Monday, December 26, 2005


I've been making a point of avoiding all semblance of cutlure 'cept for the cheese - while on holidays in Paris

also managed to avoid sun as well.

got a link tho from ruark Lewis about the website for banalities

check it out: www.



Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Wuff Wuff

Las night anna came home drunk as a skunk
I locked myself in my room with a copy of Fanny Hill and a vibrator and settled in for long night of onanistic sulking.

Then I heard some scary noise coming from her room, that sounded no quite human.

Kind of distressed.

I got worried and went to investigate.

she was barking out the window to some dog down the street.

We both collapsed into hsyterical giggles.

She's too cute.

She leaves in 2 days.

I'm planning to be too busy to scrathc myself - but I'm going to miss her.

what a fluff

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Eh Beh Oui, Avec Tout Ma Coeur

Hanging out at Mum's I found an electornic copy of my old statement for Dimia from 2002. thought I'd chuck it online for maximum lovey dovey sigh effect.
Paris has had riots for 10 days and Australia is banning strikes. Despite rampant homophobia of the former - at least they still got democracy. I really wanna emigrate.

I met Anna Nina Belhalfaoui at the Unity Bar, in Rue Saint Martin, in Paris on the 31st July 1998 and spent the night with her at her parents house in Suresnes, and over the next few days fell in love with her.
Anna wanted to drive me to the Normandy coast and take me to the Parisian Flea markets and was surprised that I only wanted to go to Art Galleries. However we both shared interests in philosophy and literature, and I like the fact that she couldn’t play pool, and was amazed that she could speak five languages and had spent eight years at university.
Anna was the first woman I’ve ever picked up in a Lesbian Bar – and the first complete stranger I’ve ever slept with – and yet in so many ways she seems to have been the most perfect love I could have hoped for. I’m, still astounded by the amount of physical desire we share as well as the childlike intensity of our emotional and imaginary worlds. Naturally I adore her intellect and creativity, but I could enjoy that in a friend just as well, so it’s our emotional union that astounds me.
Even though I left Paris four days after meeting Anna, I felt so strongly about my attachment to her, that I promised to write to her, and somehow we would keep in contact. I had never met a woman with her intelligence, sexual appeal or emotional intensity, and I felt even if we never saw each other again, she would be fascinating to write to.
I was the first to write to her, but convinced I had mislaid my letter before posting it, I immediately wrote another. I could hardly believe my eyes when her letter arrived a few weeks later. For the next four months we wrote long letters to each other every week, and made a couple of phone calls.
When Anna announced that she would fly out to Australia in November I could hardly believe it. My feelings were incredibly mixed – part of me was over the moon and impossibly excited but I was terrified that the relationship would interfere with my study, and that a passionate four day fling wasn’t any sort of foundation for a instant de-facto relationship.
Fortunately Anna arrived at the end of the academic year, and I think we spent the first two weeks in bed! I remember my flatmates serenading us in the bath on the first day, and eating Mangos – and losing one on the bus – and I remember taking her on Ferries and then to Bronte Beach – and walking from Bondi to Coogee.
Despite the long walks, ferry rides and social activities - where she was accepted into my social circles – from country high school, Art School and in Sydney, the first three months she was here were hard on us both – especially in January, when I was working full time to save up enough cash to support my studies at Art School the following year.
All my friends met and approved of her, as did my family in the rural NSW. Even my grandfather loved her, and said "We could always do with another girl in the family" but I’m not sure how much he understood our relationship!
Anna spent Christmas with my family in New England, and when Grandfather died in March, she came up north for the funeral, which was held on St. Patrick’s Day. I was really scared of being struck by lightning as we were standing in the front row at the funeral Mass and some of my relatives gave me a filthy looks when I held her hand at the graveside – but My Mum and Brother were both supportive and welcoming of the relationship, and this meant a great deal.
From the first I was convinced that Anna should stay for Mardis Gras – for some reason I was obsessed with the idea that it was my patriotic lesbian duty to show her that Australia had the biggest and best Homosexual festival in the world, however I regarded the fact that Anna hadn’t worked part time while studying as a sign of financial irresponsibility, and I wised I’d met someone more self sufficient, who could ‘mother ‘ me in a way. I think I even asked her to find her own flat and get a job in Australia – so we could have a normal dating relationship.
I now know that I was quite naive in assuming that Anna could get a working Visa and a job and her own flat instantly, and when we investigated things, I realised that if she was going to stay longer than 3 months that we’d both have to make a more serious commitment.
Anna had come to Australia only expecting to stay for 3 months, however somehow she persuaded her parents to lend her enough money to support her stay for another 6 months. I don’t know how I persuaded her to stay – especially once I changed my mind and realised that I’d rather live with her and support her financially than have her go back to France, but she stayed. During those times I lent her my bicycle and paid for her accommodation, phone and food expenses. Anna made a positive contribution to the share houses we lived in, cooking and cleaning and socialising with other housemates, who welcomed her presence.
Each time Anna renewed her 3-month tourist visa in 1999 was like a huge test of our love. "Do we want this to continue?" "Do we believe our relationship would survive a separation now?" "Could we really bear to live apart?" were the biggest questions. Contrary to my fears, Anna proved to be incredibly resourceful financially, even more frugal than I had ever been. On July 3rd 1999 we moved into subsidised share accommodation, in Alpha House Artists Cooperative, and with flatmates who supported our relationship, our living costs remained low.

However in September 1999, Anna’s ticket was due to expire, and her financial resources were running low, and she wanted to return to France, and see her friends and family. I was in the final months of my Fine Arts Degree, and was looking forward to being able to focus 24 hours a day on my course, and I was sure that I’d somehow raise the cash and travel to see her at the end of the year. I also planned to go on 3-week painting camp to the desert with a group from art school, so I planned to keep busy, and enjoy my solitude rather than pine after her.
Anna and I spent a week before she left, staying in Byron Bay, trying to avoid the last of Sydney winter. It was a tense and nerve-racking time, kind of like trying to sleep in after your alarm clock has rung. I remember feeling so incredibly fragile and scared, and terrified of losing her, that I’d lost her, and all I’d ever have was an awful ache of desire. Our last days were crazily blissful, but we both broke down at the airport, I sobbed all the way home on buses, in parks, and in my room, where I wrote her a 10 page tear stained letter
Anna’s first three months back home were fairly horrible for her I believe. A lot of her friends had left Paris, she couldn’t find work, she was missing me and not enjoying a second successive winter. Returning to financial dependence on her parents, after so much freedom here, was also a strain. We kept writing 10 page letters (so much better than email) to each other, and phoned each other at least once a week too. Hearing her voice was miraculous each time – plus we’d made a tape of each other laughing together – which kept me sane in the gloomiest moments.
Two of my friends, who I’ve known since Pre School, visited France and were treated hospitably by Anna’s family. They soothed Anna’s new found feelings of exile from Australia, but also told me how generous and welcoming her family would be towards me and anyone associated with me.
The end of 1999 was personally catastrophic for me, however. A few weeks after Anna left, my brother died, mysteriously overseas, and a friend from art school also died of a Heroin overdose. When I heard about my brother dying, the first person I called was Anna. The vigil waiting until it was 7 am in France seemed eternal. She just was the most important person to me outside my family. There was no question of that. I remember what she said "I am with you, every moment. Don’t ever forget it" but it was incredibly hard not to sometimes.
Especially as months passed before we saw each other. I remember speaking to her just before Christmas – and maybe I’d just sent her a letter – and she asked "Do you need me there? Just ask me to come and I’ll be there. I’ll borrow money and I’ll come." Even my friends offered to buy a ticket for her to come. In hindsight, I wish I’d accepted their offer but at the time I just thought it was more important to face my problems on my own.
No one can understand how immense grief is until they actually have to go through it, and I was terrified that the gulf of pain between us would put too much strain on the relationship. I had a lot of friends around me and It felt better to keep the memory of the relationship as some kind of perfect fantasy, so I could escape the day to day hell of grief that I was going through just by phoning or writing a letter.
Slowly in 2000 I started to get my life back together. Losing my brother felt like losing a leg, and I really felt that I had to learn to walk again – I was offered a solo exhibition in a Sydney Art Gallery, which was incredible, and I was also exhibiting in a number of group shows, so my artistic career was taking off – but emotionally the pain of being separated from Anna grew worse and worse.
During the nine months that we were apart I felt that sometimes I didn’t want to be reminded of Anna at all. I felt her as an awful knot of tension in my stomach – a horrible dread that I’d never see her again – even in photos of us together she looked impossibly remote – like some fantasy that I’d dreamt up and could never realise. I really feared somewhere that I’d never see her ever again, that she’d forget about me, or find someone better – and this was despite all the phone calls from her, all the letters she kept writing week after week.
It took 6 months after my brother’s death before I was in any state to even look for part time work, and despite some sales of artworks, plans for raising money to go to France were looking increasingly shaky. Fortunately I have good friends. Some looked around for the cheapest air tickets, and one dear friend eventually bought me a return ticket to Paris for my birthday. Even though Anna said she’d support me financially, my Mum also gave me some money to live on while I was over there.
On the 6th June 2000 I boarded a plane, crying with relief that such a horrible trial was about to end. I’ll never forget arriving in Paris 18hours later. The plane was early and there was no sign of Anna! Having no idea of either Parisian geography or French, I was a little perplexed, so I decided to sit and write for half and hour and see what would happen. Then I saw her. I guess she’d shrunk and I’d grown, but I remember lifting her onto my lap and us just sitting and kissing and laughing and the unbearable delight of sitting next to her in the car in the traffic jams on the "Periphique" leading into Paris – and then the first sex I’d had for nine months – and every pore of my skin being able to taste the sensation of her skin on mine.
We haven’t spent a single night apart since then. We spent 3 months in France, mostly in Paris. Her friends and family were absolutely lovely and welcoming and patient with my appalling attempts to speak French.
Staying in France was wonderful and terrifying. In a way, I felt I was getting to know a new person. For most of the year Anna had been working two jobs, repaying her parents and saving up to visit Australia, and she had moved out with friends from Uni. and had really become well established in Paris. I was seeing her on her home turf, and also seeing the cultural and social forces that shaped her. This part was terrifying.
On the 27th June 2000, the week after participating in the Parisian Gay Pride March, Anna and I registered as a PACS "Pacte Civil de Solidarite" couple which is the closest thing the French have to recognition of same sex relationships. After visiting the Palais de Justice, and paying for my Birth Certificate to be translated into French, we had a small form signing ceremony in the Tribunal d’Justice of Puteaux. Mum was a bit surprised when I told her that we’d been married. A few friends were also over excited. But to me the ceremony, was such a minor procedure compared to all of the other serious commitments we’ve made each to other, each letter, each phone call over two years has felt like much more of a covenant.
Unfortunately the PACS legally offers little more than a token recognition of same sex relationships. The French immigration authorities and consulates have no recognition of any relationships outside of heterosexual marriage, and to even stay as a tourist in France for longer than 90 days, I’d have to ask Anna’s parents to sponsor me as a family guest.
Anna’s parents were incredibly hospitable towards me, and patient with my very limited French. They offered me free accommodation and food in Paris and invited me to stay at their holiday house on an Island in Brittany. There I was able to see what formed Anna, where she got her sense of security and adventure, what a loving generous family she had. The Island itself was the most magical, healing space I’ve ever seen. I’d traveled through Europe on a landscape excursion, but I’d never dreamed that I’d fall in love with a landscape that wasn’t Australian. However I did, and we spent a month there, with me drawing every day, and eating seafood caught by Anna’s parents. Part of me was jealous that she’d had such a wonderful and secure childhood, compared with mine, but her parents made me feel like part of their family, and I realised that I was living an ideal childhood as an adult.
We stayed for almost a month in Brittany, but we had two weeks to ourselves – which was like our first honeymoon. This included the two-year anniversary since we met – on which Anna took me snorkeling for the first time in my life. We were able to spend 24 uninterrupted hours a day together, with no other company besides each other, and no demands of work or study. Most days we would go for long bicycle rides or walks together along the cliffs, and I would sit and draw as Anna wrote. It was then that I really knew that I could live every day for the rest of my life with Anna. I was really happy to be constantly in her company – as we could both exist in our independent solitary worlds of creativity while in the same space.
In August, Anna and I traveled around France and the Northern Europe where we stayed with friends of Anna and myself, and then we returned to Paris to prepare our departure for Australia in September. We arrived in Sydney on September 1st 2000, and left two weeks later to spend the anniversary of my brother’s death with Mum in the country.
September and Christmas, were still really hard for Mum and I emotionally, and it was really good to have Anna’s support this time around. Both times we stayed at Nambucca Heads in a 2-roomed flat with Mum letting us have the double bed. I was demanding, upset, remote and depressed a lot of the time. This sojourn in Australia was a lot less the idyllic summer love affair than was the last time. In addition, Anna had been hoping to work in Australia, but as the school term was only 9 months – she didn’t have the 12 months employment record to enable her to gain a working visa, so she was on a forced vacation.
The first few months in Australia were made harder by the financial strain of depending on a single income and the psychological pressures of unemployment. We share a bedroom in a share house in an artist’s cooperative. While the other residents are supportive of our living arrangements, and the subsidised accommodation enables us to have very low living expenses, I think both of us would prefer to live exclusively as a domestic couple.
However the Artists Cooperative has been an interesting place for Anna to live. She has set up her own dark room, developed and printed photographs and participated in group exhibition at the Co-op Gallery. Anna has also participated in a life drawing sketch club and has become interested in painting and sculpture. She spends a lot of her free time studying languages, and repairing appliances and furniture that she finds in the house or in the garage. I have rented a studio space and have been working and living from art and art related work, and realising a lot of my professional dreams.
I think Anna and I have both changed since the last time we lived together. We aren’t that interested in going out – and as many of my friends have left Sydney or left Australia to work overseas our social circles have changed. Both of us enjoy quiet introspective activities, and have little interest in television or the latest trends in music or fashion. This is not to say that we’re a reclusive couple! We both love dressing up inventing new characters and elaborate costumes for even the most minor social engagement. I’ve loved seeing this flamboyant side of Anna develop during the relationship – while she has worked miracles in encouraging me to trust my body and push my physical limits in camping, swimming and cycling.
While ever Anna has stayed in Australia I have guaranteed her free rent and promised to cover any living expenses. It’s hard though for any adult to accept complete financial dependence on someone else, and Anna has often felt frustrated and powerless at not being able to work here and make an equal financial contribution to the relationship. While living in Australia she has undertaken a lot of the cleaning, cooking and shopping duties, in exchange for her share of the bills.

When we were in Paris, in addition to the hospitality of her family, Anna bought all of my Cartes d’Orange (monthly travel passes). In Australia I have bought her a weekly travel pass – each week – so she would feel able to travel independently of me – and move around Sydney as she chose (mostly to the beach). For her birthday this year I bought her a bicycle so she would feel completely independent of even this financial obligation.
When we have traveled (within Australia and Europe) we have pooled whatever financial resources we both had to pay for fares, food and accommodation. I’d say that both of us are naturally careful with money and very conscious of maintaining our own dignity and independence, but also generous. I enjoy sharing every aspect of my life with Anna, I’d much rather do things in her company than on my own, so sharing food, holidays, possessions, music, clothing, books, alcohol and entertainment with Anna is absolutely a no-strings attached arrangement.
We have a joint bank account – where Anna deposits her traveler’s cheques and I receive my pay – which has a credit extension. We pool our financial resources and use this account to pay for rent, food and other expenses. At the same time, I hate the thought of either of us having financial control over each other – and it has been important while in each other’s country that we both have access to our own forms of savings or income. Anna and I do not go over our monthly bank statements and make absolute plans for every cent we earn – but rather discuss what income and expenses we both anticipate over the next few months.
I think Anna and I both trust each other’s financial judgement and commitment to shared life enough to exist without regulating each other - and trust that we’ll both exercise a reasonable amount of caution and consideration in spending our funds. Anna is incredibly frugal though – even more so than me – I like to buy art materials on impulse – and love buying takeaway meals instead of preparing lunch – Anna makes a careful budget of her travelers cheques - and saves up for special presents or things we need.
Sharing a single room has been a challenge. Both of us are solitary and creative – so we both need individual space to think, write and work. Anna has her own desk in the corner of the bedroom – which I never use, and there’s an implicit understanding that we respect each other’s space and things – she has her own shelf space and wardrobe space but our bedroom is often cluttered with each others junk and this sometimes causes friction – particularly as I’m messy and she’s tidy.
We are both commencing our professional careers and neither of us has accumulated any assets – apart from books, artworks, and a minimal amount of furniture. We share everything. Anna wears my clothes and I wear hers. (Except underwear and socks) We share the same shoe size – and read each others books. If I’m buying art materials for myself – I’ll buy some for her as a present – we’re always buying each other little presents of stationary or fabric.
I don’t have any major assets, however all of my long terms plans feature Anna in them at present, and intend to leave all of my belongings and inheritances to her in my will. If Anna was able to settle here and work then I guess we’d buy a car and a house together – as joint incomes would permit this.
Each day spent with Anna has been a blessing. Every time I can look at her, touch her, or even hear her or read her words is such a miracle, that I’m glad of every aspect of our life together, easy or hard. I know we’ve chosen this relationship, every step of the way – we haven’t been able to take it for granted ever.
It’s so easy to become complacent, and think that because we can kiss in public, because all our friends and colleagues approve of our relationship, because our families accept us as a couple, that our sexuality is not a social issue. Then when I look at straight friends and think if either one of us had been a man, we would have been married two years ago, we would never have spent those nine months apart, we would have had two incomes the past year instead of one, and I ‘d be able to stay, study and work in Europe as long as I liked, then I can’t help thinking how stupidly unfair and homophobic the world still is.
I believe our relationship is probably strong enough to survive anything, but for me, separation is not an option worth considering, If Anna isn’t able to gain a long-term visa here, then she’ll stay here on a tourist visa. Or we’ll both try and live in another European country where Lesbian marraiges are recognised and she can work and support us both financially and I’ll be the housewife!
We have many plans and many dreams. I’d think we’d both like to live exclusively together rather than in a communal household, and we’ll do that as soon as finances permit. Anna wants to work in Australia as a Language teacher, and save the money to buy a car and drive to the desert. I’d like to live in Europe for a year and paint. I’d like her to be able to do a PhD in literature either here or there. I’d like us to live in a house where we’d have enough space for my mess and her tidiness – rather than sharing one room as a bedroom and her study. I think we’d both like to have kids together – and a menagerie of pets.
I don’t know what miracle brought us together – but I feel intellectually, sexually and emotionally challenged and comforted by her in a way I feel couldn’t be possible with any one else.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Save My Ass!!!!

I'm a bit of a moron.

After posting the last bit of blogshok - I then vaisihed into the hills of northern new england for a few weeks of solid work on the tome.
as a result I've missed lots of parties -buthtat is kinda like the point. I need to write. Wriitng needs silence and no distraction.
sydney is full of noise and distraction.

Hell! I even missed my radio gig.

Sorry if anyone pannicked.

I've been staying safely and quietly wiht my Mum and coz she has a TV I've been placed in the unfortunate position oflistening to the news on a daily basis.
As a result I'm aware that John Howard is trying to rush the anti-terrorism legislation through parliament this week.
Like many people I'm shit scared.
I'm shit scaredbecause even innoccuous things like my BAXTER paintings could have me arrested and charged under thenew sedition laws.
So could any artists who writes lyrics, does paitigns, makes a video, zine, t-shirt, drawing,poem, story that in someway casts nasturtiumso apon our venerable leader Kim Il Sung - err.. John Howard.
I kid you not.
Right now my choices are:
Emigrate - I've got my ticket for december - but its a return one at present. -

Pray to God to grant us a federal opposition - doingthat but he's not that great with lapsed catholics.

Try to see what sneaky little puny concessions can be gained in order to save some illusiory scraps of social liberty.

In the spirit of the latter approach - I hereby post this internet petition - with a nice sneaky little ammendment that may save my ass and many ofyours!
Real petitions work by sending letters to particular members of parliament. so pleas even if you're overseas - scroll through the following - cut and paste it into a mryiad of emails - and send em off tho the list below.

.Please also forward this polite and pleading letter toas many registered Australian voters as you know.

Maybe in the new age of terror, we can't even preserve a shred of our interesting democratic society, but its worthwhile giving it a shot.

btw - this info came from the National Association of Visual Arts. and not MX, GLW or the chaser......Even my old art school is shit scared.

.... I am writing to alert you to the potential impact of the Sedition Clause in the Anti-Terrorism legislation proposed for introduction into parliament in the next few days (for draft legislation
NAVA believes that this will jeopardise both artists'and arts organisations' freedom of expression and action (see attached media release sent yesterday).The government has not demonstrated a need for these new sedition laws. These changes should not be made,and certainly not without proper public discussion. If the government intends to proceed with the lawsthen the new offences are too wide because they affect unfairly and in breach of freedom of expression(recognised at international law). The government must limit the ambit of the new offences to protect artists, journalists and others involved in the visual arts. NAVA urges you to take immediate action by writingto, ringing or arranging to meet with any or all of the parliamentarians listed below (and attached) to tell them that changes need to be made to the legislation in order to protectartists' and other people's rights to freedom of expression. Even if the legislation is introduced into the lower house of parliament there is still time to negotiate changes.

We have sought the advice of the President of Australian Lawyers for Human Rights as to exactly what changes should be made. This advice is included here for your reference.

Proposed Amendment to the Anti-Terrorism Bill 2005

Omit sub-sections 80.2(7), (8), (9)
Insert after 80.2(6) the following: ³80.2A Exemption Sections 80.1 and 80.2 do not apply toanything said or done reasonably and in good faith:
(a) in the creation, performance, exhibitionor distribution of an artistic work; or
(b) in the course of any statement,publication, discussion or debate made or held for anygenuine academic, artistic or scientific purpose orany other genuine purpose in the public interest; or
(c) in making or publishing:
(i) a fair and accurate report of any event or matter of public interest; or
(ii) a fair comment on any event or matterof public interest if the comment is an expression of a genuine belief held by the person making thecomment.²
Change clause 80.3 Defence for Acts done in good faith, to require the onus of proof to rest with the prosecution rather than the accused."

(The provision is based on s.18D of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 exemption from racial hatred.) As you know, NAVA rarely asks its members to takethis kind of direct action but we consider this suchan important issue that we are contacting you to askthat you act quickly to let the decision makers knowof your concerns. Thanks in anticipation for your support of artists'and arts organisations' rights. Best wishes Tamara -------- >


FEDERAL LIBERAL PARTY> > Senator the Hon Helen Coonan> Minister for Communications, Information Technology> and the Arts>>> >

Senator the Hon Rod Kemp> Minister for the Arts and Sport>> >

The Hon Philip Ruddock MP> Attorney-General>> >

Mr Petro Georgiou MP Member for Kooyong>> >

The Hon Bruce Baird MP Member for Cook>> >

Mr Russell Broadbent MP, Member for McMillan>> >

The Hon Judi Moylan MP Member for Pearce>> >

Mr Paul Neville MP Member for Hinkler>> >

Mr Malcolm Turnbull MP Member for Wentworth>> >

The Hon Dr Brendan Nelson MP Member for Bradfield> >> >

George Brandis, Senator for Queensland>> >

Marise Payne, Senator for New South Wales>> > >


Kim Beazley, > Leader of the Opposition>> >

Peter Garrett, > Parliamentary Secretary for Reconciliation and the> Arts>>

Nicola Roxon > Shadow Attorney-General>> > >


The Hon. (Bob) Robert John DEBUS, MP> NSW Minister for the Arts, Attorney General,> Minister for the Environment,> and Minister for the Arts>>> >

ACT> Jon Stanhope, > Chief Minister, ACT, Minister for the arts, heritage> and indigenous affairs,> Attorney-General>> > NT> Ms Marion Scrymgour MLA,> Minister for Arts and Museums>> > The Honourable Dr.Peter Howard Toyne,> Minister for Justice and Attorney-General>> > QLD> Hon Rod Welford MP,> Minister for Education and Minister for The Arts>> > Hon Linda Lavarch MP,> Attorney-General and Minister for Justice>>>> > SA > The Honourable Mike Rann MP,> Premier, Minister for the Arts>> > The Honourable Michael Atkinson MP,> Attorney-General>> > TAS> Lara Giddings, > Minister for the Arts>> > Judy Jackson, > Attorney General>> > VIC> The Honourable Mary Delahunty,> Minister for the Arts>> > The Honourable Rob Justin Hulls,> Attorney General>> > WA> The Hon Sheila McHale MLA, ,> Minister for Culture and the Arts>> > The Hon Jim McGinty, BA BJuris(Hons) LLB JP MLA,> Attorney General; >> > > STATES/TERRITORIES OPPOSITION> > NSW> Mrs Jillian Gell Skinner, MP,> NSW Shadow Ministers for the arts>> > Mr Andrew Arnold Tink, MP,> Shadow Attorney-General>> > SA> Mrs Joan Hall MP, > Shadow Spokesperson, Arts>> > Hon Robert Lawson MLC,> Shadow Attorney-General>> > WA> Sue Walker, > Shadow Minister for the Arts>> > Bill Scott, > Shadow Attorney-General>> > VIC> Andrea Coote,> Shadow Minister for the Arts>> > Andrew McIntosh,> Shadow Attorney-General>> > TAS> Michael Hodgman,> Shadow Minister for the Arts>> > Jeremy Rockliff, > Shadow Attorney-General>>> > > QLD > Stuart Copeland, > Shadow Minister for the Arts>> > Mark McArdle, > Shadow Attorney-General>> > > ACT> Richard Mulchany, > Shadow Minister for the Arts>> > Bill Stefaniak, > Shadow Attorney-General>> > NT> Jodeen Carney > Shadow Attorney-General>> > Terry Mills, > Shadow Minister for the Arts>>> > ------------------------------------------> > Tamara Winikoff> Executive Director> National Association for the Visual Arts (NAVA)> PO Box 60,Potts Point, NSW 1335.> Ph: 02 9368 1900> Web:> > NAVA advances the professional interests of the> Australian visual arts and> craft sector through advocacy, representation and> service provision.> > NAVA gratefully acknowledges the assistance provided> by the Australian> Government through the Australia Council,> its arts funding and advisory body, and by the> Visual Arts and> Craft Strategy, an initiative of the Australian,> State and Territory> Governments.> > >

Sunday, October 16, 2005


ON the blog list right - I've got a link alled "simon".

Actually its to planet CAT where you can follow links to Simon Rumble, Stacy and other cool geeks.

I was just reading stacy's blog (I lurk quietly everwhere) and my blood started to boil. Check out:

Fucking HELL WHY am I writing a fucking slow thesis -when some sketch clubs need bobms dropped on them and all those fucking slow old toxic fossils with their shit ugly paintings get blown to bits!!!!!!!!!!

The Australia government has just passed new terrorist laws so If I don't post here for a couple of weeks - then get worried and someone please tell my mum and anna.

Apparently we aren't even meant to know about them - but a few wild things are letting people know anyway. Check out.

Download it, print it out, read memorise and eat it. This kind of info is illegal I kid you not.

The other thing is that people aren't meant to tell anyone when they get detained for interogation.

Some Chileans have been saying that this reminds them of 9-11. By that I mean 9-11-73 When there was a military coup d'etat and Pinochet took over. About 10,000 people got arrested and tortured or disappeared......... the lucky ones left the country and got shit jobs as toilet cleaners - but they managed to tell their stories at least.

this kind of shit is scary. CHileans also told me that the ONLY chance of NOT disappearing (ie being tortured to deaht and you body being dumped) when you got arrested was to SCREAM your name, your next of kin or whoever and I AM BEING ARRESTED at the top of your voice. Otherwise you'd vanish.

SOMeone I know had a scarily simliar experience in Paris about 20 years ago at the Nanterre PRefecture. If you want to see hell on the outside check it out. They've thrown in a miasma of pig shit just to scare motorists from 50 paces. One day, arranging a visa, she was detained a bit too long, and some officios suggested that she follow them down a looooooooong corridor. She mentioned she had a radio interview in half an hour with someone who'd be very supcious if she hadn't returned form the prefecture....... and they let her go.

You think I'm exaggerating? Did you know that 300 algerians got thrown in the SEINE in the middle of Paris in 1961? They were peaceful protestors who got rounded up and shot. A tiny memorial got put up 40 years later on the very spot. It got ripped off the wall eventually, coz lots of people don't like remembering how terrible history can be........

Australians are pretty dumb and passive. I count myself amongst this as on friday night I sat in a restaurant and ate the worst kebab I have ever seen smelt or tasted in my entire life. Not a peep did I say. I imagine that I and others would be like the sheep in Solzehnitzens Gulag Archipelago - just going quietly into hell.

Fuck a duck
how depressing.
I don't want to grow up or be an adult any more
I want to run away and read lots of books and paint rocks.

But, I won't (much)
and continue with my slow stupid minute processes of writing and living.

Stacy's story of fucked up artists abusing a model, (and exposing someone's naked flesh to a miasma of toxic mineral turps - whihc will penetrate the pores of her skin and CAN cause lymphoma - just because these prune mouthed rich old north shore fucks are too stingy to spend an extra $5 on a less toxic alternative - is ABUSE - and these people deserve a punch in the face - or act least osmeone to put 10 grams of paracetamol in their fucking cups of lanchoo tea.........) or other stories of teachers showing fucking cut up cadaver sketches of womens bodies in order to teach life drawing, remind me that even the most benign and anachronistic enterprise has its fair share of bloodshed.

SOmehow - I'll turn my rage into 80,000 words of coherent cutting analysis, and writing in a way that can create a critical discourse that will enable stupid necrophilliacal shits to go fuck themselves instead of fucking over other people

I will, I must, I will.

GRRRRRRRR!!!!! I'm too angry - better stop writing and go for a walk and bark amongst the dogs in sydney park

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

very bright orange

I LOOOOVE dayglo!!!!

I've had another fit of extreme writers block. Trying to make my nice critico fictive paper into something earnest about ethnography.
got distracted by a phone call. Spent an hour doing boring admin crap for the Coop where I live
decided to wast time further by updating my blog

does anyone ever read this?

I live by the sword of the artlife, and tend to flip onto jebnis, sandys and shortleftlegs quite often. Then if texta can type, or I wanna read about a phd with a social life i read emmas, or want to get lost in something QUITE ODD - then look at whimsy...... or check out jebni's nice storehouse of good writing...... My friend Simon bumble - really interesting and funny guy - posts really short comments on beer and photos! Mind you he's not very bookish - so maybe the 1000 word rant ain't quite his style.

oh god I'm name dropping

I was SOOOO sick for 10 days and had to drag myself over to the north shore TWICE to teach fucking rich old middle class brats how to paint. Acutally one of the classes was kinda cool and happy - and just happy to paint. the other class was terminal. Extremely grumpy and precious and no energy and tedious as hell. WHY DO IT IF IT DON't MAKE YOU HAPPY????? Ask the english I guess. fucking hell, and entire culture of grumps.

I hope I never see wynyard station ever again. I hope I don't cross the bridge for at least 6months. Its weird over there.

And very very beige.

while I was REALLY sick - I had an old school friend come to visit sydney for the first time in 7 years. I hadn't seen her for 2 years - or even spoken to her.

I had to clean my room.
In the process I started a fire - which I just managed to jump on - 20cms from my computer
fucking hell
it was one of those weeks.
I also was trying to polish a paper into a piece of brilliance
I had one friend come and visit from bathurst. he had an opening, whihc was a bit of a fizzler.
He wanted to chat.
he's insomnious like me.
nice chat though

then my friend from home.
I guess really good friends are OK to have around when you feel ratshit - coz they've seen you at your worst. We both lived through the evil sadistic nun in year two who PASHED US BOTH ON OUR MOUTHS. I kid you not. Our first ever conversation aged 8, was discussing this very perplexing event. And look how I've turned out.

I barely had the energy for any sort of conversation, let alone to tidy my room and make nice dinners. I should have been in bed. Instead, I robed up as mary, took a hipflask of scotch and downed some sudafeds and dragged her out to manjam.
she thought some of the acts were 'cheap'.
my brain is still trying to process this information.

oh god
i can't write at all
I'm going to have a shower and stroll in the sunshine and go look at some ART.
then I'm going off to a coupla openings - at artspace and then the free cognac fest that is 4A.


Tomorrow I've got a funeral to go to for the second woman last week I know to die of BREAST cancer. Then I'll meet my supervisor and errr..... try to learn something.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Snot Much at All

Personally I have been hit by a hurricane of Leucocytes. Blood and green pus oozing form a number of orifices. Delirious when I leave the house. Its amazing how illness sorts out ones priorities.

This week:
First ambition: try not to end up in hosptial with bronchitis.
My lung capacity is around 75% or maximum so I reckon I'm OK. Still - that extra 25% seemes to come in jhandy for stuff like ...errr.. maintining a continuous strema of thought.
Still coughing up green goo. Still slurping fenungreek. If it don't clear by friday i'll go see a doctor and try the bacteroclear option.

Second Ambition: Try to get my voice back by friday
I'm meant to give a paper! Hah! on what? ohhhh fucking hell.

this is all boring, but a great excuse to avoid, art openings concerts and social life. Pity I'm too sick to return all those books I borrowed which suddenly got recalled - I'd rather pay $6.00 than sit on another bus.

On a dismal note: I read the follwin story about New Orleans. I still can't beleive what has happened there........... check it out. Writing like this also reminds me why I don't miss newspapers or TV.


Notes From Inside New Orleans
by Jordan FlahertyFriday, September 2, 2005

I just left New Orleans a couple hours ago. Itraveled from the apartment I was staying in by boat to ahelicopter to a refugee camp. If anyone wants toexamine the attitude of federal and state officialstowards the victims of hurricane Katrina, I advise youto visit one of the refugee camps.In the refugee camp I just left, on the I-10 freewaynear Causeway, thousands of people (at least 90%black and poor) stood and squatted in mud and trashbehind metal barricades, under an unforgivingsun, with heavily armed soldiers standing guard overthem. When a bus would come through, itwould stop at a random spot, state police would open agap in one of the barricades, and peoplewould rush for the bus, with no information givenabout where the bus was going. Once inside (wewere told) evacuees would be told where the bus wastaking them - Baton Rouge, Houston,Arkansas, Dallas, or other locations. I was told thatif you boarded a bus bound for Arkansas (forexample), even people with family and a place to stayin Baton Rouge would not be allowed to getout of the bus as it passed through Baton Rouge. Youhad no choice but to go to the shelter inArkansas. If you had people willing to come to NewOrleans to pick you up, they could not comewithin 17 miles of the camp.I traveled throughout the camp and spoke to Red Crossworkers, Salvation Army workers, NationalGuard, and state police, and although they werefriendly, no one could give me any details on whenbuses would arrive, how many, where they would go to,or any other information. I spoke to theseveral teams of journalists nearby, and asked if anyof them had been able to get any informationfrom any federal or state officials on any of thesequestions, and all of them, from Australian tv to localFox affiliates complained of an unorganized,non-communicative, mess. One cameraman told me “assomeone who’s been here in this camp for two days, theonly information I can give you is this: getout by nightfall. You don’t want to be here atnight.”There was also no visible attempt by any of thoserunning the camp to set up any sort of transparentand consistent system, for instance a line to get onbuses, a way to register contact information or findfamily members, special needs services for childrenand infirm, phone services, treatment forpossible disease exposure, nor even a single trashcan.To understand the dimensions of this tragedy, itsimportant to look at New Orleans itself.For those who have not lived in New Orleans, you havemissed a incredible, glorious, vital, city. Aplace with a culture and energy unlike anywhere elsein the world. A 70% African-American citywhere resistance to white supremacy has supported agenerous, subversive and unique culture ofvivid beauty. From jazz, blues and hiphop, tosecondlines, Mardi Gras Indians, Parades, Beads, JazzFunerals, and red beans and rice on Monday nights, NewOrleans is a place of art and music anddance and sexuality and liberation unlike anywhereelse in the world.It is a city of kindness and hospitality, wherewalking down the block can take two hours because youstop and talk to someone on every porch, and where acommunity pulls together when someone is inneed. It is a city of extended families and socialnetworks filling the gaps left by city, state and federalgovernments that have abdicated their responsibilityfor the public welfare. It is a city where someoneyou walk past on the street not only asks how you are,they wait for an answer.It is also a city of exploitation and segregation andfear. The city of New Orleans has a population ofjust over 500,000 and was expecting 300 murders thisyear, most of them centered on just a few,overwhelmingly black, neighborhoods. Police have beenquoted as saying that they don’t need tosearch out the perpetrators, because usually a fewdays after a shooting, the attacker is shot inrevenge.There is an atmosphere of intense hostility anddistrust between much of Black New Orleans and theN.O. Police Department. In recent months, officershave been accused of everything from drugrunning to corruption to theft. In separateincidents, two New Orleans police officers were recentlycharged with rape (while in uniform), and there havebeen several high profile police killings ofunarmed youth, including the murder of Jenard Thomas,which has inspired ongoing weekly protestsfor several months.The city has a 40% illiteracy rate, and over 50% ofblack ninth graders will not graduate in four years.Louisiana spends on average $4,724 per child’seducation and ranks 48th in the country for lowestteacher salaries. The equivalent of more than twoclassrooms of young people drop out of Louisianaschools every day and about 50,000 students are absentfrom school on any given day. Far toomany young black men from New Orleans end up enslavedin Angola Prison, a former slaveplantation where inmates still do manual farm labor,and over 90% of inmates eventually die in theprison. It is a city where industry has left, andmost remaining jobs are are low-paying, transient,insecure jobs in the service economy.Race has always been the undercurrent of Louisianapolitics. This disaster is one that wasconstructed out of racism, neglect and incompetence. Hurricane Katrina was the inevitable sparkigniting the gasoline of cruelty and corruption. Fromthe neighborhoods left most at risk, to thetreatment of the refugees to the the media portrayalof the victims, this disaster is shaped by race.Louisiana politics is famously corrupt, but with thetragedies of this week our political leaders havedefined a new level of incompetence. As hurricaneKatrina approached, our Governor urged us to“Pray the hurricane down” to a level two. Trapped ina building two days after the hurricane, wetuned our battery-operated radio into local radio andtv stations, hoping for vital news, and were toldthat our governor had called for a day of prayer. Asrumors and panic began to rule, they was nosource of solid dependable information. Tuesdaynight, politicians and reporters said the water levelwould rise another 12 feet - instead it stabilized. Rumors spread like wildfire, and the politicians andmedia only made it worse.While the rich escaped New Orleans, those with nowhereto go and no way to get there were leftbehind. Adding salt to the wound, the local andnational media have spent the last week demonizingthose left behind. As someone that loves New Orleansand the people in it, this is the part of thistragedy that hurts me the most, and it hurts medeeply.No sane person should classify someone who takes foodfrom indefinitely closed stores in adesperate, starving city as a “looter,” but that'sjust what the media did over and over again. Sheriffsand politicians talked of having troops protect storesinstead of perform rescue operations.Images of New Orleans’ hurricane-ravaged populationwere transformed into black, out-of-control,criminals. As if taking a stereo from a store thatwill clearly be insured against loss is a greater crimethan the governmental neglect and incompetence thatdid billions of dollars of damage anddestroyed a city. This media focus is a tactic, justas the eighties focus on “welfare queens” and“super-predators” obscured the simultaneous and muchlarger crimes of the Savings and Loanscams and mass layoffs, the hyper-exploited people ofNew Orleans are being used as a scapegoatto cover up much larger crimes.City, state and national politicians are the realcriminals here. Since at least the mid-1800s, its beenwidely known the danger faced by flooding to NewOrleans. The flood of 1927, which, like thisweek’s events, was more about politics and racism thanany kind of natural disaster, illustratedexactly the danger faced. Yet government officialshave consistently refused to spend the money toprotect this poor, overwhelmingly black, city. WhileFEMA and others warned of the urgent impendingdanger to New Orleans and put forward proposals forfunding to reinforce and protect the city, theBush administration, in every year since 2001, has cutor refused to fund New Orleans flood control,and ignored scientists warnings of increasedhurricanes as a result of global warming. And, as thedangers rose with the floodlines, the lack ofcoordinated response dramatized vividly the callousdisregard of our elected leaders.The aftermath from the 1927 flood helped shape theelections of both a US President and aGovernor, and ushered in the southern populistpolitics of Huey Long.In the coming months, billions of dollars will likelyflood into New Orleans. This money can either bespent to usher in a “New Deal” for the city, withpublic investment, creation of stable union jobs, newschools, cultural programs and housing restoration, orthe city can be “rebuilt and revitalized” to ashell of its former self, with newer hotels, morecasinos, and with chain stores and theme parksreplacing the former neighborhoods, cultural centersand corner jazz clubs.Long before Katrina, New Orleans was hit by ahurricane of poverty, racism, disinvestment,deindustrialization and corruption. Simply the damagefrom this pre-Katrina hurricane will takebillions to repair.Now that the money is flowing in, and the world’s eyesare focused on Katrina, its vital thatprogressive-minded people take this opportunity tofight for a rebuilding with justice. New Orleans isa special place, and we need to fight for its rebirth.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Dayglo and disarray

Thinking abut Taussig - I went and bought my first piece of serious danger wear from GOLO today. Its an orange/black polar. It is snug (quite unlike the snugness of a warm grey coat as Walter Benjamin would have put it). I'm going to embellish it for Paris in the winter. Its so grey there - I wanna look like a dayglo pink haired furry freak.
Anway - I reckon the orange & black fleecy will go down a treat for the Forbes bash tomorrow. I was thinking of goin as the virign mary - but didn't want to have bare feet - and was scared of freezing out on the harboar - or tripping over my robes. And then I decided to join in with the cheerleaders - and considered going as Elvis. Thing is - my neighbours bright yellow bedazzled jumpsuit whihc would go down a treat with my elvis sunnies - but then it'd leave my chest exposed (never a good thing for an athsmatic in August).
I reckon I wanna feel secure safe and happy - and that's just what danger wear can do. Plus I'll match the cheerleaders costume of orange and black.
"We're Sexy
We're Cute
We're Radical to Boot"
Shit I'd better learn my lines before tomorrow. I've got a blond wig - so maybe I'll go femme?

In the meantime - I'm avoiding my anger and avoiding my (lover's) bed. she's drunk again (and what would you do on a monday afternoon, huh?). I felt serene for about 15 minute after she bumbled into my room. Then felt enraged. Then thought I'd better leave. the wall came up. No emotions displayed. Cool calm collected right? One of the disadvantages of living in a commune is that there is always someone around who wants to drink or smoke the day away in company. It is NOT a good place for chemical recovery. We've got a quite a few alcoholics, but mercifully the junkies have faded away. Living with stoners has made me understand the time wasting, irrational, ridiculous & obscene policies of marijuana prohibition. Stoners are FUCKING ANNOYING and INSANELY BORING to be around. Imagine a drug that makes people become fascinated by television. No wonder people banned it - just to encourage some discretion amongst the breakfast billie brigade.......... AM I being irrationally intolerant? Yes. Actually the T&S is surprisingly ok with substances weedal, its just the bottle thats a killer. Thurday, tipsy, friday drunk alone (she calls it painting), saturday OK, sunday ok, Monday not OK. Tuesday she works, Wednesday I want to go to an opening & if i ask her i risk having to drag home someone acting like a hyperactive 3 year old with gross motor skill failure. fun.

While I'm having a whinge - I'll throw in the OTHER highlight of the week whihc is the "reality check" that the office of community housing are dong on my premises this friday afternoon. Yes I do have a uni seminar and wuold rather suck sperm but I'll be there speaking the double speak. A real reality check would invlve me punching the bureaucrat in the face, instread of WASTING EIGHT HOURS OF MY LIFE trying to find some fucking documents that can pretend that the artists coop where I live - is actually a management consultants wet dream.

These people want us to produce: a Strategic plan, Strategic Policies, Strategic Procedures and show minutes illustrating the development and implementation of all three, PLUS a Risk Management plan, risk Management Policies, risk Management Procedures and show minutes illustrating the development and implementation of all three, PLUS an Asset Management plan, Asset Management Policies, Asset Management Procedures and show minutes illustrating the development and implementation of all three, PLUS a financial management plan, financial management Policies, financial management Procedures and show minutes illustrating the development and implementation of all three. I have summarised this a bit and left out the bullshit for responsive maintenance versus long term maintenance, and our accountability to key stakeholders. I'm trying to stick to the latter for which I'm officially responsible as treasurer, but each time I leave the house and venture into the courtyard - the few neighbours not swilling booze, smoking joints or having drug/alcohol induced fits of delusion - come an harrass me about all the other shit. "Have you read the document?" I ask. "err, no" they say.

Now the bitter pill of general yen in this case is that TEN YEARS AGO I had a very brief stint in the public service, I learnt the jargon and recited it in a classic fit of hysterical mimesis - upon each pissy memorandum I could devise. I HATED WORKING IN AN OFFICE. I hated the double speak - the anti service imperative of administration. I loathed it wiht all my soul - and tried to get the sack by turning up to work under the influence of a number of chemicals. Eventually when I realised I was harming myself more than anyone else, I left. I decided I would rather DUMPSTER DIVE, and BEG than work in such an envirnoment. It is all about LYING for a living. So I studied art & end of story until I moved into affordeable housing for artists - a rare and precious beast (see Squatting and the recovering catholic for my account at the time). GRadually the Dearetment of housing have been putting on the screws. We won't show tem the studio, and will promise sincerly to stop running any activities that aren't part of the core service delivery charter of the department of housing guidleine (like I'd READ THAt SHT! come ON!!!). And exress my delight to be made aware of the current benchmakrs for the Key performance indicators which they have used to assess our eligiblity for registration. LIKE AS IF i'D FUCKING GIVE A FUCKING TOSS!!!!!

For the past 2 years - I have-done 8 hours a week - every week - worth of volunteer work for the Housing Coop. I see it as a fair enough trade off for paying $50 per week for a big room and a studio in inner city sydney. I am willing to translate and engage with the stupid language - as I am freakishly (and contrary to 99.999% of public housing tenants) - fluent in it. right now - the coop has about 10 OK to good volunteers living here - which is better than at any time in the past 6 years I've lived here - and yet - this s no where near enough. The DOH model of cooperative management- requires that we wuld each spend 5-10 hours on ADMINISTRATION ALONE. So my economic rationalist brain - is starting to do the calculations.......... and I'd rather teach for a whole day (or model for 2 days) - and earn about $300 and pay rent in some commerical shitbox - than live with this shit. I guess that's their intention. Drive out the non white trash - who are able and interested to take a managment/advocacy/contesting role within coops - and leave the stupid, braindead, drugfucked cruisers - who'll just cling on - till they're cast out and forced to find another liferaft. You think I sound cynical? 6 years of living around "Newtown artists" kind of does that to a person. Actually the artists here aren't the problem - its more the friends of friends who've moved in for the cheap rent and access to the fun filled shopping delights of king street. groan. or the local cafes. groan again. takers. unspeakably boring.

anyway - this is a long winded way of saying that I am quite likely to lose my home next year. ho hum! welcome back to the real world I guess.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Cultural Congoscetti

Cultural Congoscetti

Its a jungle out there.

I cut and paste this photo coz i thought it would match the entry I'm about to write. the mispell is correct. I'm playing on cognoscetti, the congo, glamorous intellectuals and culture. It should be suitable opening for todays topic -which is about when I went and heard Michael Taussig giving a talk.

Regular Readers BE WARNED. this blog entry is going to have huge amounts of gratuitous name dropping. I'm trying to gain some currency in the bloghood as one of those cool people that do fun stuff. See pikky above. It's about as real as my tan.

OK so thursday night I rocked up to UTS to hear Taussig talk. He wrote a couple of amazing books on what I'd call 'radical anthopology'. One of my favourite lecturers at art school got me onto taussig after I raved about Alphonso Lingis. My friend Golden Boy bought "the devil and commodity fetishism in South America" I bought "Shamanism, colonialism and the wild man". Form followed content. It blew my mind. I got stuck for years on the chapter about "there is something in between the sweaty arse of him that rides and the labouring back of him that is ridden". This was fleshy wild writing. there was also a deep moral imperative in the book. He started of with the history of Roger Casement and his report on the British atrocities in darkest peru. Crikey. quick segue to Conrad. Think of Apocalypse now. double it. No triple it. Every society has its monsters. Every culture has its nightmares. One of Taussigs themes in Shamanism - was exploring the use of extremely powerful hallucinogens in healing by the descendants of the nightmare. the role of indians as bearers of colonisers evil, and bearers of magic is really interesting. tausig wrote about Yage - a form of DMT which is also derived from indigenous Australian plants (acacias). I wouldn't dream of touching it ever - but its one of those esoteric topics that used to go down well at certain parties about 10 years ago. While writing honours - I became entranced with Mimesis and Alterity - and it became on of those handy tomes (like Walter Benjamin's passagewerken) that I'd have next to me whenever I wrote - so I could dip in and out. Taussigs writing helped me really undertstand not only critical ethnography - but mimesis and performing of mimetic practices as a strategy of resitance and counter resistance. through taussig I could fnally read Irigaray.

So the chance the hear the man live - and see him in the flesh was pretty exciting. It was up there with Judith Butler and Liz Grosz (Liz is talking for free at usyd next thursday!!!!) . So thursday, Arrived early. Tried to persuade my old lecturer to come - but he had familial committments.

I walked in with Jebni and Sandy (this is the gratuitous reference that denotes my status in the blogocracy).
I wanted to sit up close and do some drawing so I moved down the front. there were no left hand sided lecture seats.Damn.

Michael Taussig was clearly one of those spunky young 70's groovy intellectuals. And he still holds his body like a man sure of his sex appeal. Like Jaques Derrida, he wears his white hair as if it was a bleached warhol wig. He also wore tight denim jeans. They could have been acid washed - but I think they were the deliberate noughties reference. Tight brown leather skin and a deep fuscia raw silk body shirt. Eyes barely opened as he placed and removed small red plastic rimmed reading specs during the perfomrance. Not many men in their 60's can ooze sex with such aplomb during a speaking engagement. Except some actors. And Taussig's delivery was much more of a performance than anything else. Sheer brilliance. This is why we go to hear someone speak. to see the oracle - or to see the performance of deep textual charisma. I had difficulty drawing him. I kind of got some of the gestures, and loking at my drawings I can SMELL him. Smell the room, smell my excitement.

Oh. enough gushing - I'll try to discuss the ideas like eany decent girl should.

I think the talk was called "the colour of the Sacred". And he was playing ficto critical performance, and I feel bad for forgetting my voice recorder. He sounded like my friend Ryan, with umms and aaahs and sighs - and the mind darting in different places, and he presented a series of impressions and made lots of 'in jokes'. Oh fuck - 'in jokes' in lectures are scary. They remind me of improvised jazz sets - when someone finishes their solo - and its a game between the players and the audience to know when they have finished their impro or not. who can clap at the right time? Oh the scary smugness of getting it right. In public. Its a bit like any ejaculation. Embarrassing and a bit smelly.

But I'll forgive taussig. coz of the shirt and the uhm and ahs and the vagueness which convey a certain level of humility. And because he used PHOTOCOPIES ON ACETATE!!! You know - like overheads! no powerpoint! how vintage! Abel told me that she and her classmates use powerpoint for their first year undergraduate talks. Oh dear. Its time has come and gone so fast.

The content of his talk was hard to pin down - because he gave fledgling forays into bioethics and the possibilities of new bodies, new experiences in changing climates. Using the phrase 'an anthropology of atmosphere'. He threw in a few other Deleuzian plays for good measure and then went back to everyone's favourite grandads of modernism. Marcel Proust and Walter Benjamin, and their relationship to and invocations of colour and how it is experienced. He was talking my language.

The main focus of the talk was on Malinowski - and photographs of him among the Trobriand Islanders. Malinowski is known as 'the father of modern anthropology". I read some of his stuff and liked it - coz his observations on gift economies were used by Mauss and others as a form of reflexive ethnography - to explore the irrational and anachronistic at the heart of industrial societes. Malinowski is also famous for 'inventing' participant observation' - or a form of close living with the subjects (or objects?) of study .........

Taussig had a couple of images of Malinowski in his impeccable white and pith helmets - among these dark bodies, and he spoke at lenght of the (irrational) preoccupation of malinowski and 'the west' with creating a source of authority that was colourless and ascribing colour to primitives, children and women. He also picked some great photo with the caption "Ethnographer with a man wearing a wig" and used it to epxlore the irrationallity of ethnogrpahy and secondary texts associated with it. Taussigs descriptions of the "tantalising tumescent posture of malinowski" (in his whites and bald head) against the "fading dark skin of the man of sorcery" was delightful.

In exploring the facets of face painting, as opposed to painting of faces Taussig tore more at the tensions at the heart of the Eruopcentric project of representations. He also discussed Malinowskiss diaries and their separations form (and appparent mimicking of) his field records.

OVerall it was a nice meditation onto ethnography and critical ethnography as well as colour and the tyrrany of beige. Afterwards - I saw one of my old supervisors and was persuaded to have a beer and go to a pizza party at the home of 'one of my classmates' (if you can call fellow phD students classmates). Suddenly I found myself in one of those cool academic parties I'd dreamt of ever since reading "whos afraid of virginia woolf" . Ohh the joy of great minds numbing their brains with alchohol and blithering wildly! Taussig was there, but mercifully not at the centre of any coteries of adoring fans (the sure sign that this was a selective engagement). I tried not to gush and joined in the babble, but I felt like I reckon my friends son did when he was 5 and first saw that chad morgan performing the dog cry from "the sheik of scrubby creek". do I need any more words than this?

I'd asked a question at the end of the talk. usually in any talk I make a point of asking the most dumb question possible. this time I was beaten to the post by a clinical anthoropologist exploring physiotherapists experiences of auras in their patients, and an audience member who nearly got out the words "collective unconsioussness" before Taussig supplied a quick segue off somewhere. Even extremely cool anthropologists who've done lots of drugs and been around a lot of very weird people have their zones of evident discomfort.

smarty mayhem wanted to pop in something about Louis Kahn and the the St. Petersberg theosophists and their belief that all beings were made from light - stating that the precise moment of modernisms chomophobia taking hold was accompanied by an avant garde tradition of chromophilia - and in the 20th c - a weirdly scientised form of it too........

but I didn't - coz I hate posy questions that sound more like statements (Oh1 look how careful I am!). SO I bored him with it at the party and he smiled and said "yeah, I want some duck".

this was less cool than his response to my question in the lecture, which was about dayglo. Coz I was so blown away by his descriptions of the crazy coloured soldiers in Paris that I thought he must have noticed all the dayglo that has proliferated in (blue collar) workwear.

" I hadn't thought about that at all, really, ahhh nooo..... but err.."and then he went off into a nice discussion of anoline dyes and indigo and lots of stuff that I knew already (but he didn't know that) aobut the homogeneity of contemporary pigments - especially in clothes - and how it was the heterogeneity of pre industrial pigemnts that made a lot of older paintings far more interesting than curent ones. this I already knew - but it was nice to hear him say it.
He didn't really answer my question - he explained the social reaons for the Dayglo on workmen as being probably for safety reasons. bugger. I ahd hoped for somehting more trippy - along the line sof some sort of Maussian take - on the need to mark certain types of bodies.

Anyway - at the party - Pru the host was able to engage a little more. She is the workwear fashion queen (her thesis is on airline uniforms) - and she was happy to launch into an explanation of the different fabrics and dyes used and the cuts and designs...... My real query is about this not being fashion - and how it became demarcated as non fashion - and then how it then circulates in a curiously porous relationship to clothing retail - like Two dollar shops ad even lowes - so its a sort of sub fashion - that is operating as far more than as 'functionalist' dangerwear - but denotative of a whole heap of other socialised feelings aobut colour, conformity and power. This proved a opular party topic alll round so I reckon it was a winner as far as questions go. top marks for requisite Aussie quirkiness.

I've decided to start writing up some of my 'field notes' for the research on artist models and the life class. I've been reading lots of critical ethnogrpahy and apparently that is the done thing. this may also motivate me to starrt writing that paper I need to have done on er... 3 weeks. shit.

look at for more of my rants in a different area. My life is trifurcating and I can see a future when I spend MY WHOLE LIFE updating blogs. Its a GREAT way to avoid my relationship dramas. Right now I'm getting torched on my art reviews. this is compelling and demoralising at once.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Confessions of a Recovering Catholic

Lick a Virgin

What a Drag!

I just stuck up another pikkie from my latest round of dressups (jennicam here we come). Maybe I should start uisng these in my personals ads....

I did something very very very naughty on saturday night. PLEASE DON"T TELL THE NUNS! I just saw the video - and I kind of realise why none of the bledisloe cup watchers in the pub would meet my eye. I was dressed as the virgin mary (and I meand the full caboodle) - with mayonnaise smeared around my mouth.

It was all in aid of a film project with wife and neighbours. One of the neighbours was filmed waking up in a pool of blood and having a horrible vision - of me, the virgin mary, giving a blow job to some guy on the street - who was actually another neighbour cross dressing. We shot the whole thing in one take on King Street. And you can hear a car accident happening in the background......

This is what happens when I'm politically confused. I dragged Anna to the relationship equality rally on saturday arvo. I was dressed in gingham, meringue and corset. (I really shuld have worn more makeup) Anna Looked like "Animal" from the muppets. We are married
(if you can call our freaky cult wedding a marriage) and we have definitely undertaken a considerable amount of legal paperwork in both our contries of origin to gain legal recognition of our relationship, but we didnt' want to be aligned with the straight queers.

And looking at the CSAHHH or CAAHH, or whatever stupidly long acronym they have (I just followed the link from someones email) website - I kind of cringed.........
check out:

Objectives: The objectives of the Sydney event are to contribute to the national day of action for marriage equality by conducting an event which will assertively and confidently affirm the value of comitted, loving LGBTIQ relationships and communicate that value to the wider community in order to advance the campaign for relationship equality.
What is it? :

  • A celebration (of what???? institutionalised homophobia? that's why I'm on the streets - if I wanted to celebrate I'd stay in bed)
  • Fun (we did our best but most of the marchers were about as interesting as the festival of light at a mardis gras parade)
  • Inclusive - open to all who support our objectives (dodgy working there)
  • Looking forward, but not ignorant of the history of August 13 (people in management positions actually should be have their fingers wired up outside of the office)
  • Apolitical, but not ignorant or unappreciative of those who support our objectives politically
  • (HELLO!!!!!!! wot tha fuck?????? what exactly does it mean when the two major POLITICAL parties LEGISLATE against couples gaining STATE recognition for their relationships?
What it is not :

  • A protest rally (could have fooled me)
  • A partisan political event (unlike the ALP closet event one in the morning)
  • An event purely for the gay community, or seen to be only for that community (Great so Lesbians were allowed to attend - thanks guys)
  • An event to promote causes other than relationship equality (What's that old saying from the Nazi holocaust - "first they came for the pinkos but I wasn't a pinko, then they came for the queers, but I wasn't queer, then they came for the jews, but I wasn't jewish but then they came for me and there was no one left to defend me")
I am SO glad I didn't look at this dross unitl after the rally - because If I had read it I would have stayed at home like so many other fair minded queers (and friends).

And I would have missed out on Kerryn Phelp's great speech, and Kerry Nettle's, and Clover Moores, and that other scary girl who said that her friend just killed himself that week coz of homophobia (and I was wondering if she was exaggerating just a bit - and maybe she could have encouraged him to think less of the struggle and more of psychiatric intervention?????)

ahem I digress. those speeches were good.

Abel Seaman and the other guy with the bow tie didn't wow me. (I had my head bowed - I mean I'm not sure If I'm into giving anyone the right or obligation to kill others - and the question of human rights is very very abstract in such cases.............. I'd rather hear from a prison inmate) I liked Tanya Pliberseks speech - but why is she in a the same party as a bunch of right wing catholic arseholes? (and that is what half of the ALP consists of). If changing things from the inside works - then why don't queers all go to the nunnery???? Why don't we talk more about old queers, poor queers, refugee queers, prison queers - rather than the weirdly aspirational mirroring Kel&Kath queers of AME. How fucked would you be if you were an Afghan lesbian on Nauru???? Well not very. why don't these rally talk more about Fucking????

But it was good to see the queeruptors. and REALLY good - to walk down Okker street on a satterday arvo yelling "we're Here, we're queer, we're not going shopping!!!" But - I felt very very awkward for promoting the rally to queercores Glen and Liz - when it was so obviously a pink picket fence affair. As Liz said "I CAN marry my partner but I'm against it, so why am I here?" (or words to that effect - sorry if I've misquoted you). L&G are very actively involved in constructing communities that are about resisting and challenging the nuclear family model of emotional control and ownership - and so asking for their solidarity on the right for some queers to have access to some benefits of state recognition is a big ask..........

I'm still confused by the changes in australian society. I realise that 2 'straight' relationships I had in the past (first boyfriend was a vietnamese boat person - sponsored into a country town) and last major affair was with a permanent refugee for 5 years ( not the 3 of a TPV). I was able to gain some benefits of state recognition of my homosexual relationship - but only on condition that it conform or heavily dissemble a conformity to an extremely rigid and financially controlled version of emotional custodianship.

Its one that we are still suffering from today. tonight actually, right now as I write its 1am. I've been awake since 7am, and I'm tired, but If I don't write I'll cry, and eat more biscuits. Actually my stomach is hollow. I exhausted myself riding my bicycle yesterday - after spending most of the night before sobbing and reading until 4am. You'd htink my life would be challening enough wihtout this extra shit. things ain't good on the saphhic side right now.

There's a very nasty epidemic in the dyke community that begins with A and ends with M. There are a few others related to eating disorders (why are lesbians either rake thin or fucking fat?) but the piss thing is a worry. I was attracted to Abel initially because she was the first woman I'd seen in a dyke bar who had a healthy looking (muscular, yet curvaceous) body. Ohhoo hum, pity about my own chemical anaesthetisa at the time so I missed the other glaring problem. and then I found she had pretty much intrjected her mothers own anorexic standards of parisian sveltine. Shit.

After we received the first Temporary permanent residency - one of our closest friends said "I hope this means you guys can start to have a normal relationship". you know - independant, not dependant, co-dependant - or without the ridiculous power imbalance that the initial sponsorhip process thrust apon us. But old habits die hard - and bad habits that prop up old habits die much harder. Abel's passivity was reinforced by alcohol. Mayhem cultivates a mask of immovable passivity to hide her growing panic. I sit in my room at night gnawing, and my eyes flood with tears. If I sleep my stomach jolts me awake with searing pain. time to see that stomach surgeon again. Maybe. I know what this feels like. 11 years ago, when I looked 10 years older than I was. The same bodily symptoms. No libido (so she blames me and drinks more). Hair turning grey (It turned black again after the last time). Knife weilding stomach churns. the So I drift off more remote and more controlling and things just get more fucked. Drunk she is from hell. Angry at me, and I can't respond. this feels old, so fucking old. Something deeply atavistic from centuries of Irish peasantry takes over within me. I cower and hunch my back against her insults "Ta Geule! tu me Fais Chiant! Tu m'emmerde! Ta Geule!" I press my lips into a thin saintly silence, and feel my pink bits turn white with rage. Old fucking fierce rage. Hot tears burn my eyes, and I swallow and cower and my stomach hollows out to hold more of it in. No wonder I have gall stones. No wonder the Irish diaspora have been such fierce and feral colonisers. Centuries of drunks and martyrish frigid females let loose in english colonies. I blame the ancestors - because I did not grow up in an alcoholic household and wonder where the hell I learnt to act like this? to put up wth this shit? to cower and cringe and take all this in? Meanwhile she uses the studio as an excuse, and produces muddy excesses of her own sodden kingdom of the self. you think I'm being savage? Its myself I hate. Because every relationship I've had has been like this. Except for the nymph and I hated her for it. I am my own worst enemy. Is it because of my childhood? Yes. Mine was fucked, but how long can I keep blaming my parents? I've had 15 years of my own life, and I'd like to think that 4 years of therapy sorted some of the old shit out.

so its time to take stock and declare myself a fuckup and a failure and that its time to seek change. big change. Probably not thought field therapy or liposuction - or even permanent hair removal (eeeuuuuw! - imagine a life with NO BUMFLUFF?)

I'm going to become one of those Lesbians that advertise for a NS, ND, NA, BSOH in personals ads. This will take some time. and in the meantime?

I have given up a lot of hope. I don't think I or our relationship in its current state can challenge Abel to become less of an alcoholic. It's not only her stubborn french mind. She let herself go from one safe situation of permanent adolescence to another. she says I project my maternal desires onto her as a child/object - but she doesn't see how infantile and adolescent she is towards me (and most people around) - which isn't helped by being a migrant. I don't think our relationship could ever really work in australia. she'd have to go home and grow out of adolescence there. And all the good influence she has had on me, no giving me physical and emotional security is being eroded with every fucking drink she has (that I notice at least). So I don't know. we have a great house, and ostensibly a pretty good lifestyle here in Australia - and we do fun stuff like crazy films and art exhibitions, but at what fucking cost?

What I've written here is airing my dirty laundry and I'm sorry for the blush that crosses any readers who know and love us well - but I'm sick of being silent and stoic for the sake of people sidealised version of what our relatinship looks like from the outside. I am bigger, louder, more confident, more domineering from the outside - but inside she's the one holding the cards. she is the one who can and probably will leave - whenever she gets sick of art school, sick of australia or sick of me not being what she wants. I won't leave her - because I am loyal and loving and probably incredibly lazy ...... (says she with her 3 careers). I woulnd't wnat to inflict this relatniohsip onto children and I don't want to continue to inflict it on myself.

Its such a pity - becasue the work f our relationship the life work - has been incredible. Yesterday I interviewed a 90 years old aquaintance - who knows anna and I as models. He's a WW2 veteran, a bit sexist, conservative in s many ways - and yet he quite clearly made statements giving tacit understanding and support of our relationship. the muslims at our local Epicerie have also done the same. Despite john howard and co. there are many many spaces outside the gay ghetto where we are acknolwedged and welcomed as queers in the community. And its very very hard to do this sort of work outside of a seemingly stable, visible (and reasuringly hermetic) relatioship. single queers are a threat - because of the weird public/private roles of sexuality and seduction - and the threat of our desire to others within heteronormativity........... Most people are like my mum and school firends when I was 19. "How do you know if you're bisexual if you havne't slept with a woman?" "You just want to be trendy". The single lesbian is not a secual being. We are eunuchs - sad single spinsters waiting for something to happen to us.......... Oh god, Its enough to drive one to drink.