David Jones, artist and poet (1895-1974) begins his PREFACE TO THE ANATHEMATA :

'I have made a heap of all that I could find.' (1) So wrote Nennius, or whoever composed the introductory matter to Historia Brittonum. He speaks of an 'inward wound' which was caused by the fear that certain things dear to him 'should be like smoke dissipated'. Further, he says, 'not trusting my own learning, which is none at all, but partly from writings and monuments of the ancient inhabitants of Britain, partly from the annals of the Romans and the chronicles of the sacred fathers, Isidore, Hieronymous, Prosper, Eusebius and from the histories of the Scots and Saxons although our enemies . . . I have lispingly put together this . . . about past transactions, that [this material] might not be trodden under foot'. (2)

(1) The actual words are coacervavi omne quod inveni, and occur in Prologue 2 to the Historia.
(2) Quoted from the translation of Prologue 1. See The Works of Gildas and Nennius, J.A.Giles, London 1841.


27 March 2017

Vale Robert Rooney (1937-2017)


Robert Rooney, Melbourne artist photographer writer reviewer and musician, died last Tuesday, 
21 March 2017.

Robert Rooney was born on 24 September 1937. 
           
Every artist born in 1937 so far located 
1970-2009
Robert Rooney


Medium                    ballpoint pen on 204 cardboard index cards, 
                                 cardboard box
Measurements         (1-230) 9.8 × 15.0 × 13.7 cm (overall)
Accession Number   2009.501.1-230
Department              Australian Prints & Drawings
Credit Line               National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
                                 Gift of Robert Rooney through the Australian
                                 Government's Cultural Gifts  Program, 2009
Gallery location        Not on display

During the last decade, Robert made colourful paintings from black and white line illustrations derived from a 1937 edition of the weekly French magazine Le Rire (The Laugh/Laughter). 

Robert Rooney, Le Rire: Beard and Baby (PIcq), 2008

Several years ago, on Robert's birthday, we were able to send him the edition of Le Rire published on his actual birth day, 21 Sept 1937. Such fun.

____________________________________________

Our first encounter with Robert was in the early 1970s at The Source in central Melbourne.

Others also associated him with that excellent bookshop. 
Sol LeWitt, 1967 :


     
Ian Robertson, today :

clearly remember buying poetry books from him in Sweeney Reed’s bookshop in Exhibition Street in the late ‘60s/early ‘70s

… I think it was called East End

we always had cryptic conversations and he perpetually wore a small and somehow quite private smile, something was quietly amusing him

in ’89-90 I visited his house with Philip Brophy when putting together an issue of Stuff on Graphics, to which Robert contributed a compendium of quotes from Ed Ruscha

the house was like a 3D spotless scaled up image from a late 1950/early 1960s Australian Home Beautiful pictorial, perfectly maintained…

the pantry was memorable, with rows and rows of tinned foods and packaged goods as though in preparation for a Nuclear bomb


a glimpse into his room has left an image of packed bookshelves on four walls

From Robert's more recent bookshop associations, pinned to our office wall here, is this Black Square edition of his design for the Sainsbury's Books tote bag.


AAA_Art Archive Australia  
____________________________________________

Robert Rooney was the only artist to be included in these two generations of breakthrough exhibitions at the NGV :

The Field in 1968 with Kind-hearted kitchen-garden IV (ref.)

 Robert Rooney, Kind-hearted kitchen-garden 11, 1967

...and POPISM in 1984, curated by Paul Taylor.
(Philip Brophy essay : Re-Generation: Robert Rooney as Pop)


Robert Rooney, Portrait of Paul Taylor, 1984

Robert was also a key inclusion in Melbourne Cool, curated by Daniel Thomas and Mary Eagle at the NGA in 1983.
  
____________________________________________

ROBERT ROONEY


I have always preferred to work from secondary sources, particularly mass-media ones, rather than paint or draw from the actual subject. Robert Rooney 1986


The sources for Rooney’s highly regarded 1960s abstract paintings were breakfast cereal cut-outs and other found material such as knitting patterns. His work has changed considerably over the years but the one constant, as Charles Green pointed out in 2000, is a ‘love affair with the legible signs of nomadic suburbia (logos, trademarks, street signs).’


From the 1990s Rooney’s hand-painted acrylic pictures have been based on illustrations in esoteric children’s books. More recently he has been concerned with artworks made by children themselves, though it is not his aim to draw or paint like a child. Rooney’s interest is more in ‘modern Art (or Modernism) and childhood, or, if you like, the early childhood of Modernism.’


Acknowledged as one of the most important abstract painters in the landmark 1968 exhibition The Field at the National Gallery of Victoria, Robert Rooney has exhibited widely during his long career. A major retrospective - From the Home Front - was held at Monash University Gallery in 1990.

His work has always had the freshness of youth but also the elegance and intelligence of maturity. It wears wonderfully well, and therefore must be as good as any works of art can be.

- Daniel Thomas 1997


____________________________________________

In the 1980s we were able to acquire one of the edition of two Corners, Robert Rooney's photo series of Bruce Pollard's Pinacotheca Gallery, Richmond. Such a treasure. Corners 1/2 is in the collection of the NGV; Corners 2/2 now at AGNSW.

Robert Rooney, Corners, 1972  (click to enlarge)

Two other Robert Rooney photo series are now on show at 
Spare Room 33 in Canberra.

Robert Rooney, Luna Park: St Kilda, January 1975, 1975 


Robert Rooney, Scorched Almonds, 1970 


This exhibition, Serial and Conceptual Photography, opened on Tuesday last, the day of Robert's death. That sad news has reached us only today. Vale Robert.

____________________________________________

Robert Rooney, Portrait photographs 1978–1987, Tolarno Galleries, 11 September–11 October 2014

At the 2014 opening of 'Portrait photographs 1978-1987' 
Jon Campbell, Robert Rooney, Doug Hall and a photographer
all photographed, and here regarded

detail 
A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/
someone looks at something... 
         
LOGOS/HA HA


   

26 March 2017

TARgets


 AtlanTAR Season 1 Episode 5 : Darius goes to a shooting range.
 He books a bay, buys some bullets, pins up his TARget and 
 starts shootin' ...


 Nice cap, yo!

 Pretty soon, the dog TARget gets some special TAR attention. 
Theatre of the Actors of Regard  

Theatre of the Actors of Regard  
FIAPCE  ( -1978- )  
 detail 
 A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/
 someone looks at something... 
         
 LOGOS/HA HA


   

25 March 2017

Regard of Photograph of Upholder of Falling Wall of Photographs Reportedly Unstable


1970 - now 
NGV Festival of Photography continues...

Theatre of the Actors of Regard
Collapsing Wall Of Photographs Held Back
Eric Westbrook, Director of the National Gallery of Victoria,
at “The Perceptive Eye Exhibition”, 1970 
photo : Australian Women’s Weekly, 7 January, 1970
AAA_Art Archive Australia

With weeping and with laughter 
Still is the story told, 
How well Eric held the wall 
In the brave days of old.

- after Thomas Babington, Lord Macaulay


They never re-staged that fallen haul
They just placed a marble in front of it all.
These few words are written by that stand
At the bottom of this heap lies a big, big man.

- after Jimmy Dean

            detail 
            A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/
            someone looks at something... 
         
            LOGOS/HA HA


  

24 March 2017

Private TAR Tour


Have you dreamt of a private tour in the Gallery’s collection store with Gallery Director, Jason Smith? One lucky Gallery Member who joins before Friday 31 March will go in the draw for a one-on-one tour.
   
Treat yourself to a Geelong Gallery Membership, and try your luck by following the link:
   
Image : Gallery Director Jason Smith, and Georgia Chara inspecting Peter Tyndall’s ‘detail: A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/ someone looks at something…’ 1989, in the Gallery painting store.
Theatre of the Actors of Regard 
Garry Flanigan      Wow..... we would love a tour

detail 
A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/
someone looks at something... 
         
LOGOS/HA HA


  

22 March 2017

knothing...

after Shinkichi Tajiri 

Theatre of the Actors of Regard
 detail 
 A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/
 someone looks at something... 
         
 LOGOS/HA HA


21 March 2017

Serial and Conceptual Photography


Spare Room 33 concluded their 2016 home gallery program with a Lawrence Weiner Early Works exhibition.
   
They return tonight with Serial and Conceptual Photography.
Works by Rooney, Coventry, Tyndall, Ruscha, Huebler, König, Boltanski, Feldmann, the Bechers, Tajiri, Groover, and more.

open on Saturday 25 March and Saturday 1 April 2017
11.00 am - 4.30 pm
and by appointment :

Spare Room 33
Canberra, Australia


Spare Room 33  
 detail 
 A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/
 someone looks at something... 
         
 LOGOS/HA HA


20 March 2017

++++ delirium XXXX delirium ++++ delirium XXXX delirium ++++ delirium XXXX delirium ++++ delirium XXXX delirium ++++ delirium XXXX delirium ++++ delirium XXXX delirium ++++ delirium XXXX delirium ++++ delirium XXXX delirium ++++ delirium XXXX delirium ++++ delirium XXXX delirium ++++ delirium XXXX


In Principio LOGOS
Lelio Orsi (1511-1587)
Kiyoshi Koishi (1908-1957)
TAR/HA HA

Turning and turning in the widening gyre   
The falcon cannot hear the falconer; 
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; 
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, 
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere   
The ceremony of innocence is drowned; 
The best lack all conviction, while the worst   
Are full of passionate intensity. 

Surely some revelation is at hand; 
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.   
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out   
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi 
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert   
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,   
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,   
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it   
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.   
The darkness drops again; but now I know   
That twenty centuries of stony sleep 
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,   
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,   
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

- The Second Coming, W B Years
    

FIAPCE  
 detail 
 A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/
 someone looks at something... 
         
 LOGOS/HA HA


19 March 2017

Secret bLOG for a Secret Person in TARland



 l'enfant TARrible, 1952  

Joseph Beuys + Mihai Olos matrix  
Documenta 6 (1977)  
 detail 
 A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/
 someone looks at something... 
         
 LOGOS/HA HA


18 March 2017

HA HA HAKUIN Enso Border Patrol Tour


How many decades have we had a magazine print of this Hakuin enso on the office wall here? 

Never funnier than now! Sad!



The text under the office print says: 
When you forget yourself you become the universe.
Hakuin (1685 -1768)

.  .  .  .

Online, under the same enso image, another (similar) text and commentary :

No space in the ten directions,
not one inch of great earth


The phrase is from a koan in which a monk asks Master Pa-ling, 
"Are the views of Zen masters the same or different from what is taught in sutras?"
Pa-ling answered, 
"When a rooster is cold, it flies up into a tree; when a duck is cold, it dives under the water".
 
In the twelfth century a Chinese monk, Wei-chao, added a verse to this koan :

A branch of plum blossoms is enshrouded by rain,
The golden one smiles without speaking.
A bright noon shines on the Water Dragon Palace,
While the moon and stars dance and laugh, dance and laugh:
No space in the ten directions, not one inch of great earth

Hakuin's ink was rather wet and his brushwork quite loose, causing the characters to become solid masses of ink next to his egg-shaped enso

by Audrey Yoshiko Seo

.  .  .  .

Tour of TAR 
HA HA Theatre of the Actors of Regard


「白隠展」監修者・山下裕二先生 


HA HA Theatre of the Actors of Regard 
detail 
A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/
someone looks at something... 
         
LOGOS/HA HA


16 March 2017

Theatre of the Alternative Real : We welcome new members!


This is the headline. This is the image. This is the text :
 

Members Exhibition Previews: NGV Festival of Photography - Ross Coulter: Audience


See contemporary photography at its best with the NGV Festival of Photography. Taking over a number of galleries across the NGV on the year of the 50th anniversary of the NGV’s photography curatorial department, the Festival of Photography features exhibitions including Ross Coulter.
Join a floor talk with NGV Senior Curator of Photography, Susan van Wyk, at 3:30pm.
Venue: 
NGV International
180 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne VIC 3006
Date and Time: 
16 Mar, 2–5pm
Cost:
Free entry.
Who should attend:
We welcome new members!

Looking online today, in anticipation of "Audience" the exhibition, we were surprised to see the above installation image. Not as anticipated, with all those apparently black photos...

Some quick image searching reveals it is in fact a commercial generic stock photo : wtphoto?!


Theatre of the Actors of Regard  

We've been following Ross Coulter's Audience 
project from day one (15 August 2013) at Conical, Fitzroy...


photo by Theatre of the Audience Reciprocal  

...and are very much looking forward to it's animation as part of the NGV Festival of Photography opening tomorrow.


Ross Coulter
Audience 2013–16 (detail)
silver gelatin prints
20.0 x 25.0 cm each
Collection of the artist
© the artist



detail 
A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/
someone looks at something... 
         
LOGOS/HA HA