In Box Out Box

Art Life Sep 13, 2004 No Comments

Sometimes we make mistakes, sometimes we make jokes that look like mistakes, and very occasionally we go too far. We know it and judging by the emails we get at our Hotmail address, you know it as well.

We had a visit from royalty recently when Anne R wrote to us to say thanks for the review of the Dobell Drawing Prize, to take us to task over our concerns with the legal definition of ‘drawing’ and ‘draughtsmanship’ and our concern over the fact that Wendy Sharpe is in her own drawing. Anne R also had a small correction:

“I am very glad you(se??) took the time to visit the Dobell Prize. Good to hear your comments; also, nice to see that some critics are taking drawing seriously. […] A small correction – the poem next to the winning drawing by Garry Shead refers to the Ern Malley hoax (not Keats).”

You see where we made the mistake don’t you? We spelled Garry Shead as “Gary Shead” forgetting that the second ‘r’ in ‘Garry’ is silent.

The Art Gallery of NSW has been very helpful with information on what they are doing. (see Free Art Life Service below). You just have to send them an email and they send you one back. Simple. We started thinking we could do that with any gallery in town and when someone asked us if it were true that Nick Tsoutas was leaving the director’s post at Artspace, we sent the gallery an email asking for a comment. That was over a week ago and we haven’t had a reply. Tsoutas has had the longest two year directorship of Artspace in living memory, a bit like where one human year is equal to seven dog years, and any news that he was leaving was worth our attention. But the perception time for people at Artspace is different than it is for us so,who knows, maybe only a few seconds have elapsed and they will eventually respond?

We have been experiencing an upsurge lately in people asking to be signed up to the Art Life weekly notification email. You can join up by sending an email to and you’ll be notified when the week’s content is ready to be seen (unlike the Subscribe List widget on the right of this page that alerts you to when we upload new content, not when we publish it). We know that a lot of people in the art world don’t know much about technology and if you only know how to read an email, not send one, just ask a gallery assistant to do it for you. Or, alternatively, if you see someone on the street who you think might know one of the Art Life writers, go up to them and hassle them! That works too.

We mention this because we got some interesting emails from people who didn’t want to be part of the whole Art Life experience, such as this from Peter B.

“This is neither art nor life, but yet another document of the impending death of both.”


Then we received an email from John McDonald last week who raised some questions:

“I applaud your efforts & will be happy to subscribe, but I wonder about the anonymity…? It may show a reckless disregard for personal safety, but I think we should all be accountable for our views & opinions. If everybody spoke openly it would help break down the artworld’s habitual paranoia and sycophancy.”

When Mr. McDonald says “it may show a reckless disregard for personal safety” we assume by ‘it’ he’s talking about the blog itself, so yes, it does, doesn’t it? Then there is his question about our anonymity, which we have always said isn’t really the case since the phrase “it’s who you know” has never been more apposite. To put that another way, you know how no one could tell the difference between Clarke Kent and Superman even though the only difference was that one wore glasses and one didn’t? It’s like that.

The Art Life

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