit your work to a New York art dealer!

Go here and follow the easy instructions.

As part of the exhibition #class, dealer Edward Winkleman will spend a portion of his time in his gallery reviewing digital images of work sent via the internet to #class by artists globally.

The rules are:
  • Artists will submit one digital image to "Shut up already. I'll look at your art".
  • Mr. Winkleman and guests will view the image for no less than 10 sec.
  • Mr. Winkleman and guests will be monitored by a volunteer as they view the work to assure full compliance with the rules.
  • Mr. Winkleman, his guests and the Monitor will sign a certificate of viewing stating the image has been viewed.
  • Mr. Winkleman and his guests will have no obligation to provide representation to any of the artists, make any comment about, or critique any of the images.
  • Once an image is viewed by Mr. Winkleman and his guests the artist cannot complain that their work is not being considered by a professional gallery for one year from the date of viewing, Mr. Winkleman and his guests will be absolved of any further obligation to take complaints by artists that their work is not being considered by a professional gallery seriously for one year from the date of viewing.
  • As Mr. Winkleman and his guests view the images, they will be available on the internet to be viewed.

If I submit something, it should be a real fuck you one.

14 February 2010


The best bit starts at about six minutes 45 seconds in: 'I believe in not believing.'



Oh, this infinite space, whose foreground you continually have to fill up with junk so you don't see its awful depth too clearly. What would we poor mortals do if we didn't continually equip ourselves with ideas about God and country, love and art, in an attempt to hide that sinister black hole. This endless desolation in eternity. This loneliness.

Nothing gets the...

09 February 2010

Ye gods

Deep within their underground lair, fresh from bathing in the blood of babies and conducting strange satanic rituals, the evil Barrs update their blog to have another go at me.

'Mainstream'!? 'Hot cakes'!? I honestly don't think they have a very good grasp of what words mean.

I suppose they think the likes of Gambia Castle and their own sorry excuse for a gallery (does somewhere that's had just one show that was only ever open for a matter of hours even count as a gallery?) aren't mainstream, and that I'm 'selling out' by showing in a dealer gallery rather than some artist-run space.

I hate to break it to them, but artist-run spaces such as Gambia Castle and Enjoy are fully integrated mainstream public institutions. It's not just that they receive public funding but that they are a recognised stepping stone for curators and artists (but especially curators) to get into the major public institutions. They're curator factories even.

As an intertemporal avant-garde artist, I wouldn't touch an artist-run space with a barge pole. In fact, back in 2007 I clearly stated where you would find a contemporary manifestation of the intertemporal avant-garde: 'It will be found mostly in sympathetic dealer galleries, online, and in short-run publications.'

That hasn't changed at all.

And I've found Ivan very sympathetic. He gets it, unlike some.

In other news, I got a letter in the mail today confirming my eligibility to graduate. Apparently I've got my graduate diploma 'with distinction', whatever that means. Once they post the scroll out to me, I might hang it where it belongs, in the toilet.

08 February 2010


I've got a few books by Louis-Ferdinand Céline from the library at the moment. I wanted Journey to the end of the night, but some bastard has nicked it. Instead, I'm reading Death on credit. It's pretty good.

Here's a nice quote from the preface to one of the others I've got:
Here Céline turns upside down what authors of every epoch have done when they seek to reconcile the reader to him, to make him a friend. Céline treats the reader as an adversary, and vice versa. For him, the important thing is that there should be between him and the reader an emotional link. For that, hostility will do just as well as complicity (athletes and soldiers speak of 'seeking contact').

I'd go further. Hostility will not 'do just as well as complicity', it is preferable to.


('Wanker!' comes the call from the cheap seats.)

Graham review

John Hurrell has reviewed the group show at Ivan Anthony's I'm in.

I have two minor comments.

Either the the word 'later' in 'later ink drawings' is a typo for 'latter' or John's just making shit up. The 'mock-Mayan' ink drawings were done before the Adam show, as working drawings for it.

And, in the same sentence, instead of saying 'architectural planar surfaces' he should really just say 'walls'.

I mean, really.

Architectural planar surfaces!

But I'm glad he picked out 'The world'. It's one of my favourites.

05 February 2010

Quote of the day

Good old Desiderius Erasmus. He's very quotable. He published a book of adages from Greek and Latin, many of which have become commonplace in English cos of him. He said such good things as 'When I get a little money I buy books; and if any is left I buy food and clothes' and 'I am a lover of liberty. I will not and I cannot serve a party.'

Here's a doozy from a little book called In praise of folly:
Since the human race insists on being completely crazy – since everybody from the Pope down to the humblest of village priests – from the richest of men to the most miserable of paupers – from the fine lady in her silks down to the slut in her calico dressing-gown – since the whole world has firmly set its heart against using its God-given brain but insists upon letting itself be entirely guided by its greed, its vanity, and its ignorance, why in the name of a reasonable Deity should the few truly intelligent people waste so much of their time and their effort in trying to change the human race into something it never wanted to be?

Quite fucking right. Words to live by.

Ha ha ha ha ha

First, some background. Jen Dalton and William Powhida are organising a show at the Winkleman Gallery in New York.

As part of it, they've set up a blog. I suggested in the comments to one post that they make people apply to buy the work in the show.

So I laughed when I saw this:

Now, I know that if you give away an idea cos you're not going to use it yourself, you're not really in a position to complain when the people you give it to use it in a way other than you would have. But, fuck it, that's exactly what I'm going to do.

The way I see it, there are three main problems with this picture. In no particular order, they are:

  1. The whole point of the application form idea was to overturn the existing power structure in favour of the artist. You can't have the dealer approve or deny applicants – that changes nothing. That's how it already works, you fucking idiots. The idea is to give the artist the power for once. For fuck's sake, repeat after me: the whole point. And you missed it. Fucking hell.

  2. Apparently, during the cultural revolution, the Chinese communists would give people they'd arrested a pile of blank paper and tell them to write whatever they liked. For some reason, this was much more effective than torture. The people would produce all sorts of incredible confessions.

    My idea for the application form was quite vindictive. I wanted to make the applicant suffer. So I was thinking a similar tactic to the Chinese would be the go – give them a large blank space and no cues on how to fill it.

    Five one-line reasons is far too easy.

  3. Rosemary Miller summed up the final problem nicely: 'So they have a mock application AS the work? Far too fucking Billy Apple for my liking.'

So it all just goes to show the old adage is true – if you want something done properly, you need to do it yourself.

04 February 2010

Some exhibition pics

Here are some pics of my work in Graham (a group show) at Ivan Anthony Gallery:

I'm really happy with how it, and the show as a whole, looks. The opening (and aftermath) was a lot of fun, though catching a plane today with a heinous hangover was a bit grim.

Go and check it out, motherfuckers!

01 February 2010

Oh yeah

Rose and I are heading up to Auckland tomorrow – cos I'm in a group show there (see below).
visitors since 29 March 2004.