October 2011

Arts & Letters

Visual art (three-dimensional) masterpiece

By Doug Hall
Hany Armanious & Mary Teague - ‘Lines of Communication’, 2010

Quietly installed in the old North Sydney Telephone Exchange – now a newly developed commercial building – in Mount Street, North Sydney, is a large commission, launched in 2010. Hany Armanious (Australia’s artist at this year’s 54th Venice Biennale) and Mary Teague have produced a work that is at once playful and serious, and refers to the history of the site it occupies.

Two massive polystyrene look-a-like cups (actually moulded in polyester resin) rest on old school desks; as with many of Armanious’ works, materials are not as they appear. The cups are connected by clusters of telephone cabling gathered from the old site. It’s a work that plays with so-called high and low art – old technology in a technologically advanced building. It invokes the past, inviting us to recall backyard childhood games and to think about technology and change. The application of these ideas is complemented by the materials themselves. In re-creating art as a game from childhood and placing it in a contemporary setting, it personalises our relationship to it.

—Doug Hall

Doug Hall
Doug Hall is a former director of the Queensland Art Gallery and Australian Commissioner at the Venice Biennale.

Cover: October 2011

October 2011

From the front page

Image of Greens leader Richard Di Natale

Taxperts at war

We are losing the big picture in the tax cut debate

Image of sheep

Turning a blind eye to live exports

Just how bad do things have to get before we declare the system broken?

Image of ‘Ironbark’

Jay Carmichael’s debut novel, ‘Ironbark’

A poetic account of adolescent alienation and masculinity in rural Australia

Image of Rhonda Deans exploring “the Squeeze”, Koonalda Cave, South Australia

‘Deep Time Dreaming’ by Billy Griffiths

This history of archaeology in Australia charts our changing relationship with the past


In This Issue

Scene from 'The Theft of Sita'. Image courtesy of Melbourne Festival.

Music theatre masterpiece

An Australian–Indonesian production - ‘The Theft of Sita’, 2000

Theatre masterpiece

Tom Wright & Benedict Andrews - ‘The War of the Roses’, 2009

Words: Shane Maloney | Illustration: Chris Grosz

Robert Helpmann & Anna Pavlova

The incendiary Meow Meow, 2011. © Magnus Hastings

Queen of the night

Meeting Meow Meow


More in Arts & Letters

Image of Rhonda Deans exploring “the Squeeze”, Koonalda Cave, South Australia

‘Deep Time Dreaming’ by Billy Griffiths

This history of archaeology in Australia charts our changing relationship with the past

Image of Khvay Samnang, Human Nature, 2010–11,

The 21st Biennale of Sydney

This latest edition offers a contemporary take on elemental balance

Still from Unsane

Steven Soderbergh’s ‘Unsane’

The prolific director hits his own limits with this experiment in technology

Image of Patrick White and Manoly Lascaris, Sydney, 1989

Patrick White’s immigrant language

White gained from his partner’s Greek Orthodoxy a sensibility that changed how he saw Australia


More in Masterpieces

Poetry masterpiece

Jennifer Maiden - ‘Friendly Fire’, 2005

© Sergio Dionisio/Getty Images

Design masterpiece

Marc Newson - ‘Qantas A380 Economy Seat’, 2008

Fiction masterpiece

JM Coetzee - ‘Summertime’, 2009

© Chris Harvey

Architecture masterpiece

Lindsay & Kerry Clare - ‘Gallery of Modern Art’, Queensland, 2006


Read on

Image of sheep

Turning a blind eye to live exports

Just how bad do things have to get before we declare the system broken?

Image of ‘Ironbark’

Jay Carmichael’s debut novel, ‘Ironbark’

A poetic account of adolescent alienation and masculinity in rural Australia

Image from ‘Cold War’

Cannes Film Festival 2018

An ever-so-slightly off-key event

Image of Treasurer Scott Morrison delivering 2018 budget

What’s in a name?

From Pig Iron Bob to Unbelieva-Bill: the trouble with nicknames in politics


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