1969 : The Black Box of Conceptual Art

Ian Burn, Installation Photograph for Xerox Books,1969

Currently on at the University Art Gallery, Sydney University
Information, gallery address, times, catalogue download : here

Here's a poem I wrote after seeing the retrospective of Ian Burn's work at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney in 1997:

At the Ian Burn Show
        MCA 1997

at the Ian Burn show
  there's a badly recorded
b&w video of Ian Burn
        & colleagues        performing
 anti-authoritarian art spiels -
drumkit, keyboards, guitar, voice -
  it's the 'Art & Language' days,
the mid-seventies -          recorded,
    most likely,    on a Sony portapak
         (I set one up -      a tripod
    in the lounge room
      of our communal house
& let it run       full twenty-minute
      brackets   to film   quotidian comings
   & goings).
ah -         here's Terry Smith
   with plenty of hair - a stringy beard
&, possibly, an Afro -  singing along
              in the refrain -
'...ee...gal - it - tar -i - an...ism...!"
I'm chuckling now - this is
   amazingly cheering -    I feel
      it's my culture - or was - &,easily,
 could become
                 karaoke !
as it contains,   for me,
    equivalent nostalgia.
ingenuous, idealistic
                  and schismatic !
direct-action practising populist artists
theoretical conceptual post-object artists
   (yet not always nor certainly pro-academic)
it was my schism too,       our exegesis,
      "artists think" ?        well, maybe -
 they did,           for a decade
all under the same
                   tin roof

from Text thing (Little Esther Books, 2002)

Ian Burn, 1969

Read a newspaper article here

Roger Cutforth, Noon time-piece (April, 1969)

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