At the Ian Burn Show

By | 1 July 1999

MCA 1997

at the Ian Burn show
there’s a badly recorded
b&w video of Ian Burn
& colleagues performing
anti-authoritarian art spiels—
drumkit, keyboards, guitar, voice—
it’s the ‘Art & Language’ days,
the mid-seventies—recorded
most likely, on a Sony portapak
(I set one up—a tripod
in the lounge room
of our communal house
& let it run full twenty-minute
brackets to film quotidian comings
& goings).
ah—here’s Terry Smith
with plenty of hair—a stringy beard
&, possibly, an Afro—singing along
in the refrain—
I’m chuckling now—this is
amazingly cheering—I feel
it’s my culture—or was—&, easily
could become
as it contains, for me,
equivalent nostalgia.
ingenuous, idealistic
and schismatic!
direct-action practising populist artists
theoretical conceptual post-object artists
(yet not always nor certainly pro-academic)
it was my schism too, our exegesis,
“artists think”? well, maybe—
they did, for a decade
all under the same
tin roof

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