Friday, 4 May 2012

Are We Too Concerned With The New?

On the 2nd of May YOLK Collective hopped along to this event at 2 Danks street. As per usual, chairs were filled, people full of questions and the topic an interesting one - "Are we too concerned with the new?" The event did not, however, reach it's potential. Relevant (and we'll admit not so relevant) questions were asked concerning what "new" means, whether "new" and "Wow-factor" are often confused and whether we dismiss the "old" so that we seem contemporary and modern.

The panel did not deliver bad answers, that would be harsh - they just didn't really answer the questions. The panel seemed more concerned with talking about how important the artist is and the need for artistic relationships... true, yes! answering the question - no... In no way are we discrediting the intelligence or knowledge of the panel as, firstly, to be in the positions they are in a high level of both qualities are needed and secondly, what they had to say was perceptive - it just didn't satisfy the particular questions or the theme of the evening.

Thankfully Christopher Hodges, artist, the director of Utopia Arts Sydney (which was the location of the event) and MC had fantastic anecdotes and insightful responses to the questions. Also the exhibition currently on at the gallery, 'Colour and Light' by Helen Eager, was a wonderful surrounding. Helen Eager's work would have actually been a very interesting topic for discussion as she has been in the industry for some years creating art and was recently commissioned to create ‘Tango,’ a wall painting for the Circular Quay entrance of the New Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney. She is not a "new" artist to the scene, however her ability to constantly catch people's attention with her ever-famous triangle imagery means she still has 'new-ness' - hence her creating work for the new MCA!
Helen Eager install shot:

Richard Tipping, 1993 + 1996
reflective metal sign, 150 x 100mm
One question asked by none other than Richard Tipping was whether we are more obsessed with creating "new things" or "new ideas." To this one could say that new things spur from new ideas, however more often than not new things spring from old ones too. What Tipping perhaps was getting at, is that new ideas (or seemingly new ideas) are often heralded over reinvention, no matter how clever. Or perhaps he was insinuating that new ideas can be had over "old" things, so our obsession is not over new physical objects, but ways of perceiving objects and ways of looking... As this was not really discussed in depth it is hard to speculate on how the discussion should have continued and what could have been said. Hodges did, however, recall his experience of seeing a Tipping for the first time, in this lovely artist to artist moment, saying that he saw the work and it made him look twice before laughing, as it was something he had never seen before. It was a 'new' thing to him and therefore struck his curiosity and gave him joy.

After the discussion crumbled and was then resurrected by Hodges for a clever one-liner ending, Danks Street Depot was the place for dinner. If you find yourself at 2 Danks Street and are hungry, seriously try the Caramelised Garlic Bread with Nut Brown Butter - highly recommended by YOLK Collective, Megan Fizell from Feasting on Art & artist Will Coles!

As much as this particular conversations did not satisfy our wonder and curiosity, we do recommend attending one sometime at 2 Danks Street, as it is usually a room full of debate, insight and high tension! As for this last topic... what do you think???

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