Wednesday, April 25, 2007

In the Vineyards '07

Received from Tara Morelos:


"I would like to invite you to have a look at last years exhibition by visiting the blog address above (SCULPTURE IN THE VINEYARDS), and consider submitting a proposal for the 2007 exhibition.
Please read the attached artist info. (if you have trouble downloading the file, let me know)"
[Ed. this is available on the Sculpture in the Vineyards blog. Click on image first to enlarge before moving to desktop, or print from blog]

Detail of '06 work by Holly Williams

"The Exhibition will be held across the three wineries:

Undercliff winery
Stonehurst Cedar Creek
Millbrook Estate

Continuing on from the success of last year, we will be having another great opening at the Wollombi Cultural Centre with 'Sculpture in the Expanded Field' (cheers Rosalind Krauss)... Sculpture/performance and installation... A small sculpture show will be launched along side the larger Vineyards exhibition. Projection artist Cindi Drennan will be presenting an expanded version of her work 'Voice of Light' with an extra performative component. We are also looking for proposals from performers to produce site specific performance work to complement 'Voice of Light' creating a full evening program.

As part of an ongoing thank you to the creative efforts of vineyards artists, we are negotiating a midweek/weekend for two for participating artists to take at their leisure, plus extend an invitation to attend a special artist dinner/lunch - date yet to be confirmed.

I do hope you can be part of this years exhibition and look forward to hearing from you. Please pass this information on to others you think may also be interested."

Tara Morelos - curator
0403 469 753

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Spaces and Places

As some of you will know, Gosford Council is in the process of preparing a report for a “Cultural Spaces and Places Framework”.

Gordon Matta-Clark

Here at the Back Page we continue to push for resources to support Contemporary Art, an obvious need to all familiar with the local situation.
We consider that Council must take up the challenge of providing material encouragement for this sometimes problematic area of cultural practice, not only for what it means to be part of an historic enterprise of cultural enrichment, but also in terms of developing a vision for regional identity.
We have an opportunity to create a unique contemporary art milieu here, but it cannot be done well except in partnership with those who have the resources to match what is available in other cities and regions; this is not only in terms of “spaces and places”, but also in personnel and policy.

If you have any issues in regard to “Spaces and Places”; any opinions, suggestions, views, lists of priorities, etc., you are welcome to email them to the Back Page and I will make sure they are included in the process that will produce the report to Council.

Please email to reach me by the end of the 23rd of April.

Monday, April 09, 2007

"Changling" closed, Mayor's response.

eO has received a response from the Mayor of Gosford, Laurie Maher, to questions arising from the cancellation of an exhibition at the Regional Gallery. For those of you concerned about how the decision was made, check it out.
The statement is the usual public relations spin, and does not address the questions of policy and procedure that need to be made transparent.
Mayor Maher says the closure was "an attempt by Gosford City Council to ensure the works would not be trivialised as a consequence of the articles that appeared in the papers and the public comments which referred to the works being child pornography". So it would appear that exhibitions can be closed if opinions in the press might "trivialise" presented works. Methinks it is time to hang up the old beret.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Alexander McAllister Award

In an increasingly individualised world structured on competitive and adversarial ideologies, it seems the art-world is becoming complicit, rather than resisting and maintaining independence from the industry/consumer/entertainment model.
What we are seeing is more art prizes and competitions, fewer paths to practice that do not pass the art managerial gate-keepers, greater focus on star status in international (or local) art circuses, art valued chiefly as a community development tool and as a catalyst for economic growth in the so called “creative” industries.
While this is what we are SEEING, there are many artists, groups and networks, with practices outside the prevailing orthodoxy, whose premises for work exclude them from both public largess and public discussion.
It continues to be vital for this work to have a “presence” as we negotiate our current understandings and consider options for the future. Not just a seat at the table, but a role in creating it.

As we enter the competitive grant application season, and experience the pressure to tailor our practice to "guidelines”, we might think of Alexander McAllister.

Following is an extract from Circa Art Magazine.

"The 1986 Alexander McAllister Memorial Award for Greatness

Call for Submissions
The Committee of the Alexander McAllister Memorial Award seeks submissions from suitably disqualified Artists for The 1986 Alexander McAllister Award For Greatness. The McAllister Award for Greatness is awarded on an annual basis to an Artist who, in the previous year, displayed the utmost fortitude, resilience, and audacity of vision in their desire to resist the forces of mediocrity, banality, and officialdom. The successful applicant will have showcased the highest level of passion and ferocity in respect of a creatively defiant submission, which they must have deliberately failed, in the previous year, to obtain. No material reward or financial gain attaches to the McAllister Award; it consists solely of affection and admiration bestowed in the spirit of its founder, the late Alexander McAllister.
Successful candidates will have resisted bravely the urge to succeed, borne their ensuing failure stoically, seeing in the failure to gain disingenuous offers of financial nourishment an opportunity to subvert the cultural hierarchy and elevate premeditated failure to the art form it is capable of being.

Submission Guidelines:
* The Award is made retrospectively and on an annual basis. It is open to all artists who, in the previous year, have failed in an attempt to obtain a major grant or award. Submitters are asked to familiarise themselves with previous Award holders and acquaint themselves with the high standards of failure expected in terms of originality, contempt for bureaucracy, and contribution to the field of artistic autonomy.
* Submissions can be in any style or format but must be combative in nature, degenerate in character, and sincerely made.
* All failures must be in respect of officially recognised grants or awards; unsuccessful submissions to unrecognised bodies will not be considered. Proof of application should be included with submissions. Shortlistings are accepted and encouraged as this further subverts official power structures.
* The Award holder's laurel wreath must be returned after a period of one year. Limited edition, plastic replicas are available to all submitters; a modest contribution to cover overheads is encouraged but not compulsory.
* Submitters may freely contact committee members to discuss proposals, receive tips and generally converse in a friendly and civilised manner.
* Deadline for submissions is 31st December 1985. Send to: McAllister Memorial Award, Greatness House, 31 West Great George's Street, Dublin 1, Ireland.

Previous McAllister Award Winners
1982 - Amanda Pentuply for her loss of a 1981 grant of £750. The convoluted and at times dazzling array of interconnected references and recommendations in Bias impressed the Adjudicating Panel immensely. Defiantly titled, meticulously documented, this was a virtuoso display of partiality. Pentuply's in-depth exposition of pedagogy, her detailed elucidation of hierarchal fidelity in the polluted marriage of career advancement and capital capture laid down a marker for future failures.
1983 - The Award went to submissions stalwart Constance Slacklustre. Never short-listed for an official grant or award, probably never even considered, the Panel gave her the Award in recognition of the quality and longevity of her despair. In a decade and a half of failure, amounting to losses in the region of £10,000, she missed yet again, in 1982, an award of £1,000 and was cited by the committee "for her loyalty to loss...her commitment to all things redundant." Her many years toiling in the wilderness of bureaucracy were "a baroque music of repetition, an inspiring and unique voice in a deafening jungle of achievement...a poignant and unanswered counterpoint." Something she never failed to deliver, year after year, was her devotional mantra Routine bereavement.”

More winners, full text and details about Alexander can be found on the CIRCA site.

Good luck with your submissions!