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Sydney Contemporary art fair 2017 Carriageworks Sep 6 installation view 02 feat Jason Phu 2017 love in all its facets exists in hell chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis ring my bell (c) Time Out Sydney photographer credit Daniel Boud
Photograph: Daniel BoudJason Phu with his installation at Sydney Contemporary

Add some culture to your love lyf with these dating tips from a rising art star

Written by Abdul Abdullah

Welcome to the 35th guest blog post of Time Out Sydney's 52 Weeks of #SydCulture 2017 challenge! September’s culture selector is Abdul Abdullah, a four-time Archibald Prize finalist and photomedia artist, and co-host of FBi Radio’s Canvas arts program. Every week in September, Abdul will be telling us what he loved the week before. Think of it as your recommendations for this week, from someone who sees a helluva lot of arts and culture. Over to him.

Dear diary,

Spring is hectic. The end of August going into September is just about the busiest period for Art stuff. There is heaps of shit on.

You wanna go on them dates? I got sweet date ideas.

First off you’ve got Primavera. This is an annual show at the Museum of Contemporary Art of a guest curator’s pick of Australian artists under 35. This year Sophia Kouyoumdjian has curated some real guns in the mix like Nicole Foreshew, Tom Polo and Jacobus Capone. They are all good actually. The MCA is in Circular Quay too, so if your date is from out of town you can impress them by making up things about the Opera House.

Date question/conversation ideas:

“Do you like this painting?”

“What do you think the artist is getting at?”

“What is your favourite colour?”

Tom Polo 'In a Part of Your Mind, I Am You' (2017) installation view at MCA
Photograph: Jessica Maurer

Last weekend was the annual Firstdraft Fundraiser (you missed it, but you can go next year). This was a good place to take dates or find dates. If you want good art vibes, this is the place to be. You’ll seem heaps cultured too, because it’s off the beaten track for people who don’t normally go to art events. It feels like the whole community comes out each year to support this artist-run initiative. From art students, to artists, to collectors, to museum directors: they are all there. There are food trucks too. You can even throw down some bids on the silent auctions. Make sure you make eye contact with your date as you write down your bid.

Uji Handoko Eko Saputro (aka Hahan) ‘Speculative Entertainment No. 1 Sydney Edition’ (2017) at Sydney Contemporary art fair
Photograph: Daniel Boud

This weekend is the most hectic event of them all, the Comic-Con of contemporary art: Sydney Contemporary. Around 100 commercial galleries from around the world congregate to show some of their best stuff. You’ve got the full range: from small artist run spaces showing emerging artists, to big international galleries showing work that could be traded for a decent apartment in Mascot.

There are crowds, there are beers and there’s anonymity. It’s perfect for an adventure-style date (like that bit in The Dreamers when they run through the Louvre). Keep an eye out for Indonesian artist Uji Handoko’s ‘Speculative Entertainment No. 1: Sydney Edition’, Jason Phu’s installation ‘Love in all its facets exists in hell, chlamydia, gonorrhea & syphilis ring my bell’, and Claudia Nicholson’s performance ‘They Conquered with Brutal Efficiency’.

Let me know how your dates go.



Sydney Contemporary runs until September 10 at Carriageworks.

Primavera runs until November 19 at the Museum of Contemporary Art.

While you’re here, check our 52 Weeks of #SydCulture challenge, and let us know what you're seeing/loving on Instagram via the hashtag #SydCulture.

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