Don’t know which is worse, the David Rosetzky bandwagon, or the making-jokes-at-David-Rosetzky’s-expense bandwagon

Monday 6 September 2004

We’ve all done things that we have later come to regret. For a moment, our baser instincts conquer our better nature and we make a decision that haunts us for the rest of our lives: sure, we may have gratified our immediate appetites, but at what cost to our soul? The thought nags away, that we may have fulfilled a material desire, but did it corrupt us spiritually, make us slightly lesser as a person? Will we someday be called to account for our misdeeds, and will we pay the price for them?
What I’m trying to say is that I get invitations to exhibition openings at the National Gallery of Victoria. They serve free wine of an acceptable quality, and free food of variable quality (their impressionists show had nothing except about 3 tons of ham and cheese sandwiches). There is no cachet whatsoever in being on the NGV guest list because they let in pretty much everyone who rocks up, although this is starting to change. The last couple of times I went to one of their shindigs in lieu of dinner they actually did demand to see an invite. I guessing that someone ordered a crackdown after a sculpture undergrad from RMIT snatched the last arancina from under Steve Vizard’s nose one night.
The last invite that arrived in my mailbox was for Living Together Is Easy, “12 artists from Australia and Japan” (shdn’t that be or?). Of course, the invite didn’t bother mentioning who the 12 artists are, and nor did the NGV website until after the show opened. This is because:
  • (a) who cares about the art, it’s the concept that matters! Australia and Japan! Let’s all close our eyes and pretend Paul Keating is still PM!
  • (b) who cares so long as we get the free booze and those delicious arancini.
  • (c) the NGV honestly didn’t know who was in the show until it arrived, because Art Tower Mito loves surprises and no-one in Federation Square knows how to google for it.
  • (d) they knew we’ve seen enough of these shows by now to have already figured out that David Rosetzky will be in it.
I’d pick (a), but only because I’ve read the blurb on the NGV website.
The exhibition is an ambitious collaborative project and result of cultural exchange. Living Together is Easy seeks connections between regional specificity and cultural identity, global politics and interpersonal relationships, biodiversity and sustainable ecologies, and the natural and constructed environment.
I wrote almost exactly the same sentence last time I was applying for a job I didn’t really want. So it’s basically a show which brings together art which is either global or local, political or personal, and about people, nature, or inanimate objects. The word ‘comprehensive’ comes to mind. Also, a lot of the pieces on display have been kicking around town for a few years now. The show is, however, an ambitious project of exchange, but only for furthering the networking prospects of the artists involved. Good luck to them, but it’s a pity no-one cd think of a better way of spinning this when keeping up the charade with the funding bodies that art has some vague yet tangible benefit for Australia’s value-added resource infrastructure.
While we’re on the topic, can someone please settle once and for all if it’s spelled Rosetzky or Rozetsky?