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A light in the moon the only light is on Sunday. What was the sensible decision. The sensible decision was that notwithstanding many declarations and more music, not even notwithstanding the choice and a torch and a collection, notwithstanding the celebrating hat and a vacation and even more noise than cutting, notwithstanding Europe and Asia and being overbearing, not even notwithstanding an elephant and a strict occasion, not even withstanding more cultivation and some seasoning, not even with drowning and with the ocean being encircling, not even with more likeness and any cloud, not even with terrific sacrifice of pedestrianism and a special resolution, not even more likely to be pleasing. The care with which the rain is wrong and the green is wrong and the white is wrong, the care with which there is a chair and plenty of breathing. The care with which there is incredible justice and likeness, all this makes a magnificent asparagus, and also a fountain.

                             Gertrude Stein, Tender Buttons, 1914

Gertrude Stein, Biscuit & Alice B. Toklas

  Zhù dàjiā hǎo yùn zài 2017 nián
    Good fortune for all in 2017

Luis Alberto Arellano, Querétaro, Mexico 1976-2016

Mexican poet, academic and critic Luis Alberto Arellano
died on 17th December 2016. He was 40.

Luis' poetry publications included Fotogramas del Ocio : Clase B (Coleccion Literatura Portátil - Letras de Querétaro). He was the co-ordinator of creative writing at Centro Estatal de Formación Artística y Cultural (CEFAQ) in Querétaro.

In 2007 Luis and his friend and colleague Román Luján (UCLA) compiled a collection of Mexican poetry, El país del ruido. ('The noisy country') translated into French by Francoise Roy as Le pays sonore.

I met Luis at a poetry convention in Trois Riviéres, Québec in 2008. He was generous, clever and funny. We became firm poetry friends.

Eduardo Padilla's translation of two of Luis' poems into English can be found in Mexico City Lit here.

Luis Alberto Arellano translated many English language poems into Spanish, including Bob Flanagan & David Trinidad's A Taste of Honey (Cold Calm Press, 1990) - read a sample here.

Luis & I knew each other in our mostly present-tense French & English - our second & third languages.

At his own instigation Luis was working on translating poems from my book Home by Dark into Spanish. He published one of the poems on his blog Santo Remedio (Holy Remedy) here.

One of Luis' collections of poems was translated into French by Françoise Roy and published by Écrits des Forges, Québec in 2006 :

I took both photos of Luis Alberto Arellano in Trois Riviéres, Québec, Canada

Leonard French 1928-2017

Leonard French, Seven Days of Creation: Seventh Day, 1962-65, 365.8cm diam, enamel on hessian covered hardboard, Australian National University ____________________________________________________________

Obituaries can be found in the mainstream press. Two others -
from Arts Hub here & here on critic Sasha Grishin's Art Blog.

National Gallery of Victoria International, Melbourne -
Leonard French's stained-glass ceiling in the Great Hall

clicky picture to see ee

Biographs - south coast art exhibition

Kurt Brereton, Mangrove-Time (102x152cm, embroidery & oil on linen), 2016

Kurt Brereton, Mangrove-Time - detail

Kurt Brereton, Mangrove-Time - rear

Kurt Brereton's exhibition Biographs is continuing at the Shoalhaven City Arts Centre in Nowra until 21st January 2017.

Basically a painting show, it's a display of Kurt Brereton's typical experimentation in mixed media. One large work comprises backlit shell and glass fragments arranged in a slightly irregular linear pattern. This time he has intoduced embroidery to some of his paintings. He reveals process by suspending two of the pictures to reveal the threading on the back of the image, including still-threaded dangling needles in the large self-portrait K-scan :

The artist embroidering (he sometimes calls it 'tatting') a small work (for his forthcoming coal/coral reef exhibition in Canberra in February 2017) in his lounge room in Currarong on the South Coast of New South Wales :

Kurt Brereton tatting, December 7th 2016

as usual, click on the images to enlarge them

esther leslie in sydney

Cat Moir & Rory Dufficy with Esther Leslie

Professor of Political Aesthetics at Birkbeck, University of London, Esther Leslie was in Sydney last weekend as a guest of the 2016 Historical Materialism conference. She is the author of Hollywood Flatlands: Animation, Critical Theory and the Avant Garde (2000), Synthetic Worlds: Nature, Art and the Chemical Industry (2005), Derelicts : Thought Worms from the Wreckage (2013) and the editor and translator of On Photography by Walter Benjamin (2015). She spoke on panels, gave a keynote address - Animating Marx - and, introduced by casual academic, poet and researcher on various avant garde-isms Dr Rory Dufficy, and in conversation with socialist activist and lecturer in Germanic Studies at the University of Sydney Dr Cat Moir, she launched a new book on liquid crystals and their effect on how we live.

Liquid crystal is a curious phase of matter. It has the ability at once to flow, like water, and to refract, like ice. It was closely observed, if not yet named, by experts in 1888 but they found no practical use for it. Probed and imaged for decades, its polar properties were eventually harnessed for an age of screen-based media. Now liquid crystal is ubiquitous, communicating, selling and delighting, in flat-screen LCDs, computers and mobile devices. We also now know that it exists inside our bodies.

For the very first time, Liquid Crystals tells the history of this anomalous and little understood phase of matter in relation to a ‘liquid crystal’ epoch, spanning from 1820 to today, detailing the key interminglings of the liquid and crystalline located in politics, philosophy and art during this time. There are insightful and remarkable readings of cultural forms from Romantic landscape painting to snow globes, from mountain films to Hollywood eco-disaster movies, from touchscreen devices to DNA, cold wars and political thaws, media meltdowns and ice in the desert. Expertly written in an accessible style, Liquid Crystals recounts the unheralded but hugely significant emergence and applications of this unique matter.

Sean Cubitt, Professor of Film and Television, Goldsmiths, University of London says -
"There is every chance that you will be reading Liquid Crystals on a liquid crystal display screen, if not in the year of its release, then somewhere in the future. The ubiquity of LCDs makes them invisible, unthought. Leslie drags us back to the screen, to the discovery of this uncomfortably contradictory state of matter, and to the vast range of implications it has for the way we imagine the materiality and abstraction of our world, from financial liquidity to Superman’s icy Fortress of Solitude. She raises the tantalising prospect that liquid crystals are key not only to images but to perception and to our worldview: the governing metaphor through which we comprehend the rival claims of dialectics and flow. Erudite, lucid, enthralling, Esther Leslie's eclectically logical investigations transform our understanding of the historical generation of ideas and ways of thinking."

Esther Leslie, Saturday 26.11.16

To order the Liquid Crystals -
In Australia - New South Books
In the UK - Reaktion Books