A ballast stone from The Endeavor, shells gathered from Tahiti, a human skull, a telescope, a series of rare books including an 1893 edition of Captain Cook’s journal and 1875 edition of the Observations made of the transit of Venus, some stuffed parrots – these are some of the items from the collection at the Macleay Museum that will be on display in the Tin Sheds Gallery during the exhibition The Transit of Venus. The objects have been chosen by Daniel Boyd and will be combined with his own paintings, video works, installations and drawings to explore the impact of the Transit of Venus on Australian history.
June 6 this year marks the second passing of the Transit of Venus since Australia was colonized in 1788. The Transit of Venus is rare astronomical event that happens in a pattern that repeats every 243 years, with pairs of transits eight years apart. To mark this auspicious event Tin Sheds Gallery and the Macleay Museum are hosting The Transit of Venus - An exhibition with Daniel Boyd. The exhibition will explore the ramifications of Captain Cook’s fateful journey, not just for the Aboriginal people of Australia, but also more broadly for our understanding of the connections between science, art, astronomy and geography.
Curated by Matt Poll (Assistant Curator Indigenous Heritage, Macleay Museum, The University of Sydney) and
Zanny Begg (Director Tin Sheds Gallery, faculty of Architecture, Design andPlanning, The University of Sydney)
Exhibition opens: May 24th 6pm - Tin Sheds Gallery
June 14th 6.30pm, Tin Sheds Gallery
Human Remains: Museum Object or Crime Scene? A discussion on the repatriation of human remains from museum collections. Daniel Boyd and Matt Poll, Sydney University Repatriation Project.
June 21 6.30pm, Tin Sheds Gallery
Mapping the size of the Universe: The Transit of Venus, Dr. Andrew Jacob, Astronomy Curator Sydney Observatory, Powerhouse.
New film by Zanny Begg and Oliver Ressler, Screening at Artspace as part of the Occupy Art International Day of Action Guest Speaker Steve Keen
2.00pm The Bull Laid Bear followed by Q+A with Zanny Begg 2.30pm Boom, Boom, Doom - Debunking the Economic Crisis, Steve Keen
Sunday February 12 Artspace 43-51 Cowper Wharf Road, Woolloomooloo, Sydney
The Bull Laid Bear “lays bare” the economic recession (bear market) that hides behind each boom time (bull market). The film is structured around a series of interviews with US economists and activists including: William K. Black, a white-collar criminologist; Yves Smith, the author of the blog Naked Capitalism; Tiffiniy Cheng campaign coordinator for A New Way Forward; and Gerald Epstein co-director of the Political Economy Research Institute. The material gathered from these four interviewees has been blended with hand drawn animations to create a quasi-fictitious criminal world of gangster bankers and corrupt courts.
Sydney based performer Singing Sadie provides a sound track for the film with a reinterpretation of Billie Holiday’s classic lament on money, God Bless The Child.
Steve Keen, Professor of Economics & Finance at the University of Western Sydney, has made a name for himself debunking economics (incidentally the title of his best selling book). Calling himself a post-Keynesian, he has taken on the shibboleths of neoclassical economics, renaming the “Efficient Markets Hypothesis,” for example, the “Financial Instability Hypothesis.” Steve’s iconoclastic brand of economics allowed him to predict the current financial crisis warning back in 1995 that a period of apparent stability could merely be “the calm before the storm”. Steve’s pithy, controversial and insightful critiques of debt and his daring proposals for fiscal change have earned him a global reputation as an economic commentator able to provide insight into these troubling times.
The Bull Laid Bear Concept, film editing and production: Zanny Begg & Oliver Ressler Animation and drawings: Zanny Begg Camera and interviews: Oliver Ressler Vocals: Singing Sadie Piano: Mick Hanna Other music: Captain Ahab Camera Singing Sadie: Arunas Klupsas Sound Singing Sadie: Jon Hunter Sound and image editing: Rudi Gottsberger Special thanks to Nancy Folbre, Brian Holmes, Jon Hunter, Pascal Jurt, Arunas Klupsas and Singing Sadie.
Financial assistance provided by Kulturamt der Steiermärkischen Landesregierung and Australia Council for the Visual Arts New Work Grant.
Local Brew - new publication by You Are Here Launched Wednesday April 28th at Serial Space Chippendale
Under the influence
Chippendale is a small suburb nestled between Broadway, Cleveland St, Central Railway Station and the University of Sydney. The land had rich soil, fresh water and has a long history of Indigenous ownership but got its current name after William Chippendale was granted a 95-acre estate over the area in 1819. Chippendale sold his namesake for a couple of hundred pounds and the fledgling settlement passed through a few hands as it grew into an urban slum known for its narrow streets and substandard housing. In 1835 the fortunes of the area shifted when Kent Brewery was established between George and Regent St with a pub springing up on each corner. As the amber ale began to flow so did life in Chippendale, with many poor people coming to the area to live and work. A sobering thought is that today the tiny suburb reportedly has the smallest amount of open space of any in Sydney.
Despite, or perhaps because of, its small size Chippendale’s cramped streets have enabled an intoxicating combination of cheap inner city living, beer and creativity to develop - fermenting within its tiny borders much of Sydney’s underground performance, art and entertainment venues, spaces and places. From Boomalli in the 80s, Jellyheads in the 90s, Lan Franchis Memorial Discotheque in the 2000s to Serial Space today Chippendale has seen many “on the hop” artist run spaces which have emerged briefly to challenge, delight and intrigue Sydneysiders before staggering off into the night.
The heart of Chippendale was the Kent Brewery. Long before the liquid lunch of the ‘80s the brewery had established “beer o’clock” for its workers giving them time-out for a schooner to refresh their working spirit - plant operators were even allowed to tap a leaking cask (the honey pot) to drink at their leisure. When the stout men of brewery management tried to ban the honey-pot the Industrial Relations Commission initially upheld it as a worker’s right: “fare shake of the barely mate”.
Eventually however stout men got the upper hand and the honey-pot was outlawed. Kent Brewery was also eventually sold - its operations bottled off to more efficient Queensland and WA breweries. The massive complex lay wasted for years with a stoush raging over its future. In 2007 the liquid gold of Old Kent was replaced by a more solid variety: Frasers a major construction company bought the site for redevelopment. The state government and council must have been wearing beer goggles during the negotiations - Frasers were granted permission to build 11 towers the size of the adjacent UTS building housing as many new residents as currently already live in the area. The staggering size of the proposed development left Chippendale seeing double.
To allay concerns over the frothy pace of change Frasers set aside one part of the development for artist studios and a steady stream of Sydney’s artists started to flow through the doors: after all, everyone thought, it was their shout. But as artists jostled to get free drinks at the bar there were mutterings that the beer tasted like piss and no one felt like it was their turn to get the next round.
As the night wore on news spread that while the rest of us had been fighting over the dregs the banks and developers had been drinking on the house: they were totally plastered with Frasers particularly unsteady on its feet. The Brewery was already knocked down, a massive hole gaped from the middle of Chippendale and everybody could “feel a cold one coming on”.
The artist runs spaces which had enlivened Chippendale for so many years were severely under the hammer, many had passed out and the few that remained survived on Dutch courage alone: the hole in the wall venue was losing out to the hole in the ground developer.
We were being drunk under the table! A challenge was thrown-down to defend the traditions of this tiny suburb - a toast was proposed to those who made Chippendale what it is today: the workers, the artists, the poor, the revelers. Chippendale may have been cramped, industrial and lacking in green spaces, but it was home and nothing tasted as satisfying as a good local brew.
This publication is a joint effort with Keg de Souza and is published by You Are Here. Keg and I have both had residencies at Fraser Studios and part of our contribution to this book comes from our research during our time there. We hope this small book will be a toast to the suburb of Chippendale containing stories from some of the bar-flys who made it what it is today and some of the (brew)haha of its local history. Cheers!
Enjoy development responsibly.
To order a copy of Local Brew email firstname.lastname@example.org
Short video from a You Are Here residency with Performance Space at Redfern Community Centre, 2008/2009, where we conducted animation workshops with people who access the community centre. Workshop participants: Ted, Wasana, Naryma and Marcelo.