Editorial: Life

Melissa Howe, The Deconstruction and Reconstruction of the Family Home (2011) 
As chicken is to egg, art is to life. The problem of which comes first has been pondered for centuries, the relationship muddied by the pair’s intrinsic similarity, which is to say, their amorphousness. Unlike the chicken (and the egg, for analogy’s sake), art and life are intangible entities with fuzzy edges. Which spawns the other? Who can say – we don’t even know what they are.

Creationist power-politics notwithstanding, art history tells the story of art’s need to relate to life, and the artist’s experience as a living being. Throughout time, the tack has bounced between responsive, descriptive, prescriptive and speculative. Art moves from being dissociated and aloof (‘above life’) to ingrained and grubby (‘of life’) by turns, alternately drawing inspiration from existence, and shunning everything it has to offer.

Overwhelmingly, the artists featured in this issue of runway, seek to connect with what is considered ‘real life’. Lara Thoms and Dara Gill shift thematic onus onto non-artists in an attempt to elevate the ordinary to a position of notice. Makeshift collective and Kylie Banyard propose new ways of living that respond to the reality of existence on a planet in peril. Cosmic Battle for your Heart and George Edgerton-Warburton allow us to ponder what it is to live as artists, and how art functions as part of one’s life. read more…

Inside Issue #19

To live long and prosper: makeshift

Megan Robson

All images: makeshift, Gwagi Patabágun___ We will eat presently (2010), durational installation with mobile food cart/apiary (found materials, steel, timber, bicycle wheels, solar panel, paper lanterns, cooking equipment, beehive with native stingless bees, local honey) and public picnics, dimensions: variable. Photo: Matthew Venables Tessa Zettel and Karl Khoe (also known as makeshift) create artworks that consider alternative models for

One Last Ride: Contemplating The Cosmic Battle for Your Heart

Diana Smith

The Cosmic Battle for Your Heart letter of invitation (2009) The Beginning 6.00pm Artspace, Woolloomooloo As we boarded the courtesy bus at Artspace, none of us were entirely sure what to expect. The bus was headed to Rozelle for the final opening of The Cosmic Battle for Your Heart, a domestic gallery established in 2009 by

Everyday Choreographies

Andrea Bell

Laresa Kosloff, Cast (with Jennifer Allora, Hany Armanious, Richard Bell, Karla Black, Christian Boltanski, Mikaela Dwyer, Dora Garcia, Thomas Hirschhorn, AnastasiaKlose, David Noonan, Michael Parekowhai, Grayson Perry, Stuart Ringholt, Renee So, Kathy Temin, Luc Tuymans, Angel Vergara, Catherine de Zegher) (2011), Live performance, ACCA Pop Up Program, 54th Venice Biennale 2011   An interview between ANDREA

Give and take: Teaching and Learning in Art and Life

Georgie Meagher

  Dara Gill, Natalie Teach and Learn List (2011), performance documentation   There is only one subject matter for education and that is Life in all its manifestations. – Alfred North Whitehead, in The Aims of Education As universities tighten their belts with funding cuts and higher costs, many varying solutions are being sought to

Review: The Begin-Again

Daniel Mudie Cunningham

All images: Angelica Mesiti, The Begin-Again (2011), high definition video, stereo sound, 4 single channel videos and 1 live installation and performance. Cinematography: Bonnie Elliot. Photos: Jamie North   Community engagement is easier said than done. That doesn’t stop many cultural institutions boasting community-focused programs regardless of whether or not anyone is engaged at all. Unless, of

Review: A Stock Exchange

Amelia Stein

A Stock Exchange (2011), installation view   When thinking about A Stock Exchange (2011), it might be helpful to remember some words from Ian Fleming: ‘a horse is dangerous at both ends and uncomfortable in the middle.’1 The event, organised by Amelia Groom, Jack Jeweller and Robert Milne, was conceived of as the visual arts component

Review: Social Sculpture

Jesse Adams Stein

Lauren Brincat, Hear This (2011), video documentation of an action, 8 minutes, 5 seconds When I learned of the title to curator Charlotte Day’s show at Anna Schwartz – Social Sculpture – I was concerned. For starters, the buttery substance that constitutes debate surrounding sculpture’s status has surely been churned by now … and such an ambitious reference

Review: Talking Pictures

Ella Mudie

Fitts & Holderness, The Watchmen of Okains Bay (2007-2011), installation view Writing about contemporary architecture’s preoccupation with glass, Tim Griffin observes ‘if it’s true that one sees things only when they begin to disappear, then architecture today is extremely visible.’1 The same sentiment might just as easily apply to the plethora of pre-digital image and film making

Review: Tiny Stadiums Festival

Melanie Oliver

Amy Spiers, Meeting Point (2011). Photo: Lucy Parakhina   It seems acceptable to be optimistic these days – just so long as you don’t hope for much. Slight carbon emission reductions some time in the future; the continuation of peace talks; or a well-liked Facebook group to support the release of Ai Weiwei are cause for confidence,

Review: What is this NEW11?

Dylan Rainforth

Dan Moynihan, Warm Memorial: The Dan Moynihan Experience (2011), Synthetic polymer paint on plasterboard on pine, sand, concrete, steel, polystyrene, resin, aluminium, paper, ceramic tiles on MDF on pine, enamel paint, electrical parts, cleaning implements and products, sound, dimensions variable   Sony’s cassette Walkman went out of production in late 2010 after being manufactured for just

Review: The Right to the City

Katrina Dunn-Jones

In 1853, civic planner, Baron Georges-Eugene Haussmann began a redevelopment of Paris that would set a precedent for the way in which cities would operate in the future (notable cities include Chicago in the 1880s and Sydney’s Redfern more recently). Designed to service the needs of capitalism, the city would become the centre of consumption and pleasure,

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