Tom Nicholson

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ALLEGORY OF THE CAVE PAINTING
Mihnea Mircan & Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei (Eds.)

 

Mihnea Mircan & Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei, eds.

With contributions by Haseeb Ahmed, Ignacio Chapela, Justin Clemens, Georges Didi-Huberman, Jonathan Dronsfield, Christopher Fynsk, Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei, Natasha Ginwala & Vivian Ziherl, Adam Staley Groves, Sean Gurd, Adam Jasper, Susanne Kriemann, Brenda Machosky, Mihnea Mircan, Alexander Nagel, Rosalind Nashashibi, Tom Nicholson, Jack Pettigrew, Raphaël Pirenne, Susan Schuppli, Lucy Steeds, Jonas Leonard Tinius, Marina Vishmidt, Christopher Witmore, and Khadija von Zinnenburg Carroll

A 2010 archeological study found that the prehistoric Gwion Gwion paintings in Australia, whose chromatic vividness contrasts with their age and their exposure to sun and rain, are inhabited by “living pigments.” A symbiotic biofilm of red cyanobacteria and black fungi sustains a process of permanent self-painting, while also etching the pictures deeper into the quartz wall. The texts commissioned for the reader respond, from a variety of disciplinary perspectives, to an idiosyncratic temporality and economy—or ecology—of signification. Descending from an inscrutable past to the same extent that they are made now, in a radical contemporaneity, the Gwion Gwion are examined as an allegorical metabolism that generates new articulations of “art” and “life,” contamination and purity, prehistory and modernity, bacterial and human colonies, lost knowledge and scientific advancement—collaborative relations between antonyms, altered schemas of “origin” and “identity.”

Now out-of-print – last copies.

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Tom Nicholson
Comparative Monument (Ma'man Allah)


Tom Nicholson’s bilingual artist’s book begins with the remarkable and dominating presence of Australian eucalyptus trees in the Ma’man Allah/Mamilia cemetery in Jerusalem, Palestine’s oldest and most important Islamic cemetery. These river red gums are famous in Australia for their connection to Barmah, a landmark of anti-colonial resistance. Comparative Monument is an attempt to articulate the historical links and echoes between Jerusalem and Australia. Drawing on the symbolic importance of trees in Israel and Palestine, and in Australian commemorative traditions, it is also an attempt to rethink the nature and possibilities of the monument itself, and the linkages to drawing and walking.

Designed by Ziga Testen and James Oates

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Tom Nicholson & Jonathan Jones
Evening Shadows/Murray-Darling Views


This artist book is a collaborative work by Wiradjuri/Kamilaroi Sydney-based artist Jonathan Jones and Melbourne-based artist Tom Nicholson. Based in part on the centrality of the Murray-Darling river system to both projects, this book links the flow of the river to acts of reading and looking, and implicates the visual legacies of Australia’s colonial past in acts of imagination towards new forms and legacies.

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Tom Nicholson & Jan Svenungsson
Forms for a public address

Forms for a public address presents an exchange between the Berlin-based Swedish artist Jan Svenungsson and the Melbourne-based Australian artist Tom Nicholson, written over a two-year period spanning 2008–2010. Shifting between a discussion of their own work and that of other artists, as well as art history and contemporary events as they unfold in parallel to the exchange, the book addresses the possibilities of art-making, the relationship between public forms and private processes, and the question of how artists understand their work in the face of the world around them.

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