Sunday, May 20, 2007

Australian Kulture?

Sydney sits on the harbour like a large mouth with the North Shore ferries being extracted and replaced like bottom teeth and sporting an extravagent headdress of tall buildings above it. The arcs of the Opera House turn away from it as if ashamed of the money merry go round but there is no contest about the winner between culture and cash. It's an executive city with 'suits' and cellphones occupying the footpath cafes but it doesn't take long to walk out to the botanical gardens and up to the impressive NSW Gallery where they are preparing for a Anselm Kiefer exhibition dominated by a large dead phoenix palm. Drawings by the greats such as Picasso, Matisse, Lucian Freud, etc are being aired and I get the feeling of being close to their hands which I don't get from a picture book. Brett Whitelys' very large and complex mural of his life is up and although I enjoy small parts of it, it's hard to understand in one gulp and that reminds me how hard it is to view so much art in one day especially the cerebral stuff! Perhaps he should have written a book.
The Contemporary Museum on Circular Quay also has its disappointments with Stephen Birchs' installations having no good ideas and no sense of entering and a newly donated collection of a Melbourne couple failing to inspire. What does a museum do when they are offered a large collection gathered by an individuals' criteria? Do they accept it all because it is free even though some of the works aren't very good?
Enjoyed a video installation of five screens with the centre one occupied by a mothers hands while she relates stories of her family whose faces occupy the other four screens and the change in their facial expressions fill in between the line stories and gradually build up an emotional family history.
Back to Greys Point where my daughter lives a little inland from the Cronulla coast. A community of large houses with too much room for the people but not enough room for their three expensive cars and flash boat and they are all pursuing the Australian dream of owning a large mortgage! Apart from my daughter and hubby of course who I dearly love and can do no wrong!


Joshua said...

Hey, so nice to have found this blog of yours, so interesting. I sure hope and wish that you take courage enough to pay me a visit in my PALAVROSSAVRVS REX!, and plus get some surprise. My blog is also so cool!

chook said...

Hey Joshua, my first comment, I will remember you for that! Your blog does look very interesting, I wish I could read Portugese. I love your people and your country with the haunting Fado music, the art of Amadeus de Silva(have I got that right, it's been a while!)the roasted sardines and of course the port wine which we have in our restaurant
Abrigado(?) Dave

L.M.Noonan said...

I am so in awe of both Keifer and Freud's work for different reasons, but certainly many artist's work need a lexicon a way for people to truly engage with the work. That's what I love about Hockney, he's always shared himself and that demystification has not diminished his work.