|"A Matter of Taste"
||[Oct. 15th, 2008|11:09 pm]
I listened to David Marr at the Art Gallery of New South Wales this evening at 6:30 pm to about 7.05 pm. He contrasted the controversial works of Monet with the controversial works of Australian artist Bill Henson noting that:-
a) Kevin Rudd had formed an opinion within 19 seconds of viewing some censored examples of artistic photographs shown to him in a TV studio.
b) Both the back and front cover of Art Monthly magazine had to be rated by the Attorney General's Department. (The back cover depicts a dark skinned gentleman without a shirt - clearly over the age of consent). The now rated magazine has had it's subscription canceled by the Department of Trade (as previously noted) and will no longer be distributed to overseas countries on the dubious grounds that Australia may be regarded in an unfavorable light by embassies overseas.
c) He noted a complete lack of input by the current Minister for the Arts (Peter Garrett) in the current Rudd Labor Government.
There were some comments attributed to Bob Debus and Bill Henson which I won't repeat here.
Some questions were raised by the (substantial in numbers) audience. One question regarded why it is Australia takes great notice of the "matters of taste" by it's Prime Minister while nobody takes any notice at all regarding the opinions of George W Bush on matters of art.
Mr. Marr expressed a private opinion that in his view Monet was a better artist than Bill Henson but leaving that aside he regarded him as an artist whose contribution to Australian art has been substantial.
It was noted that the artwork considered "revolting" by Kevin Rudd had once hung of the walls of the Art Gallery of New South Wales (2003) without a single complaint and had been displayed in overseas galleries and been printed on postcards for distribution without so much as one complaint or commentary regarding the art being pornographic or objectionable.
Serious concerns were expressed regarding the protocols being proposed by the government (see previous posting) regarding the fact that attendees at art exhibitions will in future be required to "understand and appreciate" the nature of the work being viewed before entering a gallery. It isn't clear if this appreciation and understanding is to have some substance in law.
I took a few snaps with my camera phone but at the moment am having problems transferring them to the computer.
A gentleman with white hair and a happy disposition tapped me on the shoulder with a happy smile. I acknowledged the tap with a nervous grin. I have an appointment with him on Monday.