RAW: Henri Mallard – Building The Sydney Harbour Bridge – Artspace Til 29 May

Henri Mallard At Work

Coming up to the 80th anniversary of the opening of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Henri Mallard’s photographs and film record more than a significant public works project but a monumental Australian undertaking.

The design of the bridge itself offered all kinds of photographic possibilities and Mallard has taken them all. From closely cropped images of work being undertaken and of the workmen involved, the use of the lattice of cross beams and the arches, to panoramic vistas of the harbour, the boats and ferries below and of workmen suspended between the two. They are gritty, heroic and stunning in equal portions.

As good as the images are in and of themselves, much is added by the film that goes with the exhibition. While requiring 20 minutes of attention, the time is well spent as they not only place in great context many of the photographs, giving them greater meaning, but the sheer engineering and logistical genius involved in making the project happen is made plain. The quality of the commentary is hard to believe in this day or professional voice overs and documentaries but for raw authenticity this is terrific stuff.

When one appreciates that the safety concerns of the Chief Engineer, Bradfield, almost prevented this record being made, the fact this was the first such undertaking of a project like this by an art photographer in this country and the equipment involved was all somewhat new in itself, these are the works of a dedicated artist who knew what to record and where and how to get it. The results are quite memorable.

Whether viewed as a record of a great Australian achievement done in the depression (that also cost 17 lives) or of a committed and brave artist working in the industrial aesthetic of the time, this exhibition is stirring stuff and worthy of a visit.

[Images shown are allHenri Mallard Untitled c. 1930

Photographic Images © Paul Mallard and the Australian Centre for Photography

Kryztoff’s Rating  4.5K

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RAW: Adelaide Oval – One Week On – Part 1

One week on from the surprise 80% SACA members’ vote what has changed? Well quite a bit actually.

First thing is this surprise vote. Questions linger over how such a vote was obtained given the historic difficulties in getting anywhere near a 75% majority for any proposition where there is a bona fide ‘No’ case. Former Federal Labor member for Port Adelaide, Rod Sawford is staggered as were all pundits who had followed interest in the matter. Of course, consistent with every other sticky piece of information that came up in the Oval debate for either the SACA or the SMA (see further below), the SACA says it won’t provide access to the votes to anyone. It is hard to believe a member has no right to review such major things like this of their own association or would have an association that would prevent it.

Then, the Government came out with the usual stream of held back announcements. The forests are going to be sold (we heard the next day), a position not declared in the lead up in case some SACA country members didn’t like the sound of that. Premier Rann also announced the oval would be ready just in time for the 2014 State election. Kryztoff is happy to have a bet with anyone that there will be a football game played in the new stadium between Port and the Crows just prior to the election – try 7.40pm on Friday 28th February 2014 (yes, in cricket season) – under the State’s reserve rights to stage whatever it likes, whenever it likes. Then Rann can make his debut appearance at a football game in 12 years as premier to show the football princes and proles alike what he has done for them.

Under attack from Kryztoff and the No case, last week the Stadium Management Authority changed its constitution so that the anomaly that had existed from the outset that its CEO can’t also be a director is now gone. Interestingly, one of our gonged investigative journos from the SA Media Awards, did not believe that such an issue existed when asked to consider writing an article on the sloppy way the SMA was operating relative to its constitution. Well I suppose if you cover your ears, eyes and mouth and turn the music on really loud not much will get through.

Greg Howe of the No Case also revealed what a croc of dust the report of the SA Centre for Economic Studies was. This is the one that every cheerleader for the project chirped on about that suggested $110m worth of benefits were coming the State’s way. As he showed, the $110m related to gross expenditure, not any net economic gains (as say after including costs involved in earning that revenue, likes wages.) Then around half comes from a transfer of expenditure from West Lakes and much of the rest comes from dream world crowd projections for Port football games, rugby internationals, soccer games and concerts (see separate article to come.)

Nowhere in the document did it deduct from the gross interest costs on the $535m debt the State will be incurring ($40m pa approx). Anyway, any body worth their salt and worried about their integrity would never have been associated with such a piece of crap or allowed its report to be so badly misused. Kryztoff understands some SACES directors did exactly that – endeavoured to distance themselves from the production of the report. Now, let me guess, who do your reckon funds the SA Centre for Economic Studies?

Interestingly, all comment about the economic benefits seems to have been dropped in recent days in both The Advertiser and the Sunday Mail.

Then in a triumphant act of schutzpah, The Advertiser just on Tuesday happened upon a copy of the Macquarie Bank investment proposal that showed the Royal Adelaide Hospital will be built with a $1b over spend up front and annual on-going costs of $1m per day to the taxpayer thereafter. Trying to show to its readers (who generally hated the Adelaide Oval proposal – 90% against in two large phone in polls leading into the SACA vote) that it still cared for Government waste and the plight of the battler, the paper let rip on the Premier and Minister Hill. Little was made of the fact that Jim Katsaros, the doctor who ran the Save The Adelaide Hospital campaign had promoted the exact same figures in the lead up to last year’s State Election.

Again, full marks to those highly honoured investigative journos we have in this State. We are so lucky to have you on our side.

We could go on and we will but in separate pieces about the political machinations since and also further review of the dream world crowd and fixture projections for this ‘game changer’ that will transform this State from the summer of 2014 and make us all feel a lot better.

PS           Taking a walk around the so called Riverfront precinct this afternoon, there were about 500 people there, 50 of whom were young guys doing parkour. Just where all these people will come from to fill all those restaurants and cafes that are going to be built is anyone’s guess. Let us not forget that the fabled Federation Square sits next to one of the great railway stations of the world and is a major meeting spot to boot. Adelaide railway station is nothing like that, or will it ever be.

Check out all our features and profiles in our magazine at: Kryztoff\’s On-line Magazine

RAW: Snowtown – Movie Preview With Lucas Pittaway & Katrina Sedgwick

The Snowtown movie releases on 19th May but it has already received rave reviews with its first sold out screenings at the Adelaide Film Festival.

In two exclusive interviews with Kryztoff, Adelaide Film Festival Director, Katrina Sedgwick, and Snowtown star, Lucas Pittaway, talk about the film and their involvement in it, Sedgwick as an investor and Pittaway as an actor.

Catch that video here: Katrina Sedgwick and Lucas Pittaway Talk About Snowtown.