The Saying and the Said
Richard Bell, Dredging Up the Past
Gertrude Contemporary, 2 February – 10 March 2018
By Rex Butler
In the recent rehang of the Australian collection at the Queensland Art Gallery, visitors before entering the gallery have to walk under Richard Bell’s Judgement Day (2008), which hangs on a wall above a doorway. “Australian Art Does Not Exist”, Bell’s painting declares in a nice self-contradiction because both Bell and his art are just about as Australian as you...
Kieran Butler and collaborators, Rainbow Bois and Magical Gurls
Blindside, 24 Jan – 10 Feb 2018
By Amelia Winata
A few years ago there was a quasi-theoretical attempt at naming a new cultural epoch to be called “metamodernism.” The term was coined by Dutch philosophers Robin van den Akker and Timotheus Vermeulen who, in a video produced by Frieze, oozed effortless Scandinavian cool (search YouTube: “what is metamodernism”). Metamodernism, they explained, is a way of labelling a cultural m...
Thank you for your support in 2017. We're taking a short break over January and will return in February for another year of weekly reviews.
The Memo Review team
NGV International, 17 December 2017 – 15 April 2018
By Giles Fielke
Buried within the question recently explored by Felicity D. Scott, ‘Who is the festival for?’, is the rapidly fading possibility of a public. It is a discourse that seems to slip too easily into arguments about the centrist compromise of regulated-, or neo-liberal, architectures of the state. The elaborate zones of exclusion raised for the National Gallery of Victoria’s inaugural Triennial, which follows its fi...
Del Kathryn Barton, The Highway is a Disco
Ian Potter Centre: National Gallery of Victoria Australia, Federation Square, 17 November 2017 – 12 March 2018
By Victoria Perin
Although Memo Review has already examined an exhibition from the National Gallery of Victoria's quadruple billing of female Australian artists (see Paris Lettau's review of Our knowing and not knowing: Helen Maudsley), I believe that as the arts community has directly requested more representation of contemporary...
Angela Brennan, Forms of Life
Ian Potter Museum of Art, 5 September 2017 – 25 February 2018
By Julia Lomas
In Angela Brennan’s exhibition at the Potter, a wall painting of textual fragments poses the question: “What do you want a poet for? To save the city of course!” Brennan’s engagement with the artefacts of early Greek and Cypriot civilization has been framed as an investigation into how such signs, symbols and forms persist through the ages, contributing, as director Kelly Gelatly’s c...
Cover Versions: Mimicry and Resistance
Shepparton Art Museum, 11 November 2017 – 14 January 2018. Curated by Anna Briers.
By Kate Warren
There is nothing I enjoy more than a good impersonation. I recently came across a video of a young Martin Short appearing on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. The conversation had turned to the various impressions that Short was working on, when off-camera a voice is heard to ask, “Do you do me?” It’s actress Bette Davis, who had been Carson’s guest...
Our Knowing and Not Knowing: Helen Maudsley
Ian Potter Centre: National Gallery of Victoria Australia, 17 November 2017 – 12 March 2018
By Paris Lettau
Curated by National Gallery of Victoria contemporary art curator Pip Wallis, Our Knowing and Not Knowing: Helen Maudsley is one of four summer solo shows on the third floor of the NGV Australia, including Louise Paramour, Mel O'Callaghan and Del Kathryn Barton
Born in 1927, and coming of age when Australian painters were increasingly en...