VCA Grad Show
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Investigative Toy Series


Queer Failure, Silly Archives and the Wild


Gordon Matta Clarke



Tracey Emin

Yvonne Rainer


Janette Paris


Deiter Roth


Felix Gonzalez Torres

PACT 1: FAILURE Thurs 14th May

Doug: Interesting that it depends on context and subjectivity. How we define success.
If it leads you down new paths is it really a failure


Recasting failure

Aligning that with how it aligns with socially constructed notions of



Conceptual notions of Failure


Politics of withdrawal

Complicit vs. withdrawal

People who drop out of art school can be admired


Conscious decisions of non-participation in reasons and validity

catapult into spaces of resistance

Question: before pandemic - global politics, failure was a central site to propose a resistant view of the world

Success is overrated

Doubt is embraced

Risk embraced as a counterpoint to create space for experimentation

Paradox rules and dogma is refused

Ideas around social sculpture and situationists. Counter narratives to the self as a political mode of being, a methodology to exist and create meaning.




And whatever....
Anti-racist (not said but implied)

Jaye points to his video work
Being honest and being proactive with honesty can also be a form of resistance

Addressing failure

Being honest, being practice, speaking out against things that need to be spoken out against, we are modelled to resist speaking out against forces that shape us.


failure and success, there is an in-between space, the possibility of failure and possibility of success

Christina - reiterates, intention and realisation, the most important part

Leanne - And also what is someone succeeds because of their failure

Doug - False, its not that black and white

Failure is inherently connected to her character

…and that sort of thing

Emily - Is it also set up for women to fail, and minority groups don’t come from a place of success

Are harder to achieve for those of whom the decks are already

Failed It - Eric Kassels

Arrested development -  

Discussion around

essay topics

> How can we go out of the canon, ending up in the 1960’s

> Focult

> Outside of the canon

Discussion around formulating a question

Jaye Returns

Success and professionalism

> Failure in an autobiographical and confessional lease

>Failure in the fold over from the 20th centrury/21st century and how ideas of failure and recent definitions of failure draw on a melancholic radical doubt

embrace the possibility of the intention of realisation and the making/not making


Failure, negation, too early for Heiiedigeer




Intentionality - Baldessari - 3 balls

A premise that is operating in human logic, you intentionally set out to fail



Daimien Hirst - the Impossibility of death in the mind of someone living

Paradoxes of reality


> Struggling understanding and reached exhaustion, and to escape into another space


Responding to Darryn > failure as a medium

Sol LeWit - parameters there are some failures in the work

Radical failure > subverting lost when you win


If i’m engaging consistently with failure, and then i make something that works, you reach an apex and the work ends

We’re always working with radical failure

To examine new ways of thinking and new ways of failing

Leanne - exploring failure or taking a risk

playfulness and experimentation and risk

expose and show their experimentation

Jaye - The Fart 1984


Aligning and discovering failure within the works. Not an over representation of failure, but there are elements within the work

Spoon-fed work can be a failure???

Rebecca - Sublime, broad categories, examining my own work,

Jaye - warns against any rigid classifications of ‘failure’ its not the artists that are making the classifications, eg: Tracey Emin does not identify with the classification of being a ‘confessional artist’. Jaye does not identify with being queer, and pushed back against those categories.

Melanie Third Text.org text

> Despite their differences in pursuing failure - have a Delusion repetition, point of departure

The realisation - the impossible tasks

Christina - Failure as a process is validating

If you don’t go for the value of thing and just going for a process that can be liberating

David Shrigley  

Darryn - Artists invisible forces becoming perceptible

Element of chance, that could result in the potential of failure

Jaye -

Roman Singer  - accidental sculptures

Chelle - Recalls a moment where she thought there was something beautiful/powerful and others didn’t. Subjective notions of beautiful/not beautiful. And to continue with your art.

Leanne - releasing agency

- artists to begin with have chosen a type of failure, to be artists

shares a meme about - parents and kids wanting to be artists

Constructs and failure

Artists struggle which is

Soyun - High art and low art, Korean artist: made an installation art

made a basket - considered low art

low or high art

Jaye - Jack Halberstalm

Low theory

The Queer Art of Failure

Institutional paradigms

counter-intuitive forms of resistance


How do i then fit into the spaces of professionalism of what is required of me in terms of behaviour and psychology

People often bring a lot of socially constructed understandings about how to fit in

Graduating and being ‘professional’ artists


Establishing self in the health profession - and prioritising art and having to justify and have these ‘validators’ of professionalism


Is it possible to fail? There is a stigma around artworks ‘boredom’

Jaye - in-differance to artworks that are prescriptive or showing me how I am a shitty person. And not having the patience for that - artwork that align with being educational or entertaining are more interesting when they aim to provoke boredom.

Nebulous and inept idea of professionalism

Melody - Responding to Melody, about failure

to consider an art practice working to

Country as subject- there is some depth missing

Seeing things and imagining other narratives

Other ways they could act

> Failure

Astrid - talks about wether she


> being unselfconscious about writing about them




> Something that just didn’t work even though the intentions are different

>What i would see as failure, others would see as success.

> Confusing, alienating,

Failure as a concept and failure as a protest

Christina -

Failure/Success as a strobing effect

The moment


Western Individualism

Lisa - Set up for failure

Darryn - Inciting moment

Failure as any sort of success is arrogant

If a humble person says/i am humble then they are not humble

Jaye - Bottle neck

Felix Gonzalez-Torres

‘Perfect Lovers’ artwork

Nila: Mechanics - what is powering these clocks

Batteries charged up and being in synchronicity

Lisa: No such thing as perfect

Jaye: reads the blurb around the work - how we respond to the past (doesn’t like the word ‘masterpiece’

Our relationship with anyone or anything, moments in time

Kayleigh - An anticipated fear facing the inevitability of mortality

Chelle - reiterates the sadness of HIV in her brother, and also being brave

Jaye - Annoyed at the expectation of artists in the ‘queer’ box to deliver that kind of art

Jaye - Gertrude Stein

A real failure does not need a reason

- transgressive space against dogma


Gordon Matta Clarke

Jaye - Disclaimer

Nostalgia fitting in with this discussion