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Christ and the Centurion, Paolo Veronese, c. 1570. © Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado (P00492)

First major exhibition of Veronese in the UK dazzles

A review of the National Gallery’s latest exhibition, Veronese: Magnificence in Renaissance Venice can be short. Why? There’s no umming and ahhing here, it simply must be seen. This is the first ever exhibition…
Isabella Rossellini took the live version of her short film series Green Porno to the Adelaide Festival. Jody Shapiro/Adelaide Festival

Adelaide Festival review: Green Porno

The Italian actress Isabella Rossellini openly discussed her exploration of sex, violence and depravity in Adelaide this month. No, it wasn’t the launch of a tell-all Hollywood book – but the Australian…
Zorn consciously aligns his work with the historic avant-garde.

Adelaide Festival review: John Zorn in Oz

John Zorn’s appearance at the Adelaide Festival last week spread across four evenings – totalling over 12 hours. The cost of bringing Zorn and more than 20 musicians from New York to play at the Adelaide…
The film adaptation of Robyn Davidson’s memoir Tracks explores how both travellers and tourists experience the Australian landscape.

Tracks, a film that lets a woman thrive in the outback

In the new film Wolf Creek 2, the menacing outback serial killer Mick Taylor asks his unsuspecting tourist prey, “what the bloody hell are you buggers doing out here?” This phrase could equally be used…
An Iliad, currently playing at the Adelaide Festival is an intelligent adaptation of Homer’s classic – and a work of consumate compression. Joan Marcus/Adelaide Festival

Adelaide Festival review: An Iliad

At the heart of the Homer’s Coat production of An Iliad, currently playing at the Adelaide Festival, is that most of Homeric of things, a list. In a narrative compression as consummate as any in the epic…
Tonight ABC2 offers a glimpse into the lives of girls around the world, including Aziza from Afghanistan. ABC Publicity

I am a Girl: 21st-century lessons from 1970s feminism

Tonight ABC2 airs I am a Girl. Rebecca Barry’s documentary introduces us to six young women from around the world. They hail from Cambodia, Cameroon, Afghanistan, Papua New Guinea, the USA and Australia…
This is the contemporary art exhibition we’ve been waiting for. Works by Ben Quilty and Alex Seton at the 2014 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art. Art Gallery of South Australia

The 2014 Adelaide Biennial: ‘contemporary art as it was meant to be’

This is the exhibition we have been waiting for. This is contemporary art as it was meant to be – warning that we are experiencing the dark night of the national soul. The country that once thought of…
Different perspectives drive the making of architecture. Cassandra Complex, Sampling The City, Incubator Installation, photographer Peter Bennetts

What architects do and how they do it, at Melbourne Now

There are layers of mythology around what architects actually do in conceptualising and making architecture. These misconceptions are fed by popular architectural stereotypes of 20th-century culture, such…
Greg Johns, 2009, Horizon Figure, Corten steel, ironstone, 210 x 427 x 6cm (h x w x d). Daniel Cazzolato

2014 Heysen Sculpture Biennial: the art of open air

The Heysen Sculpture Biennial, located on The Cedars, the Adelaide Hills property near Hahndorf on which German-born artist Sir Hans Heysen (1877-1968) lived and worked, was first held in 2000. On that…
Unsimulated sex often breaks the natural flow of fiction, disrupting our enjoyment. Magnolia Pictures/ Christian Geisnaes

Von Trier’s Nymphomaniac and the oddity of real sex on screen

According to the American actor Shia LaBeouf, instead of having an audition for Lars von Trier’s Nymphomaniac, he was asked to email a photograph of his penis. While Labeouf supposedly leapt at the opportunity…
The “digger myth” has left little room for appreciation or debate surrounding the work of today’s service personnel. Australian Department of Defence/AAP Image

The hard sell: has the Anzac industry passed its use-by date?

In his new book Anzac’s Long Shadow: The cost of our national obsession, James Brown argues that: a century after the war to end all wars, Anzac is being bottled, stamped and sold. The former soldier turned…
An Indo-European family form part of a new photography exhibition. National Gallery of Australia

Garden of the East – a look at how we look at Indonesia

Say “Indonesia” today and what visual associations does the word prompt? For many Australians, an ambivalent mix of pleasant and troubled images, no doubt. But a new photography exhibition at the National…
Barbara Sukowa plays German intellectual Hannah Arendt in Margarethe von Trotta’s biopic. Heimatfilm

Review: thinking on screen – von Trotta’s ‘Hannah Arendt’

In 1961, German-American philosopher Hannah Arendt was sent by The New Yorker to cover Adolf Eichmann’s trial, in Jerusalem, Israel, where he faced execution for crimes against humanity, war crimes, crimes…
Should sexuality play a central role in constructing our own identity? MTC, photo Jeff Busby

Review: Cock

British playwright Mike Bartlett’s contemporary comedy of manners Cock opened on the Melbourne Theatre Company (MTC) main stage last week. Highly anticipated after winning an Olivier Award with its London…
“The Very Near Future presents a unique temporal, sensory, and conceptual experience.” Alex Davies

New media art, in Sydney, in The Very Near Future

When visitors walk into Sydney’s Artspace Gallery, they find themselves on what seems to be a live film set. A noir feature film called The Hop Head Hatchet Man is in production. It’s a studio operation…
Gerrit Fokkema’s photographs of everyday Sydney and Canberra in the early 1980s are examples of Australian photography becoming more self-aware. These decisive snapshots of suburban life reveal an irony and conjure Fokkema’s own history growing up in Queanbeyan. Though captured in seemingly banal settings, the images intrigue, pointing to issues beyond what is represented in the frame. The housewife watering the road and a young tattooed man in front of a car are both depicted alone within a sprawling suburban landscape, suggesting the isolation and boredom in the Australian dream of home ownership. The sense of strangeness in these images is consciously sought by Fokkema, aided by his embrace of the glaring and unforgiving ‘natural’ Australian light. Purchased 1986 © Gerrit Fokkema

Australian Vernacular Photography offers a look at our reality

Opening this week, Art Gallery NSW’s latest exhibition, Australian Vernacular Photography, explores the Australian photographic…
Can you overcome “classic album fatigue”? The performers who played Big Star’s Third in Sydney last week gave it a good shot. Jamie Williams/Sydney Festival

Big Star’s Third and the ‘classic album’ show

“Alex Chilton’s dead!” exclaimed a friend of mine when I told him I was going to a concert devoted to a Big Star album at Sydney’s Enmore Theatre. It’s easy to see the line of reasoning: tickets are being…

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