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I have been eagerly awaiting winter. This is the time when you can appropriately hermit, hide away in small warm places amongst the objects and people you choose to populate your private everyday with. I love my room, and my things, and being in my room with my things. The objects I surround myself with are touchstones for experiences and representatives of people I love. So, in this issue I am not going write about art in the white cube, I’m focussing on the cosy, the familiar, the opshop art, gifts, ephemera, photocopies, and found things that fill the creamy golden cuboid of my bedroom.
Above my desk is taped an A3 photocopy. The black and white image shows two Felix Gonzales-Torres posters, laying wet and abandoned on the sidewalk, after his show at the American Pavilion at the Venice Biennale. It is the perfect representation of the fragility and ephemerality of his work, I am sure he would love this photograph.
On the shelf above my desk, a scrunched handful of remnants from a letter writing and shredding workshop, run at In Good Company by Jessica Francis. I wrote (and shredded) several letters, one an angry rant to an ex, the other an apology.
Again, taped to the wall, a poem, “You Reading This, Be Ready”. Photocopied by Dad, once for my brother and once for me. The final stanza—“What can anyone give you greater than now, starting here, right in this room, when you turn around?”—always makes me feel cheesily #mindful.
A bright blue rubber glove attached high on the wall using a bandaid. This is a component of the installation Leave of Absence (2015) by Callum Devlin. All the elements in the work were purchased from Countdown Newtown. The latex in the glove is beginning to perish, the bright blue fading in the sun. Sometimes I wonder if I should just go buy a new glove.
Two reproductions of The Gleaners by Jean-Francois Millet with handwritten yellow price stickers stuck to the front. Reproduction one is a print ($15), reproduction two has been painstakingly completed in cross-stitch ($10). Both purchased from the Greytown Vinnies. Right next to this, Madame Matisse, as painted (during after school art classes) by my brother aged around eight. Arguably a better portrait than the original.
Hanging on the wall, a long fluffy pink chain, made from hundreds of florets cut from woollen blankets. This is a work from Lucy Wardle’s installation, Wandering Objects. Lucy gave this one to me, as this certain shade of pink didn’t really match the rest of the collection. It used to live on my bed, but it made me sneeze.
Next to the bed is the first piece of art I ever bought, purchased at the tender age of ten, a small text based artwork called my diary, Jongsuk Yoon. Bought as part of the Muka Youth Prints programme at The Dowse. Original prints from contemporary artists, sold for around $65 to people age five to eighteen. No adults allowed, not even in the gallery.
A black and white poster print of a silver vanity set, combs, brushes, and mirrors. The image is a reproduction of one of many photographs taken by the artist, Petra Steuben’s grandmother in Germany during WWII as documentation, to save their personal belongings from disappearance. In an interview about the work, the artist asks, “what things do we surround ourselves with? What do we see in these that make us want to keep them?”
Dead Bug Live
New work by Kate Lepper, at Toi Poneke, May 7–28.
Turn Left at the End of the Drive,
Jay Hutchinson, at Enjoy Public Art Gallery, May 12—June 4.