Justin Clemens

Justin Clemens
Justin Clemens writes about contemporary Australian art and poetry. He teaches at the University of Melbourne.

By this author

Neon statements


Joseph Kosuth and conceptual art

‘Inherent Vice’ by Thomas Pynchon


Thomas Pynchon is one of the most extraordinary novelists writing today. This isn’t due to his genius alone, though there’s no doubting his encyclopaedic knowledge, literary range and sheer inventiveness. It’s also due to sheer luck, to Pynchon …

‘Poe: A Life Cut Short’ by Peter Ackroyd


Born into poverty, sickness and vagabondage, Edgar Allan Poe was doomed from the beginning. His parents were actors, a déclassé profession at the time, and both were consumptive. His alcoholic and incompetent father abandoned the family a few years …

‘Linda Marrinon: Let Her Try’ by Chris McAuliffe


Chris McAuliffe’s governing image for Linda Marrinon’s career is that of Voltaire’s Candide, tending carefully to the garden despite the vicissitudes of the world. Beginning in the early 1980s with hilariously understated anti-aesthetic canvases …

‘Show Court 3’ by Louise Paramor, Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne, 20 April


In a world overburdened by museums and monuments, by the claims of the past and the injunction to protect and save, what should we preserve? Everything! Transience has assumed real value in contemporary art. Instead of the object, the event becomes primary: …

‘Australian Impressionism’, Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia

Tea Party

This is an impressive corporate exercise, bringing together more than 240 works from the heroic era of Australian art, from an unprecedented range of galleries and private collections. The stars are among the most celebrated painters in the nation's history: …

A law that cannot be enforced


The politics of art in Australia

Haranguing the nation


‘Juan Davila’

‘The Seminar of Jacques Lacan: Book XVII: The Other Side of Psychoanalysis’ By Jacques Lacan, trans. Russell Grigg


‘Being and Event’ By Alain Badiou, trans. Oliver Feltham