Tuesday, April 26, 2011

THERE is a quite remarkable piece in The Age on the appropriate way to fund the "arts community". As Australians prepare to return to their labours after the Easter/Anzac break it is reassuring to know that public spirited sorts like Esther Anatolitis have set their imaginations to working on what wonderful things they can do with the cash confiscated from the less aesthetically gifted rest of us.

"If we look at subsidy, then ultimately what we are doing is funding the known, picking winners - we're sort of choosing a set of trajectories that are already known and understood, rather than letting artists pave the way and absolutely stun and astound us with new ideas.
So, we need to make sure that arts policy and arts funding is artist-led and artist-driven.''
It is tempting to take a longer, deeper look at Esther The Wallet Molester's grand plans, but  not just now. It is a fine day, complete with blue sky, and the golf course beckons. Perhaps, when 18 holes are done, there will be a moment to consider how golfers are also ready and willing to "astound us with new ideas" and why people who pursue a sport that encourages cheerfully peculiar pants should not be rewarded at least as well as those who must, for the sake of conformity, dress always in black.

                                            Esther the Wallet Molester (with bicycle, of course)


  1. The best arts policy is no arts policy.

  2. I have tried, numerous times, to comment on this post but on each occasion my comment has disappeared into an electronic vortex.

    Alas, all my insightful comments gone! No doubt this rather banal comment, complaining only about my inability to comment, will appear immediately.

    If so, the internet gods are taunting me.

  3. OK, but who qualifies as an 'artist'? If it is someone who has established a reputation as such, and then we are pretty much back to picking winners. But maybe its just a matter of self-identification: someone who says they are an artist is! This would follow the ACT government's policy on who is an Aboriginal. When the local parliament's scrutiny of bills committee suggested that a definition that required 'acceptance' by some 'community' breached the privacy of an identifier, the government replied that its policy was not to query whether the identifier satisfied the definition. So much for the rule of law!
    At some point, this sort of policy will produce a great big bun fight about which of the identifiers get a share of the loot on offer. Should be fun.

  4. Yes, indeed, welcome back!

  5. Esther reminds me of Cate Blanchett and Elizabeth MacGregor. At the time of the 2020 tinyminds summit (remember that?) the concept of "art" and "artists" being the heart of all life was presented. From this profound error they got to their big idea: compulsory allocation of 2% of all govt dept budgets to "arts". This was characterised as being the artists contribution to society. Get it? Compulsory commissioning = contribution. Now we have Esther who seems to just want whatever $ is on the table up front so artists can do with it what they will. She's in fine company with Cate and Elizabeth. They really don't hear themselves when they speak.

  6. Yeah well, black's flattering to the figure (or lack thereof)

  7. daddy dave
    The System is configured to enumerate you as an 'artist'.