The BLAD artist interviews, no.3: Danius Kesminas

Sunday 20 March 2005

Another two months have passed so it’s time for another scorching exposé of the lives and work of some of Melbourne’s finest artists.
Danius Kesminas first came to the attention of law enforcement authorities when he napalmed a large section of suburban Adeliade, destroying several hundred brush fences in the process. He avoided prosecution by claiming the prank was one of the nebulously-described ‘free community events’ listed in the Adelaide Festival of Arts program and, with the help of some friends on the staff of the Adelaide Advertiser, shifted blame for the swath of destruction onto Peter Sellars.
This succés de scandale gave public exposure to the theoretical basis of his art practice, elevating him to prominence as one of Australia’s leading aestheticians. His theory being, in essence, that the function of art is to permit antisocial misanthropes to tolerate human company for long enough to get thoroughly pissed and then set them temporarily at large in the community, instead of leaving them to moulder at home, drinking alone and yelling at the TV. Of course, this thought had occurred to many people before, but Kesminas was the first with sufficient tolerance of alcohol to state it coherently in a grant application “while the thought was still fresh in his mind.”
More recently, Kesminas has exhibited the crushed remains of the car art critic Robert Hughes crashed in Western Australia, in an installation that served a double purpose of seductively goosing the sensibilities of art curators while simultaneously gulling the ABC into believing it was a comment on the “clash of cultures” (yes, both of them).
This interview was conducted at ACCA in 2000.
BLAD: How much is this CD?
KESMINAS: Get fucked!
Danius Kesminas is available to make obscure, sarcaastic in-jokes about a dwindling coterie of arts industry figures at your next gallery launch, function or patron schmoozefest. Contact Darren Knight Gallery for a schedule of fees.