Lowlights and highlights, reality television and the man who fell to earth…Carrie Miller finally gets out of the house… Illustration by Bruce McMillan.
I was getting a shabby chic massage from my epistemologist the other day when it occurred to me that we could convert our garage at home into a safe house for Michael Moore. I’m Facebook friends with Noam Chomsky and the other night he was drunk and posted that the working man’s Kentucky Bucket is currently in Australia secretly filming his new documentary on multi-national pharmaceutical companies (working title, Big Pharma! Rupert Murdoch! Big Pharma!). Apparently, Baz Luhrmann, a well-known philanthropist for extreme left-wing causes, is funding the project. He’ll have stacks of money left over from filming the Great Gatsby in 3D. They certainly don’t need the usual mega-bucks marketing budget for that movie. It’s an idea that sells itself.
The bad girl of Australian art
In local art news, the There’s No Other Store Like David Jones award winning artist Adam Cullen appeared in court to face charges relating to being a cliché this week. In a shock move, the magistrate handed down the harshest possible sentence: the painter has been banned from comparing himself to Hunter S. Thompson for three years. Cullen is the first contemporary artist to be convicted under the controversial new Brett Whitely Act, with other painters who talk about themselves endlessly to the media expected to follow.
In related news, one of Cullen’s key supporters, Edmund Capon, Director of the Art Gallery of New South Wales, has finally spoken out about what he plans to do after he retires after more than three decades at the institution. “I’m just going to stick to whipped cream coming out of my tits”, the beloved art world figure tweeted yesterday.
That was actually tweeted by sugary pop sensation Katy Perry, but according to Mark Zuckerberg, another Facebook friend of mine, Twitter was experiencing technical difficulties at the time and it is logically possible that the singer’s tweets had been mixed up with the great man’s. The man who commercial gallery director Tim Olsen reminds us, “mostly kept the contemporary arts fashion victims away from the door. He did what he had to do with John Kaldor, but essentially it’s a big worry for modernism for the future.”
Tim, a relative of some other guy, did his bit for that future recently when, along with Harrison Galleries, he offered up his shopfront for the Celebrity Apprentice’s Kerry Packer Memorial Charity Art Challenge. This reality program from Channel Nine has been widely acknowledged in the industry as the first to discover that the bottom of the barrel had a secret compartment with a cellar built by that creepy Fritzl guy and in it was every grasping D-lister you’ve never wanted to see again in your miserable fucking life.
The National Art School, until recently an institution also determined to keep contemporary arts fashion victims away from its door, welcomed the heady mix of footballers, racists, low-level perverts, choreographers and black people, who were split into two groups according to their genitals (except for the choreographer) and told to make some art.
Naturally, Pauline Hanson was the only one among this pack of retards with an intuitive grasp of the challenge. The former Member for Oxley produced a lively text work, ‘Please Explain’, demonstrating she has more of a proud Aussie finger on the Zeitgeist than Lisa Crunchy-Nut Curry or that black person who kept telling her what to do. One of the contestants, celebrity agent and professional moron Max Markson, denied rumours that she was texting Sydney artist Tom Polo for advice during
the challenge, saying “Wanna buy a picture of Shane Warne and Liz Hurley leaving the Sydney Theatre Company after a special production of Chekov’s Three Sisters that Cate Blanchett wants destroyed?”
After my eyes received the necessary counselling, I felt ready to take in the cultural sights again. Thanks to Bec Dean and Jeff Khan, Associate Directors of Performance Space, I am no longer scared of going to places with the word ‘space’ at the end of them. In my mind, these places had gotten mixed up with the hippy markets my mother had dragged me to in the 70s where women sold macrobiotic, hand-rolled sanitary items and where I first learnt that the difference between men and women was that men made art and women knitted and made love to each other.
The Performance Space presented John A Douglas’s work Body Fluid II’, a ten-hour endurance event. I felt so alive as I watched this man in the golden suit embalm himself with the juice that keeps him making good art like this. Thank you NSW Health. There were three giant screens showing films beautifully synched with the performance. Douglas’ practice is Kubrickesque. He has a Nazi-like commitment to aesthetics that makes you want to shout, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”, really, really loudly, or alternately kick the artist in the face really fucking hard, except for the fact that the bloke next to you in skinny jeans and trainers seems to be reading your mind and whispers to you, “No, don’t do that, this is a contemporary art space, think about that theories of embodiment course you took – it has all the answers you seek” .
I was there with my boyfriend and a prominent contemporary art world figure who was dead drunk and threatening to tea bag the artist. We quietly ushered him out the door. At Redfern Station, Daniel Mudie Cunningham and I said our goodbyes.