Other People VI: Shake & Bake

Other People Feb 27, 2012 8 Comments

Carrie Miller doesn’t expect to be invited anywhere soon…

Since women started making art in the 1980s, they have been nagging for better representation in public institutions.

The latest example of this was their quaint ‘protest’ at the Art Gallery of NSW. Apparently, the ladies weren’t so happy about John Kaldor’s contemporary art collection as it has hardly any work by them. So I went down to check out what the fuss was about.

The guard nearly didn’t let me in because I hadn’t brought a plate or a yoga mat. Anyway, the finger food turned out to be excellent. Like the whole Occupy Wall Street thing, I couldn’t really get a handle on what the point was. Someone said the girls were in a huff because Kaldor was a capitalist pig, which meant he had the right to buy things on the basis of quality rather than guilt. Who knows? Anyway, I went out to the loading dock and checked with some of the blokes there. They are always my best sources for who will win the Archibald. One of them, who didn’t wish to be named said, “I couldn’t understand what this old man was saying”, in relation to speech one of the protesters had given earlier in the day.

Feminist protesters on the verge of hysteria at Art Gallery of NSW Kaldor Collection…

There were reports that the special secret, acting director of the Gallery, Professor Pissy Pants, said, “Blah, blah, blah, Chinese pots, blah, blah, blah, Picasso”, while sucking his thumb, but this couldn’t be substantiated. One gallery worker did tell me that if the protest lasted more than a day it was likely the police would be called because of the significant risk the women’s menstrual cycles would start to synchronise (also because hand-made candle sales had already dropped 70% in Newtown and shopkeepers were threatening to burn down Lord Mayor Clover Moore’s renovated worker’s cottage).

In a typically knee-jerk, bleeding heart, left-liberal reaction, the Gallery of Modern Art, Queensland responded to these Femi-Nazi, bully-boy tactics by cobbling together an entire show around the theme of chicks, titled: Contemporary Australia: Women. As many have already pointed out, there is a complete absence of men in this show and, as the title suggests, perhaps in the nation itself if female artists had their way. Here’s an excerpt from the show’s press release, which attempts to capture the unique material and conceptual qualities of the female art practice:

Serves: Makes 3 dozen.

750g (6 cup) S.R. flour
1 teaspoon salt
250ml (1 cup) cream
500ml approx (2 cups) milk

Sift flour and salt well.

Use sufficient milk to make a firm but not dry mixture (just enough milk to make a dough easy to handle without too much extra flour on the board).

Roll one way lightly. Cut and place scone shapes on a cold tray and brush tops with melted butter. Bake in an oven set at 220C for 8 to 10 minutes.

Serving suggestions

Serve with cream and jam.

Women’s issues have never been more important than today. We have the first lady Prime Minister in this country’s history and right now she’s being challenged for her position. Just because she hates children and has to take three or four days off a month is no need to penalise her. You go girl!

We all need to recognise the importance of women’s rights. Which is why The Art Life is offering the first ten female readers who share this article on Facebook with their BFFs the chance to win a free Brazilian (and in the case of those protesters, other waxing services). Just post in the readers’ comments below, in 25 words or less, why George Clooney would be your dream date.

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Carrie Miller


  1. Except in the art world. Andrew I thought you were better than this . What a vile tirade – share this on FB – never! There are great woman artists working today – but you will never know them or know of their work.
    Margaret Preston and Grace Cossington – Smith worked in country loved and understood by them – in their garden studio’s just like the male artists do now. Few knew their genius in their lifetime. What has changed?

  2. Amanda

    Whose Andrew?

    Satire at it’s best. Thanks Carrie. Although already I see commenters are missing the point.

  3. valerie solanas

    What a totally pointless and egotistical piece of writing that is. That’s not satire – just inane and completely unfunny – keep hanging out with the backroom boys Carrie – I’m sure they make your day: GO GIRL

  4. Carrie Miller

    Hi, ‘Valerie Solanas’. I’m not concerned with trying to change your mind about what I wrote or its meaning, but I think its highly unethical not to put your name to comments like yours. Writing the sort of satirical material I do, which clearly has a high risk of being misunderstood as evidenced by the comments here, I could easily write under a false name, particularly given I make my living in the art world. But I always put my name to things, as anyone I know who publishes things does. Its an ethics of engagement that most writers live by, regardless of their positions on things.

    I believe Juno Gemes completely misunderstood my piece. But I have the greatest respect for her because she put her name to her comments. Your comments suggest I’m an unethical person (‘hanging out with the backroom boys’). That’s a position you have every right to take. But if you want to take an ethical stand on something, consider doing it in an ethical manner. This is not meant as a personal attack on you, it’s a suggestion that I think would help people wanting to contribute to online debates generally.

  5. At least she didn’t accuse you of hanging out with the Backstreet Boys. That would have really hurt.

  6. Brian Fingerton

    I would like to win a dream date with George Clooney so I could paint him and have my work hung in the Kaldor gallery, which it would, because it would be a very good painting and I am a man.

  7. Carrie Miller

    Brian Fingerton’s response does appear to be yet more evidence that, in a meritocracy, men seem to come out on top.

  8. Frances Jowett

    You’ve got it so wrong. The quoted recipe’s for scones. That the recipe is not for pumpkin scones just totally proves how lacking in integrity this piece is

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