Blindside Gallery, housed as it is in the imposing Nicholas Building, is always such a pleasure to visit. And on Thursday the wind-swept corridors of this Modern enclave hosts a much-anticipated event. Shae Rooke and Lizzy Sampson, along with Santina Amato have studiously been hankering down to present the fruits of the Summer Studio initiative. They‘ve previously commandeered the space with the aim of blurring “the lines between the creation, installation and exhibition process” and the public are finally invited to view the results in person. It is worth noting that they will also sport their collective stripes in these artistic endeavours or outcomes too. The Grand Opening is from 6pm on January 31st with an Artist Talk on Saturday, February 7th, from 2.30pm at Blindside on Level 7 off the corner of Swanston and Flinders Lane.
The sheer magnitude of road infrastructure and its‘ authoritative aesthetics captivate me to a point where I often find myself tracing huge arterials on satellite maps all over the world. And from this perspective I was quite pleased indeed to view the works of Chris Burden. His Metropolis II installation is particularly appeasing: in not just scale and aesthetic, but that it also holds sway to a political bent. Burden was initially a performance-based artist, but post-1992 he continues to work principally with sculpture, assembly, and installation. The clip below, from Metropolis II features his latest piece -which took 4 years to complete and was finally exhibited this year at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; where it is on permanent display.
A big thank-you to all those that attended the Bivouac group show we organised at Long Play.
For those that missed out; here is a composite of two videos screened at the exhibition:
Seditious Libel (Vox by Unkown c.1930)
Solvent (Vox by King Burraga, 1933)
Dedicated: Henry Seekamp
HD Video 
A nightly ensemble of Video Art featuring:
MATTHEW BERKA | ANDREW TURLAND | M T WALKER
Screenings in the theatrette between 6pm - 9pm
at LONG PLAY 318 St Georges Rd, Nth Fitzroy.
BIVOUAC ONE: Tues 1st, Wed 2nd and Thur 3rd MAY
BIVOUAC TWO: Mon 7th, Tue 8th and Wed 9th MAY
These visually stunning works explore cultural & socio-political philosophies, the built environment, and the singular protest.
Please come down and enjoy yourself in comfortable surrounds.
Sketch has just returned to Melbourne after a prolonged stint in the UK and Brisbane. She is quite an accomplished artist; having held shows in both London and Melbourne. Also having her shit together in a big way; the minute Hayley is back in town she‘s already got her works up on the walls at The Lounge on Swanston. I went down there the other night to meet this artistic upstart, and check out her works. And they‘re very fine indeed (as you‘ll see below). Hayley was also nice enough to provide us with a few wise words:
INFX: What‘s been happening for the last few years?
Hayley: I‘ve spent a good part of that time working on the body of my International show Ego (or Alter Ego) which was what I called it when I took it to London.
INFX: How was the London scene -does it still inspire your work?
Hayley: The networks that I made there [are] a very important asset in this field of work. In terms of inspiration, I left feeling more inspired towards the graffiti art I do, as I spent a lot of time with street artists including close friends of Banksy.
INFX: I see. Well, you‘re back in Melbourne and have hit the ground running -what else is in store for us?
Hayley: I am currently organising a collaborative Melbourne based graffiti show with local talent here, which will hopefully be showing in August.
INFX: And what have you been up to in the Studio?
Hayley: I am currently working on one large piece, in more of my linear, black and white busy composition style, which I am aiming to exhibit around November this year.
The Ego works will don The Lounge walls until 8th May; so be sure to check ‘em out next time you‘re having a drink or three up there.
That‘s right, now is the time for all you arts and graff heads to get up in it. The gates are open to field your blockbuster creative nuances to the Secret Walls team. Don‘t sweat the name change: you will know Secret Wars from the sell-out crowds that rocked this live art battle series in 2011. It‘s the same crew, the same rules and quality competition showdown: but with a new name comin‘ back to rock ya. Submissions are open for the next week only -see all the details below:
Hurry -there is but 3 days left to check out Discipline at the RMIT School of Art Gallery.
Video and Mixed Media artist Diego Ramirez (Mexico) presents a titillating account of the physical and emotional construct pertaining to the female form in contemporary society. This ultra-stylish and mesmerising video also invites the discerning viewer into the realm of fantasy. It offers a reflection on what you might agree is a stiletto tableau of appearance, love, and dependence in a world where the superficial reigns over that of the intellectual. The video is an almost pornographic exploit; displayed on 2 channel projections almost 10 feet high. Recommended for over-18s only.
The Discipline of Loving You until 16th March: Building 2, Level 2 RMIT, Bowen St. City.
Yosuke Yamashita is a Japanese musician and artist from Tokyo. He has performed extensively worldwide, and has composed music scores for various films, from the late 60s until the present; most notably for Shohei Imamura‘s 1998 Dr. Akagi. He has also recieved various awards, including Japan‘s Award for Fine Arts in 1999 and the Medal With Purple Ribbon in 2003. Currently, he is a visiting professor at both the Kunitachi College of Music and the Nagoya University of Arts. The ten minute video featured below has its‘ origins in one of Yosuke‘s most intruiging works. This 2008 piece, titled Burning Piano is exactly that; albeit with Yosuke playing an improvised jazz piece on the piano throughout its‘ inflammation. However, this was not the first time Yasuke had played a burning piano. That was some 35 years earlier, when he was approached by filmmaker Kiyoshi Awazu to play a burning piano for his short film of the same name. The 2008 version was filmed after Yosuke had revisited the original work, and thus he felt it needed a revival. The 1973 film can be found on Awazu‘s website: www.kiyoshiawazu.com
Aeon is one of Europe‘s emerging Street Art talents. His styles range from blockbuster through wildstyle and the abstract. This Belgian-based graffiti artist has joined the ranks of those giving hard evidence to INFX about their exploits and endeavours:
INFX: Quelle est la force de la scène graff en Belgique?
Aeon: She is very diverse, we may as well hold back the [old] school, new school, the organic or wild style. Given its industrial past, Belgium has many abandoned buildings, which allows us to move on surfaces diversified and come to the frescoes of [many] sizes. Many more urban festivals are based on the graffiti which allows us to showcase our style.
INFX: Je suis creuser votre plateau de skate. Y a-t-il un intérêt à travailler avec les marques de skate locales ou grand?
Aeon: Yes, because it could lead to changing the image of the skate by the combination with graffiti; it could breathe new life into the movement. It is also good to work with both: local stores allow us to share in the region while industrial [companies] open more doors. I have a preference for the more industrial, but I do not neglect the local stores.
INFX: Quelle est la chose la plus effrayante qui soit arrivé à vous tandis que la peinture?
Aeon: One night on the subway lines, marking a room in elevation with the aid of a ladder. My hand touched the high voltage line and 1,500 volts went through my body; I think it’s my most frightening. I know I got lucky.
INFX: Où habitez-vous? Avec des amis? Dans la ville? Banlieues?
Aeon: I rent an apartment in the city alone.
INFX: Dans un (ou deux) mot, comment qualifieriez-vous décrit votre art?
Aeon: Aggressive and malleable. I want to make a dedication “13, GAV, AKF, D2K, P50, B80, V2T… and everyone I do not have room to quote because the list is long…
Oui -un grand merci à Aeon et son posse! Voir les vraies affaires. Regarder les photos:
Hailing from San Franciso‘s Mission District Other Cinema (or ‘OC‘) is an alternative film & video production, performance, and distribution network that brings a voice to the Media Arts community. This counter-cultural outfit has been operating for nigh on 30 years, and it continues to spearhead Fine Arts film-making. Craig Baldwin established this vanguard of ‘underground cinema‘ under a range of names from 1978, because he “didn’t see anything coming up from the ground that ended up on the screens”. Since then, OC has developed into an artistic collective led by a dedicated team of curators and artists. Other Cinema continues to enhance Film & Media Arts projects in the Bay Area; which of course flourishes elsewhere due to the renowned esteem of OC.
Currently, Other Cinema is in the midst of a Benefit initiative, to raise money for their operations. As part of the fund-raising effort, they have compiled the video below, to engage with the public in what the OC has going on:
Organic, geometric and full of magic, Beastman lets you see through the cracks. With a style that could easily be compared to the spiritual and visceral art of ancient religions, his work is simply mind blowing. In his solo exhibition ‘Cosmic Nature’, Beastman explores the nature of our reality and how small we really are on a cosmic scale. What this man can do with an aerosol can, will never cease to amaze me.
An exhibition of new paintings, Cosmic Nature opens this Thursday 8th December at 7pm and continues until 18th December at Kind of Gallery, Darlinghurst.
These are now the final days of the 2011 RMIT Media Arts Graduate Show.
Visit the upper confines of Curtin House, in the heart of the City on Swanston Street to view an excess of works from the graduate class of 2011. These emerging Media Arts artists offer works disseminated across video, audio and sculpture. The show is billed as a space that has been ”transformed to create a world where you can leave your memories behind“ as you immerse yourself in these parallel lands. Below, you can sample one of the works on show. This piece is projected onto a giant, free hanging t-shirt and is titled Trashface by Rob Graham.
The Land of Instant Forget
Running until 30th November, 12pm until 6pm.
Curtin House, Level 6 252 Swanston St. City
The Tom Tom Crew present a tour-de-force of hip hop culture, acrobatics, beatboxing and contortionist curiousities that leave you gripping your seat and chanting for more!
I‘d only just got the chance to see them at The Forum the other night; and the show has been running since the 4th October. It winds up on the 23rd too so there are only a couple of shows left. The crew is headed up by Tom (beat-boxer extraordinaire and established graffiti artist). They formed at the 2006 Woodford Folk Festival and became an instant hit. You get the impression that there was a hip-hop & breaks crew warming up alongside an acrobatics and trapeze troupe; and they suddenly realised “let‘s mix both acts together“. Since their inaugural show, the crew have toured globally, from the Adelaide Fringe to Edinburgh, London, New York, Berlin, Taipei, NZ, Belgium, and the Netherlands; as they‘ve criss-crossed the world in the last 5 years. This is a truly epic performance show, and a lot of fun. If you get the chance, they‘re well worth seeing.
Gianni Di Gregorio‘s film is one of the more thoughtful and comically entertaining films due for release this year. Di Gregorio (Writer/Director of 2008‘s acclaimed Gomorrah) both directs and plays the leading role in this wistful comedy; markedly titled Gianni e le Donne (Gianni & The Women) in his native Italian. Gianni (the leading character, and not to be confused with the Actor/Director himself) has recently reached a turning point in his life: the onset of ‘old age‘. Having been made redundant from work, he finds himself mindful of not only his aging face & body; but of his relevance to the world-at-large.
The film is endearing to the plight of this ageing Italiano and charming in it‘s climactic (yet restrained) final scenes. Its looks at the romanticism and sexuality of Gianni as he ponders his lacklustre marriage and his attention to (and from) young women. At once an humourous, heartfelt and honest observation of the aging man -The Salt Of Life is wonderfully shot with subtle stylisation. The film won‘t stir up any media-pack accolades but it‘s surely a fine production; with a brilliant cast.
The Salt Of Life opens this week at Cinema Nova.
INFX recently caught up with one of NYC’s great artistic talents: VeinOne. A member of the well-respected Bt (Bronx Team) Crew, Vein was raised throughout New York City, growing up in all 5 boroughs; mostly in Queens. Our main man Vein started getting up proper from 1995 and has gone from strength-to-strength ever since. Here we have the interview wherein we see the story told from the man himself:
INFX: You‘re a born and bred New Yorker -how did you start up on the graff scene?
VeinOne: I remember being in 4th grade [and] I would see a couple of my friends practising their throw-ups. At first, I really didn‘t take it serious because I was a toy and I didn‘t really know a lot of writers.
INFX: What do you think of the current generation of NYC writers?
VeinOne: I think most of the new writers are eager to paint but they have no one to guide them and teach them the history of this art. To the new writers I say everyone pretty much starts off toy but its where you take it from there. Keep doing your thing.
INFX: What are your main artistic motivations or influences?
VeinOne: I would have to say my crew motivates me. We are a family of creative individuals and we all push each other to produce some dope walls.
INFX: How do you see yourself within the “art market” as such?
VeinOne: I would love to make a living off my art, I hate being a starving artist.
INFX: What new styles are you picking up at the moment, and where are you heading in terms of style and the future in general?
VeinOne: Lately, I‘ve wanted to focus more on background scenery painting. I‘m always open to learning new tricks and techniques or anything that can make me a better artist. As far as my style, well I guess we‘ll have to wait and see where it goes because it‘s always evolving one way or the other.
So there you have it -And keep an eye out for VeinOne Bt hitting up the scene in a big way!
Fire In The Belly: Projector Bike.
This year‘s Light In Winter Festival at Federation Square features dozens of cultural activities; making for the perfect winter warm-up. Featured as part of the Fire In The Belly programme, the Projector Bike will present works from various local up-and-coming filmmakers and visual artists: featuring works from Me: your favourite bloggage host, alongside members of the creative genus born from RMIT Media Arts (among various other students and artists). The Projector Bike will visit different locations in the course of both evenings that it is exhibiting, and everyone is welcome to ride along -whether in utilising the Melbourne Bike Share or indeed upon your own ride. The screenings will be projected onto different surfaces in unique and hidden spaces about our fine city.
Sunday 12 + 26 June, 7pm - 8.30pm, departs Fed Square Bike Share Station (and it‘s free!)
Opening Tuesday evening; drop by First Site gallery, out front of RMIT, to sample the acute meanderings of this wondrous new show, by up-and-coming Media Artist impresario Spencer Lai.
The Death Set is driven by a sublime foray into the real and the unreal. “Two spaces and two realities“. Given your own particular perspective; delve into your appreciation of the actual and contrived. Upon inspection of the works on show, Monsieur Lai invites you to revel in an “immersive exploration of death, dread, reality and fiction“. Expect hyper-realism buffeted by theatrical visuals, and the low-res exploits of the internet fiefdom.
1 x 2 Death Set: RMIT First Site Gallery: June 7 – June 18