Associate Professor Rex Butler "I Am, You Are, We Are Australia"

PanOptic Press | Little Tokyo Two | Happy Boy | SoFA, Tuesday, 14 April 2015 from 7:00 PM to 11:30 PM (AEST), 36 Mein Street, Spring Hill, Brisbane, QLD.

Our Inaugural Seminar was presented in two half hour time slots by Associate Professor Rex Butler. The first paper – I Am, You Are, We Are Australia – co-authored by Rex Butler and A.D.S Donaldson began with the premise:

What do a series of works called ‘Australia’ done by artists who do not come from Australia have to tell us about ourselves? Art historians for some time have tried to define what “Australian” art is. Their definitions have inevitably been exclusive, often leaving out, for example, Australian artists working overseas and artists from overseas working here. But what would it mean to say that “Australian” art can be made by anyone, anywhere? We try to answer this

question by looking at a series of European artists who have painted gumtrees and a series of European and American artists who have made works called Australia and even “Aboriginal” art. © Rex Butler 2015 All rights reserved.

Associate Professor Rex Butler’s current research projects include A History of UnAustralian Art (with A.D.S. Donaldson), a critical biography of Colin McCahon (with Laurence Simmons) and a book on Stanley Cavell. He has recently completed a book on Deleuze and Guattari’s What is Philosophy? and edited a Dictionary on Slavoj Žižek. Further reading on the monumental pursuits of Associate Professor Rex Butler can be found here.

Associate Professor Rex Butler "Ben Quilty: The Fog of War”

The second paper presented surrounded the premise: “Why are certain art works popular? Because they express something of our attitudes towards things, and thus tell us something about ourselves. There is nothing more popular in this year of the centenary of Gallipoli than Ben Quilty’s images of soldiers who have served in Afghanistan, After Afghanistan. But what – if we look at them closely – do they have to tell us about contemporary attitudes towards war, perhaps even despite themselves and whether we like it or not”? © Rex Butler 2015 All rights reserved.

FASST is an annual fine art seminar series brought to you by Panoptic Press in association with SoFA (Society of Fine Arts, UQ). Panoptic Press has partnered with Little Tokyo Two to facilitate this exciting program. Presented in the Soho chic environs of Happy Boy restaurant, these events feature fine wine and an à la carte menu with musical accompaniment by art house trio The Kietels.

Header Image: Rex Butler, I Am, You Are, We Are Australia. FASST, 14 April, 2015.