Other works...

13th May 2015


VIP Preview

First taste of the New York art scene - a 45min que of supposed VIP's.  Fortunately, I had the wonderful Laura Couttie (Australian curator and past colleague at ACCA) to wait in line with, and the entertainment of a particularly industrious que jumper.  

The venue space was great for this kind of thing, a large converted factory building in Manhattan.  And of course, this fair was all about the razzamatazz that goes with the funky, kooky and street-influenced contemporary art scene here.  The live performances of buxom naked ladies peeling off each others fake skin and the octopus lady with orafices in odd places were like a basement version of a Barney film.  

Select Art Fair was flashy, fun-loving and cool, and of course, so were the people.  A fun introduction to NY.

Image description

15th May


Randall's Island Park, Manhattan

Typical art fair stall set-up of local and international galleries, including a selection of 'non-profit' galleries with subsidised stalls and a couple of projects to try and keep things a bit live and interesting.


Thelma Golden in conversation with Dr. Arnold Lehman

Thelma Golden (Director and Chief Curator of The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York) and Dr. Arnold Lehman (Director, Brooklyn Museum, New York) will discuss the question: Whom do museums serve?

This conversation, between two highly respected curators with long and esteemed careers at New York institutions, will focus on the question of museums, the public, and whom museums really serve. Both directors have worked for decades to turn their respective local museums into international institutions, and both have expanded the audiences for contemporary art. They’ll talk about their involvement in seminal shows like ‘Black Male’ and ‘Sensation’, censorship scandals, and the future landscape of New York museums.


This talk was awkwardly used by Arnold to promote the Brooklyn Museum, and not much interesting or critical discussion about the actual topic.  I didn't really get much from this 'conversation' that wasn't already starkly obvious unfortunately.

Artists of note:  Anna KE (see image) and Giusepe Penone.

21th May


Main Exhibitions

Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks

Brooklyn-born artist Jean-Michel Basquiat filled numerous notebooks with poetry fragments, wordplay, sketches, and personal observations ranging from street life and popular culture to themes of race, class, and world history. The first major exhibition of the artist's notebooks, Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks features 160 pages of these rarely seen documents, along with related works on paper and large-scale paintings.

Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic

The works presented in Kehinde Wiley: A New Republicraise questions about race, gender, and the politics of representation by portraying contemporary African American men and women using the conventions of traditional European portraiture. The exhibition includes an overview of the artist’s prolific fourteen-year career and features sixty paintings and sculptures.

Art Off the Wall: "Decoding Basquiat"

An evening of music and poetry in celebration of the exhibition Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks. 

7–8 p.m. Poetry Reading
Martha A. and Robert S. Rubin Pavilion, 1st Floor
In honor of Basquiat’s rich use of language, poets Erica Doyle, Harmony Holiday, John Keene, and Christopher Stackhouse present readings from recent work.

8–9:15 p.m. Performance
Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Auditorium, 3rd Floor
Interdisciplinary artist Leslie Kujo DuMouchel presents performances inspired by Basquiat’s artistic process, including live music by ten-piece Afro soul band King Holiday, dance by W.A.F.F.L.E. Crew, and spoken word poetry by Kesed the Younger, among others.

23rd May





A signature initiative of the New Museum, the Triennial is the only recurring international exhibition in New York City devoted to early-career artists from around the world.

The Triennial’s predictive, rather than retrospective, model embodies the institution’s thirty-seven-year commitment to exploring the future of culture through the art of today. This third iteration of the Triennial is titled “Surround Audience” and is co-curated by New Museum Curator Lauren Cornell and artist Ryan Trecartin. 

“Surround Audience” explores the effects of an increasingly connected world both on our sense of self and identity as well as on art’s form and larger social role. The exhibition looks at our immediate present, a time when culture has become more porous and encompassing and new considerations about art’s role and potential are surfacing. Artists are responding to these evolving conditions in a number of ways, from calculated appropriations to critical interrogations to surreal or poetic statements.

Featuring fifty-one artists from over twenty-five countries, “Surround Audience” pursues numerous lines of inquiry, including: What are the new visual metaphors for the self and subjecthood when our ability to see and be seen is expanding, as is our desire to manage our self-image and privacy? Is it possible to opt out of, bypass, or retool commercial interests that potentially collude with national and international policy? How are artists striving to embed their works in the world around them through incursions into media and activism? A number of artists in the exhibition are poets, and many more use words in ways that connect the current mobility in language with a mutability in form. The exhibition also gives weight to artists whose practices operate outside of the gallery—such as performance and dance—and to those who test the forums of marketing, comedy, and social media as platforms for art. The building-wide exhibition encompasses a variety of artistic practices, including sound, dance, comedy, poetry, installation, sculpture, painting, video, one online talk show, and an ad campaign.


Nicholas Mangan was a very worthy representative for emerging Aus artists.  A beautiful work!


Something I'm really enjoying in NYC is the buskers and performers.  People express themselves here a lot more openly than Australians in general (we are so conservative!).  It's completely normal to hear heated discussions, for someone to be singing out loud, or drumming up a conversation with a complete stranger.

Capturing these moments on video is really difficult.  I'm reluctant to walk around with my camera on display for more than a few reasons, and my smartphone hardly has the battery life to get through a normal day.  

But, one thing you can rely on is lots of buskers in the subways, which are busy enough that it's relatively safe to bring out a camera.  This is the first short video work I've made in what I plan to be a series of NYC subway buskers. 

There is something particularly charming about this busker.  He's obviously been doing it for years.  And his patience when the sound of an approaching train competes with his playing is quite comical.  The atmosphere that is created by the music in this stale environment is enchanting.  Pedestrians become a procession.  A woman in a flowing blue dress seems part of a whimsical enactment, though she's just another person on the platform.

24th May


Main Exhibitions

Yoko Ono: One Woman Show, 1960–1971

The Museum of Modern Art presents its first exhibition dedicated exclusively to the work of Yoko Ono, taking as its point of departure the artist’s unofficial MoMA debut in late 1971. At that time, Ono advertised her “one woman show,” titled Museum of Modern [F]art. However, when visitors arrived at the Museum there was little evidence of her work. According to a sign outside the entrance, Ono had released flies on the Museum grounds, and the public was invited to track them as they dispersed across the city. Now, over 40 years later, Yoko Ono: One Woman Show, 1960–1971surveys the decisive decade that led up to Ono’s unauthorized exhibition at MoMA, bringing together approximately 125 of her early objects, works on paper, installations, performances, audio recordings, and films, alongside rarely seen archival materials. A number of works invite interaction, including Painting to Be Stepped On (1960/1961) and Ono’s groundbreaking performance, Bag Piece (1964). The exhibition draws upon the 2008 acquisition of the Gilbert and Lila Silverman Fluxus Collection Gift, which added approximately 100 of Ono’s artworks and related ephemera to the Museum’s holdings.

Gilbert & George: The Early Years

Gilbert & George have been creating art for almost fifty years. Describing their relationship in life and work, they have said, “It’s not a collaboration. . . . We are two people, but one artist.” George, born in Devon, England, in 1942, and Gilbert, born in the Dolomites, Italy, in 1943, met while studying sculpture at St. Martin’s School of Art, London, in 1967. One day while taking photos of each other holding their small-scale sculptures, and then without, the artists realized that they could dispense with them altogether. What was most interesting was not the objects themselves, but their presence as “living sculptures” within the images. They summed up their newly conceived position as artists succinctly: “Art and life became one, and we were the messengers of a new vision. At that moment that we decided we are art and life, every conversation with people became art, and still is.”

Art on Camera: Photographs by Shunk-Kender, 1960–1971

The photographers Harry Shunk (German, 1924–2006) and János Kender (Hungarian, 1937–2009) worked together under the name Shunk-Kender from the late 1950s to the early 1970s, based first in Paris and then in New York. Shunk-Kender photographed artworks, events, and landmark exhibitions of avant-garde movements of the era, from Nouveau réalisme to Earth art. They were connected with a vibrant art scene that they captured through portraits of artists and participated in through collaborative projects.

From Bauhaus to Buenos Aires: Grete Stern and Horacio Coppola

From Bauhaus to Buenos Aires: Grete Stern and Horacio Coppolais the first major exhibition to focus on the German-born Grete Stern and the Argentinean Horacio Coppola, two leading figures of avant-garde photography who established themselves on both sides of the Atlantic. The exhibition begins in the late 1920s with each artist’s initial forays into photography and typographic design. In Berlin in 1927, Stern began taking private classes with Walter Peterhans, who was soon to become head of photography at the Bauhaus. A year later, in Peterhans’s studio, she met Ellen (Rosenberg) Auerbach, with whom she opened a pioneering studio specializing in portraiture and advertising. Named after their childhood nicknames, the studio ringl + pit embraced both commercial and avant-garde loyalties, creating proto-feminist works.


Yoko Ono as Activist

Join us in MoMA's Yoko Ono retrospective as we explore the artist's radical contribution to the concept of art as an activist practice.

29th May


A day to explore the galleries and the beginning of my street and net based project Sweet Life New York.  

Sadly, Dumbo which was an avant-garde arts hub and home of the now cancelled annual Dumbo Arts Festival is now almost completely devoid of anything that relates to art.  It has been gentrified to the extreme, mostly hipster boutique shops and construction sites.  This is despite what Joy Glidden (boasts of kick starting the arts movement in Dumbo, including organising the arts festival) said at the RU talk the other night.  I spoke to shop owners asking where the galleries and studios are hiding.  The response was generally "there was a bunch, but they were given a month to move out".  What made the experience particularly surreal was walking around the floor of a warehouse building lined with empty galleries.  They had been only very recently moved on and their signs where still on the doors.  I feel like I very literally missed an era by a moment. 

Sweet Life New York

Today I posted the first of my posters, made from stills of a video I created for group show The Sweet Life curated by Nicholas Chilvers at BLINDSIDE earlier this year.  The posters come with a link to view the video and an invite to become part of a New York episode.

30th May


A day exploring the galleries & more posting.

I joined an art based Meet Up group to take a tour of Williamsburg galleries.  Generally I found them all very commercial and not so interesting, except for a couple.  

The main standout was Pierogi's satellite gallery The Boiler (I also visited their Leipzig gallery when I was in Germany in 2013, another great space), with a massive installation recreating an impression of what the living quarters of a Mars based space station might be like.  The exhibition was called The Menu for Mars Kitchen and came with makeshift pressurisation doors and a kitchen to make a selection of recipes based on dehydrated products.  

We were fortunate to catch a talk by a participant from NASA's HIGH-SEAS crew who spent 4 months living in a very compact geodesic dome with five others pretending to be living on Mars (they were on the lava flats of Hawaii).  The crew even had to wear space suits whenever they left the dome to research the landscape.

They're looking for volunteers to do a year long stint.  I didn't put my hand up.

2nd June



The Artist Studio Affordability Project: Can artists afford to stay in NYC?

New York has long been a center for art and cultural activity of international and historic significance. As NYC residents and independent businesses are pushed out of neighborhoods by rising rents, the art community is quickly losing access to work space and the infrastructure needed for production and the transfer of ideas. Can New York City remain a hub for artists and creative businesses? Are there measures that can be taken to protect neighborhoods from displacement? The Artist Studio Affordability Project will discuss their activism and ways that artists can strengthen their claim to space in New York.

The Artist Studio Affordability Project focuses on raising awareness about the crisis of affordable studio space, and on advocating legislation that will protect and expand affordable artist studios. To that end, ASAP engages in outreach to the art community, elected officials, community organizations, news media, and policy experts in order to shape and define their approach. 

This program is the fifth in the series if it's not work it must be PLAY: discussions on the state of work in the arts. This series is presented by CUE, and produced by our inaugural Public Programming Fellow, Cevan Castle. 

Thu 4th

12pm - 5.30pm    Walking up the highline then down through Chelsea gallery district.

6pm   RU residents show opening - Rooster gallery

7.30  47 Canal closing performance - not far from Rooster in Manhattan.


Fri 5th

9.43am   train out to Dia Beakon! 

7pm   Be Electric Open studios Bushwick


Sat 6th

1.30pm  Whitney museum  6.30pm performance at the Whitney.


Sun 7th

Bushwick open studios closing and cinema.


Mon 8th

10am   explore central park

11am   Guggenheim   5pm performance at Gugg.


Tue 9th

Day    Fabric stores on 37th street

6pm   Museum Mile festival


Wed 10th

11am   New Museum

7pm Sleep no More!  theatre 

Thur 11th 

Fly home!