A Festivus For The Rest of Us

Uncategorized Nov 08, 2004 No Comments

The season we love the most here at The Art Life is nearly upon us. Yes, it’s that’s difficult ten week period from mid-November until the end of January when commercial galleries go on holiday, the public galleries let their hair down with works from the permanent collection and artist runs spaces struggle through the fallow period with fund raisers. It’s a very special time of year.

At the Art Gallery of NSW, they are trying to get everyone involved in the festive spirit with promos for their Art After Hours program that’s been running on Wednesday nights from 5pm to 9pm. Presumably they’ve added a bit of tinsel to make their weekly art get together (i.e. pick up joint) more Christmassy. There is a special Silly Season program which apparently means more “jazz”. We don’t know what they mean by that.

Meanwhile, the AGNSW shop is also getting in on the act by claiming to be the best art book shop in town and a one stop shop for your Xmas items:

“The Gallery Shop has a fantastic selection of children’s books, craft ideas and clothing… For people who like to write, the moleskine diaries include a removable 2005 address book and are priced from $27. Margaret Preston print scarves, Brett Whiteley porcelain mugs, Eric Thake‘s popular Sydney Opera House drawing on the gallery tea towels, exquisite Japanese paper designed photo albums and origami earrings the list is endless…”

We were going to ask for the new Saddle Club book but since we like to write, you know what to get us!

Over in artists run space land, Phatspace are having a come-one, come-all fundraiser show. They’re calling for artists to donate A3, A4, or A5 sized works to sell in their annual fundraiser. The works will sell for $20 and can be in any medium. Works need to be delivered to Phatspace before December 4 2004. Go to the gallery’s lovely new web site to check out the details.

The most perplexing annual event is Sherman Galleries Festivus exhibition. The show is a get together for the gallery artists plus special invitees who get to hobnob with Sherman’s more ‘senior’ artists. You can see work by the usual suspects such as Mike Parr, John Young, Tim Storrier and Marion Borgelt but also by up and comers like Chris Hanrahan, Vanila Netto, Jasper Knight and Jane Burton.

The odd thing about the show is the choice of name which, to the unsuspecting, has a holiday feel. “Festivus? Hmmm, just like Christmas.”

We are wondering if the more extreme moments of the Festivus celebration will be held at Sherman Galleries, such as the grueling father-son wrestling match known as “The Feats of Strength”? Will Gene Sherman sit down with Bill Wright and tell him just what a shit job he’s been doing during the annual “Airing of The Grievances”? Indeed, will the gallery artists be forced to dance around an eight foot aluminum poll covered in tinsel on December 23rd before sitting down to a meal of spaghetti and meatloaf covered in ketchup? What the hell are we talking about?

In Episode 158 of Seinfeld called The Strike, the true meaning of this annual holiday is revealed as George’s father Frank Costanza explains his hatred for Christmas and the festival that he invented to replace it – yes – Festivus!. Now, who was it that said Gene and Brian Sherman didn’t have a sense of humour?

The Art Life

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