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.

30 November 2016


AAANZ 2016 Conference

The Work of Art

School of Art, Australian National University, Canberra

1-3 December 2016

 detail : A Person Looks At A Work of Art/someone looks at 
 something… 1987 (Fosterville Institute of Applied & Progressive
 Cultural Experience) National Gallery of Australia, Canberra. 
 Australian Print Workshop Archive 2. purchased with the 
 assistance of the Gordon Darling Australasian Print Fund 2002

The 2016 conference will be held at the School of Art at the Australian National University, Canberra from Thursday, December 1 to Saturday, December 3, 2016, 9-5 pm.
The AAANZ 2016 Conference Committee are pleased to announce an exciting timetable of events for the annual conference.
Thursday December 1 is the dedicated Postgraduate Student Day to which all conference registrants are warmly invited to attend.
On Thursday December 1 at 6pm Dr Melissa Chiu will be presenting the first keynote at the James O’Fairfax Theatre, National Gallery of Australia. Dr Chiu is Director of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington D.C.
On Friday December 2 at 9am Professor Anthea Callen will present the second keynote at the Australian National University. Professor Callen is Emeritus of the Australian National University, Canberra, and Professor Emeritus of Visual Culture, University of Nottingham, UK. Her new book is entitled The Work of Art: Plein Air Painting and Artistic Identity in Nineteenth-Century France.
Conference Registration closes 21st November, 2016.
On Friday December 2 from 5.30- 7.30 pm the AAANZ 2016 Conference Committee and National Portrait Gallery will be hosting a ‘party’ at the National Portrait Gallery. This is a ticketed event and numbers are limited. All conference participants are eligible to purchase a ticket for themselves, and up to one invited guest, at a cost of $25 per person. This event includes entry to the current exhibition The Popular Pet show. To purchase a ticket to this event please note that you must use a credit card via the ANU online portal system, no invoices will be generated. NPG Party Registration  is available until 24 November or unless tickets sell out earlier.
While there are no accommodation partners for AAANZ 2016, information about a range of accommodation in Canberra is available on the registration page.
The Call for Sessions and Call for Papers has closed. Call for Postgraduate Student Day participation and applications for Student Bursaries has closed.
AAANZ annual conferences present opportunities to re-examine art history, art theory and studio practice and generate innovative perspectives on histories and cultural traditions. For this conference, based around the theme ‘The Work of Art’, we invite discussion on how works of art, craft, design and architecture operate and are operated on in different ways and contexts, historically, socially, politically, aesthetically and affectively. Given the location for the conference in Australia’s national capital with its concentration of national cultural institutions we would also welcome sessions on how art is made to work in institutional contexts.
Panel sessions might consider issues such as:
  • The function of art in broad social terms
  • The ways in which art “works upon” its viewers (its affect)
  • The practice of art and the various processes of creation
  • Art in which labour or work is the subject
  • The changing character of work and its impacts on art
  • The economic frameworks of art production and development of different ways of working
  • The singular work of art as a subject for close reading
  • Curatorial processes and other interventions that make art work
We welcome proposals for panels from scholars, postgraduate students, practitioners and professionals in the field whose work focuses on art, design and architecture. Conference sessions are timetabled for three 20 minute papers plus 10 minute questions, totalling 90 minutes. We also invite alternative formats, such as round table or open discussions providing that they can be accommodated by the timetable structure.
Conference sessions will be held at the Australian National University with evening events at the National Gallery of Australia and the National Portrait Gallery.

Conference committee

Professor Helen Ennis, Mr Peter Alwast, Dr Christopher McAuliffe, 
Dr Ursula Frederick, Dr Sarah Scott and Dr Robert Wellington -
School of Art at Australia National University.
Dr Shaune Lakin, National Gallery of Australia
Dr Anthea Gunn, Australian War Memorial
Dr Christopher Chapman, National Portrait Gallery.
Head of the conference committee: Professor Helen Ennis
Conference coordinator: Dr Ursula Frederick
Assistant conference coordinator: Mr Alex Burchmore
Postgraduate student day coordinator: Dr Sarah Scott


Please address correspondence to : conf@aaanz.info

AAA_Art Archive Australia   
  A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/
  someone looks at something... 

27 November 2016


Another postcard recently received. From P&S at Spare Room 33
On the picture side, a circle amid rectangle(s), the West Australian artist Howard Taylor's Day time moon (1997). Plus, a bonus Australia Post orange banding P.O.em

On the verso, Peter quotes Howard Taylor :

The day before this THIS LOOKING THING moon pointer arrived we posted here an image of ("Bring me...) the sculpted behead of Paul Signac on a Block, as Daruma Muralist, as circle and square, as rounded and rect....

Bust of Paul Signac (1863-1935), 1935 
by Jan and Joël Martel (Nantes 1896 – 1966 Paris)

At the same time, we encountered this article at Hyperallergic:

At the Montreal Biennial, Lessons in How to Look

Across the city, many works by the 55 artists participating in the 2016 Biennale Montréal deal with the possibilities, limitations, and consequences of spectacle and spectatorship.

Luis Jacob's high pedestalled headless HAND SPACE guillotine-gazer abregardist hugely tickled our fancy. Paricularly, when combined with the reverso bust of Paul Signac.

All just too ]----(plosively funny for words. lots of lollies!

  Luis Jacob, “Sphinx” (2015)               Theatre of the Actors of Regard
 A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/
 someone looks at something... 

24 November 2016

Battle of the Banzz

The winner of this week to go up against Blue Tongue Brown...

Sound Theatre of the Actorzz of Regard  
 A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/
 someone looks at something... 

22 November 2016


ekphrasis : a poem in response to a work of art

collection : FIAPCE  
We don't know the name(s) of the painter-poet(s) of this ethereal silk and paper Japanese scroll. The image is a well established genre scene of sky, moon and wild geese in flight.

The great painter-poet Yosa Buson (1716-1783) wrote of such:
ikkou no kari ya hayama ni tsuki o in su 
Calligraphy of geese
against the sky --
the moon seals it. 
- translation by Robert Haas

ekphrHaHasis : a poem of laughter in response to a projection-space as work of art

The minor drawer-poet 'Bonza View' on the Wild Geese of TAR :
This ghostly line,
in passing  --
- translation by FIAPCE

collection : Theatre of the Actors of Regard  
 A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/
 someone looks at something... 

20 November 2016


A special pleasure shared by artists is an ease of giving and receiving. 

Here, such things are often delivered by Postman Nick, himself an artist and leaver of fruit from his trees, sometimes a drawing, or a letter, a photo... Recently, he delivered this unexpected handmade postcard sent several weeks before the TRUMP ascendency, postmarked Briefzentrum 12 (Berlin-South Postal Distribution Center) and stamped with a yellow TRUMPet on white surrounds - Narcissus.

From whom, by whom? By an obviously skilled hand, it declares itself a DANIUS postcard. Is it from International Melbourne Man of Action Danius K of Slave Pianos and Punkasila ...?

It is. Commissioned by him, the unfamiliar skilled calligrapher, drawer, colourist and image maker is a young Mexican artist-clown who lives in Berlin, Ernesto Lucas. (Hello Ernesto. Thank you!)

Theatre of the Actors of Regard 

click image to enlarge  
 A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/
 someone looks at something... 

Goodbye cruel world, we're off to join the Circus

 Gambas Circus, Berlin. Ernesto Lucas and Camille Phelep with
 members of Junior TAR


17 November 2016

Dear Masato, all at once

Dear Masato, all at once
(get a life, the only thing that cuts across the species is death)

— a play and exhibition by Lisa Radford
in collaboration with Northern Theatre Company
Saturday : 19 November, 12–6pm
Saturday : 10 December, 12–6 pm.

A beginning, middle and an end, but in no particular order.

Presented across the entire
West Space gallery, this project is part of West Space’s annual commission series, which invests in a local artist to create a new body of work. Dear Masato is the second iteration of the series, following Dead Still Standing by Lou Hubbard in 2015.

Read more about the project »
An interview w/ Lisa Radford and Teresa Noble on Smart Arts (Triple R) »

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

16 November 2016

Let us compare mythoLOGOS/HA HA


Let Us Compare Mythologies, 1st edition front cover 
Leonard Cohen, first book of poems, publ. Contact Press (1956)
drawing by Freda Guttman

Let Us Compare Mythologies, Ecco Press facsimile (2007)
Let us compare the first edition with the facsimile

Amazon Human Scale Model / TAR / HAND SPACE
Let us compare an AHSM to a horizontal and vertical dimension

Let us regard a Let Us Compare Mythologies flier (1956)
Leonard Cohen / Theatre of the Actors of Regard (1996)

Let us compare Acts of Regard
Billy Block / Theatre of the Actors of Regard (1952)

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

15 November 2016

re. Four Single Owner Collections

A Gentleman of Property 
lot 224 :


Lot 224

Portrait of John Kelman, Esq. 
oil on board 
22 x 16cm 

Lyon & Turnbull, Edinburgh, 1950 
Collection of Michael Galloway, Sydney 
Estimate $ 200-400

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

11 November 2016

Vale Leonard Cohen (1934-2016)

1970 : back in the day, we knew every chord, every song, had studied every photo.

1984 : first (and only) visit to New York. With fellow Australian artists Linda Marrinon, Vivienne Shark LeWitt, Stephen Bush and Geoff Lowe, we stayed for a week in an old hotel opposite The Algonquin. One day Geoff reported he'd shared the lift with Leonard (and a woman). 'Wow, he's here too!'

2012 : Christine was a big fan of Leonard. "Dance Me to the End of Love" played at her funeral.
For now we see through a glass, darkly
but then face to face: 
now I know in part; 
but then shall I know even as also I am known.
And now abideth faith, hope, love, these three; 
but the greatest of these is love.
   - 1 Corinthians 12-13 

 You want it darker/ We kill the flame
 ... as Donald Trump is elected President of the United States.  

2016 : Last month, Leonard Cohen released his 14th studio album - You Want It Darker. Here, it's on constant repeat. Through a glass darkly, a shining light.
If you are the dealer, I'm out of the game
If you are the healer, it means I'm broken and lame
If thine is the glory then mine must be the shame
You want it darker
We kill the flame 
Magnified, sanctified, be thy holy name
Vilified, crucified, in the human frame
A million candles burning for the help that never came
You want it darker 
Hineni, hineni
I'm ready, my lord
Highly recommended is this David Remnick essay in the New Yorker :

At eighty-two, the troubadour has another album coming. Like him, it is obsessed with mortality, God-infused, and funny.
The new record opens with the title track, “You Want It Darker,” and in the chorus, the singer declares:

Hineni Hineni
I’m ready my Lord. 
Hineni is Hebrew for “Here I am,” Abraham’s answer to the summons of God to sacrifice his son Isaac; the song is clearly an announcement of readiness, a man at the end preparing for his service and devotion. Cohen asked Gideon Zelermyer, the cantor at Shaar Hashomayim, the synagogue of his youth in Montreal, to sing the backing vocals. And yet the man sitting in his medical chair was anything but haunted or defeated. 
“I know there’s a spiritual aspect to everybody’s life, whether they want to cop to it or not,” Cohen said. “It’s there, you can feel it in people—there’s some recognition that there is a reality that they cannot penetrate but which influences their mood and activity. So that’s operating. That activity at certain points of your day or night insists on a certain kind of response. Sometimes it’s just like: ‘You are losing too much weight, Leonard. You’re dying, but you don’t have to coöperate enthusiastically with the process.’ Force yourself to have a sandwich. 
“What I mean to say is that you hear the Bat Kol.” The divine voice. “You hear this other deep reality singing to you all the time, and much of the time you can’t decipher it. Even when I was healthy, I was sensitive to the process. At this stage of the game, I hear it saying, ‘Leonard, just get on with the things you have to do.’ It’s very compassionate at this stage. More than at any time of my life, I no longer have that voice that says, ‘You’re fucking up.’ That’s a tremendous blessing, really.”

Leonard Koan (1934-2016)
I heard the snake was baffled by his sin
He shed his scales to find the snake within
But born again is born without a skin
The poison enters into everything

from Treaty 
(track 2 and final reprise on You Want It Darker)
A koan is a story, dialogue, question, or statement, which is used in Zen practice to provoke the "great doubt" and test a student's progress in Zen practice.

An aptronym is a person's name that is regarded as amusingly appropriate to their occupation. Example : "He began collecting aptronyms when he saw an ad for a flower shop operated by Flora Gardner."

Nomen est omen, OK!

Leonard Cohen was involved with Buddhism from the early 1970s. Later in that decade he associated with the Buddhist monk and rōshi (venerable teacher) Kyozan Joshu Sasaki, regularly visiting him at Mount Baldy Zen Center and serving him as personal assistant during Cohen's (five year) period of reclusion at Mount Baldy monastery in the 1990s. He was ordained a Rinzai Buddhist monk in 1996. (*For similar Rinzai wit and wisdom see also Hakuin, Sengai, Thich Nhat Hạnh.He saw no conflict between his Zen practice and his enduring Jewish identity. (from Wikipedia)

"That Hineni, that declaration of readiness no matter what the outcome, that’s a part of everyone’s soul. We all are motivated by deep impulses and deep appetites to serve, even though we may not be able to locate that which we are willing to serve. So, this is just a part of my nature, and I think everybody else’s nature, to offer oneself at the moment, at the critical moment when the emergency becomes articulate. It’s only when the emergency becomes articulate that we can locate that willingness to serve. [pause] That’s getting too heavy. I’m sorry. Strike that!"
from 'Leonard Cohen Corrects Himself: 'I Intend to Stick Around Until 120'
Billboard / Chris Willman, 14 October 2016

 Cohen with Roshi and Roshi’s wife, Haruyo Saski 
 at Mount Baldy - from article here

You Want It Darker as death poem :

The death poem (jisei) is a genre of poetry that developed in the literary traditions of East Asian cultures—most prominently in Japan as well as certain periods of Chinese history and Joseon Korea. They tend to offer a reflection on death—both in general and concerning the imminent death of the author—that is often coupled with a meaningful observation on life. The practice of writing a death poem has its origins in Zen Buddhism. It is a concept or worldview derived from the Buddhist teaching of the three marks of existence (三法印 sanbōin?), specifically that the material world is transient and impermanent (無常 mujō?), that attachment to it causes suffering (苦 ku?), and ultimately all reality is an emptiness or absence of self-nature (空 kū?). These poems became associated with the literate, spiritual, and ruling segments of society, as they were customarily composed by a poet, warrior, nobleman, or Buddhist monk.

The writing of a poem at the time of one's death and reflecting on the nature of death in an impermanent, transitory world is unique to East Asian culture. It has close ties with Buddhism, and particularly the mystical Zen Buddhism (of Japan), Chan Buddhism (of China) and Seon Buddhism (of Korea). From its inception, Buddhism has stressed the importance of death because awareness of death is what prompted the Buddha to perceive the ultimate futility of worldly concerns and pleasures. A death poem exemplifies both the "eternal loneliness" that is found at the heart of Zen and the search for a new viewpoint, a new way of looking at life and things generally, or a version of enlightenment (satori in Japanese; wu in Chinese).
- Wikipedia

We guess that Leonard would have appreciated this one, too :

Despite the seriousness of the subject matter, some Japanese poets have utilized levity or irony in their final compositions. The Zen monk, Tokō (杜口; 1710–1795, aged 85), commented on the pretentiousness of some jisei in his own death poem:

Jisei to wa
sunawachi mayoi
tada shinan
Death poems
are mere delusion —
death is death.ref.

The Leonard Koan  
 A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/
 someone looks at something... 

09 November 2016

Donald Trump Elected President

Image of 

Bust of 
Paul Signac 
] 1863-1935 (
as Square and Circle 
regarded as 
Daruma Muralist
Bust of Paul Signac (1863-1935), 1935. By Jan and Joël Martel (Nantes 1896 – 1966 Paris). Signed J.J. MARTEL on the side of the base and inscribed Paul Signac on the front. Patinated plaster. Dimensions: 60 by 28 by 39cm, 23 5/8 by 11 by 15 3/8 in. 

This large and impressive bust by the Martel brothers represents their close friend Paul Signac, the renowned Neo-Impressionist painter. It was executed just prior to Signac’s death in 1935 and so provides a rare and contemporary portrait sculpture of the living artist. 

Jan and Joël Martel were identical twin brothers who collaborated together as sculptors throughout their lives. The brothers worked in a range of media, including traditional materials such as plaster, bronze and stone, as well as new ones such as ceramic, aluminum and reinforced concrete. During the mid-1920s their work evolved from stylized realism to greater abstraction, although they never fully abandoned figural reference. They were also famous for their animal subjects, most notably birds, in terracotta and porcelain.
Paris, Exposition de l'A.E.A.R., 1935. 
Paris, Salon des Indépendants, 1935. 
Boulogne, Oeuvres de peintres et sculpteurs contemporains, 1936. 
Paris, Salon des Indépendants, 1936 and 1938. 
Saint-Jean-de-Monts and La Roche-sur-Yon, Rétrospective Joël et Jan Martel Sculpteurs, 1976-1977.
Theatre of the Actors of Regard  
 A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/
 someone looks at something... 

04 November 2016

- another flower -

This time : a white cyclamen
A follow-on from yesterday's post, from the Flower Sermon and the painted tableau of regard 'Walking in Tall Grass, Iris' (2007) by Jan Nelson.
It's a similar scene. Again, formal and intense. Painted by Paul Signac in 1890. Given this title, with which to meet the future :
Sur l'émail d'un fond rythmique de mesures et d'angles, de tons et de teintes, Portrait de M. Félix Fénéon en 1890, Opus 217

Opus 217. Against the Enamel of a Background Rhythmic with Beats and Angles, Tones, and Tints, Portrait of Mr. Félix Fénéon in 1890

collection MoMA, New York   
  'Felix Fénéon was an art dealer, collector, curator, political 
  activist, critic, and friend of Signac who shared the artist's 
  interests in science and Japanese prints.'
  - from a MoMA gallery label, 2009
Fénéon wanted a front-on portrait, a "full-faced effigy". Instead, Signac based this formal side-view pose on a Japanese woodblock print he owned.*

Fénéon coined the term "Neo-Impressionism" for the science-informed art of Seurat and his young group. This portrait acknowledges the friendship and support of Fénéon, who wrote of Signac :
Signac, praised by Feneon as the "young glory of Neo-Impressionsm," was creating a decorative art "that sacrifices anecdote to arabesque, nomenclature to synthesis, and the fleeting to the permanent." *
collection MoMA, New York  
The ground of eight divisions (see Divisionism) emerges, whirling perhaps, as if from a single point. It is (after his 1888 logo for the Free Theatre) another imaginative "application" by Signac of the 1888 cercle cromatique of Charles Henry.

We wonder why Signac, or Fénéon, chose the Persian cyclamen cyclamen persicum flower? 
Why he used this particular, long dark-stemmed, red hearted, white flower? 
We do observe a readable concurrence between 
the cyclamen centre of five graciously unfolding divisions and the centre of eight radiant divisions holding to this flower-offering magus. Thoughts of Blake opening the "Auguries of Innocence" :

To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild F
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour

To whom does Fénéon proffer the white flower? This off-stage future TAR?
Śākyamuni gives a wordless sermon to his disciples by holding up a white flower.
No one in the audience understands the Flower Sermon except Mahākāśyapa, who smiles.
Theatre of the Actors of Regard  
 A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/
 someone looks at something...