Editorial: Lies

Over the last year or so, I have found myself in a number of conversations with fellow artists about the conundrum of the overused term ‘emerging’ in the Australian art world, and the fear of falling into the void that lies beyond it. For an artist in the early stages of their career, the term ‘emerging’ is linked directly to opportunity. So many prizes, exhibitions, festivals and travel scholarships are exclusively focused on benefiting ‘emerging’ artists and appear to promise a level playing field.

The meaning of the term ‘emerging’ (often paired with words like ‘fresh’, ‘new’ and ‘exciting’) is somewhat fluid: parameters are varied and can include age limits (ranging anywhere between 25 and 35), the condition that the artist is unrepresented, or that they graduated from art school less than a set number of years ago.

Almost universal in the definition of ‘emerging’, however, is the stipulation that the artist has been practising professionally for no more than five years. As a result, this definition carries the problematic expectation that every ‘emerging’ artist automatically ‘emerges’ to become a successfully established artist at the 5-year mark. This obvious fallacy regularly leads many early-career artists—yet to achieve recognition or success in broad terms—to revise the details of their practice in order to remain acceptably ‘emerging’ and as such eligible for those opportunities.

Inside Issue #15

Agatha Gothe-Snape: I Trusted You

Elizabeth Stanton

  Agatha Gothe-Snape, I TRUSTED YOU (studio detail), 2009. Photo: the artist. The most powerful statements are succinct ones. I TRUSTED YOU. Responding to this issue’s theme of ‘lies’, Sydney artist Agatha Gothe-Snape wraps runway with this single damning statement. It graces the cover like a bold public decree, without context but laden with connotations.

Review: There There Anxious Future

A. Groom

  There There Anxious Future (works from left to right): Ms. & Mr, First House (The Optimist), 1984/2009, (restored drawing) acrylic, ink and pencil on school issued paper; Ms. & Mr, Retroactive Walk, 2009, video still (found educational footage from CERN Science Facility at the Large Hadron Collider) composited with HDV and animation, installation view,

Review: Veneer

Chloé Wolifson

James Harney, Veneer, 2009, installation view, Firstdraft gallery, Sydney. Photo: the artist. Upon entering James Harney’s exhibition Veneer, the visitor could be forgiven for suspecting that the television screen in the installation was showing some kind of monochromatic test pattern. Held at Firstdraft in Sydney, Veneer featured a viewable library of video artworks, with each

From Places Paved by Painters: in Conversation with Will French

 Jaki Middleton Will French, Frank-o-phile / Velo-Style, 2009, (performance documentation) steel, wood, cogs, gears, paper, bike.  Photo: Lauren Brincat. Jaki Middleton: Your recent performance-installation work Frank-o-phile / Velo-style, was exhibited and undertaken simultaneous to the 2009 Tour de France. Can you discuss the relationship between the Tour de France and the work? Will French: It

Review: Come Hither Noise

Lia McKnight

  Mark Brown, Detritical SFPS, 2009, digital video, twin cylinder fire extinguisher, audio speaker, LCD screen, fragments of detritus, dimensions variable, additional footage:Erin Coates, voice: Ian Randall. Photo: Justin Spiers. There is no doubt that ours is a visual culture. The ‘image’ attracts and distracts us to such an extent that other sensory realms are

Review: Sumugan Sivanesan & Gustavo Böke – Nice Dreams

Ella Barclay

  Sumugan Sivanesan & Gustavo Böke, Nice Dreams (detail), 2009, cardboard, MDF, wafer & expandable foam. Photo: Sumugan Sivanesan. My most recent gripe is with the Sydney Morning Herald publishing articles entirely comprised of tweets. Knee-jerk journalism that side-steps the orderly procedures of trawling through all available data, fact-checking and presenting some form of legible

Review: Bridget Currie – Regulators

Monte Masi

  Bridget Currie, Regulators, 2009, olive tree, fragrance, plywood, installation view, Experimental Art Foundation, Adelaide. Photo: Sam Roberts. Bridget Currie’s installation Regulators, at the Experiment Art Foundation in Adelaide, feels like the culmination of several themes evident within the artist’s recent practice. There was a sparse, considered aesthetic and a poetic representation of the everyday.

Review: Safari Team – Alternative Utopias

Kelly Fliedner

  Safari Team, Safari Team Dig to China – Part III, 2009, installation view, West Space, Melbourne. Photo: John O’Neil.   When one man, for whatever reason, has an opportunity to lead an extraordinary life, he has no right to keep it to himself. – Jacques Yves Cousteau Safari Team Dig to China Part III

Review: Primavera 2009

Talia Linz

Wade Marynowsky, Autonomous improvisation v1, 2007, video and pianola installation, [pictured contributing artists: Milica Stefanovic (left and right), Dallas Della Force (centre)] installation view, Primavera 09, MCA, Sydney. Photo: Jenni Carter. Pinpointing an exhibition’s thematic thread can be both a pleasure and a burden, but one that can help us further appreciate a curator’s intentions

Forgetting is Not an Option: in conversation with Stephen Gilchrist

Leon Goh   Jonathon Jones, untitled [heads or tails], 2009, fluorescent tubes, powdercoated metal , electrical wiring. Photo: Andrew Curtis. In this post-apology landscape, are there cultural, social and artistic spaces where reconciliation can occur? OCTOPUS 9: I FORGET TO FORGET was the latest in the annual Octopus exhibitions at Gertrude Contemporary Art Spaces, Melbourne.

Review: Time Trap

Emma White   David Lawrey & Jaki Middleton, Time Trap (Tardis), 2009, sculpture. Photo: the artists. In the atheist household of my childhood, my personal concept of the afterlife was this: everything I missed or wished to experience again, I would somehow see again after I died. My deity-free vision of the hereafter exemplified the

Sarah Goffman: Forgery and Uttering in Blue and White

Bec Dean

Sarah Goffman, Plastic Arts, PET plastics, enamel paint, permanent marker,  2009. Photo: Michael Myers. While discussing her new work, Sarah Goffman told me the story of the English forger who died in the process of immaculately drawing a five-pound note. ‘No-one knows how many he made. They were such identical copies, they just disappeared into

Penelope Cain: Urban Ecologies

Anneke Jaspers   Penelope Cain, Cubicle Farmers from the series Hypotheticals, 2009, digital image. Not so long ago, the proportion of the world’s population living in cities edged past fifty percent, making the urban lifestyle the dominant cultural experience of mankind. While every city represents a different and evolving permutation of population, cultures, structures, geography,

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