6.9.20

What do I say 4 : SPACE/PLACE & THE RED DOT

WHAT DO I SAY ABOUT THIS WORK NOW? is an online project begun for the COVID-19 shut-down period. As new spatial artwork can not easily be shown during this period, this project instead encourages discussion of artworks that already exist. Artists are invited to reflect on one of their own works, including how and why its location is part of the work, for posting on this blog. Responses will also be posted here, and can be self-posted on Facebook and elsewhere. Here is the fourth reflection:


Noel Farina Le Point Rouge (The Red Dot) 2019





















SPACE/PLACE & THE RED DOT

I invited my artists to comment on the nature of the Articulate project space before an exhibition is hung: Marco Smudge says, “it’s a space waiting for my personal expression”. Flavia de Jour says, “it’s there for the communication of my difference.” Desirée de Kikk  says, “it’s a place asking for trouble.” Tra Tekram (TM)[1] says, “it’s a place made for my purposes!” Noel Farina says, “it’s a space for my free flowing thought.”

Subsequently, I asked Noel Farina to review Nola Farman’s artwork titled
Le Point Rouge (The Red Dot), which was in a group exhibition at Articulate project space and it was shown at Artspace as a part of Nora Fleming’s Misguided Tour.

Here, for the pleasure of debate, are Noel’s comments,
Dr Permangelo E. Regularis

Thank you for this opportunity Permangelo. Firstly, a gallery is a space haunted by human imaginings. It is where artists collectively create a sense of place. Here, in Articulate Project Space, framing a Red Dot and placing more of the same amongst other artworks is an intrusion, it suggests contagion. Today this would inevitably gesture towards the current pandemic. The red dot is infectious. It cannot be contained. It spreads easily in a crowd. It goes viral. A collective noun would be a rash of red dots,

The Red Dot is an indicator of value, both aesthetic and monetary. It is highly selective, pleasing few and dis-pleasing many, placing and dis-placing. It is the logo of an insatiable cannibal, consuming some and spewing out others, selectively – the mis en place for the main meal. The driving force, the driving farce, slipping between the lines – under the lines of defence – into the line of fire – the spot to aim for. Well spotted. A spotty rash, a spatter of blood and an insatiable itch – irresistible – contagious.

Not every viewer has symptoms. But after a fever, a raised heart rate, feelings of pending doom, a tendency to faint[2], followed by an inclination to reach for a credit card, Red Dot Fever (RDF) is confirmed. There is no known cure and it’s doubtful that a vaccine will ever be developed. 

TM wishes RDF could invade and infect all the spaces of the art world. Oh to be airborne!  So easy.  A red dot can be stuck on with a digit – digitise – no need to lick  – no lechery here. Just a seductive dance in space – see it from across the room. Try to refuse. It is hypnotic. If you go away, you will come back. Dance attendance.

Noel Farina, Sydney, August 2020




[1] Tra Tekram (TM) is an artist, whether we like it or not, in the sense that he is the arbiter of aesthetic value. From the outset his saucy little dots have been and still are a significant part of the repertoire composing his body of work. In a noble gesture, he decided to gift his oeuvre to the art world and it has since become familiar to artists, viewers, collectors and dealers alike. Hence, the red dot has taken on a life of its own.

[2] Stendhal Syndrome: the first example of something resembling RDF was recorded in 1817 and considered to be unique to Florence. This is disputable, given recent evidence of the behaviour of art collectors all over the world.