Who am I f*cking kiddin.


Basel, the fair, image after image on this flickr set will give the reader an idea.
Probably many came through this kermess already, or, even better, as Ilaria posted on my facebook a while back: Readers?

You’re here with Mick, invited to be part of a curated exhibition, Off Press, an official side event right next to the big names of making, dealing and collecting.
Well not you personally, but BigFAGPress got invited, a joint adventure into the printed matter which started about 6 years ago, and now coming of age, invited at ArtBasel41.
Analysing the inclusion, due to meeting the curator of the show earlier in the year at an event organised by ArtSpace, in Sydney, on (loosely) independent publishing practices, you cannot escape the fact that you feel victim (or beneficiary, however you wonna see it) of what you started to refer as ‘the Benetton effect’, political correctness fostering representative inclusion of all colours..
yes, you fear you have been invited because of the exotic value of having someone from the other side of the world.

You do not want to dismiss the quality and relevance of the work of BigFagPres, yet, cynically and relentlessly shooting at anything standing, you take no prisoner.
Who am I fucking kidding.

You are at the very fruit of your Lempriere tour of the world, a scholarship which allowed you to travel, listen, learn, read, experience, empower yourself, connect, get known, been included in exhibitions and pubblications, reasses, reassure, and confidently proclaim resolutions.
You looking forward to be back to NSW, Sydney, looking forward to a long powerpoint presentation. You’ve been thinking about this from a while, at some point defining the title, which, as often happen when you dont write down right away what’s in your mind, you forgot, but you know what you wonna say, and the title for the talk would be pretty close to the title of this post.
Who am I fucking kidding.

So, Basel, people browsing through the booths as you would on a meat market.
Artists who lock themselves into signature styles, look at this one as example.
Look at yourself as example.
The latest effort was just another revisiting of trailed practices of your.. another tour.
Vastly different this time, as it was not a point-at-the-weed-and-tell-the-name kind of tour you’ve been doing, but a much wider scope of collaboration and discussion, investigation and gain of collaborative knowledge..it was a cognitive tour put together by the minds of about 10 people.

We were onto a quest to unravel what it means to be a living human and cultural practitioner in this time and age of ecological urgency.

Big theme yes, but what else would you talk about?
You went around the world to investigate and grow, to then find out that what you knew wasn’t very far from target.. actually, what about this as a title for the presentation: My Lempriere, or rather, how to travel around the world to find out you were right, shouldn’t have gone..

Harsh on yourself?
From a work in the fair: A great artist should kill himself at the height of the career, to prevent himself making bad work..

Dark hey?
Don’t need to read it literally, but as a starting point for conversations.

In the meantime you had a great read, the latest issue of Artlink is devoted to underground.
Guest-edited by Lucas Ihlein, in it you found some great articles on what it means to have a culturally effective art practice nowadays, like the contribution by Ian Millis, priceless, he’s even more of a dissacrator than you are:

One thing i will put a bet on: in the future, the artist that matter-not the richest or most publicised or who get the most grants or have the most exhibitions in the most prestigious institutions, but the ones that actually matter- won’t be producing the useless cargo cult fetish objects that fuels Biennales and the art market. They’ll be adaptively reusing culture and technology, reshaping them into something utilitarian and meaningful that may help us avoid the extinction we are now headed for

How’s that as a discussion platform?

fair booth

About info

Diego Bonetto is a multimedia artist living and practicing in Sydney, Australia, and is a key member of artists' collectives SquatSpace and the BigFAGPress. -The SquatSpace collective has been producing ground-breaking events and projects since 2000. The group has been curated in a number of shows both in Australia and overseas. The current initiatives, the Redfern-Waterloo Tour of beauty (www.squatspace.com/redfern) tackle issues of social representation and the politics of space generated by gentrification. -The BigFagPress (BFP) is a publishing facility housed in Wooloomooloo, Sydney. The BFP is a salvaged 4-tonnes Off-set proof press. The press allows for the creation of countless artworks by keen printmakers and self-started publishers. www.bigfagpress.org Diego has also been working with WeedyConnection, an environmental art campaign. The project involves an online resource (www.weedyconnection.com), short documentary films, cooking shows, blogs, installations, prints, facebook interventions and various site-specific installations in the form of self-guided tours. WeedyConnection tackle the anthropocentric view of what environment should look like. Based on research and data provided by disciplines as far apart as biology, anthropology, paloenthology, social ecology and ethno botany it formulates ethical questions about cultural representation in times of environmental urgency.
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2 Responses to Who am I f*cking kiddin.

  1. Lucas says:

    i love the idea of going on a long quest, only to discover that you knew the answers all along.
    i think you’ll probably find that you’ve shifted quite a bit, without knowing.
    i’m looking forward to doing the return interview with you when you get back.

    “A great artist should kill himself at the height of the career, to prevent himself making bad work..”

    romantic piffle. what is a bad work? what is a great artist? eh? what is a career? it’s too silly a statement to even begin to dissect.


    “who am i fucking kidding”

    well this depends – were you trying to make some sort of claim before? i can’t remember if you were.

    hope you’ve enjoyed your junket! that’s what it’s for!

  2. the weed one says:

    ok, this is what i’ve written about 2 years ago:

    Thanks Lucas,
    I’d love to have a chat with you about it all when back

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