In a tongue-in-cheek article written for The New Zealand Herald, Janet McAllister recounts her trip to Sydney for the re-launch of the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia. Though mostly light-hearted, she also comments on the dubious relationship between art and money.
“The inside of the art bubble was lavish, cultured, beautiful – and more than a little freaky. I’m not talking about the art here; I’m talking about the art industry.
You read Museum Inc, a polemic which says the art world values money over art – and then you find yourself drinking Moet with a Norwegian oil shipping magnate art patron at his palatial home, and visiting an installation by German sculptor Thomas Demand, literally perfumed by an international fashion house whose Sydney branch is visible out the window.
The line between prestigious art project and crass advertorial might be dashed-off, Ken Done style, but it’s a lifestyle one could get used to.
But it turns out the exotic locations which the art bubble visits are really just backdrops to catching up on insider gossip. “Yes,” I overheard, “she went to Dubai to give a lecture and was back in New York within hours, I don’t know how she juggles it all, she has such lovely skin.” And: “where on the art circuit do you go?” “Oh, I adore Hong Kong!” And: “were the attendants on your flight good-looking enough?”
And then: “Sydney tries but it’s not really a city of culture. The weather’s too good!”
Read the whole article.