untangling the awkward relationship between art and money

Art events in Melbourne this weekend – Linden Postcard Show, and ‘Closing the Gap: Indonesian Contemporary Art’.

This one’s short and sharp, and infused with the stench of self-promotion. I’m involved in a peripheral way with a couple of things that are worth your consideration if you’re seeking something art-related to do this weekend.

First up, the launch of the twentieth Linden Postcard Show. In the words of Director Giacomina Pradolin: “Until someone proves differently we firmly stand by our claim that the Linden Postcard Show is the largest open entry competition which shows work in all medium in this country and possibly the entire Southern Hemisphere”. It’s unlike any exhibition you’ve ever seen before (presumptuous, I know; please forgive the hyperbole) – a huge amount of art on display, and rooms busting with people viewing the show. Not to mention, it’s St Kilda, so expect a surfeit of colour and movement. The opening is tomorrow (Sat 5 Feb) from 1-5pm, and the exhibition runs until 26 March. Linden Centre for Contemporary Arts is at 26 Acland Street, St Kilda. Oh, I’ve been roped in as one of the judges. I was also on the Board of Management for a few years – I love the place. Hence the ‘self-interest’ bit.

I won’t be at the opening itself, however. I’m dispensing with my judging duties this afternoon. Instead, I’ll be talking about art superstardom at a symposium at 1pm on Saturday at the BMW Edge at Fed Square. Closing The Gap: Indonesian Contemporary Art is being staged by MiFA to run in conjunction with its exhibition of contemporary Indonesian art. If you’ve read my ramblings on this site, you probably don’t need to hear more from me, but there are many engaging speakers coming along to have a chat – my colleague Christopher Marshall, 4A’s Aaron Seeto, Jogjakarta based conservator Christine Cocca, Indonesian artists Eko Nugroho and Entang Wiharso, and Asialink’s Sarah Bond.

UPDATE: Judging the Postcard show was surprisingly easy. The thought of choosing from 1500 entries, and then having to reach consensus with two other judges was extremely daunting. It was also a blind judging – although we could hazard a guess at who the respective artists were, we were not given the list of artists until after we’d submitted our results. Very refreshing approaching a wall with no preconceptions about the artwork you’re viewing, I must say. When we came together to compare our selections, there were hardly any pieces on our respective shortlists that did not get at least two of the three available votes. Although perhaps our decision caused the gods displeasure. Then again, it could have been the 80s fashioning of dance troupe, Bodyelectric, which entertained the crowds at the collectors’ preview last night. Either way, the heavens opened. Below is a view of Acland Street outside Linden last night. Apocalyptic!

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