Chinese translation here
As an aspiring arts worker, I am very concerned regarding the job availability in the arts sector. We are encouraged to work as volunteers as much as we can, but I wonder if this can lead to decreasing job availability. Could it be that the many volunteers always ready to work for free undermines the possibility of finding paid jobs?
Further, arts organisations largely rely upon volunteers and interns to carry out their activities and projects. Will this dependence on often transient and unqualified workers lead to impoverished organisational performance?
A NSW Aboriginal Art Gallery
It was great to see the Open Weekend which celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art at the Art Gallery of New South Wales over the October long weekend. The quality and popularity of the event highlights the concerning oversight that NSW does not have a Government owned and operated art gallery dedicated to Aborignal art. Indigenous art is a huge part of the Australian art market both nationally and overseas and is an important link to our country’s history and identity. I fully support the National Trust’s call for an Aboriginal art gallery at the Barangaroo site.
Bubble wrapping community arts
Chinese translation here
When did criticism become a dirty word in community arts? In a field that submissively goes under the Australia Council moniker of Community Cultural Development (CCD), community artists too often dismiss critical evaluation on the basis of irrelevant, elitist or capitalist values.
Many a heartfelt CCD conference will slosh you with persuasive arguments for increased funding, gushing with exuberant success stories, but what of the projects that don’t work? What about those that run out of funding, dissolve in conflict, meet with endless red-tape or collapse with an embarrassingly disheveled product? How are these projects received, and how can we learn from these failures?
By blanketing projects and participants from public scrutiny, community arts workers miss the opportunity to evaluate and develop better processes and products. Further, this over-protection serves to disempower participants, contravening the empowerment agenda so common to CCD.
Lets hope David Elliot has composed his own song for survival.
Why is it that David Elliot so blatantly ignored the beauty and songs of survival of Cockatoo Island in the 2010 Biennale of Sydney? The decision to rig up makeshift gallery walls behind Dale Frank’s sublime canvases did no favours for the artworks nor the space. Come on David, have a look around – if you don’t want the historical and/or aesthetic inimitability of that particular space to impact on the works, then why not pick another one of the 70+ warehouses on the Island to place the work? Perhaps you should try and fit them in with the other 48 or so artists you laughably crammed into the MCA. Or why not squish them in as another afterthought into the thoroughfare of the AGNSW?
Is populism the answer to relevance in the 21st Century for museums?
As the attendance at the ACMI Tim Burton show has gone through the roof, there is an emerging issue of museums inviting popular culture to boost visitor attendance.
Museum directors are sticking their nose into the entertainment business by turning museums into mini high-class shopping malls with fine dining experiences, quirky gallery shops and pop music concerts. Perhaps they also need to consider the original roles of museum – to exhibit, interpret and collect culture that provides knowledge and inspires creativity.
Making museums relevant in the 21st Century is one thing, but alienating loyal visitors is another.
Iris SiYi Shen
Censorship, moral panic and art
The focus of the art and censorship debate should be shifted from ‘is censorship needed?’ to ‘what kind of censorship can benefit both artists and audience?’
Art is not a free zone where artists can do anything they like as though nothing else matters. Artistic expression that signals the values of some individuals can embarrass or upset others.
In a democratic society, both ‘artist value’ and ‘audience value’ should be recognised. This validates art censorship in the public space.
Censorship is necessary. Thus, discussing how to improve the system by which government can regulate artistic expression seems more practical and more beneficial.