• Associate Professor Rex Butler: FASST

The Finest Art Seminar Series Tonight (FASST)

PanOptic Press | Little Tokyo Two | Happy Boy | SoFA

14 April 2015.

Our Inaugural Seminar was presented in two half hour time slots by Associate Professor Rex Butler. Commencing with the paper I Am, You Are, We Are Australia,  co-authored by Rex Butler and A.D.S Donaldson and starting 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? Equally, what does the presence of paintings of gumtrees throughout European modernism have to tell us about the Australian landscape tradition? Perhaps, in a way, we are all Australian, even those that were not born here. Perhaps “Australian” art can be made overseas by artists who are not Australian.

and continuing with the assertions, propositions and questions, including:

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.

Copyright 2015 All rights reserved. 

In the second talk of the evening Associate Professor Rex Butler discusses the shared vague complicity inherent throughout the production and viewing of war and or history painting by looking at the work of artist Ben Quilty, in particular the exhibition After Afghanistan and beginning with the questions:

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?

Copyright 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.

FASST is a triannual 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, a new hub space for creatives and entrepreneurs in Spring Hill, to facilitate this exciting program. Presented in the Soho chic environs of Happy Boy restaurant, these events will feature fine wine and an à la carte menu. Accompanied by the eclectic sounds of art house trio The Kietels, it is a relaxing social event.

FASST II will be announced shortly. That said late July or early August has been penciled in. So please join us from 7pm at the Happy Boy restaurant, 36 Mein Street, Spring Hill. Reservations are essential. Tickets are $5.00 per person + booking fee. There is table seating for up to 72 guests with standing room for 15 guests. To secure a table, reserve a seat, or if you’d prefer to stand, simply contact us and we will put you on our list of early bird subscribers. This will allow you to select your seat and purchase tickets from our EventBrite page one week in advance of the event going public.


Panoptic Press in association with SoFA, LT2, Happy Boy and Reach Media would like to extend our appreciation toward the following Brisbane based galleries and art organisations who all encouragingly provided a selection of books, catalogues, bookmarks and business cards for inclusion in our personalised gift bags that were presented on the night, including:

The University of Queensland Art Museum: James and Mary Emelia Mayne Centre (Building 11), University Drive , The University of Queensland, St Lucia, Q 4067.

Heiser Gallery: 90 Arthur Street Fortitude Valley Brisbane Q 4006.

Spiro | Grace Art Rooms: 255 Gregory Terrace (Cnr. Union Street and Gregory Terrace), entrance via Union Street, Spring Hill, Brisbane, Q 4000.

Milani Gallery: 54 Logan Road, Woolloongabba, Brisbane, Q 4102.

Edwina Corlette: 2/555 Brunswick Street, New Farm, Brisbane, Q 4005.

The Institute of Modern Art: Ground Floor, Judith Wright Centre 420 Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley, Brisbane, Q 4006.

QUT Art Museum: 2 George Street, Brisbane, Q 4000.

Queensland Centre for Photography: PO Box 5848, West End, Q 4101.

Panoptic Press is a converged media, cross sector collaboration between the disciplines of art, art history, philosophy, psychology and the creative industries. Through the development of an ecosystem of disciplines, allowing ideas and concepts to mingle and cohabitate, finding realisation and understanding through shared networks, Panoptic Press is designed to grow a critical voice throughout the broader arts sector. Philosophically we foster a wide community of arts accessible to the broader community. Affecting community engagement with the humanities and commerce, Panoptic Press is pleased to be associated with the following organisations.