Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Sakiko Yamaoka

...the Space Between... - artist profile.

The photo.
the title is "Listen! Directly",
the audience, 12 people were listening neighbor's heart beat.
Before they were on the stage, They translated the neighbor's heart
beat they listened to 12 metronome.
On the moment to take the picture, on the stage 12 different beat
sounds were echoing.
2003 , in Germany

Sakiko Yamaoka
(Edited by backPage - 26th Feb. Sakiko's impressive CV of international events and exhibitions was removed to make way for her text which we wanted to post in full.)

About projects and works.
Please see the websites (sorry mostly in Japanese text)

Space between text:

No name

I am very stupid. I always forget things. I just stand.
I just listen.

I love to look at the sky very much.
I love to listen to the various sounds from around the world.
Most of them don't have any name.
The sky above Japan is the same as the sky above Australia.
No name.
When some apples fall down, they make a sound on the ground.
Each occasion has a different sound. But it has no name.
It is just sound when apples fall.
Too many different sounds, nobody can name them.
Above all those sounds are not necessary in human society.

Do you know my smell? Ignore my name.

I just move to listen to the sounds from the world.
It is not be easy. Like torture.
Because the sound comes from the world. but really from me.
Only when I act, the world makes sound. Like echo.
It means I neverÅcÅc?
But sound is very wonderful. Hope to let me say it is lovely.

Please come to smell me. Ignore the sound.

Once I went out of my door,
I was very surprised by a sound I had never listened.
I found a dead cicada on the ground near my foot.
I have never imagined a cicada has weight to make sound.
I have known cicadas.
I had seen them; I had read information about them from books,
I had listened to the sound they make on the tree.
But I found I saw it is the first time to see that dead cicada.
I picked up the cicada, and I realized he was very light.
And I smelled him carefully to know him.

the Space Between

Reading Room Project
…the Space Between…

A project for the heart of Gosford’s CBD by Brown’s Cows Art Projects.

In the week beginning the 12th of February, 2007, an assortment of L.E.D. moving text messages will be displayed in selected shop-front windows in Mann Street (between Erina and William Streets), Gosford, NSW.

The messages have been devised by artists in Gosford, with contributions from Japan, Singapore, New Zealand, Canada and Korea.

A short dance-tableau “The space Between Words” will occur one evening inside a shop widow, with improvised activities perhaps occurring elsewhere in the street. [This will be recorded for later presentation and is not intended as a public performance. It is part of a series of events, “@ the Still Point”, funded in part by the Korean Cultural Foundation.]

Mann Street is a local site of constructed and contested meaning. …the Space Between…is a project playing with different ways of thinking about public (commons) space, art and language. Locally articulated, globally reticulated.

The project will be fully documented and given press coverage as well as website distribution. A DVD of the week’s activities will be produced.

Profiles of some of the artists will be posted when they are received.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Election, 24th of March - Policies

The following letter is being sent to candidates for the Seat of Gosford, Marie Andrews and Chris Holstein. Other Central Coast candidates and Upper House hopefuls may also be invited to present their policies and objectives.

NSW March Election Arts Policies – Invitation to Candidates.

You are invited to present your arts and culture policy position on our contemporary art website, backpagefree.blogspot.com

To give electors useful information about your views on, and objectives for, the arts in Gosford and the region, we are sending you and each of the other candidates the same questions. The questions and your responses will be posted on the Back Page site.

Within the arts sector on-line sites are increasingly the main medium for exchange and distribution of information. Consequently presenting your policy on this site will be a useful way to target this constituency of interest.

We would like you to tell us what you understand “the Arts” to be, how the Arts fit into the social context and what, if any, plans you have for the Arts in your electorate should you be elected.


What are the priorities in planning the future for the arts in the Gosford region?

What do you consider to be the greatest needs?

Is the Central Coast well resourced now?

What are the strongest and weakest aspects of art culture locally?

What are the benefits to the community of art? How would you rank them in terms of what you would work towards if elected?

How would you rank art in relation to other sectors of community and civic life?

What would be your key priorities for the arts in the Gosford City Plan (what and where)?

What is your attitude to the presentation of controversial and perhaps disturbing contemporary art works?

What funding and infrastructure resources would you seek to secure for sustainable development of the arts in the region?

Thank you for your response. Final date for posting to the site is the 21st of February, but earlier will attract more thoughtful consideration.

Neil Berecry-Brown

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Closing the Uncanny

“GOSFORD City Council will close a controversial art exhibition a week early after police called photographs of a naked seven-year-old girl disturbing and complainants said the images were "child abuse and not art". (SMH)

Another day, another art exhibition closed due to public complaint.

It is surprising that so few examples of this come to attention. Curators and exhibition organisers sometimes walk a fine line between a conservative public’s sensibilities and the principle of an uncensored presentation of artists’ work and ideas.

Regional Gallery Curator (forground) and contentious photographs in Changeling: Childhood and the Uncanny, curated by Alasdair Foster for the Australian Centre for Photography.

We do not live in a world where there is no control over what is said and done. In circumstances where it is reasonable to assume that an expression will give offence or could lead to harmful consequences, judgements are made with regard to the common benefit. It is the foundation of ethical practice.

Artists have no more right than another group of individuals to offend other people with impunity, but contemporary artists have inherited a practice of inquiry, interrogation, critiquing, questioning, and doing so with a freedom to be confronting and sometimes abrasive. It is a vital part of imagining new possibilities. The freedom also permits ill-considered, inadequately conceptualised and opportunistic works, with the appearance of art, to be shown.

Contemporary art is one of too few places in Australia 2007 where alternative views can be explored and presented in the world of politics, culture and values. If a work hints at, or explicitly depicts, aspects of society that are unspoken or dangerous, it is an opportunity to confront the issues. The photographs by Polixeni Papatetrou in the Changeling: Childhood and the Uncanny exhibition, being closed down at the Gosford Regional Gallery, were known to be controversial.

The following is from the Artlife blog from 20th December 2004. Artlife praised the exhibition as a whole, but went on to say:

"Polixeni Papapetrou is not, mercifully, represented by her simply appalling Alice in Wonderland pictures, but by a suite of works called Olympia Wearing Her Grandmother’s Jewellery from 2001. Featuring shots of her naked daughter in poses reminiscent of soft porn, these works are deeply troubling, not so much because of the disturbing way in which the artist depicts the child, but more because the artist seems unable to understand what the objection might be to the power relationship between the photographer and the subject. The artist contends that her daughter is completely complicit in the process, but to look upon these pictures is to imagine otherwise. We may be wrong, but we’ll be fascinated to know what Olympia will have to say about her childhood experiences with her mother when she's an adult."

It is also reasonable to ask questions about the “soft porn” aspects of the image and why most commentators prefer to talk about the mothers intentions, as if an artist necessarily can be trusted to know their motives anymore than the rest of us, rather than the more problematic issue of pornography.

The ACP curator of the exhibition Alasdair Foster wrote …. “The participating artists address the child-adult interface from a range of perspectives - adolescent fashion, infant sexuality…” acknowledging the disturbing undercurrents of pedophilia. In the photographs it is not explicit sexuality but the signs of acquiescent commodity that resonate in our consumer culture.

A student from Semiotics and Deconstruction 101 would be able to sort it out in no time.

We are all familiar with Serrano’s Piss Christ and Davila’s Stupid as a Painter, amongst a host of controversial and censored exhibitions. Most recently the “pornography” paintings of John Currin have been hotly discussed, but I think what is of issue here is that these other works do not extend beyond the adult world. Ann Elias discusses some of these issues for education in the linked pdf.

Perhaps with for-knowledge of the controversial nature of these few photographs, in an otherwise praised exhibition, an opportunity could have been managed to explore the issues rather than having the whole presentation closed. It might be that the perceived absence of a context for discussion was more relevant than the images themselves, which without it, were complicit in the precociously sexed portrayal of children that it is said they commented upon neutrally.

If we have art we will have controversy, thank goodness for that.
Walking the fine line is the job of the curator, and Gosford Council is right to put their trust in the people they employ to make informed decisions.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Art without moving your lips

[Art's] voice owes its power to the fact that it arises from a pregnant solitude [silence].

“… silence encloses all things, including speech, or language, or discourse, or any form of expression.
Art is thus essentially a grammar or rhetoric of silence…”
(Caranfa in reference to Saint Augustine).

In art any distinction between language, philosophy and art is blurred, for all three are manifestations of the invisible in the visible, of the unknowable in the knowable and of silence in discourse.

Silence silences what we think we know, it teaches us to listen – in an integral way.
It promotes an encounter with the “other’ or oneself as another (Ricoeur).

“what we know is more than we can tell and we can tell nothing without relying on our awareness of things we might not be able to tell (Polanyi)

Knowing is ultimately unknowing … and discourse is the voices of silence.

The voices of art are the voices of silence – or the silenced, or the unspeakable, or the unspoken.
Art is silence coming into being or articulation – things said without breaking the silence.

This post references liberally from:
Voices of Silence in Pedagogy: Art, Writing and Self-Encounter.
Angelo Caranfa.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Equine Art

EQUINE ART PRIZE February 2007 Mindirr Gallery Mittagong
NSW - notice received from Gosford Regional Gallery. Contact GRG or Mindirr if you are interested in this sort of thing.


Recitation - prologue to High Horse Momma
Song by artist and musician Terry Allen.
On double album Lubbock (on everything) 1978

A waitress asked me what I did.
I told her I tried (to make art)
She asked me if I made any money.
I said no …. I have to ‘teach’ to do that.
She asked me what I taught and where.
I told her.
She told me that she liked art, but that she
couldn’t draw a straight line.
I told he if she could reach out for something
and pick it up, she could draw a line that
was straight enough.
She said she wasn’t interested in that kind
of drawing…..but she always liked horses.
I said I did too, but they were hard to draw.
She said yes that was very true…said she
could do the body OK, but never get the
head, tail or legs.
I told her she was drawing sausages…..not horses.
She said no…… they were horses.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Aesthetics of Silence (1967)

The exemplary modern artist's choice of silence isn't often carried to this point of final simplification, so that he becomes literally silent. More typically, he continues speaking, but in a manner that his audience can't hear. Most valuable art in our time has been experienced by audiences as a move into silence (or unintelligibility or invisibility or inaudibility); a dismantling of the artist's competence, his responsible sense of vocation — and therefore as an aggression against them.
Modern art's chronic habit of displeasing, provoking, or frustrating its audience can be regarded as a limited, vicarious participation in the ideal of silence which has been elevated as a prime standard of seriousness in the contemporary scene.
But it is also a contradictory form of participation in the ideal of silence. It's contradictory not only because the artist still continues making works of art, but also because the isolation of the work from its audience never lasts. With the passage of time and the intervention of newer, more difficult works, the artist's transgression becomes ingratiating, eventually legitimate. Goethe accused Kleist of having written his plays for an "invisible theatre." But in time the invisible theatre becomes "visible" The ugly and discordant and senseless become "beautiful." The history of art is a sequence of successful transgressions.
Susan Sontag.
The Aesthetics of Silence. 1967.