Sunday, May 26, 2013

Poo-bahs of the arts: Part III

ON the eighth hole this afternoon, a long and straight par-4 to an elevated tee protected by escarped bunkers, Doctor Yowie lifted his head (after the stroke, of course) and exclaimed that the $600,000+ given to Balletlab and poo guru Mikala Dwyer should prompt a criminal prosecution. He is a broad-minded fellow, so it was not the act of public defecation that bothered him so much as the chief luvvies' claim that a performance centred on bowel movements is something new and radical.

"Haven't this lot heard of Luis Bunuel?" he wondered.

And then the penny dropped, which is not the same as spending a penny.

Of course, The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie! The film was made in 1972,  and here is the final scene:

In The Age, which has a known affinity with crap, the director of the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Juliana Engberg, is quoted thus:
''When Mikala brought this idea of a performance and film dealing with material transformation and ritual to us, we evaluated it as a key and bold move in her practice, one that links to a long artistic legacy looking at alchemical transformation and magical performance. The work, while challenging taboos, never becomes sensational or gratuitous. It's wonderful, powerful work.''
That "key and bold move in her practice" is 41 years behind the times. At the Billabong's local video store you can rent Bunuel's flick for $3, a good deal less than the sums pocketed by ACCA's Empress of Excreta and her taboo-challenging Queen of the Commode.
Doctor Yowie has a point. In claiming they are on the cutting edge, Dwyer and Engberg are guilty of fraud and misrepresentation. Lock 'em up, and don't bother with making sure there is a toilet in the cell.
These provincial tossers wouldn't use it anyway.


  1. The Proff made a salient point at the begining of this thread. Those of us of a conservative mindset are seen by the elite as too dim, too timid, too bucolic to have taken on board the mindset that it's proponents spent so long and agonised so hard to emerge into.

    It wouldn't occur to them that a wild mushroom gobbling hellraiser rolling joints and passing them out to the crowd at a Marcia Hines concert at Monash Uni from under a Red and Black flag could become a conservative once a few winters had besieged the brow.

    Dots are easy to join. Red and Black cant go together, ditch the Red in favour of Adam Smith. Chuck in a bit of Ayn Rand, go get a proper job as an engineer. Listen to Black Flag cranked up on the stereo after work. At no point have you altered course.

    Conservatives have often been the dogs on both sides of the mob of sheep.

    1. Indolent says
      Well put Mr Bolton. That's why I dislike the term 'conservative'.

      As an engineer you recognise the power of mathematics and would understand that mathematicians discover truth; they don't invent truth. That is why the best philosophers through the ages have also been mathematicians. It is also why logical thinkers and many erstwhile left wing radicals now find themselves on the other side of the great political philosophical divide.

      One must feel sorry for left wing radicals these days. Their thinking is so mainstream, so banal, and they have no pricks to kick against any more. They are now forced to invent pricks to survive. I know it sounds unlikely, but a thirteen year old girl has recently been publicly vilified for calling a 30 year old footballer an ape. Some post-postmodernist producers of art have been similarly squeezed and have had to resort to coprology, previously the domain of pathologists and people of Germanic origin, to establish their credentials. It could be argued that the left wing radicals of an earlier era, and I include you and myself in that cohort, contributed to the current malaise. Maybe so but it is up to the youngsters now to follow in our footsteps and shrug off the ‘nutjob’ and ‘loony’ epithets and redress the balance.
      PS: Your post would have had even more oomph if you had simply said 'a concert at Monash...'

  2. That scene is from Buñuel’s “The Phantom of Liberty”, surely.

  3. Odd it is indeed, that as we evolve and become more civilised, some art seeks to debase the momentum. Even lowly animals shy away from their own excrement. Microbes confined to a septic tank may have some difficulty in identifying what is what, while sifting through their 'artistic' medium. And to think, we were all in that slough, hundreds of millions of years ago.

  4. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.May 27, 2013 at 3:58 PM

    The spoof Uzbekistan Journalist Borat, in his anthropological excursion into Middle America, did a piece of Cinema Verite entailing cultural misunderstandings and the collection of human faeces in plastic bags, Bunyip. That was about the last humorous or artistic word on such things, in my book anyway.

    The only concerns any civilised society need have with excreta now relate to hygienic and medical issues.

    Personal examination of such for the purposes of amusement should be safely left to those between one and three years old, and amusement at the thought of such things should end promptly upon puberty, when more pressing bodily functions emerge to take their place in the human drama.

  5. I also seem to remember Frank Zappa was a time to time turd dropper. Of course, I'm showing my age.

  6. The sight of people smoking at the dinner-table was much more revolting than any of the stuff the Balletlap copros could have thought up.

    Did people really do that in 1971?

  7. Aye my son they did.