Benison Kilby
State of the Union

Double Issue

This week Memo Review publishes two reviews of two major exhibitions currently open at the Ian Potter Museum of Art: State of the Union and Eavesdropping.

Below Benison Kilby focuses on the problematics of artistic labour and trade unions in State of the Union.

Sophie Knezic, whose review is available by clicking here, considers the social and political stakes of the question of sound, surveillance and listening in Eavesdropping....

Tim Alves
John Stezaker: Lost World

John Stezaker: Lost World

Centre for Contemporary Photography, 21 September – 11 November 2018

By Tim Alves

John Stezaker's collage entitled Mask (Film Portrait Collage) CLXXIII, 2014, comprises only two elements, a pair of found photographs: a smiling 1940s Hollywood publicity portrait and a picture postcard depicting a stone bridge at Killarney, Ireland, from perhaps sometime between the wars. The postcard is simply pasted over the Hollywood actor's visage, but it's deceptively simple....

Paris Lettau
Brook Andrew: The Language of Skulls

Brook Andrew, The Language of Skulls

Ten Cubed, 18 September – 1 December 2018

By Paris Lettau

It's quite rare to encounter the work of an artist and feel like you have to re-ask yourself such basic questions as "What is an image?" and "What does an image do?" But these are the questions that frame and are also addressed to us in Brook Andrew's current show The Langauge of Skulls.

Located in Glen Iris, Ten Cubed takes its name from the mandated logic of the gallery's collection: ten...

Jane Eckett
Design for Life: Grant and Mary Featherston

Design for Life: Grant and Mary Featherston

Heide Museum of Modern Art, 30 June – 7 October 2018

By Jane Eckett

Exhibitions of modern Australian furniture and design are enjoying a resurgence in recent years. There was the NGV's Mid-Century Modern: Australian Furniture Design in 2014, and Take a Seat: Australian Modernist Seating at the Penrith Regional Gallery in the same year, followed by a focus on overlooked émigré designers in The Moderns: European designers in Sydney, at the Mu...

Rex Butler
Shearing the Rams

Tom Roberts, Shearing the Rams

National Gallery of Victoria, Permanent Collection

By Rex Butler

I was recently showing a friend from New Zealand through the Australian collection at the National Gallery of Victoria and we came, of course, to Tom Roberts' Shearing the Rams (1888-90). You have to get there eventually because everything in the collection and its arrangement on the walls points you that way. The work is visible — and intentionally so — as you step into the first of the room...

Victoria Perin
Baldessin/Whiteley: Parallel Visions

Baldessin/Whiteley: Parallel Visions

National Gallery of Victoria Australia, Federation Square31 August 2018 – 28 January 2019

By Victoria Perin

Together George Baldessin and Imants Tillers represented Australia in the 1975 Bienal de São Paulo. Although Tillers was 25 and Baldessin eleven years older, the artists bonded closely: “George represented the more conservative art world I had just decided to abandon,” notes Tillers in an interview with researcher Nicole Bowller from 2016, “but in...

Hester Lyon
Architecture Makes Us: Cinematic Visions of Sonia Leber and David Chesworth

Architecture Makes Us: Cinematic Visions of Sonia Leber and David Chesworth

Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne, 27 July – 9 September 2018

By Hester Lyon

When the scaffolding of Sean Godsell's Design Hub was removed earlier this year, I felt a distinct sense of disorientation. As a familiar building, my relationship to it felt suddenly and unfairly disrupted by the rectification of its original form. I'd become comfortable in the scaffolding, gesturing out onto the footpath: a...

Philip Brophy
Robert Smithson: Time Crystals

Double Issue

This week Memo Review publishes two separate reviews of Robert Smithson: Time Crystals at Monash University Museum of Art.

Below Philip Brophy considers the sound that lightly floats throughout the gallery's spaces, emanating from two films: Robert Smithson's Spiral Jetty (1970) and Nancy Holt and Robert Smithson's Swamp (1971).

Francis Plagne, whose review is available by clicking here, considers the exhibition as a whole, including an in-depth engagement with the cura...