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 Contemporary Art
  At The Vanishing Point - Contemporary Art Inc.
565 King Street
(02) 9519 2340
0430 083 364
Gallery Hours:
Thursday - Sunday

9 - 26 June

Awareness Muscle | The Academy of Emergency Art Sydney

awareness muscle

9 - 26 June 2011


Opening launch, Thursday 9 JUNE 6-9pm

Awareness Muscle Film Screening, Thursday 16 June 7-9pm

Artist's Critical Run, Thursday 23 June 6-7pm



The artist must exercise regularly to minimize atrophy of their critical competence. They must train their AWARENESS MUSCLE to avoid this atrophication. Saha Jones and Nicole Dennis present the documentation of the activation of critical formats since beginning a mentorship with French- Danish format artist Thierry Geoffroy in early 2010.


Thierry's Emergency Rooms movement has launched formats all over the world which respond to emergencies of the day. Nicole and Saha are the first to establish an independent version of his movement, where they work in partnership with him to bring these ideas to an Australian audience.


The aim of this exhibition was not to create art, so much as to encourage experimentation and progressive attitudes towards artistic practice. Keeping in mind that by no means do we think 'artistic practice' is limited to or reserved for 'practicing artists'. Being creative is something we feel as definably human.


We are asking, what kind of roles might artists play in a new vision for the arts? Where artists communicate the stories of our time, and become leaders at the very front of social change. Are we thinking laterally around our problems, and applying our own personal emergencies and stories into a world context. Where is the common ground between us? Where is the human element in our stories? Where is the trust in our practice and between one another? Can we enable ourselves to create laboratories in which to discover new ways of both learning and applying knowledge?


Where is the commitment to follow new pathways? Where is our struggle to claim our freedom? Where is our critical competence? Where are our basic survival instincts? When will we realise that we cannot survive if we refuse to face concepts of change?


So, with this attitude we put forward this exercise asking people to keep a journal for a week from the 30 May - 5 June 2011. We wanted the journals to be as close as possible to 'now', so that our memories as audiences could be as fresh as possible. They were instructed to collect two media articles each day and were invited to respond by identifying emergencies. Participants responded and reacted within a situation where they were confined by rules. It was up to those individuals to break them, to change them or to follow them.

Each journal is not considered an individual work, but together they represent a collection of thoughts that provide insight into many things. The most interesting of which is our conditioning, experiences, culture and identity. Our Emergency Artists were invited from all walks of life, and backgrounds and many of them are not artists by vocation. We wanted to see what similarities would emerge, and to put the focus back on how important it is to listen to one another.

This idea is part of a whole cluster of AWARENESS MUSCLE training exercises, that includes CRITICAL RUN and SOAP BOX SUNDAY. The training aims to break down normal ways of viewing art. Putting back under the microscope our self as guinea pigs. If we want to remain sitting around the dinner tables of the chattering class, we will fail in all ways conceivable. Instead THE ACADEMY OF EMERGENCY ART urges its members, and its audience, to look closer to home in the hope that we can understand that we are all in this together.





Murray Ackman, Rebecca Ayre-Smith, Alicia Boyd, Andrew Burford, Nicole Dennis, Coris Evans, Luke Fullagar, Peter Fyfe, Michelle Genders, Jepke Goudsmit, Gilbert Grace, Kate Henniker, Graham Jones, Jola Jones, Saha Jones, Jarred Keane, Chris Alexander Kiprovski, Jessica Kite, Michael Petchkovsky, Suzanne Nehme, Maya Newell, Caitlin Elizabeth Still, Louise Steer, Angela Stretch, Sophie Trevitt, Victoria Waghorn, Alana Wesley.


Created by Saha Jones and Nicole Dennis

Under the mentorship of Thierry Geoffroy / Colonel


Special thanks to:

Thierry Geoffroy, Jola Jones, Michelle Dennis and Tyler Freeman Smith, Kinetic Energy Theatre Company, At The Vanishing Point, First Draft Gallery and Depot, Gaffa Gallery, Big Village, Thundamentals, Reverse Polarities.


We would like to thank all of our participants:

Natasha Adams, Kiri Beilby, Damon Biggar, Jacqueline Breen, Julie Burke, Cristian Castillo, Bruce Dennis, Jenny Dennis, Michelle Dennis, Jess French, Jamie van Geldermalsen, David Gerard, Katie Gilchrist, Jepke Goudsmit, Roslyn Helper, Graeme Jones, Jola Jones, Jovita Lee, Adam Mada, Tasman Miller, Fadhillah Norzahari, Nurul Norzahari, Michael Owen, Trent Powers, Brendan Penzer, Larry Prichard, Joel Rappaport, Kirby Sharock Mitch, Barnaby Smeaton, Brendan Tuckerman, Lawrence Viegas, Tsung Xu, Jepke Goudsmit, Graeme Jones, Jamie van Geldermalsen


And thank you to all those who found themselves participating in a FORMAT

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