X-it by Ted Colless
For the three or four years I attended the VCA I had little to do with Colless, the occasional lecture while completing the Graduate Certificate in Art before the Master degree. Reading his introduction to Art & Australia Volume 1 I found some genuinely interesting and new conceptual ways of dealing with what i think of as Gramsci’s problem, the old has ended but the new cannot be born, and in that interregnum a whole lot of monstrosities appear. Edward drills down into the details of these horrors, with descriptions of the unreachable, indescribable places (my words) ‘modern capitalism’ makes for exclusion, interrogation, imprisonment, and even a fear of others so deep it is a kind of leprosy. A rot.
The border and the fence are described as a place where x assemble. X is not only the refugee but also any entity that doesn’t belong. He then formulates a mathematical equation for the things all falling apart. He is not gripped by y Marxist need to break down the borders, to be out there visibly demanding not/this. But as a description of the world we now inhabit never before experienced quite like this, i have seldom seen better.
I see an artwork growing in my subconscious mind
the degradation of concentration camps offshore are played out in an encroaching loss off civil life. The tram and train inspectors revisit in a paler version the feeling of injustice and inaction in everyday life. My next artwork must take this on. It will be more agitation and less aesthetic. Inspectors
I was over the moon to undertake a residency at Jiwar, in Barcelona. Jiwar is an Arab word which means neighbourhood. Beyond this meaning, Jiwar aims to bridge experiences and promotes inter-cultural and interdisciplinary exchange. “As is true of most of Spain, the province of Catalunya, and especially Barcelona as its capital city, suffered greatly under the Franco dictatorship, a period lasting from the end of the Spanish Civil War in 1939 until 1975. Catalunya was punished in particular because of its successful struggle for national autonomy and active anarchist movement and resistance before and throughout the Civil War. As the Republicans and leftist resistance faltered, Franco’s subsequent fascist dictatorship severely repressed any public activities, writings and even discussions in Barcelona and the greater province associated with Catalan nationalism, democracy and left-wing ideologies.”