April, May and June, 2011

Welcome to our April-May and now June newsletter. It seems like aeons since our last instalment newsletter and we hope that this is a uniquely personal sensation, which is only shared by you to produce a sense of longing and anticipation (we hope, we pray, we entertain ambitions). The past two months have been yet again an intense art programme, which saw us mount and Australian exhibition in Zimbabwe and a Zimbabwean exhibition in Paris, among other crimes against geography, time zones and biorhythms. It also saw us witness a number of art crimes and misdemeanours as well as art victories, which we have been waiting to share with you so without further ado…

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March, 2011

Happy New Year and (Welcome to Why Art 2011!) and our first newsletter for the year! Yes we are hearing murmurs of complaints in some quarters, March you say? A bit late for Happy New Year, you say? In 2011 with our fourth year of publication almost completed, we have taken the step to acknowledge that our life and career has coerced us or perhaps, prodded and pushed us inexorably from the cosy position of a mild-mannered (though many would disagree) fly on the wall art commentator in Australia to a roaming art advocate, educator, curator and advisor with a geographic span of four or five time zones, countries and continents. This comes not by way of boasting, far from it, rather dear readers by way of an apology and a concession to being mere creatures of flesh and blood and without capacity (yet!) for sleeping fewer than 6 hours a night and teleportation. So we start 2011 with a decision to distil our publishing efforts by making Why art?a bi-monthly publication reporting and commenting on art wherever we are and on issues that are thorns in our sides, without fear or favour, for the sake of quality and avoidance of nervous breakdowns. So without further ado…

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December, 2010

Welcome to the December newsletter and the first days of 2010! Just imagine what people in 1910 were in for and this might give us an idea of what the next century might be capable of. Speaking of flights of futurist fancies and unscientific fiction, in December, Antipodes was magically transformed, at least according to the words of our esteemed, dynamic action man Minister for Environment, Heritage and errr the Arts at the launch of the MCA Summer Season. The Honourable former lead singer of Midnight Oil was introduced as a “great supporter of the arts” by the venerable Directrice of MCA, Ms Macgregor, (we guess Ms Director missed Mr Garrett’s conspicuous silence during the Bill Henson incident). Be that as it may, we also learnt how to appreciate which side our bread is buttered on, when from The Right Honourable told us that Sydney art world and the MCA is uniquely privileged to have support of sponsors and philanthropist, without whom art it seems would not exist. Far be it for us to suggest heretically that an advocate for the arts should argue that in fact the sponsors should feel lucky and privileged to support the arts and that philanthropy in Australia is nowhere near the levels in other countries (neither is the government support for the arts for that matter!) To end the trip back to the future, we were advised that Australia is now darn near the centre of the art universe and that all urban – rural inequities have been erased and in one fell paradigm shift the Minister proceeded to advise a roomful of art professionals that our art is “eye-popping” and “DNA quivering” – good to know. and he clearly enjoyed his “yarn” on the subject and would have probably thrown another shrimp on the barbie to prove it. Alas we were all eating sushi that night. And we laughed and we cried and wondered that may be 2009 has been more a year for bureaucrats and demagogues than artists but here we are still standing, so without further ado…

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November, 2010

Welcome to the November newsletter! November was a month that saw us traversing three continents, the odd five times zones, six countries, two hemispheres and most importantly seeing a giraffe! But alas, no rest for the good, for we arrived back in town, just in time for the round of end of year openings, re-dipping into the Australian art wading pool. All satire aside however, what our recent travels have re-confirmed is that art is a tribe and a pretty good one and while in each country and continent thinks that its problems are unique and uniquely challenging, the art world along with the rest of humanity, can and does fall in with Ecclesiastes’ on “nothing is new under the sun”. So we travel is not to learn how people are different but to help remember that we share the same concerns about life, freedom of expression, survival even when our environments are different be it Paris, Harare or Nairobi international airport (here’s a shout out to the kind people in the business lounge who impassively catered to our caffeine and Wifi needs for nine hours instead of the scheduled three, en route to London). Moreover we can share and learn from each other’s experiences and help each other and here’s an open request to all our readers who lecture in art schools to help their colleagues at Zimbabwe’s premier art school – Harare Polytechnic, which is so starved of resources that students are forced to supply all their own materials (please contact us for details). This of course means only one thing, return to the Antipodes less inclined than ever to tolerate anything but the good and the real or to make concessions to self-satisfied and cushy parochialism. OK, we’ll now get off the soap-box and get back to err art without further ado…

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October, 2010

Welcome to the October newsletter. Well for once, all (well almost all) envy for our apparently jet-set lifestyle is over-rated. As we are writing, we are warming our cockles (wherever they are located!) next to a radiator in the kitchen, on a grey, freezing and rainy, rainy Paris night, knowing full well that our friends south of the equator are enjoying …let’s just not go there…So back to art without further ado…
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August – September, 2010

Welcome to the August-September combined newsletter. We know, some of you have been raising your eyebrows at its absence in your email boxes of late. Alas in August we were still informationally and empirically circumscribed by the boundaries of our geographic location, namely Zimbabwe. So we decided to open up the newsletter to include September and our visit to London, which still prides itself as the currently unsurpassed art capital of the universe or thereabouts and has enough jewels in its art crown to at least contest the title. Art and the planet seem to keep spinning for us so without further ado

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June, 2010

Welcome to the June newsletter (a little later and lighter than usual on account of travel and well travel and would you believe it a minor stopover in Johannesburg for the World Cup(?) followed by a few infrastructure sponsored delays known as power cuts and internet problems in Zimbabwe. June saw us park our backsides on the banks of the Seine – and almost everything that this implies, drowning in baguettes, consuming the museums and drinking in the atmosphere while carefully avoiding the tourists and giving the occasional wrong direction to the Eiffel Tower, with an outcome being almost entirely a franco-centric reportage, so without further ado…

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