12 July 2008

"Biennale": French for "Beer is now $7"

It's been awhile since you've had an update on what we're doing, dear readers, but please don't think I'm unaware of my negligence. We've just been doing so much!

Sydney is currently holding its Biennale, an big fat contemporary art exhibition held in several venues all over Sydney and spanning three months. The exhibition is even spilling off the mainland, onto Cockatoo Island, and it includes all kinds of art, from outdoor installations to installations carved into museum walls, and of course all kinds of media.

On Tuesday, we saw the Museum of Contemporary Art's exhibition; it was three floors, and I thought it was a very restrained exhibit. They could have put a lot more art into those three floors, but they did a good job of keeping it simple and showing most things in a really striking way. There's a huge controversy right now over Maurizio Cattelan's Novecento, a taxidermied horse hanging from the ceiling of the MCA. Novecento is a difficult piece to look at, strange to see a horse so immobilized. And I had never thought about the fact that we rarely see the underside of a horse's feet; you could see where the horseshoes had been nailed in. Unnerving.

One of my favorite pieces involved, shockingly, type. It's by Natascha Sadr Haghighian; it's called "I can't work like this." She essentially hammered thousands of nails into the museum wall; the craft involved is pretty outstanding. She made sure to hammer all the nails perfectly around the letters. Up close, you could really see how exacting her hammer was in order to get the center of the a, e, and o so tidy. The s is unbelievable.

I thoroughly enjoyed myself with all three floors of the exhibit, but by the end, Craig was pretty sure he couldn't take in any more. Colin had completely checked out; he kept asking me to summarize what all the art meant. Doof.

On Friday, Craig and I decided to check out the local food scene in Sydney. I found about 5 local, organic food coops, so we thought we'd check out the one in Newtown since we needed to buy some sheets there anyway--for our shiny new exciting place!!! It's called Alfafa House, and it's Sydney's most successful coop. We joined up; such a bargain, we couldn't say no. It was only $20 for the both of us (and our new housemate Sarah, too) for life. Now, now, before you get jealous, it's way smaller than Sevananda and doesn't even have a hot food bar. But so far, it's the best we've got. We also get a 10% discount at the other coops around Sydney just for being members of this one. It's nice to feel connected to something here: I can say, "I'm a member." Flippin' awesome.

That same night, we went to a party at what will soon be our new house, and we had a great time. We met a lot of really fun and smart Aussies. It was our first time feeling truly welcomed to our new home.

Oh, and we also went to an outdoor Coffee/Tea/Chocolate Festival and watched some free movies at the Sydney Opera House. The fact that this city holds outdoor festivals in the middle of winter tells you something about the Australian mindset. They think: Winter? Screw winter! I laugh in winter's face! I fart in its general direction! Its mother was a hamster! Something about elderberries!

I love how mild winter is here. I truly love it.

Once again, from Jeremy Varner, suggestions for blog/podcast titles. Soon, I'll make a list of Craig and my favorite five, and then the voting will begin!!

1) The Quest for Unlimited Energy

2) Hot Sexy Solar Energy

3) WTF Mate!

4) Throw Another Shrimp on the Solar Barbie

5) krg+n*, Australian for ________________
You could fill in the blank with just about anything; Awesome, Badass, Energy Geniuses, etc.

6) Two Extra Armies Each Turn!
which is a RISK reference, and a mighty good one.

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