The first move, inept; the follow through, crass; but then, something shifts.
Australian artists remained visible abroad.
All eyes stay on the dummy, dummy.
You most certainly want to be there when it happens.
When South is North: Contemporary Art and Culture from South Asia and Australia [symposium], 'Panel 1: Art in, of, from South Asia? Artists working across cultures and geographies' [moderator]. Presented by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art in association with the Institute for Culture and Society, Western Sydney University, 16 August 2017.
'As long as such books are being published,' an American liberal once said to me, 'everything will be all right.'
Reconstitution of the individual. Recategorisation of everything else. Preferably in that order.
Coming to terms with the contingencies of the past.
If it hits and it hurts, relax, they don’t riot in the stalls these days.
An attractiveness that appeals to humanity’s darker, more atavistic appetite.
'Khaled Sabsabi: Guerilla' in The National: New Australian Art [exhibition catalogue], Art Gallery of New South Wales, Carriageworks and Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Sydney, 2017, pp. 130–131.
Unprecedented break from the 'arm's length' principle.
Other voices, other rooms, yes.
It’s already our bread and butter business.
Twenty Years: 4A Symposium, 'Session 3: The Next Twenty' [panellist]. Presented by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art in association with The Power Institute, University of Sydney, and supported by the Asian Australian Studies Research Network and the China Studies Centre, 4 November 2016.
Individual self-interest that would make Ayn Rand proud.
A lesson in the unfeasibility of cartoon physics.
Contradictory and chance encounters between human and natural imperatives.
Both past and future are indeed another country.
A bullet’s horrific exit wound and the environmental brutality of an open-cut mine.
Unbridled right to disciplinary collaboration and unrestricted permeability.
Expedient manoeuvring for individuals and civilisations alike.
Increasingly precarious government funding.
Not simply to be pure and just in our cause.
This is not a history lesson, Pedro de Almeida, paperback, 100 pp., published in conjunction with BOOK MACHINE (Sydney) organised by Onestar Press (Paris) and powered by Artspace, Sydney, at VOLUME 2015 | Another Art Book Fair, 2015.
No top of the pops or next top model despite your Big Sur chops in Vogue Italia high gloss.
'Men and their problems' in TV Moore: With Love & Squalor [artist's monograph published to accompany the exhibitions TV Moore: With Love & Squalor, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne, and TV Moore: Three Paintings, STATION, Melbourne], TV Moore (author and editor), STATION, Melbourne, 2015, paperback, pp. 49–63.
The brutality of fact in the desiccated carcass of a rat.
What’s left to ‘do’?
The latent power of the individual.
Fiction with documentary, remembrance with negation, responsibility with impunity, privacy with surveillance.
A desire to break the hierarchies and social privileges of tradition.
All of a sudden things got real.
The truly horny were forced to rely on their imaginations.
Trillions of exploding death stars across digital platforms is and always was a mug’s game.
A sort of wrestling with experience rather than a standing back from it.
‘A handful of earth’ [on the work of Maria Fernanda Cardoso, Joanne Saad and Ghassan Saaid], in UNCOVERED: Hidden Pleasures of the Day [exhibition catalogue], Paul Howard (curator and editor), Blacktown Arts Centre, Sydney, 2014, paperback, pp. 4–7.
A machine of theological study whose operating manual is written by a heretic.
Faith in close inspection of the surfaces of relics to reveal connections across time.
‘The ACP files: Spring 2013’ [exhibition review of Australian Centre for Photography 2013 Spring Season: Buka, Emmanuel Angelicas; The Woodhouse Rephotography Project, Rowan Conroy; Contemplations, Robert Besanko], Photofile, no. 94, March 2014, pp. 77–79.
Who will save the past from wilful destruction?
All men are dogs, as scorned lovers and long-suffering wives may tell you.
Restless, ceaseless, baseless associations between spectacle and communion.
‘Looking at an Ingres painting’ [on Thomas Hirschhorn’s Gramsci Monument: A Work in Public Space, South Bronx, New York], Contemporary Visual Art + Culture Broadsheet, no. 42.4, December 2013, pp. 262–267.
Look, listen and learn from the region’s long history of visionary warriors.
The amusement park was deserted; its operators standing idle, smoking, waiting and watching.
Lived experience trumps ideology.
Feelings of isolation worked in your favour.
It’s as agreeable a destiny as one might hope for lost worlds.
Ian North – Felicia: South Australia 1973-1978 [artist's monograph and exhibition catalogue], Pedro de Almeida (curator and co-author with Ian North), Australian Centre for Photography, Sydney, 2013, paperback, 77 pp.
I felt somewhat anaesthetised, a peculiarly modern sensation of inner peace.
The magic is often found in the ad-lib no matter how catchy the chorus.
Enter a world of cerulean hues, poolside sun lounges and cocktails.
Life-affirming coda to a lapsed idea of youth.
‘Pitch-perfect: Conor O’Brien, Photographs 2003-2011, Australian Centre for Photography, Sydney; Glenn Sloggett, A White Trash (Lost) Love Story, Stills Gallery, Sydney’ [exhibition reviews], Art Monthly Australia, no. 251, July 2012, pp. 45–46.
If one person is splendid isolation, then two is a dispute waiting to happen.
Gelatin silver ticket stubs of permanent exiles, of the drowned and the saved.
The risk is always spiritual imprisonment behind a wall of material phantoms.
Cold half-remembered landscapes of industrial revolutions.
The distance between firm ground and the void.
‘Dig your own hole’ [on Gary Deirmendjian’s strata – newington armory, 2012], Artereal Gallery blog, 2012, in association with EXCAVATION: The Armory Exhibition 2012, Newington Armory Gallery, Sydney Olympic Park.
A field survey of civilisation’s will for introspection.
Making daily ethical exceptions for self-imposed ideals.
‘When to fold, when to reveal your hand’ [on Shigeyuki Kihara's community-engaged projects, 2010-12] in Edge of Elsewhere [exhibition catalogue], Thomas J. Berghuis, Michael Dagostino, Lisa Havilah and Aaron Seeto (curators and editors), Campbelltown Arts Centre and 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Sydney, 2014, hardcover, pp. 69–71.
The underlying moral structure of foundational myths
‘Refractions of Khaled Sabsabi’ in The Floating Eye – Sydney Pavilion: The 9th Shanghai Biennale [exhibition catalogue], Aaron Seeto (curator and editor), 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Sydney, 2012, pp. 148–163.
Stoop on bended knee and really eyeball the thing.
‘You go in, you see a thing' [exhibition reviews, Marley Dawson, HEAVY INDUSTRY/LIGHT COMMERCIAL, Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney; Kenzee Patterson, The Camden Valley Way, Darren Knight Gallery, Sydney], Art Monthly Australia, no. 243, September 2011, p. 37.
The subversive thrill of mark-making.
‘Black Book: The Studio & Streets 2004-2010; Uncommissioned Art: An A-Z of Australian Graffiti; Kings Way: The Beginnings of Australian Graffiti – Melbourne 1983-93’ [book reviews], Art & Australia, vol. 48 no. 4, Winter 2011, pp. 242–243.
The indignant neglect of chance that blinds otherwise hungry eyes.
For all the transparent pretensions, wilful obfuscation and self-defeating exclusivity.
The spectrum of collective inspiration, stocktaking and analysis required to produce an artist’s book.
A beautiful conflation of banal and fantastic realities.
'Industrial relations: YOUNG-HAE CHANG HEAVY INDUSTRIES', Edge of Elsewhere [exhibition catalogue], Thomas J. Berghuis, Lisa Havilah and Aaron Seeto (curators and editors), Campbelltown Arts Centre and 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Sydney, 2010, pp. 108–115.
Photo (this page): Pedro de Almeida collection 0018-002-2014-POR Gelatine silver press photograph. Caption on reverse: 'Avante Communist Newspaper Headquarters. Editorial Office'. Credit: A.E.I. Noticiosa, Lisboa, Portugal, & Keystone Press Agency Inc., 170 Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y. RD200375 (WA 4-8123) 062 75 100. Foto: M. Valentim-(C) A.E.I. Photo (Home page): Pedro de Almeida collection 0013-01-2014-POR Gelatin silver press photograph. Caption on reverse: 'Portuguese Govt. members' conference with Angolan leaders of all three factions - at Algarve, South Portugal, January 1975. (The place where the conference took place between the liberation movements of Angola and the Portuguese Government)'. Credit: A.E.I. Noticiosa, Lisboa, Portugal, & Keystone Press Agency Inc., 170 Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y. 100100 (WA 4-8123). See 'DECOLONIZATION: a publication of the United Nations Department of Political Affairs, Trusteeship and Decolonization', vol. 11, no. 4, March 1974: I. Developments in Angola, p. 3. Photo (Menu page): Pedro de Almeida collection 0012-002-2014-POR. Gelatin silver press photograph. Caption on reverse: 'Portugal, Lisbon, March 1975. One of the 12,000 voting booths, foreseen for the elections in April.' Credit: A.E.I. Noticiosa, Lisboa, Portugal, & Keystone Press Agency Inc., 170 Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y. (WA 4-8123). Foto: M. Valentim-(C) A.E.I. 200511 J0847.