Installation Art

Venice Biennale 2013: The Encylopaedic Palace

June 8, 2013

Every Venice Biennale is a talk fest – a place for the beautiful people of the art world to exchange opinions and business cards at endless parties. Unfortunately most of the talk is of a very tawdry nature: “I just loved the Ruritanian pavilion!” “Oh yeah, I loved it too!”  And so on, ad infinitum. … More


5th Auckland Triennial: If You Were to LIve Here…

May 25, 2013

After studying the recently announced theme for next year’s Sydney Biennale – “You Imagine what You Desire” – I’d like to suggest an alternative title, borrowed from a video by Singaporean artist, Ho Tzu Nyen – The Cloud of Unknowing. I know this was the name of a mystical tract from the late Middle Ages, … More


White Rabbit: Smash Palace

May 4, 2013

Every exhibition at White Rabbit, the Neilson family’s private museum of contemporary Chinese art, has featured at least one show-stopper. The tour-de-force in the current show, Smash Palace, is Cheng Dapeng’s Wonderful City (2011-12), a 9.6 metre-long 3D print. On a long, light-box table, Cheng has placed a scale model of a city overrun with … More


Zadok Ben-David & Adam Rish

April 27, 2013

It may be presumptuous to declare Anglo-Israeli artist, Zadok Ben-David a great sculptor, but there is no denying he is one of the great entertainers in world art. If you were to ask me: “What’s wrong with that?” I’d have to reply: “Nothing at all.” There is an air of sanctimony about much contemporary art, … More


Setouchi Triennale 2013

March 30, 2013

‘Revitalisation’ is the keynote to the second Setouchi Triennale, an exhibition that uses contemporary art to bring new energies to a region in decline. The Seto Inland Sea is one of the most picturesque parts of Japan, with a diverse cultural heritage spread across a series of islands, large and small. Today, as in so … More


Perth Festival

March 2, 2013

With the mercury touching 40 degrees for days on end, a major attraction of the art component this year’s Perth Festival was its display in air-conditioned rooms. ‘Light’ was the overarching theme of the festival shows, although it was a relief to get out of the glare of the sun into an environment where illumination … More


Song Dong

February 9, 2013

There are many ways to make a portrait of one’s mother. Probably the most famous example is James Abbott McNeill Whistler’s painting of his old mum sitting in a chair, looking a stiff as an Egyptian statue. He titled the picture: Arrangement in Grey and Black No. 1 (1875). In Waste Not, one of the … More


Claire Healy and Sean Cordeiro

November 3, 2012

Claire Healy and Sean Cordeiro may be the first Australian artists to take full advantage of the new globalised art world. Over the past decade they have travelled incessantly, undertaken residencies in Europe and Asia, and exhibited their work in museums and private galleries from Kathmandu to Washington DC. The Museum of Contemporary Art has … More


White Rabbit – Double Take

September 22, 2012

Ever since Deng Xiaoping plunged China into the era of reforms in the late 1970s, with the legendary words: “To get rich is glorious”, the nation’s leaders have spent a great deal of time resolving – or ignoring – contradictions. Karl Marx himself would have had difficulty explaining the paradox of a communist country with … More


The Clock, Marking Time

May 12, 2012

Switzerland gave us the cuckoo clock, and Swiss-American artist, Christian Marclay, has created the most preposterous time-piece in the history of art. The Clock is such a unique artifact it defies all but the most impressionistic responses. This is obvious from Zadie Smith’s essay in the brochure published for the work’s showing at the Museum … More