THE PUBLIC BODY .02
THE PUBLIC BODY is a three-part exhibition series presented by Artspace. Set over three years, the first iteration in 2016 explored the human body in a very physical and sexualised sense. Open now, the second part follows some of the more invisible trappings of humanness – those vulnerabilities, deep-seated complexities and fractured emotions that both bind and divide us.
In the show, the human body becomes a means to expose ideas in feminist, queer and anti-racist thinking. There are works by big players such as Del Kathryn Barton, Barbara Kruger and Brook Andrew, and up-and-coming artists such as Sydney-based Radha La Bia, who’s bathtub installation and performance piece White King, Brown Queen is a highlight of the show.
Curated by Talia Linz with Artspace director Alexie Glass-Kantor, THE PUBLIC BODY .O2 features 40 artists from 14 countries and presents new and classic works from the past 40 years. The exhibition is another illustration of Artspace’s curatorial muscle; architectural devices work in concert with an extensive selection of artworks not previously shown together.
THE PUBLIC BODY .02 is at Artspace until October 2. artspace.org.au/program/exhibitions
Sydney-based artistic duo Snack Syndicate is Andrew Brooks and Astrid Lorange. According to their one-line artist biography they are “two rats” who create “text or video or sound and very occasionally objects”. Their video work appeared in the National Gallery of Victoria’s Liquid Architecture exhibition in 2015, and at the MCA’s Art Bar curated by Hissy Fit the same year.
Using the same Helvetica-like font, Snack Syndicate’s recurring text – usually essays and poems – dissects and questions some of the boundaries of contemporary life. Cold Cuts focuses specifically on psychoanalysis as a practice: how it rigidly regulates the body and human behaviour, and the culture of anxiety it perhaps perpetuates among us.
The exhibition is presented at the Alaska Projects carpark space in tandem with a new series from Drew Holland titled So Far Away From Love (I don't eat human beings//All joy for all eternity).
Cold Cuts is at Alaska Projects until August 26.
Grounded: Contemporary Australian Art
Featuring works from this year’s Archibald and Sulman Prize winners, and curated by Judith Blackall, Grounded checks in with eight National Art School graduates. Each of the artists involved explore local human exchange in some way, covering language and communities; parallel histories and the legacy of colonialism; the rural economy; and the female experience.
Alongside works from Mitch Cairns and Joan Ross is a new series of cardboard-cut-out figures from Indonesian-born, Sydney-based Jumaadi. Filling the front gallery, Jumaadi’s assorted characters appear to float through the strangeness of human interaction and experience from culture to culture, illustrating both Indonesian and Western perspectives.
Grounded also includes a continuation of Karla Dickens’s Warrior woman series, which appeared first at Carriageworks as part of The National exhibition. Dickens’s sculptural forms are women’s underwear adorned with fishing hooks, barbed wire and collected Aboriginal kitsch. There’s also a straightjacket inscribed with knitted text.
Grounded: Contemporary Australian Art is at NAS Gallery from August 18 to October 14.
Hollywood’s Private Eye
Before Keeping up With the Kardashians and The Real Housewives, LA photographer Sid Avery defined the genre of candid pictures of celebrities and socialites. Working in Hollywood’s Golden Age, Avery went behind the scenes and beyond glamorous red-carpet arrivals and PR stunts to reveal film heroes in their more human moments: a brooding Marlon Brando taking out the trash, and newlyweds Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward lounging in their Beverly Hills home.
A selection of Avery’s black and white images is currently on show at Becker Minty in Potts Point. His photographs recall a softer-seeming era – pre celebrity Twitter feuds, when film stars were mysterious and impossibly glamorous. Avery was labelled Hollywood’s “private eye” for his flair for humanising his high-profile subjects despite their lavish surroundings.
Hollywood’s Private Eye is at Becker Minty until August 30.