- 94: EARTHSUBMIT to M Takolander 93: PEACHCOMING SOONwith L Van, G Mouratidis, L Toong 92: NO THEME VIIIwith C Gaskin 91: MONSTERwith N Curnow 90: AFRO AUSTRALIANwith S Umar 89: DOMESTICwith N Harkin 88: TRANSQUEERwith S Barnes and Q Eades 87: DIFFICULTwith O Schwartz & H Isemonger 86: NO THEME VIIwith L Gorton 85: PHILIPPINESwith Mookie L and S Lua 84: SUBURBIAwith L Brown and N O'Reilly 83: MATHEMATICSwith F Hile 82: LANDwith J Stuart and J Gibian 81: NEW CARIBBEANwith V Lucien 80: NO THEME VIwith J Beveridge 57.1: EKPHRASTICwith C Atherton and P Hetherington 57: CONFESSIONwith K Glastonbury 56: EXPLODE with D Disney 55.1: DALIT / INDIGENOUSwith M Chakraborty and K MacCarter 55: FUTURE MACHINES with Bella Li 54: NO THEME V with F Wright and O Sakr 53.0: THE END with P Brown 52.0: TOIL with C Jenkins 51.1: UMAMI with L Davies and Lifted Brow 51.0: TRANSTASMAN with B Cassidy 50.0: NO THEME IV with J Tranter 49.1: A BRITISH / IRISH with M Hall and S Seita 49.0: OBSOLETE with T Ryan 48.1: CANADA with K MacCarter and S Rhodes 48.0: CONSTRAINT with C Wakeling 47.0: COLLABORATION with L Armand and H Lambert 46.1: MELBOURNE with M Farrell 46.0: NO THEME III with F Plunkett 45.0: SILENCE with J Owen 44.0: GONDWANALAND with D Motion 43.1: PUMPKIN with K MacCarter 43.0: MASQUE with A Vickery 42.0: NO THEME II with G Ryan 41.1: RATBAGGERY with D Hose 41.0: TRANSPACIFIC with J Rowe and M Nardone 40.1: INDONESIA with K MacCarter 40.0: INTERLOCUTOR with L Hart 39.1: GIBBERBIRD with S Gory 39.0: JACKPOT! with S Wagan Watson 38.0: SYDNEY with A Lorange 37.1: NEBRASKA with S Whalen 37.0: NO THEME! with A Wearne 36.0: ELECTRONICA with J Jones
In these times many of us from all corners of the globe have more than one place we call home. Concepts of nationality, attachment to place, a sudden annunciation of enlightened belonging or steadfast refusal of it can be dissociative, painful and conversely full of artistic promise.
Reading M of December is rather like going to a spectacular exhibition at a gallery where images of all kind swirl, proclaim, collide and re-form – the viewer takes the opportunity of a brief leave to attempt to come up with a coherent response. Having gone into this gallery, and exited on a number of occasions, what I have come up with is a response to the formed fragmentation of its individual poems, travelling through discordancy via the robust vigour of forceful lines and sharp elisions.
A defining scene in Pramoedya Ananta Toer’s historical novel, Arus Balik (Cross-currents), portrays the moment in 1511 when colonial power came to the Southeast Asian archipelago. In the following passage about the fall of Malacca, Pramoedya presents a society unaware (or ‘becalmed’ as Pramoedya puts it) of what is about to confront it.
‘We stand in the rain in a long line waiting at Ford Highland Park. For work.’ Phillip Levine, ‘What work is.’ 1. JANUARY you’ve waited for work and it has come marking gratis all weekend the head smashed and foggy …
Vagabond Press has recently issued four attractively presented volumes of poetry from the Asia Pacific region. Each contains the work of three poets and represents China, Japan, Vi-etnam and the Philippines, respectively.
Lucy Guerin Inc 28 Batman St West Melbourne 19/3/14:11.30-1 Dancing new work Make feet swan neck swoop Uh ha uh haha Silence ooh! Wh whwh heel around heel Everything depends on what happens next Who who aspirated Hahaha whwhwh Uhhahawhwhwh …
Stepped out at Mandalay airport, a good 40 minutes’ drive to Mandalay.
Bare dry landscape with the odd splash of colour from planted flowerbeds.
Shared the bus ride into town with Jung Chang, author of Wild Swans, Sudah Shah (The King in Exile), Peter Popham (The Lady and the Peacock) and Dr John Casey. Casey is from the renowned mentor of Pascal Khoo-Thwee, author of the exquisite From the Land of Green Ghosts. As we motored past the road posts, John said here they measure not miles or kilometres but FURLONGS! He said he’d once been directed to a local post office as being ‘two furlongs away’. A large friendly town dominated by the moat-encircled Mandalay Palace grounds and Mandalay Hill awaited us.
Yan Jun’s poetry works through his experience of contemporary China by employing an aesthetic that is traditionally grounded in observation of the momentarily significant. He is captivated by the dazzle of a new consumerist culture only when that dazzle is spectral and fleeting. In an interview with Cristen Cornell (‘Lost in the Supermarket with Yan Jun’, Artspace China blog, University of Sydney) he decries the consumption culture’s take on art as a ‘production process’ which removes ’the possibility for uncertainty’ and what is ‘unknowable in individuals’. He comments on the inextricable logic of cultural monuments such as the Forbidden Palace being preserved while the traditional living areas, the Beijing hutongs, are pulled down, symptomatic of a daily life becoming ‘more and more deprived’.