Studio Visits, Melbourne

Who makes them, who gets them?

Charlotte Laubard, Paris based freelance curator and critic, was in Melbourne over June as part of a residency auspiced by the VCA Gallery. Laubard has the reputation of being interested in artists and ever-ready for a studio visit. Over a three week period Laubard met with and visited the studios of Adrian Allan, Brook Andrew, Jon Campbell, Christian Capurro, Kate Consatine, DAMP, Julie Davies, Alicia Frankovich, Kate Fulton, Tony Garafalakis, Bianca Hester, Lou Hubbard, Michelle Ussher, Susan Jacobs, Kati Rule, Simon Maidment, Nick Mangan, Amanda Marburg, Alex Martinis, Rob McHaffie, Tom Nicholson, Kain Picken, Alex Rizkalla, Geoff Robinson, Kiron Robinson, Johnny Targan, Elizabeth Newman and Kati Rule, Amanda Marburg, Sharon Goodwin. Charlotte visited galleries including Uplands, Ocular Lab, ACCA, Victoria Park and Gertrude Contemporary Art Spaces - and the Sydney Biennale.

Jen Budney, curator at Kamloops Art Gallery Canada, on her way to the Sydney Biennale, stopped over in Melbourne for six days. Budney met and made studio visits Callum Morton, Elizabeth Newman, Johnny Targan, Christian Thompson, Tom Nicholson, Jon Campbell, James Lynch, DAMP and Brook Andrew. She also visited Uplands Gallery, Gertrude Contemporary Art Spaces, Victoria Park Gallery, MUMA, Gabrielle Pizzi Gallery and Anna Scwhartz Gallery.

Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, the 2008 curator of the Sydney Biennale and chief curator at Castello di Rivoli Museum of Contemporary Art outside of Turin, also meet with artists and visited galleries in Melbourne. ACCA hosted a curatorial lab for Christov-Bakargiev, Zdenka Badovinac, director, Moderna Galerija Ljubljana, Slovenia
and Patrick D Flores, curator and writer, from the University of the Philippines, to meet Melbourne artists and see their work.

Flash Art studio visits


Zones of Contact

2006 Sydney Biennale June-August
SPEECH talks with Rebecca Belmore about the Sydney Biennale:
'… It was almost like I was never there. It was the second time. I had been at Pier 2/3 in Sydney in 1998. It’s strange to go such a distance to almost exactly the same spot and never have any sense of Australia.

There was funding for us to go to Australia and New Zealand from Canada, to connect with Australian Aboriginals and Maoris, in the 1990’s but I didn’t go then.

The Biennale puts a lot of pressure on you to be clever in an intense and simple way. Trying to fit into someone else’s ideas of what they want you to say. It’s a game trying to figure out the curators desires and your own. Many voices, many places, about political issues, but it wasn’t clear what the message was. Was it that the world is a terrible place and we’re all fucked? When you are in this company of voices is it for people to come to the Biennale, as tourists, to see how horrible it is in all these places?'
Rebecca BelmoreUntitled I 2004 inkjet print on paper 150 x 104cm
courtesy of the artist, photo Donna H. Hagerman

The Party's Over
see Lowe's comment

Cälin Dan

MCA Sydney
Cälin Dan's video work Emotional Architecture 2 - Sample City is one of the few works that I really got something out of in this Biennale. I want to feel changed when I go to these kinds of shows, to know something I didn't already know, or to think: I wish I thought of that. I like that feeling. That's what I'm here for. So in the Sample City work a man walks around with a door tied to his back, through the rocky outskirts of a town somewhere very far from Australia. The light and the landscape are unfamiliar. He seems childish in a way I can't explain. No one bothers him, he just walks, sits down and rests occasionally. Alex Rizkalla told me that the work relates to a story about a young man who leaves the family home and is told to pull the door behind him. Kind-of a sad story about a naive man who then carries the door around for God knows how long. He said that when Dan shot the work back in Romania people remembered the story from their childhoods and they understood what he was doing. They said hello to him, didn't bother him, helped him and let him on his way.
Jacqueline Riva
Cälin Dan Emotional Architecture 2 - Sample City 2003
production photo from video 11.40 mins, courtesy of the artist


Daniel Dewar & Grégory Gicquel

Read the weblog of French curator Charlotte Laubard and artists Daniel Dewar & Grégory Gicquel. It documents preparations for the artists' exhibition at VCA Gallery Melbourne opening 29 June as well as the curators studio visits with Melbourne artists.


Sharon Goodwin

Uplands Gallery
Level 1, 12 Waratah Place Melbourne, May/June 2006
When I lived in Japan there was a museum exhibition in Tokyo of mythic animals called Youkai. Like most cultures the Youkai in Japan serve the purpose of telling moral and ethical tales – they embody a way of living, courtesies, cultural niceties. In Japan these symbolic mythic monsters could take a real form – a taxidermed fish and small possum were sewn together – proof to children that these creatures did exist and should be heeded. Youkai, I guess then are like a form of control, an enforcement of a particular hegemony. But on the other hand perhaps they could be reminders, prompters or cue cards; a genius seculi of a certain time. The sleep of reason breeds monsters and Sharon Goodwin’s exhibition at Uplands, Tomorrow is another today, is perhaps, like Goya and the Youkai, a pertinent reminder of our own apathy. The cyclic nature of the title pessimistically eludes perhaps to our present political climate and our own stumblings through life. Change can sometimes move slowly. The nightmare of the small but engulfing installation, a metaphor of our internal conflicts or the rumblings in our bellies coming to the surface. Contrary to what we are lead to believe the personal and the political often intersect. Goodwin’s exhibition, in gothic beauty, succinct and poignant, rendered in graphic starkness of black and white, eeirely illuminated with a hellish red light, points us to an underground where many are one, and one is at war with everyone.
Lisa Radford