Pirate – Bug – Museum

Teodor Graur, ‘Europia’, the basement of the Pharmacy Museum, Sibiu, 1986; a project organized by Liviana Dan. Courtesy Teodor Graur

An unspectacular football match between Steaua Bucharest and the Norwegian team Rosenborg Ballklub which took place last week made me realise that ten years ago, almost to the day, these same two teams had met with the same result (Steaua losing to Rosenborg). The entire situation, together with the chronological coincidence, made me recall an exhibition with an unusual format, presented only for a day, on the 23rd of August 2005. Read more

Orange Around

Kate Newby, 'Always humming' (installation view), 2015

Diaphanous fellow, marked by time, screening what I know so well.  Heavy head, overhead, spare and barely touching as we pass. I can see your seams and your seams see me. I could also hear you, what were you thinking? I was thinking about touching you, but your guard was nearby. I used to know every corner, and now bathed in orange light, I can’t recognise you at all. Always humming you, a reminder that you are not empty, or closed. But perhaps you are closed to me. Read more

Scroll, scroll, double tap

A painting from 2010 by American artist @austinlee

This month I thought I was going to write a really long piece about art on Instagram and artists using Instagram and galleries using Instagram and Instagram #takeovers and how I personally use Instagram. I was also going to make some observations about the strange things that pop up in your ‘Discover’ page and how occasionally people notice if you haven’t liked their posts and then mention it when they see you out at an opening and you say ‘Ohhh, haven’t I? Sorry!” Read more

Three thousand years of people being bastards to horses

Lucy Kemp-Welch, ‘Horses bathing in the sea’, 1890.

MEDIA RELEASE: The National Gallery of Victoria is delighted to present the first exhibition on the relationship between man and horse. ‘People being bastards to horses’ assembles images of this magnificent animal put by man to work and war, and subjected to extreme exercise for his amusement. Panoramic in scope, the exhibition features works from classical antiquity, the 19th Century—The Golden Age of people being bastards to horses—right through to the contemporary. Please enjoy a selection of key works from this landmark exhibition. Read more


Image 1 - fossil mush

Examining some petrified Jurassic wood samples at the museum recently, the curator commented on how much they looked like little fossilised mushrooms. They seemed like rotten  but still cute versions of the foam mushroom sweets I loved as a child. The concept that they were  ‘petrified’ was also intriguing. I imagined them cowering and trembling, scared out of their wits at being buried within the museum store. It was easy to feel sorry for the little poppets. I considered slipping one in my pocket in rescue. Read more

Matt Hinkley bumps and sprained ankles


A few months ago I sprained my ankle. I kept checking it, to see how it was swelling and discolouring. As the day wore on, I saw it grow to the size of a separate appendage, bulging out from  the normal line of my ankle. The flesh became tighter, like a sausage about to burst, and as time passed the colour changed to a mottled darker pink, which then slowly flushed out a diseased looking yellow blush. Read more

Alit on the Flax

Official renderings of the final four options in the New Zealand flag referendum. Image: ONE News

Someone posted a Colin McCahon painting on Facebook recently and I found myself feeling that familiar deep-seated response I get whenever I encounter his work, even as Facebook fodder on a phone screen. It’s a kind of nostalgia for a country you no longer live in but have unconditional love for, a feeling that is utterly lacking in critical thinking. It’s guided by the same part of my brain that makes me cry whenever I encounter tui in pohutukawa trees. Read more

Free action

Marco Fusinato, Constellations, 2015, photo: truphoto.com

A figurine of Nelson Muntz, Simpsons class bully, stands primed with a baseball bat. This was the exhibition publicity.

The installation followed suit with a new monstrous 40-metre wall diagonally bisecting the entire gallery. At the very back, on the side hidden from the entrance, a baseball bat is chained to the wall. And sure enough, when you take a swing, the sound of the hit is amplified to boom through the gallery. The wall reacts like a drum, with the volume soaking up the violence, even making it seem less. Read more

A tantrum in triplet

Antigone, Malthouse Theatre, Melbourne

Jane Montgomery Griffiths wrote an article introducing her adaptation and its context prior to the opening night of Antigone, directed by Adena Jacobs at the Malthouse Theatre.  Perhaps too optimistically, she states that: “Creon’s 5th century misogyny has a very different meaning in the 21st century.” Whilst this may be true, it is apparent that critics are all too focused on upholding the authority and structure of the patriarchal male voice, through their defense of the original text and prescription of what an adaptation should be. Read more

Parks and Roubles

Visitors stream into the American National Exhibition in Moscow in 1959

Its my first day in Moscow and I need to get roubles. The hotel I am staying at instructs me on how to find a bank. The lobby is spacious and shiny and I am not sure which facility I have entered. I ask someone if I can exchange currency and they take me to another room with two women behind a desk, who introduce me to a third door. After passing through a small waiting room with a sofa, a sliding door with a button brings  me to a window counter. Two men in front of me take twenty minutes to finish: they carry suitcases and the counting machines are in constant motion. Two flat screens show me boats, luxury locations and offshore banking ads. Read more