Dispatch Review respectfully acknowledges the Whadjuk people as the traditional owners and custodians of the lands upon which we live, work and enjoy. We pay deep respect to Elders past and present. Always was, always will be Aboriginal land.

Reviews:

  1. Ceramically Speaking by Ben Yaxley. 
  2. The Strelley Mob by Sam Harper.
  3. Rone: The Mighty Success by Leslie Thompson.
  4. Paper Trails: Interviews [part 1] by Sam Beard.
  5. Power 100 by Dispatch Review.
  6. Foresight & Fiction by Ben Yaxley.
  7. Twin Peaks Was 30 by Matthew Taggart.
  8. Breaking News: It’s Rone! by Sam Beard.
  9. Look, looking at Anna Park by Amelia Birch.
  10. The Fan by Francis Russell.
  11. Follower, Leader by Maraya Takoniatis.
  12. Wanneroo Warholamania by Sam Beard.
  13. Death Metal Summer by Sam Beard.
  14. Players, Places: Reprised, Renewed, Reviewed by Aimee Dodds.
  15. Scholtz: Two Worlds Apart by  Corderoy, Fisher, Flaherty, Wilson, Fletcher,  Jorgensen, & Glover.
  16. Partial Sightings by Sam Beard.
  17. True! Crime. by Aimee Dodds.
  18. The Human Condition by Rex Butler.
  19. Light Event by Sam Beard.
  20. Rejoinder: Archival / Activism by Max Vickery.
  21. Access and Denial in The Purple Shall Govern by Jess van Heerden.
  22. 4Spells by Sam Beard.
  23. Abstract art, DMT capitalism and the ugliness of David Attwood’s paintings
    by Darren Jorgensen.
  24. Unearthing new epistemologies of extraction by Samuel Beilby.
  25. Seek Wisdom by Max Vickery.
  26. Something for Everyone by Sam Beard.
  27. Violent Sludge by Aimee Dodds.
  28. State of Abstraction by Francis Russell.
  29. Double Histories: Special Issue, with texts by Ian McLean, Terry Smith, and Darren Jorgensen & Sam Beard.
  30. Six Missing Shows by Sam Beard.
  31. What We Memorialise by Max Vickery.
  32. At the End of the Land by Amelia Birch.
  33. The beautiful is useful by Sam Beard.
  34. ām / ammā / mā maram by Zali Morgan.
  35. Making Ground, Breaking Ground by Maraya Takoniatis.
  36. Art as Asset by Sam Beard.
  37. Cactus Malpractice by Aimee Dodds.
  38. Sweet sweet pea by Sam Beard.
  39. COBRA by Francis Russell.
  40. PICA Barn by Sam Beard .
  41. Gallery Hotel Metro by Aimee Dodds.
  42. A Stroll Through the Sacred, Profane, and Bizarre by Samuel Beilby.
  43. Filling in the Gaps at Spacingout by Maraya Takoniatis.
  44. Disneyland Cosmoplitanism by Sam Beard.
  45. Discovering Revenue by Anonymous.
  46. Uncomfortable Borrowing by Jess van Heerden.
  47. It’s Not That Strange by Stirling Kain.
  48. Hatched Dispatched by Sam Beard & Aimee Dodds.
  49. Fuck the Class System by Jess van Heerden, Jacinta Posik, Darren Jorgensen, et al.
  50. Wild About Nothing by Sam Beard.
  51. Paranoiac, Peripatetic: Pet Projects by Aimee Dodds.
  52. An Odd Moment for Women’s Art by Maraya Takoniatis.
  53. Transmutations by Sam Beard.
  54. The Post-Vandal by Sam Beard.
  55. Art Thugs and Humbugs by Max Vickery.
  56. Disneyland, Paris, Ardross and the artworld by Darren Jorgensen.
  57. Bizarrely, A Biennale by Aimee Dodds.
  58. Venus in Tullamarine by Sam Beard.
  59. Weird Rituals by Sam Beard.
  60. Random Cube by Francis Russell.
  61. Yeah, Nah, Rockpool by Aimee Dodds.
  62. Towards a Blind Horizon by Kieron Broadhurst.
  63. Being Realistic by Sam Beard.




These six short reviews are of the ones that got away—the shows I neglected to cover. Well, let the record show: I came, I saw, I critiqued.

Works on Paper, Graham Wiebe, Disneyland Paris, 20/8/2023 – 10/9/2023.

Premium post-internet content! Works on Paper was a trio of snowflake-shaped prints by Graham Wiebe shown at Disneyland Paris in August. The ink-jet prints depict two handfuls of activated charcoal pills and one portrait of a woman in an activated charcoal facemask, her gaze penetrating through balaclava-like eyeholes. Wiebe, based in Winnipeg, Canada, crafted the snowflake forms by burning away at the excess paper—now truly “activated”charcoal? Here, the aesthetics of wellness fads collide with the militaristic: absurd, unsettling, and darkly comical. A triumph.

Art Display, The Art Gallery of Western Australia, 15/9/2023 – 3/12/2023.

Art Display might just be the most bizarre exhibition held at AGWA this year, and certainly one of the most unique. The layout is like flicking through Instagram: chic and wispy colourist Jordy Hewitt—swipe—pop appropriations by Dan Bourke and Sarah Bahbah—swipe—still life master Giorgio Morandi—swipe—shock-factor Roger Ballen—swipe—a forgettable David Bielander—all mounted high, low, and around corners, to stumble upon with all the detachment of doomscrolling: thirst trap, news flash, sneaker ad. Overall, the curation is crisp, clean, and fresh. With no wall labels (bar the “credit reel” tucked around a back corner), zero context is afforded to any of these State Collection works. It’s the final hallmark of this post-internet exhibition. But behind the wit lurks a vast ennui. One shrugs—well, so what? Maybe it’s time to lean in, let the doomscroll erode my attention span a little more, and before long there won’t be any need for context at all.


Star Machine, Al Qasimi, The Art Gallery of Western Australia, 04/2/2023 – 30/7/2023.

While Yoshimoto Nara was billed as this year’s blockbuster, Al Qasimi’s concurrent Star Machine proved what we all thought to be the impossible: AGWA delivering a better contemporary art exhibition than PICA this year. One critic called Star Machine “nostalgia-filled”, but I disagree. Nostalgia is the desire to return to a former place or time. Instead, the photographs were transformative—rich hyperrealities and surreal dreaminess that hit the sweet spot of the uncanny. Star Machine was both speculative and a spectacle. One of AGWA’s finest for the year.

Beijing Realism, Hu Xiangqian, Han Bing, Li Xiaofei, Tami Xiang, Goolugatup Heathcote, 11/2/2023 – 26/3/2023.

Much has already been written about Beijing Realism: an article in ArtsHub questioned the ethics of presenting art that critically reflects working-class life in China; I published a defence of the show in Dispatch Review; Seesaw Magazine praised Beijing Realism for offering ‘uncensored portraits of life in China’; and finally, Artshub published a “right of reply” from the curators of the exhibition, Tami Xiang and Darren Jorgensen. So, what is left to be said? Amid the controversy surrounding the show, it appears we all forgot to address the actual artworks! Mounted in the main gallery spaces of Goolugatup Heathcote, this tight, focused exhibition included photography and video by Hu Xiangqian, Han Bing and Li Xiaofei, along with that of artist/curator Tami Xiang. Suspended in the centre of the main gallery, Xiang’s portraits were the central works—bold, near-to-life-size, they are visually arresting. Han Bing’s photographs were nearby and also hooked my attention. The images possessed a dreamlike quality, yet remained committed to a kind of social realism. The videos of Hu Xiangqian and Li Xiaofei differed in tone, but not subject. Again, social realism, but now with an air of reportage. Beijing Realism presented a memorable glimpse into the concerns of four accomplished contemporary Chinese artists.

I have not loved (enough or worked), The Art Gallery of Western Australia, 18/11/2022 – 23/4/2023.

If Beijing Realism was a scream, perhaps I have not loved (enough or worked) was more a murmur—a soft utterance of a partial thought. And that’s not a diss! Continuing AGWA’s trend of mellow, temperate and nonchalant exhibitions, I have never loved included eight artists with distinct bodies of work. Individually interesting, the artists were segmented into isolated groupings. At times, an over-abundance of space seemed to nullify the latent intimacy of some works. Take Rinko Kawauchi’s row of 25 small photographs—their tender everyday scenes at odds with the white cube display. The tension compounded in their linear repetition. Tao Hui’s work was a true oddity: a “viewing station” of TVs and couches raised on a low plinth, upon which viewers would watch his video, but resultantly become spectacles in and of themselves. I could hardly bring myself to sit. Instead, I opted to watch others: headphones on, seated momentarily, screens casting a soft glow upon their faces. Across the other side of the gallery was a gorgeous series of photographs by Lieko Shiga. The series, Blind Date, consisted of black-and-white photos of couples on mopeds and motorcycles taken in Bangkok, Thailand, in the Summer of 2009. The best of these images were immediately engrossing; at once whimsical, candid, and mysterious—while unassuming. En masse, their power seemed lessened by their unbroken repetition. Overall, I did not love, but I did like.

Between Registers, Ryan Gander, Disneyland Paris, 20/8/2023 – 10/9/2023.

Concluding these reviews is another blockbuster: Ryan Gander’s Between Registers at Disneyland Paris. Driving down to 6 Hickey St, parking in the gravel, walking across the old decking of the heritage listed cottage where gallery coordinator David Attwood will offer you a chilled refreshment and floorsheet is all part of the Disneyland experience. Peering into the gallery from outside, one caught the eye of A Portrait of Aston Ernest as a boy—the portrait is constructed with an arrangement of postcards within a pair of metal racks attached to the wall. The object is a nostalgia-machine: who sends postcards anymore? Except on holidays—moments we make into memories. And the halftone printing, the creases in the reproduced old photograph, all sepia toned and gap-toothed boyish innocence. Between registers indeed. Having participated in the 21st Biennale of Sydney (2018) and this year’s NGV Triennial, 6 Hickey St is an exceptional entry to Gander’s Australian excursions.



Image credits:
1. Ryan Gander, Between Registers at Disneyland Paris, 20/8/2023 – 10/9/2023.
2. Al Qasimi, Star Machine at The Art Gallery of Western Australia, 04/2/2023 – 30/7/2023.
3. Graham Wiebe, Works on Paper at Disneyland Paris, 20/8/2023 – 10/9/2023.
4. I have not loved (enough or worked) at The Art Gallery of Western Australia, 18/11/2022 – 23/4/2023.
5. Tami Xiang and Han Bing, Beijing Realism at Goolugatup Heathcote, 11/2/2023 – 26/3/2023.
6. I have not loved (enough or worked) at The Art Gallery of Western Australia, 18/11/2022 – 23/4/2023.