Holiday Season Turkeys

Site News Dec 19, 2006 No Comments

Six hundred and twenty nine posts, 250,000+ visitors since 2004, 25,000 podcast downloads, hundreds of exhibitions visited, hundreds of artists mentioned, thousands of works of art in the file, posts from our correspondents in Rome, Venice, London, Singapore, Shanghai, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Brisbane, Sydney… Can we continue?

A very special thank you to readers who made donations to The Art Life in 2006 – most don’t want to be named and shamed, but we know who you are and you go on our list of Special Friends. You too can help us celebrate the holiday season [please note our PC avoidance of naming Christian holidays] by making a donation – all you need is a credit card. Follow the PayPal instructions.

Some things we got wrong: It’s isometric projection, not isomorphic which is apprently some kind of Star Trek thing, not anything to do with architecture, or James Angus. Susan McCulloch writes for The Australian Financial Review [or at least did so when covering the opening of Gallery of Modern Art], not The Austrian. Dr. Joanna Mendelssohn , writes for Stage Noise with Diana Simmonds, a new arts web site that some are calling “the new Art Life”. Katrina Schwarz is now the editor of Art & Australia, certainly not just ‘with’ and has been so for some months – she is currently gently kicking arse. We’re sure we probably got some other so called “facts” wrong along the way, and had them pointed out to us. We hope you understand.

Some Things That Almost Happened:
Our bid to curate Primavera 07 was knocked on the head almost before it even began. We’re hoping for 2008 and are sure that our thematic grouping idea of selecting artists by their inventive use of goauche and interest in relational aesthetics will be as relevant two years from now as it is today. Mid-year, we were nominated for the Geraldine Pascall Prize for Critical Writing. It’s an annual award worth $15,000 and we fantasised for months about how we were going to spend the money. We’d even got as far as writing an acceptance speech that began “On behalf of TEAM Art Life, the Commonwealth Bank and the good people at American Express, we’d like to say thank you…” Our fantasy evaporated when it was announced that Robert Forster, ex-Go Between and rock critic for The Monthly, had got the prize. Normally we’d have become incredibly bitter, but there were three mitigating facts. 1] Forster is a very good writer 2] he’s had a really tough year and 3] our work is littered with ill conceived jokes, factual inaccuracies and is nothing if not uncritical. So, good on you Forster.

Media News: Posted below is our final podcast for 2006. Please enjoy it. The podcast also marks the final appearance of our Art Life spokesperson in that role. The individual concerned has now left TEAM Art Life as it became obvious to all that things were starting to “slip”. After a long and frank discussion, an “agreement was reached” and we’re looking forward to a “new begining” in 2007.

More Media News: For those of you who can’t be arsed listening to the podcast [and why would you?] we’re pleased to announce some other exciting media news. In 2007 The Art Life will be coming to the screens of Your ABC in a three-part TV series. We were approached by the ABC at the begining of 2006 to see if we were “interested”. Of course we said, yes, we are interested and so began an exhaustive series of “talks” aimed at developing what is called an “idea”. People think that the ABC will take any old crap hurled at them so long as it involves an English detective and so we proposed The Art Life Murders, a hybrid art documentary/detective show to star Richard Griffiths as an “art detective” who goes around solving crimes such as who stole a certain George Stubbs painting from an English country estate. The ABC said the idea was “great” and that everyone was “very excited”, but perhaps it was aimed at the “wrong demographic”. We then proposed a TV series called The Art House aimed at “young people” while retaining art credentials. The show, set in the late 60s and early 70s, took place inside the rambling house in Double Bay shared by Brett Whiteley and Tim Storrier. Brett, wild and crazy, Tim, sensible and sober, both chasing their dreams – and girls! “It’s The Odd Couple meets the McCullochs Encyclopedia of Australian Art!!” No go on that one. So we came back with Art Life Fixits!, a panel discussion show with two regulars – Diana Simmonds and John McDonald – and a guest judge – who look at the work of emerging artists and tell them how to “fix it”. The ABC said “Look, we’ve already got twenty of those, can’t you come up with something else?” We had Monkey Tennis ready to propose but instead said “How about a three part documentary on certain aspects of contemporary art?” Voila! And so, sometime around August 2007, The Art Life will make its debut [and hasty exit] from television schedules. For those of you who can’t be arsed watching TV [and why would you?] we are negotiating to vodcast the episodes.

El Morte: We managed to get through the year with only one death threat, or more precisely, a series of threats that escalated to a death threat. But whatever form it took, the great thing about people putting their wishes in writing is that we get to keep them in our back pockets for later. In the words of a famous fish and chip shop owner, ‘in the event of our deaths’, you will know who is responsible.

Are We Really Dead? We have been contemplating the end of the blog. Three years is a long time on the “blogosphere” – in human time that’s about 150 years, and as someone remarked to us “it’s not as though you killed a child!” meaning, we don’t have to save our souls by doing this. At first we thought, that’s right, we haven’t done anything wrong. But then our minds inevitably go back to that night. Sure, we’d been drinking a little, and we should have called a taxi – but we didn’t. We got into the car and drove into the night… And then we see the moist eyes looking, a keening voice, “noooooo!”… We blog to forget.

The Art Life will return in 2007.

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