Propaganda

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Homage to Tatlin

Usually when you hear the name Vladimir Tatlin you think of his proposed 400 metre tall Monument to the Third International, a project that was never built but if it had been would now be regarded as one of the wonders of the world. But there was far more to Tatlin than that. In fact, [...]

Art & Working Life Newsletter

In the mid 1970s I was thinking hard about the relationship between art and other forms of work while reading the great American journalist  and oral historian Studs Terkel – his 1974 book Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do remains a classic and an [...]

Chinese Whispers

My friend Guo Jian texted me from Beijing a few months back just saying "New York Times today". A quick Google showed up this New York Times article about his latest work, a rather brave thing to do in the current difficult climate facing artists in China. Guo and I have been friends since the [...]

Darwin and the art of evolution

The Darwin and the Art of Evolution Conference was held at the Art Gallery of NSW in September 2010. It was convened by Fay Brauer of the University of NSW  and Tony Bond of AGNSW. Speakers at the two day conference covered a range of material both popular and scientific that developed around  Charles Darwin's [...]

The Shame File

I've been thinking a lot about memorials recently partly because of other things I have been working on like Lithgow's proposed Inch Street memorials and also the bicentenaries of the the first crossing of the Blue Mountains by English toffs (Blaxland, Lawson, Wentworth) and the building of Cox's Road shortly after. But I've also been [...]

The Barricades

The Barricades was written in January 1974 for The City Squatter, the newspaper we published within a few days of the massive police raid that closed down the Victoria Street squat and forced the Resident Action Group out of the buildings we had occupied for most of 1973. The complete text is at the end [...]

The Murdering Stools

This probably seems an odd thing to start with but there is a reason. They illustrate a problem both with the way my work is seen and the general misunderstanding of what an artist does. First, what are they? They are a set of ten stools made of recycled varnished plywood with painted blood stains [...]