Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Blowing smoke up their arts

This list of Arts Victoria's latest happy recipients really does make fascinating reading.

On page one, just dipping and browsing, we come across Ashley Dyer, who scores for this project:

"Ashley Dyer:Received $15,000 for: the development of "Life Support", a cross-disciplinary work that uses smoke to create images, vignettes, kinetic sculptures and immersive spaces.
What all that means is filling a box with smoke and crawling around in it (below), or sitting in a chair while a machine blows smoke rings past your ear. (Apologies. No idea how to embed Vimeo clips)

On page 2, and still just picking random entries, we find Bonny Cassidy, who gets $8000 for
the development of Final theory, the final draft of a narrative poem that explores the theme of climate change.
And by page 3,there is Declan Greene, who trousered $20,000 for
Presentation of "The Sovereign Wife", a new theatrical investigation into cinematic narrative and cultural identity.
If you missed The Sovereign Wife, know that opinions of its merits varied. The Melbourne Theatre Company was pretty keen because, well, why wouldn't they be? After all, the taxpayer was footing the bill for what one of its own theatrical types rated not very good:  "One MTC staff member whose time with the company was finishing up contacted the Sisters' producer to tell them what they'd just witnessed was the most juvenile thing they'd ever seen, and that they were thankful they wouldn't be there to see it staged." Nevertheless, the Fairfax reviewer was in awe, as you might expect of a production "so queer and far from the mainstream [it] would surely seem like kryptonite to MTC subscribers."

Those bourgeois lowbrows! Serves them right if they bought tickets with their own money and didn't like what arts bureaucrats choose to give them. Just who do paying patrons think they are anyway!

If you missed the show, a little taste of the genius behind it:


  1. F*** me drunk, and I am a little.
    maybe having to produce something the market might pay for might just up the quality a little?
    in my lighter moments I think that government money for "quality" arts is not a bad thing. But there lies the riddle. Never can a bureaucracy allocate such money properly. End it all. Quality artists will be rewarded.

  2. PhillipGeorge(c)2013October 2, 2013 at 9:43 AM

    This says it all really Prof. Hand wringing 'conservatives' [I use that lightly] think that giving license to their avowed enemies will earn them respect.
    Abbott could double the ABC budget and it would spit vitriol at him from here to the ice-cream vendors at the far side of hell.

    "If we give them stuff they'll like us".

    The trouble is flags flown in the West have nothing written on them. Symbols effaced of all meaning. Progressives are just as vacuous but at least they like their attitude problems.

    Meanwhile Darwinism has the greatest grip on your world view, even to this day.

  3. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.October 2, 2013 at 9:59 PM

    Oh, Prof. Only eight thousand bucks for the climate change poem? And Flummery short of cash too?. Surely a sign of the times? What were those memorable artworks again: Finalising the Wife? Sovereign Climate? Futile Poem? Smoko Time? Something like that. Dunno. That Smoking Ceremony affected my eyes and I have been weeping into my wine ever since at the tragic loss of my identity, which I put down somewhere and somehow lost. Maybe at interval. Surely art should come to my rescue here, Prof, but I don't have high hopes for it right now.

  4. Sorry, don't do enough drugs to understand them