I wrote this last week, and then my blog broke for a couple of days, and i thought it was lost… But no! Hooray!
I’ve just spent two days in Hobart doing some planning around an event that we’re going to run next year, based on rekindling imagination.
I spent hours at Mona, which was better than ever… The Wim Delvoye exhibition is startling and marvellous [his website is great – click on the link]. He’s most famous for his living art – the tattooed pigs, tattooed Tim, which were quirky and fun. I thought his more startling stuff was the religious iconography – the stretched, twisted and distorted cathedral tower, the twisted helix crucifixes, the stained glass windows.
The Anselm Kiefer Sternenfall is also new since I was last there. It’s a lead and glass construction of a bookcase and books, which is in a state of destruction [google it – there are images a-plenty. Mona are clear on their ‘take photos but don’t put them in websites’ policy, so i won’t add any here]. It’s in a light-drenched room on the bottom floor, and at the very end of the gallery. It’s one of only two artworks in the gallery that interact with the outside environment – Tattooed Tim, Wim Delvoye’s living artwork, is the other. He sits in front of a window that overlooks the river.
I loved this section of the ‘art wank’ curator’s notes about Sternenfall, which includes a quote from Kiefer:
‘People mustn’t try to understand what I am saying through my works. People should try to see something in them. They must see with their own way of thinking, their own history… In a way, each viewer “finishes” the work with their own vision, their own stance in relation to it.’ You do not need to know what Kiefer knows, or to study what he has read; indeed, he says, ‘many know better than the artist what he has done’.
The imagination event will be held in October next year. It will involve some structured input and conversations, but much of the time will simply be a chance to use a different part of our brains and find connections and as-yet-unimagined spaces for newness. We’re still working on details, but they’ll be up here as soon as things are finalised.
I spent a lot of time wandering Hobart, looking at potential venues and accommodation sites – one of the things i love about Hobart is that it’s easier to walk and catch the ferry than to hire a car. Walking a city means there are always some lovely unexpected moments – like these… the installation of crocheted, polymer trees, hidden behind the wall in Salamanca:
the poetry on the wall just down from the trees:
which both contrasted rather dramatically with the sign on the church noticeboard just down the road:
I came away so grateful that even if the church is unable to grasp the opportunity, at least graffiti artists, hidden art spaces and entrepeneurial gallery owners are offering public moments of resonance, grace and transformation… and i can’t wait for october next year to see how more of us might begin to do that.