Ian Milliss is an artist who worked on Wrapped Coast.
One of our principal objectives in producing this newspaper has been to present context, hence the name EXTRA!EXTRA!.
But there are many different types of context.
In this issue Juundaal Strang Yettica continues her reflections on how projects can be read from an indigenous viewpoint. She sees Jonathan Jones’ Project 32 barrangal dyara (skin and bones) (2016) as a major turning point in Kaldor Public Art Projects. The ethical processes underpinning Jones’ work should lead to an acceptance that all Australian cultural activity happens on Aboriginal Land. Strang Yettica hopes this will grow respect for Country and traditional protocols, and guidelines about how artists, especially land artists, should behave in relation to the Land. So do we.
I flicked through your issues in the Art Gallery of NSW, and I was very impressed by what you were doing, especially in regards to land art [“Trees in Coffins”, 19 Nov 2019].
I’d love to see an article on the impending Climate Change Crisis and how it affects the art of this society. I think it’d be a very interesting read.
The Editor Responds:
Thanks for your letter, Vi.
Have a look at the article “Filtering Disinformation” by Wendy Bacon and Chris Nash in Edition 2 of EXTRA!EXTRA! – that piece discusses the ethical role of journalism in reporting on climate change over recent decades. In my own experience as an artist and a university teacher, artists are increasingly engaged with the problem of the climate crisis. The big question is how to respond in a meaningful way to an issue of such an enormous scale. My own personal favourite artists in this field are the Harrison Studio in California – look them up!
Chris Nash was Professor of Journalism at Monash University, and previously Director of the Australian Centre for Independent Journalism at UTS.
In his third article on the convergence of art and journalism, Chris Nash examines the debate that followed the censorship of Haacke’s real estate works. This debate, about the nature of what activities can legitimately be regarded as art and the relationship of art institutions to those activities, is now even more loaded than it was fifty years ago, as artists increasingly work in social and media spaces rather than physical institutional spaces.
Guggenheim Director Thomas Messer set out in detail his concerns with Haacke’s work in a guest editorial for Arts Magazine in 1971, and made the link with journalism:
Where do we draw the line? With the revealed identities of private individuals and the clear intention to call their actions into question, and by a concomitant reduction of the work of art from its potential metaphoric level to a form of photo journalism concerned with topical statements rather than with symbolic expression. …. To the degree to which an artist deliberately pursues aims that lie beyond art, his very concentration upon ulterior ends stands in conflict with the intrinsic nature of the work as an end in itself. …. The tendency within this contradiction in the work itself transferred itself from it onto the museum environment and beyond it into society at large. Eventually the choice was between the acceptance of or rejection of an alien substance that had entered the art museum organisation. …. The incident at the Guggenheim Museum is, perhaps, the most dramatic among similar conflicts but by no means an isolated one. Parallel developments have occurred in other museums and more of the same may be predicted unless there is a change of attitude among artists as well as among museums.
I deliberately have not spoon-fed a description of the extensive foundational processes behind Jonathan Jones’ artwork here because I think that is for you to investigate and learn. I think the integrity of your engagement with his work, in this place, upon this land, today, sits with you.
Amber is an interdisciplinary performance artist, theatre-maker, and journalist
Last Tuesday students from Bourke Public School and Wilcannia Central School travelled eleven hours from inland western NSW to join us at the Kaldor Studio. Bourke and Wilcannia are both engaged in Your Public Art Project – an upcoming intitiative by Kaldor Public Art Projects. Connecting with primary and secondary schools across NSW, the program has extended its engagement with students from Dubbo, Parkes, Western Sydney, and Sydney’s inner west.
The Kaldor Public Art Projects’ physical archive serves as an introductory tool for the program, enabling students to understand diverse approaches to public art-making. The gallery recently held a major program launch and student showcase event, inviting student representatives and teachers from participating schools to discuss their own art project.