News just in: Melbourne’s major attractions – “Shopping!””Sport!””Sunshine!”. Art, shmart.

8 11 2010

“Shopping”?…”Talking to our great sporting identities”??… “Enjoying the beautiful Victorian weather”??? That’s it, Prime Minister? Is that really the best you can do when asked to name some of the activities Secretary of State Hilary Clinton might wish to enjoy on her visit to Melbourne (link to video moment here, at 1.13, via The Age and Channel 10 news)? Well, she’s a lady and all that, so SURELY she loves to shop, right? What woman doesn’t? Please. So, she’ll squeeze  a little ‘shopping’ in between the “top level talks about defence and trade”? Somewhere in there, we’ll work in a few be-medalled sports stars and a healthy level of exposure to our wonderful spring sunshine, and there you have it – the picture-perfect Melbourne experience.

Would it have been too big an ask to pop a little mention of Melbourne’s art and culture into that screen grab? “Oh, we’ll be zipping over to Fed Square to take a peek at the Indigenous Collection at the NGV”, or “We’re taking a tour of some of the City of Melbourne’s world-renowned street and public art zones”. But no. Shopping, sport and sunshine. Don’t get me wrong – I love many of our great sporting traditions. And Melbourne in spring? Sublime. But, really – what happened to celebrating our diverse and exciting culture?

Aussie, Aussie, Aussie. Oi, Oi, Oi. Cue: heavy sigh.

(image via The Sydney Morning Herald

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Arty-Party!

23 06 2010

Look! Sad-eyed puppy!

Mea culpa. Apologies for being so slack with the posts of late. But I have good reason. Things have been very busy in the offline world. But the outcome of all this hard work is that if you’re in Melbourne, or have reason to be here on 15-16 July, I’m co-convening a symposium at the University of Melbourne with speakers drawn from across the art world talking about all things current in the Australian art industry – from fakes and forgeries, to the sustainability of the Aboriginal art market, and the potential effects of the resale royalty legislation and the proposed changes in the Cooper Review on the market. Artists, dealers, auction house representatives, legislators, academics, all going head-to-head. It’s going to be juicy. Keynote addresses are to be given by the Minister for the Arts, Peter Garrett, AM, MP, and Sam Leach, the winner of the 2010 Archibald and Wynne Prizes, and there’s an associated Melbourne Conversations event at Fed Square on the evening of Thursday 15 July. More details can be found hereincluding how to register. More updates to follow.