Are You Being Flocked?

The Carlton Club Hotel and Studios
193 Bourke St Melbourne, October
The campy title of the exhibition suggests a neat cross between fancy wallpaper and group mentality. But who is part of the flock? Stephen Bram, Tony Clark, Marco Fusinato, Melinda Harper, Fiona McDonald, Anne Marie May, Callum Morton, John Nixon, Rose Nolan, Kerrie Poliness, Kathy Temin, Gary Wilson plus Constanze Zikos, who curated the show and DJ’s on Saturday nights in the bar downstairs. Okay, so the list reads like a year on Flinders lane 5 years ago - and everyone got a look in - hardedge, faux-naif, fluffy, knitted, painted, abstract and architectural. So why don’t we do it in the road? Most of the artists in the exhibition are usually treated to pristine white gallery spaces and heavy institutional hangs – the sort of pedigree you wouldn’t expect to grace the walls of the one-bedroom-and-sink-sized rooms above the bar. But we’re all friends, aren’t we? Stay in groups uh.
Geoff Newton
image Fiona McDonald


Anonymous Anonymous said...

If we did it in the road we'd be covered in tar..wouldn't we uh.

2:25 AM  
Anonymous michelle said...

rsgeoff - flinders st 5 years ago? what are you talking about? didn't you move here from canberra like 2 weeks ago? the best thing about this show is that it reminded me of going to art school and being taught by some of these guys - probably their first teaching gigs - and being so exciting at the prospect of an artworld that could belong to us. Seeing this work in this context reminds me of how i first saw art - and how great art doesnt need the white walls to make it rock. what can i say - im a romantic about "collectives' and it strikes me as retarded that this show isn't on show at the ngva - alongside the freaking australian impressionists. Is Max Delany the only curator in an institution to do a show about contemporary ARI or collectives? How can the wider community appreciate a local art scene when they dont even know about it- or aren't made aware of it.
What was really awesome was the crowd the opening night pulled. I haven't seen an art crowd like that since the melbourne one-enniel.

1:02 AM  
Anonymous Geoff said...

Yeah I like really big openings too. That's what attracted me to Melbourne - when I heard about the great openings, especially the ones at artist run spaces like Anna Schwartz and Sutton galleries. And I agree that we need more collectives not unlike the ACGA and ABAF to bring our wider community closer to appreciating emerging talent.

4:46 AM  
Anonymous michelle said...

geoff your begining to sound jaded..anna schwartz wasn't always what she is now, these people in this show weren't always showing with her..i think what im trying to say about this show is that history is important. sometimes when i see a solo show by one of these artists these days im not so excited, but when i see it as the collective it reminds me of the energy generated by the group - i think this idea of the group may be what generated the ARI's we now have..that are now morphing into something else. Respect to the elders...they carved the way and gave us something to rebel against.

5:55 AM  
Anonymous deckard said...

Is it apt the venue is a former brothel? Is this un/intentional post-modern "irony" at work? A chthonic elegaic legacy of the AIDS era? The death of the author/artiste?
Please attend Prof Eagleton's seminar/book launch at Melbourne Uni law school on Friday 7/12.

11:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This romantic idea of the collective is not always so ideal, and to be frank its pretty important to keep in check. This idea of the cooperative can often easily degenerate into "pack mentality" a la Howard. The collective can also quite often reek of the always transient and sycophantic "cool crowd". Don't get me wrong when artists collectives get it right the birds sing and the oceans part. there is definately a need for the romantic collective, the ARI that cares about the community. But who or what is the "community"?most importantly how big does the checkbook have to be to belong to this collective?

1:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was just a pretty shit show. You know like pretty shit. Looks pretty but it's shit.
Lets be underground again, c'mon' one more time guys you and me, us.

3:00 AM  
Anonymous deckard said...

I wonder how many art students or "artistes" know what the word chthonic means? It's one of my favourites. What irritates me about art (not in reference to this particular show) is that 90-95 per cent of artists are unemployed, but they call or regard themselves as "artists", when they have no connection or communication with the public, unlike say Warhol for instance. I hate to say it in terms of current "artists" but most of it is irrelevant unformed pretentious sludge.

12:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

* Horror author Brian Lumley applied the term "Chthonian" for a fictional species in his contributions to H. P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos.

* The ancient alien race in the Battlezone computer game is called The Cthonians. They are split into two factions, the Olympians and the Hadeans. According to the game, this alien race is responsible for the Greek mythos.

* In Ralph Ellison's novel Invisible Man, the meeting place of the Brotherhood is "the Chthonian".

* In Phillip Pullman's trilogy His Dark Materials, underground railway systems are called 'Chthonic Railways'.

* "Chthonic" is the name of a fictional, abrasive bridge-playing robot in a long-running series of humor articles by Danny Kleinman and Nick Straguzzi in The Bridge World magazine.

* Sherrilyn Kenyon writes of Chthonians as police of the gods in her Dream-Hunter novel, The Dream-Hunter

* British Macro-cosmic UltraDoom trio MOSS called their debut album Cthonic Rites in reference to their Lovecraftian nature.

* "ChthoniC" is the name of a Taiwanese symphonic black metal band which incorporates sounds and influences from traditional Taiwanese music.

* John Opie, Appachalian scholar uses Chthonic imagery to describe the deep eternal relationship mountain cultures have with the mountains in his essay, "A Sense of Place".

* The computer game Quake, released by id Software on June 22, 1996, features a level called "The House of Chthon".

* The computer game World of Warcraft, released by Blizzard Entertainment, features an instance raid dungeon boss named "C'Thun," who, being an old god, is most likely inspired by Lovecraft's "Cthulhu."

* The metal band Bal-Sagoth's latest album is named The Cthonic Chronicles.

* In various Marvel Comics, Chthon is one of the pseudo-Lovecraftian Elder Gods, trapped in the East European mountain called Wundagore.

* In the short-lived Blade television series, "House Chthon" was a renegade clique of vampires, jockeying to usurp rulership of all other vampiric houses.

* In the Sealab 2021 episode The Feast of Alvis, "Chthonic" is one of the fictional religions, used as an alias for Catholicism.

* In the episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer Tough Love, the witch Willow uses the word in a spell against the God Glory: "Kali, Hera, Kronos, Chthonic, air like nectar, thick as onyx. Cassiel by your second star, hold my victim as in tar."

* In the anime Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, the first deck used by Chazz Princeton contained cards such as "Chthonian Soldier" and "Chthonian Polymer." The voice actors constantly pronounced the word as [tchi-tho-ni-ən].

1:30 AM  
Anonymous deckard said...

Thanks for the meticulous updates!I have an old battered but perfectly good Everyman dictionary.
Chthonian adj, cthonic (thon'ik): pertaining to the underworld and the deities inhabiting it; ghostly. [Gr. chthon, chthonos, the ground]

11:46 AM  
Anonymous deckard said...

I guess the point I politely make is that if you make coffees you are literally a coffee maker, if you are an accountant you are an accountant, and so on. So many call themselves "artists" yet they have no connection or response from the public. That's what devalues the currency, makes it meanaingless. Then there are those "artists" whose snouts are permanently mired in the public-funding trough who generally produce mediocrity in order to receive funding. Look at the taxpayer-funded career scammers, subsidised by working-class people who put their lives on the line like paramedics and building site workers who don't receive slush funds. One exhibition which upset me was a "video" at the Gertrude centre mocking Picasso. Would these scum also have the guts to stand up to the Nazis too?

6:05 AM  

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