If I had have been invited to show in the Future Primitive exhibition, I would’ve used Richard Branson as my starting point. For me, Richard Branson is dead Future Primitive. Richard loves Deep Space, and if you have enough Money, he’ll take you there. That’s the Future part covered. The Primitive bit Mr. Branson shows in his penchant for throwing hot chicks in the drink. A very primitive demonstration of the power balance, which Mr. Branson clearly holds over an easily replaceable cog. In reality Richard Branson has nothing to do with Future Primitive. Future Primitive is a playful exhibition, a riot of color and patterning. There’s a lot of fluorescent shades, shapes are raw, the use of text could be out of the mouth of Homer Simpson- Doh! There’s also a lot of string, sequins, beads and masks. Future Primitive is very authentically new tribal and equally but not authentically old tribal. It’s a vibe that’s also in favor right now with Fashion and Design and Advertising. It’s identifiably popping up everywhere. That makes it a mash up.
At the exhibition an artist friend told me that artists don’t decide not to be artists, they just don’t get invited to be in any shows anymore. This made me swig heavily from my champagne flute. I also felt a strong desire to clonk my mate on the head with a heavy tribal-ish instrument.
When my Mum arrives in town in the Winnabago, we invariably do a trip out to Heide. Patsy is crazy for Heide. She loves Shannon’s tasty morsels and as we relax and break bread roll, conversation always swerves towards the John and Sunday Reed/Sid Nolan ménage au trios. It sits at the centre of the Heide story. Mum reckons any woman who can sort out a couple of simultaneous lovers for herself without lying too much is a legend.
Sunday didn’t have it sorted for long though and when Sidney finally did leave he never came back, harboring that grudge all the way to his grave. Sunday lured young artists out to Heide with talk of her Art Library. Rimbaud, Andre Breton, all those big thinking dudes really got the modernist’s worked up and ready to go it out in the garden.
Gossip has a primitive appeal but it’s put down as trite and unworthy of serious scholarship. If you wait 40 odd years though (till all the main players have carked it) you can get a research grant and study the private correspondence (donated to the State Library of Victoria) and the result will end up in hardcover and paperback. Sold in the Heide giftshoppe.
Future Primitive is on at Heidi Museum of Modern Art until 2nd March 2014