The Broccoli Maestro

The Broccoli Maestro

ACT ONE

1. Art History/The salt works

Geoff Lowe:

[He’s not] academic.

[a punk and] intellectual [kind of attitude…]

[And it’s so] speculative.

2. Temples/The cemetery under construction

Jacqueline Riva:

Like Vermeer, without the fourteen children, with his brushes and easel set up in the corner of a tiny flat or private hotel.

Geoff Lowe:

His practice is relentlessly domestic.

Constanze Zikos:

Did he use his index finger or his big left toe painting these peculiar images?

3. Recognition/Mortuary Station

Tony Clark:

Architecture shall again be the subject by which our premonitions of victory and defeat can best be conveyed. This may lead to harsher judgements

Judith Pascal:

For architects, an Old World teaser:

4. Landscapes and Myriorama/The power station

Jacqueline Riva:

The Myriorama landscapes were made to a formula and anyone could have done them provided they followed the formula.

Constanze Zikos:

It’s more to do with Barkly Street, pots and pans, and bins. It’s pure elbow grease Classicism, an aperitif.

Angela Brennan:

It is funny that he uses broccoli to paint his vegetal forms. And there is spaghetti and hair stuck on his paintings, and paint applied with a cake decorator.

Geoff Lowe:

In fifteen years I’ve never been to any landscape with Tony.

5. Arabic Interpretations/The Albert Memorial.

Judith Pascal:

the problem’s really how
to get survivors out,
and keep the empty buildings
as Museums of Themselves.
From City into Monument,
proceeding from the precedent:
Alhambra,
al-Hamraa, the Red.

Tony Clark:

In my youth I lived in the part of Rome that was most like Canberra - the Fascist bit. There is no link between classicism and fascism, the column and the jackboot.

In relation to classicism, Nazi red herrings are always introduced. It’s the failure of the left that pushes people into the arms of the church, into the arms of right-wing politics and, to some extent into the arms of the classicist art. Classicism is a kind of final solution.

True classicism is not simply putting on a toga. Classicism is the last refuge of the scoundrel.

6. Acquiescence/The amphitheater

Judith Pascal

Recite:
the Cities are places
of collective Memory;
and Memory
itself formed
of objects and places,
as the City is.

Tony Clark:

THE FORMS, LANGUAGE AND APPARATUS OF ‘HIGH’ CULTURE ARE NOT OUT OF BOUNDS

7. Chinoiserie and Kufic/The gothic revival church

Jane Trengove:

When Tony makes little Chinese temples out of plasticine and then paints them he is obstructing you.

ACT TWO

8. Jasperware/The gate

Constanze Zikos:

The Jasperware is the wrong version of Jasperware. People can’t identify with it. They’d lose their mind over it.

There is no cameo. There is no Pegasus. There is no anthem. It’s just a piece of porcelain,

9. Mural/The cenotaph

Stephen Bram:

The St. Kilda Library mural works because it is neither spectacular nor banal.

Rose Nolan:

Most of the staff really hate this mural.

Stephen Bram:

It’s nothing but a stylized rendition of a wall, which is a very slightly self-reflexive joke.

Angela Brennan:

It is as good as Frank Lloyd Wright.

Rose Nolan:

I met Nick Cave because he came to see Tony’s mural.

11. Important Contemporary Sculpture/The theatre

Angela Brennan:

Do you think he was cross when he made these?

Jacquline Riva:

Why?

Angela Brennan:

The appropriation of a work by Eva Hesse is disturbing. I think he wants to be Hesse … and who wouldn’t want to be Hesse - I would.

Jacqueline Riva:

But she’s dead!

Constanze Zikos:

He is cross-dressing through all these paintings … a deranged designer of textiles. A very multilingual process, in reverse.

12. Encouragement, Failure/The factory

Judith Pascal

More anciently,

feet moving
in time
with the moving skies:
that was language

the stable meanings
case with the skills
and various habits
of our body
’The collective
is a body

Tony Clark:

As a true son of the professional middle class, I had always believed that it was the mission of the contemporary artist to campaign against all the tawdriness and hypocricy in the world, and that this should be achieved using formal means of the highest probity and integrity. Fine painting could not be the means by which any thing cultural or significant could be achieved in our time.

13. Stretchers/The suburban pavilion

Rose Nolan:

I loved the show of stretcher bars at Anna Schwartz Gallery.

Stephen Bram:

The paintings don’t appear to be careful.

Rose Nolan:

It’s the economy of means.

Stephen Bram:

If they looked like they were painstakingly done they would be kind of trivial.

Gary Wilson:

The making of a very beautiful thing out of nothing is a very Melbourne phenomenon.

Rose Nolan:

People responded really badly to the exhibition.

Geoff Lowe:

They have some quality like he hasn’t done any work, that he doesn’t give a shit about you, that he is trying to send you up and you fear that.

14. Painting/The ruined tower

Gary Wilson:

Tony is trying to make painterly paintings relevant.

Jane Trengove:

He makes a place for painting by almost negating it.

Rose Nolan:

Tony’s interested in getting things wrong. He is interested in people’s work who get it wrong without even trying.

Jacqueline Riva:

The “not trying” I am really envious of.

Geoff Lowe:

Trying is lying. He is stylish, a dandy … and he doesn’t try - the history of art is full of so much trying.

Angela Brennan:

And rubbing out and leaving a mistake.

Geoff Lowe:

So he tapped into some other ability. He paints beneath himself.

1 - Art History/The salt works (1770–1805)
S. Bram Constructing a simple three point perspective volume
J. S. Bach Chorale No.188: Ich dank dir schon durch deinen Sohn

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2 - Temples/The cemetery under construction (1971)
M. Fusinato Mono
M. Feldman For Samuel Beckett

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3 - Recognition/Mortuary Station (N.D.)
Hours of fear 4
P. De La Rue Missa Pro Defunctis: Kyrie

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4 - Landscapes and Myriorama/The power station (1914)
G. Lowe 15
A. Berg Op. 7

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5 - Arabic Interpretations/The Albert Memorial (1863–1872)
Heures Roses Towards a New Art
R. Wagner Tristan und Isolde

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6 - Acquiescence /The amphitheater (1st Cent. A.D.)
House of Journalists Il Palazzo
Antiphon from Office for the Dead Si acendero

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7 - Chinoiserie and Kufic /The gothic revival church (1879)
G. Lowe and J. Riva Player Guitar Free 2001
C. Debussy Preludes: X

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8 - Jasperware/The gate (1475–1564)
The Living Rococco Untitled
C. Monteverdi L’Orfeo: Vi ricorda o boschi ombrosi

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9 - Mural/The cenotaph (1927–1934)
R. Nolan R.R. 4 L.L.
E. Satie Socrate

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10 - Manichean Heresy/The art gallery (1946–1959)
T. Clark Love and Passion
I. Stravinsky Cantata: Ricerca I

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11 - Important Contemporary Sculpture/The theatre (4th Cent. B.C)
C. Zikos 93–94 Perspecta Negative
J. Cage One8

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12 - Encouragement, Failure/The factory (1909)
T. Clark Moore minus librium
A. Schoenberg String Quartet No. II, iv

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13 - Stretchers/The suburban pavilion (1981)
Solver 3
N. Cave Nick the stripper

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14 - Painting/The ruined tower (c.1390)
G. Wilson Sargeant
Anonymous Alph vibrans monumentum, Coetus venit heroicus, Contratenor, Amicum quaerit

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Slave Pianos The Broccoli Maestro, Ur-set

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