Not Happy John

Uncategorized Nov 28, 2005 No Comments

Each week when we send out our emails we like to finish off with a little tag line for people who read to the end – a little Easter egg surprise for the committed Art Life reader. Last week our postscript read “Guaranteed to be at least half right 50 per cent of time” and that’s a solid gold guarantee you can take to the bank! Therefore, in the interests of accuracy, we should mention that Jacques Delaruelle, head of art history and theory at the National Art School, dropped by to clarify a few points:

For the record: This academic year John McDonald gave two lectures in the department of Art History and Theory (in 3rd year on Australian Art) and should not feature as a permanent member of staff at the NAS. The information on the net is a mistake!

As to how or why a person who is not a member of staff is listed on an official web site as a member of staff [and still is], we cannot begin to guess, but we have written to Delaruelle to clarify this further and will post his reply here. [Update: “I believe someone in Admin thought that it would be a good idea for our school to be seen as associated with him. Personally I do not believe that his current contribution to the school warrants [inclusion on the site] and have raised the point with our PR person” – Jacques Delaruelle.] The lesson is obvious – don’t believe what you read on the web. To further prove that point, The Esteemed Critic wrote to us himself – and he wasn’t happy:

I’ve just had this latest piece of paranoia brought to my attention. For the record, I am not employed by the NAS this year. I have given two guest lectures. I’ve also spoken at CoFA. I have nothing to hide, unlike those who like to sneer and slander others under the cloak of anonymity. This stuff is offensive, it’s inaccurate and it’s childish.

We have to confess that we don’t really understand semantics. For example, we don’t get the difference between someone who lectures there as opposed to some who lectured there. And we don’t really understand ethics either. If, for example, we saw someone on the TV saying that global warming wasn’t true, then it turned out that that person had once been in the employ of the fossil fuel industry [and may well be again in the future] we would probably think that their opinion was compromised. Then again, we have also have a little trouble with straight facts – for example when McDonald says that he wasn’t employed by the NAS this year – but that he lectured at the NAS twice in the past year – we just get confused. But pointing that out would be childish, inaccurate and offensive.

Meanwhile, our readers have spoken on NAS’s future:

The National Art School Should merge with

Oporto Charcoal Chicken 45% 58

Macquarie University 20% 26

UNSW College of Fine Arts 17% 22

Itself 10% 13

Austria 5% 6

University of Technology, Sydney 3% 4

total votes: 129

The Art Life

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