Anna Parlane
Kirsten Lyttle: Digital Mana

Can you wear a digital cloak?

Kirsten Lyttle, Digital Mana

Centre for Contemporary Photography, 2 February – 11 March 2018

By Anna Parlane

Kirsten Lyttle (Waikato, Ngāti Tāhinga, Tainui a Whiro) is a New Zealand-born, Australia-based artist who has built a practice on the intersection of photography and weaving: two art-making traditions that initially seem to have little in common. However, Lyttle’s signature combination asserts that the distinction between customary Māori weaving prac...

Francis Plagne
Tony Clark: Chinoiserie Landscape 1987 - 2017

Tony Clark, Chinoiserie Landscape 1987 - 2017

Murray White Room, Melbournee, 16 February – 29 March 2018

By Francis Plagne

Paul Taylor’s famous ‘Popism’ manifesto of 1982 included an exhortation to Australian artists to embrace the gulf separating them from the traditional centres of Western art history, to craft an art ‘born in mediation, gestated within the camera, where things are naturally upside-down, and expressed in a carnivalesque array of copies, inversions and negatives’. The sa...

Rex Butler
Richard Bell: Dredging up the Past

The Saying and the Said

Richard Bell, Dredging Up the Past

Gertrude Contemporary, 2 February – 10 March 2018

By Rex Butler

In the recent rehang of the Australian collection at the Queensland Art Gallery, visitors before entering the gallery have to walk under Richard Bell’s Judgement Day (2008), which hangs on a wall above a doorway. “Australian Art Does Not Exist”, Bell’s painting declares in a nice self-contradiction because both Bell and his art are just about as Australian as you...

Amelia Winata
Kieran Butler and collaborators: Rainbow Bois and Magical Gurls

Kieran Butler and collaborators, Rainbow Bois and Magical Gurls

Blindside, 24 Jan – 10 Feb 2018

By Amelia Winata

A few years ago there was a quasi-theoretical attempt at naming a new cultural epoch to be called “metamodernism.” The term was coined by Dutch philosophers Robin van den Akker and Timotheus Vermeulen who, in a video produced by Frieze, oozed effortless Scandinavian cool (search YouTube: “what is metamodernism”). Metamodernism, they explained, is a way of labelling a cultural m...

Thank you for reading in 2017

Dear readers,

Thank you for your support in 2017. We're taking a short break over January and will return in February for another year of weekly reviews.

Best wishes,

The Memo Review team

Giles Fielke
Triennial

Triennial

NGV International, 17 December 2017 – 15 April 2018

By Giles Fielke

Buried within the question recently explored by Felicity D. Scott, ‘Who is the festival for?’, is the rapidly fading possibility of a public. It is a discourse that seems to slip too easily into arguments about the centrist compromise of regulated-, or neo-liberal, architectures of the state. The elaborate zones of exclusion raised for the National Gallery of Victoria’s inaugural Triennial, which follows its fi...

Victoria Perin
Del Kathryn Barton: The Highway is a Disco

Del Kathryn Barton, The Highway is a Disco

Ian Potter Centre: National Gallery of Victoria Australia, Federation Square, 17 November 2017 – 12 March 2018

By Victoria Perin

Although Memo Review has already examined an exhibition from the National Gallery of Victoria's quadruple billing of female Australian artists (see Paris Lettau's review of Our knowing and not knowing: Helen Maudsley), I believe that as the arts community has directly requested more representation of contemporary...

Julia Lomas
Angela Brennan: Forms of Life

Angela Brennan, Forms of Life

Ian Potter Museum of Art, 5 September 2017 – 25 February 2018

By Julia Lomas

In Angela Brennan’s exhibition at the Potter, a wall painting of textual fragments poses the question: “What do you want a poet for? To save the city of course!” Brennan’s engagement with the artefacts of early Greek and Cypriot civilization has been framed as an investigation into how such signs, symbols and forms persist through the ages, contributing, as director Kelly Gelatly’s c...