Cyrus Tang

'Golden Hour - 1414.16.004' 2018

Fiona Lowry

'Sometimes you're a stranger to me' 2018

Adam Stone

'Before The Fall' 2018

Jelena Telecki

'Pole Paintings' 2019

Sam Leach

'Astronaut Cut in Half' 2018

Andrew Read

'The Legend of Peugeot or What's in a name?' (For Suzette) 2019

Phuong Ngo

From the series 'Lost and Found'

Leslie Rice

'Prometheus Bound' 2016

Megan Cope

'Governor Arthurs Proclamation (1828)' 2012

Bronte Stolz

'For Sale: baby shoes, never worn' 2019

Natasha Bieniek

'Pocket Landscape 2' & 'Pocket Landscape 1' 2018

Phaptawan Suwunnakudt

'Reincarnation of the Butterflies triptych Series 5 (1 & 2)' 2017

Casey Jeffery

'Laying sheets (wool blanket I)' & 'What are you doing' 2019

Dane Lovett

'Club Moss' 2016

Kate Beynon

'Night Creatures' 2013

Meagan Streader

'extension (links)' 2019

Jamie North

'Slag study No.6' 2019

Yhonnie Scarce

'Stronium - embryonic' 2018

Jonny Niesche

'Diamond vanity' 2019

Tristan Jalleh

'Cloud City' 2019

Tina Douglas

'rubble hub' & 'scrapstrip' 2019

Michael Vale

'Nowhere man' 2019

Jon Cattapan

'The Will of the People' 2018

Peter Atkins

'Les Welch - I've got a lurverly bunch' 2015

Hayley Arjona

'Tongue in Cheek' 2017 & 'Reciprocal Thread' 2017

Installation

208 Lennox Street, Richmond, Victoria

A show programmed by self-professed non-curator Benjamin Aitken. “Artists to Appreciate” sounds like one of those lame-duck sections in Australian Art Collection – a bit like “Curators to Watch” or “Young Artists Worth Collecting”. It’s not about that at all. It’s more simply “Cool Art to Check Out” without shoving anything down viewer’s throats. It doesn’t carry the now academic burden of being “curated”, which is largely bullshit now courtesy of the university courses, not to discredit some of the amazing curators out there envisioning amazing exhibitions and creating important political discourse. Sure it could have a snazzy, wanky title like “Melbourne’s New Millennial Zeitgeist”. But it’s not about that. There is no curator. There’s a ‘programmer’ which is more like someone who collected bands for a festival which may have included DMX, Swans, GG Allin and John Denver. There is no curatorial theme. This could be argued, by design that this show is actually, quite could be subconsciously curated.

“Shit That I Like’ is simple, honest, a bit anarchist and punk. It’s not dressing mutton up like lamb. Hopefully it has an edge, which most of the art does. It’s literally shit I like in not for profit and unfunded space that gives the artists a platform. If the viewer thinks it’s simply shit, that’s their call. You are welcome to visit some other gallery for some flowers and seascapes.

A ‘curate’ is a person who conducts worship for a parish. Curate comes from the word cure; a curate is supposed to cure that most important part of you – your soul. And that’s what I hope the art in this exhibition will do for each individual. None the less the only holy spirit I believe in is Saint Vodka.

– Benjamin Aitken

Jack says: Ben is a dear friend. Before he got off the cider and went on a diet – he was my only fat friend. He and I wold walk around the city together; two fat drunk idiots, spending all our money eating at the best restaurants and getting loaded. I’m cooking from memory some of the dishes I’ve loved the most. @cookedwithjack

Menu

Chickpea Pancake from EMBLA
Tuna Tatami from Izakaya Den
Crab Capellini from Di Stasio Citta
Congee with Duck from Ling Nan

We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of country throughout Australia and recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and culture. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging.

Special thanks to every single artist involved in this project, arts patron Helen Bogdan, arts writer and scholar Ashley Crawford, Josef from Sidegate Wines, Bodriggy Brewing Company, Jack Shaw, Zoi Prestos, International Art Services, Malcolm Mitchard and all the volunteers and friends who have advised me on this project.

‘Shit That I Like’ was exhibited at 208 Lennox Street, Richmond 3121, Victoria, Australia from 6 September to 5 October 2019. Part II in Sydney coming 2020.

All artworks appear courtesy of the artists and representing galleries. All photographs by Simon Strong unless otherwise acknowledged.