The word is out and the fix is in! The Australian artists being sent away to the Venice Biennale in 2007 is a Sydney-Melbourne love-in: Callum Morton, Daniel “Danny” Von Sturmer and Susan Norrie. Speaking to Virginia Trioli on ABC 702 this morning, curator lady Juliana Engberg revealed the super exciting plans for our country’s much maligned pavilion, to wit, although the exhibition space built at great expense and at the last moment will be used, Von Sturmer’s work will be seen in a “different context” that will apparently engage audiences in an unexpected way while Norrie’s work will be shown in a dilapidated Venetian building [exact location yet to be decided] which will suit her art. Engberg also explained that über art guy John Kaldor had been in Italy tirelessly working behind the scenes to secure the artists and their chosen [but yet to be announced] locales.
Trioli claimed in the middle of the interview that while holidaying in Venice in 2003 she and her husband stopped by the Biennale and – in the words of the art savvy radio host – “it was proof that contemporary art had lost its way.” Faced with such first hand knowledge and a good degree of cynicism, Engberg countered with the admission that 2003 and 2005 had both been “flat” but 2007 was going to be a hum dinger. Engberg did a great job talking up the excitement level, describing Von Sturmer’s work as an “exciting” investigation into abstraction. Norrie’s work was “well known to Sydney audiences” but did not specify if the work going to Venice will be her celebrated video work [and by ‘work’ we mean, as in that one video that’s been shown everywhere] or her rather fantastic recent white on black paintings of Godzilla. No mention was made of what Morton would be doing in Venice, but we can imagine that since he has the actual pavilion to play with, it’ll be an investigation of the history of Modernist architecture and it’s translation into a populist vernacular – you know, Burger King meets Archizoom.
Meanwhile, and on a much less grand a scale, local Sydney/Petersham artist Lucas Ihlein is having dinner on Friday night. It’s somewhat unusual to be sending out press releases for what you’re doing on the weekend, but Ihlein rises to the challenge. Actually, what’s happening is that Ihlein has a power point presentation that he’d like to show attendees to a scrumptious dinner cooked by Fiona. It all makes sense when you read it in context:
DINNER, FRIDAY 26 May, 6pm. Petersham Bowling Club, cnr The Avenue and Brighton Street with delicious dinner cooked by Fiona, bowling shenanigans, and a slide show by some amazing visiting Filipino artists who are here for the Biennale, Alfredo Juan Aquilizan & Maria Isabel Gaudinez-Aquilizan. There’ll also be a power point presentation by yours truly, which hopefully will satisfy the likes of Tully and his household. Dinner available at the cheap Big Bowl prices. RSVP to Fiona on 0434813926. EXHIBITION SATURDAY 27 May, from 2.30pm to 6pm Chrissie Cotter Gallery, Pidcock Street Camperdown (off Mallett Street, and not far from Parramatta Road) with afternoon tea, a little excursion to Johnston’s Creek, and, if we’re lucky, a ribbon-cutting by the Mayor Himself, Sam Byrne. It’ll be your chance to get a hard copy printout of the blog to put next to your toilet…
Call us crazy, but we’re putting our money down now for Ihlein be our country’s representative to the Venice Biennale in the very near future, possibly the 2009 exhibition but certainly no later than 2013.