Monday, March 24, 2014

Being NEW on The Scene (Feat. Eminem)


So I ended the last blog post just after mentioning the article in the news-paper that announced the new curator and new artists (including me!) of the NEW14 exhibition on now at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art. 

Here it is again.
When I first read the above article and saw my drawings described as 'humorous' I got a bit nervous. I figured it meant that now whoever'd read it would walk into the show expecting the drawings to be humorous, when I'd much rather people just see the work and if they think they're funny then that's great, but if they don't think they're funny but maybe like it for a different reason then that's great too. 

I guess I was being a bit dumb to be nervous about that though, it's awesome that the paper said the drawings are humorous, ha, actually I should use it on my future exhibition invites, like how you see on posters for comedy festival shows, you know; "Humorous -The Age". Really I was just feeling nervous in general, but I'm always feeling nervous though so it's no big deal.

Something I once heard that's always stuck with me, and I thought about it a lot when I was writing my honours thesis, is the old saying about how something isn't funny if you explain it, and that humour is like a frog in a science classroom; you can't dissect it without first killing it. 

And so that's the last thing I'll say about humour, because, as you can see in these next three photos, the only kind of frogs I plan on dissecting are the ones made of delicious dairy milk chocolate and named Freddo.
Being in NEW14 is pretty much a dream and once it was officially announced it suddenly became very real. It's been so exciting and I feel so grateful and lucky but the other thing is that it's pretty scary.

I guess my big fear was I'd stuff it up and everyone would say "That Kenny Pittock sucks, he's the worst NEW artist ever". Ha, fortunately no-one has said that yet, not to my face at least. And thanks so much to the people who've been sending me nice messages, or saying nice things in person, both when the show was announced and also after having seen it, you guys are the best and it really means a lot. 

But ok, where was I? Oh yeah, so in the new-spaper next to the little article announcing NEW14, (Circled below in red), was a humungous article about Geoff New-ton's next show at Gertrude Contemporary, (circled below in yellow). 
Geoff Newton's show was pretty great, it was called The Scene and was a series of big bright paintings showing the view from directly in front of each of the Australian state galleries.

Here's a photo of Geoff's painting of The Scene from The National Gallery of Victoria, as scene in the above newspaper article.
Here's an awful photo I took of the painting of the NGV scene at Gertrude on my phone.

And here's a photo I took of the actual NGV scene from earlier today.
I think the only thing that was missing from Geoff's paintings is a sprinkling of tourists having their photo taken, I'm not sure it's possible to walk into any state gallery without inadvertently ruining the photo of someone attempting to create a new facebook profile pic.

A week later I took the scenic route back to Gertrude to see The Scene for a second time, only because at the opening, like at all openings, you can never get a proper look at the work without all the good looking people stealing the scene and getting in the way. 

This time, after getting another look at all those state gallery scenes, I decided to make a drawing of The Scene in front of Gertrude, and so here's the result of that;
I left the drawing for Geoff Newton with the person at the gallery desk. 

Whether Geoff liked the drawing or hated it still remains to be scene, I don't even know if he got it. It's possible if Geoff did get it he just scrunched it up and threw it onto the actual ground that it's a drawing of. Ha, hopefully not, but that'd definitely make this a humorous drawing.
So ok, I'll skip forward a day or two. It's funny because even though it was just a few weeks ago this all feels a bit like a blur. I know technically February only has two or three days less than the other months but it went by so fast this year it felt like the whole month only had about ten days in it.

On Monday February 17 was the Rooftop Transmissions show at Rooftop Cinema that I talked about two blog posts ago. It was an evening of short video art screening as part of the NGV's Melbourne Now initiative and featured the song I made with musician Nelson Walkom.

Here's a photo taken by my pal Kiera of Alex, me, Nels and Anthony, on top of the roof, as we waited for the sun to go down so the movies could start.
And here's the video of Nel and my song playing on the big screen at rooftop bar.
So yeah that was really cool to see our work up on the big screen. It was really cool to technically be a part of Melbourne Now. And also it was just really cool to have a break from the studio and spend time with pals at Rooftop Bar. I'll always remember the first time I went there when I was in first year at uni, it's such a cool place I felt like I was in that show The O.C.

The night after Rooftop Transmissions I went to an open forum at West Space gallery hosted by some of the artists in this years Sydney Biennale. The forum was organised to discuss the Biennale's major sponsor, Transfield. Well, they were a sponsor at the time, not anymore. 

The talk explained the history of Transfield, their involvement with the Sydney Biennale and their involvement in Australian offshore detention centres. The talk also discussed the possibilities for potential methods of boycotting the Biennale in protest of it's relationship with Transfield.

Obviously if you want to know more about the issue then this blog is not the place to start, all I really have to say about it is that I think it's extremely complicated, I don't think there are any easy answers or perfect solutions, and I really, really respect all of the artists involved, as well as this years biennale artistic director Juliana Engberg, for the considered and individual ways that they've handled the situation.Also, ha, if I decide to do another Kenneth Biennale next year then I definitely will not be asking Transfield for sponsorship.

The night after the boycott forum I went to an Eminem concert at Etihad Stadium.

The only other time I've seen Eminem was in December of 2011. The show sold out in like six minutes so I hadn't been able to get a ticket, but because I'm a big fan I went along to the stadium with the intention of just listening from the outside. 

It's a long story but I ended up paying one of the sound guys $110 and amazingly he snuck me in to the front row, (or as it was called on the pass he gave me; the Lose Yourself Zone).

Most people would assume the crowd at an Eminem concert would be angry and violet but I don't think I've been to any concert with happier people who were just excited to be seeing their idol. I rapped along with so many strangers and in between doing that I made this drawing.

This most recent time I went to Eminem rather than going by myself I went with my pal Alex and so I wanted to enjoy the experience with him rather than make a drawing during the concert.

Having said that though I did paint a sculpture during the concert.

It's an acrylic on ceramic sculpture of an m&m. 

Here it is in a bowl of regular m&ms, (it's the red one).
We picked up the sculpture from the kiln on the way to the stadium and I took it into the concert, as well as my paint and brushes, making full use of the jumbo sized pockets of my cargo pants.

The sold out stadium was so loud, pretty bezerk conditions to be painting in, my mind was racing at 8mile a minute.
Getting in just before the moment Eminem asks me, (the real slim shady), to please stand up, here I am doing the finishing touches the my sculpture.
And here's my sculpture of an m&m, with Eminem.
And ok, to rap up this freestyle the result is that from now until May 18 you can go see that very sculpture, the m&m painted in front of Eminem, tucked away amongst my work in NEW14 at ACCA.
And so there you go, who needs a studio when you can just draw on the train and paint at an Eminem concert. Ha, but speaking of which, I got a new studio!

But ok, I'll save that and write about it later in the week. Sorry if I'm rambling too much, but thanks heaps for reading all the way to the end here. See you soon, and in the meantime try not to be too much of a new-sance, and I'll try to stop making anymore new puns as I'm sure they've already gotten old. 

Also, you should go dissect a Freddo, I'd forgotten how good they taste. Plus right now at Woolworths you can get two big bags for $6. So hop on over there... Get it, hop, like a frog... That's it I'm going to bed.

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