Feast, Festivals, Friends

Our visual sociology for January 2017 is a feast of art, festivals and the return of an old friend.

Sydney settles after the New Year. It’s still warm but now overcast and rainy.  3 January

USA Chandelier

“USA Chandelier” by Ken and Julia Yonetani, Australia/Japan 2013. Part of a 31 part installation called Crystal Palace: The Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nuclear Nations. The art was created in response to the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. It is made from uranium glass beads and crystals with fluorescent lights. 7 January



Forever” by Ai Weiwei. Made with 42 bicycles by the Chinese company Forever, this is an hommage to the work of Marcel Duchamp and references “the once ubiquitous presence of bicycles on the streets of Chinese cities, which are being increasingly taken over by motorcycles and cars.”  8 January

Sydney Festival

Meriton Festival Village, Sydney Festival. 7 January

[Photo: people go through the colourful  entrance of the pop-up village.]

Yes women of colour! They are leading a dance party onstage at the Sydney Festival and generally being majestic. “This is the way we teach soul to the next generation,” says our boogie leader.

Australian Museum

Behold, a visual sociology of the Australian Museum! The beauty of wandering around the Australian Museum in Sydney! There is much to see on the natural sciences but the social sciences are also abound in the Pacific Spirit and First Australian galleries currently hosting two mind expanding exhibits, which I’ve previously written about (Garrigarrang: Sea Country and Bayala Nura: Yarning Country).

Featured here are the Bisj and Mimika Poles from West Papua Indonesia, at the Pacific Spirit gallery at the Australian Museum.

In this gallery, it’s hard to miss the massive sperm whale skeleton! It was acquired in 1871 when the whale became beached in Woolongong, New South Wales. The whale’s skeleton was later suspended in 1910.

[Photo2: aerial view of the Museum’s natural science collection, with the whale skeleton in the top half of the photo. Below people sit in groups and stand in front of various glass displays.]

Zebra. 17 January

Onward journey

18 January, a new chapter begins for me. More soon, no doubt.

[Photo: people walk in the sun across Martin Place, Sydney. The Channel 7 building is prominent in the background.]

Power artefacts

22 January, I visited the Powerhouse museum and found famous relics from Australiana, ancient Greece and 80s animation.

Granny Smith Float

How do you like them apples? This sculpture by David Waller (2000) depicts Australian fruit grower Maria Ann Smith who cultivated the world’s first of this eponymous apple in 1868. This artwork incorporates another Australian invention, the Hills Hoist, which is a turning clothesline that can be moved up and down in height. This is part of the excellent Icons exhibition at the Powerhouse Museum.

Symposium/ Kylix

Many words used in academia reflect that science and research have traditionally been an elite practice for men, and that gender equity remains an issue (notwithstanding the fact that women have always contributed to scientific knowledge). So it is that this “Ancient Greek Drinking Cup” (kylix) attributed to the Antiphon painter (490-80BCE) was used to drink wine at a *symposium.* In Ancient Greek times a symposium was a male-only drinking party. Today this word is used for an academic gathering, usually a one-day event where invited speakers give talks.

[Gif: camera moves swiftly up and down to show the design inside and outside of the bowl. Orange male figures in various athletic poses are pictured across a black bowl]

“Smurfs” (various artists, 1970-1990)

There was only ever one woman Smurf because we all know that more than one woman Smurf would have been Very Awful and Too Much to Bear by the Smurf patriarchy.

[Photo: Smurfette and other Smurf figurines on display at the Powerhouse Museum]

King’s dream

“It may get me crucified. I may even die. But I want it said even if I die [in the struggle] that ‘He died to make me free.’” A quote by Dr Martin Luther King Jr, from 1962. The part in parentheses was omitted by artist Corita Kent for this piece titled “King’s Dream” (1969).  23 January

The return of Bubsy

Enjoy my neighbourhood cat, Bubsy, whom I introduced a few months back. If you wish you had your own pet (I do!), this one’s for you. 27 January

Be not afraid of greatness

Sign at Dobinsons Cafe. 17 January 2017