Friday 12th of August 2022

at the gallery of commonality, multiplicity and solidarity...

gallery A   I don’t need the Turner Prize to remind me to make my bed… As the Turner Prize claims relevancy in this modern world, it simply means the modern world is either crooked, pissy or it stinks or both. And to tell the Gus-truth, does the art in Turner Prize represent anything else but the frustrations of annoying deluded artists trying to push old crap forward in squared-wheel new wheelbarrows? Is Gus blind? 


The 2019 Turner Prize — considered to be the art world's equivalent of the Booker — has been given to all four finalists for the first time in its history.

Key points: 

• The prize has been running since 1984 and been awarded to groups previously
• This year judges unanimously agreed to give the award to all four finalists
• Throughout its history, the Turner has sparked debates about the value of contemporary art
All four of the artists chosen as finalists won this year's award after they wrote to the jury and asked to be treated as a collective, prize organisers said during a ceremony at the Turner Contemporary gallery in Margate, south-east England. 

Artists Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Helen Cammock, Oscar Murillo and Tai Shani said that, at a time when the world is divided, they wanted "to make a collective statement in the name of commonality, multiplicity and solidarity — in art as in society"….

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As a modern/classic neosurrealist-existentialist pseudo-artist, Gus (old cartoon above, circa 1975) weeps at the state of art in our social context via this Turner Prize. "to make a collective statement in the name of commonality, multiplicity and solidarity — in art as in society” is as meaningless as a turd spinning down the tube from a toilet bowl being flushed. Sure, there has been many attempts at glorifying bronzed turds, moulded self-vaginas and pissoirs exposed as art, but this was 1915, as a necessary deconstruction of our bourgeois and stupid religious thinking. The name was Marcel Duchamp and the dadaists, though Marcel would have hated being associated with an -ism.

We have never recovered from this exposure of our delusions — we are still weaponising ourselves to the teeth.

Can art be better than this crude low-value attempt at mirroring our madness? At least, the pop-artists of the 1960s did originally stylise these reflections and the surrealists told us about the dark (and bright) places in our imagination. While Duchamp created a revolution, the art of today is swimming in retrograde acceptance of commonality, multiplicity and solidarity — which means nothing much exciting but more of the same trying to challenge us with more of the same. Art is moribund if we accept commonality, multiplicity and solidarity. I was making papier-mâché characters when I was six-years old with far more panache and less deaded chairs!

"It's not four winners. It's one winner, and it's the four of them as a collective," he said.

What is this shit? A collective? Is this the new shopfront for artisan basket weavers and unmade bed decorators?

Art should not be common, for goodness' sake. The Bastille was not burnt down for nothing!...

What does multiplicity means? Stercore! Are several (not fucking multiple) artists with the same tar and feathers painting an imprisoned giraffe with green-ism dots? Multiplicity? I hate this word being used to invite the idea of several format of a unique whatever flat, or several houses having been burnt in an Aussie bushfire.

And solidarity? Art should not be “subeundam", nor unionised. ART SHOULD BE DIVIDED. Not unified! NEVER! Artists should follow the great tradition of fighting amongst themselves, a tradition going back to the invention of the moveable type — and even earlier when the Greeks were pissed on mead and invented the Thespians to celebrate and deride the gods! Yes, of course art should expose the controlling culprits who rob you (us) daily — those politicians, armament merchants, priests and billionaires with a heart of semi-gold — those who do a thousand times more to push society into a silly future with more cash for them and manipulations for you, than art could ever do in raising the social consciousness, one way or the other.

From the exclusivity of the rich, kings on horses and nobilities, art has been democratised to become an incidental little sideshow on white walls in tiny spaces, when our streets are uglied by unimaginative art-less hoardings, deceptive advertising and fake-anarchistic tags. Art should fill our streets, but even we can't manage a matching lamppost to the old facades...

I would argue there is far more art in a single iPhone than in the entire Turner Gallery. Except the art of the smartphone is cleverly designed to steal your individual thoughts rather than inspire you to be you.

Cammock delved into the civil rights movement in Northern Ireland, Shani created a feminist science fiction world, Murillo was influenced by the history of his native Colombia and Hamdan interviewed former inmates of a notorious Syrian prison for a sound installation.

Okay… I have been a bit (very) harsh here for no other reason than my annoying pushy arty-pansy subjectivity. There are singular topical values here in these important Turner winner works, but the STYLISTIC EXPRESSION suxs or COPY stuff that has been seen many times before. They do not have the essential qualities to lift us out of the gutter or challenge what we know beyond what we know, or what we can scratch like chooks. We’re zombies in a mediocre world and this art does a feeble attempt at raising a few eyebrows but once out in the real world, all is forgotten, blown away into oblivion by the fresh air. The imprint has subconsciously reinforced our bourgeois good choice of a Gauguin print in our dunny. 

Installations are gallery displays that justify the galleries self-importance. Try to place one of these work in your home and you need an extra palace just for it and would end up in an asylum for blancmanged monkeys by seeing it daily. Exposing the damage isn’t enough. Leave it to the journos and make your own bed. Clean up the cupboard and get positively angry. Go smell the flowers, hug a tree. go beyond the galleries. Be!

Sure, I am a complainer. I often argue for the sake of the argument. It’s in my veins and it keeps me alert. Being born on the same day (some years earlier, fortunately) as Donald Trump, makes me boil, as I realise I could be as mad as him, on a good day.
But fear not. The fire is not used to cook marshmallows.

Gus Leonisky

On a good day as the Sydney smoke is lifting off...

blowing one's own trumpet...

seas on










more gus's trumpets...



the black sun country



pretending to be cool...

Many museum curators do not believe in high art anymore and are too ashamed to present our culture honestly. But pretending to be cool, and using pop culture to try to woo the young, betrays the values they should defend.

This month the Uffizi Gallery, the leading museum of classical painting in Florence, released a video that shows just how tone deaf today’s museum administrators – or their publicity departments – have become in their outreach programmes.

The short TikTok video animates a Renaissance painting to ‘Nails, Hair, Hips, Heels’, a rap song by Todrick Hall. Using quick cuts, flips and zooms, the video focuses on parts of female anatomies with the greatest sex appeal, imitating dancing in music videos. The singer addresses a woman as a “b*tch” and a “c**t b*tch” and demands she strips and dances for him. The full lyrics are available here.



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Beats a romantic sunset...