Art & Design

Apr 19, 2013

Is money for Australian art in Venice a little rich?

Australia is getting a new pavilion at the Venice Biennale, largely funded by private donors. But very few of us will ever see it. The rich are spending more on art, but do we really benefit?

Ben Eltham — <em>Crikey</em> arts commentator

Ben Eltham

Crikey arts commentator

I was in Sydney for 13 Rooms on the weekend. This impressive exhibition (or is it a season?) of performance art boasted reconceptions of some of the more iconic examples of the genre from recent decades, including Damien Hirst’s twins project (Hans, Georg from 1992) and Marina Abramovic’s storied Luminosity, first presented in 1997.


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7 thoughts on “Is money for Australian art in Venice a little rich?


    Definitely a philistine in this case.

  2. Andrew McIntosh

    The rich have always funded art for themselves, as we know. The situation at the moment, though, is that “the rest of us” can create and disseminate our own art as well. In short, we don’t miss out if we create our own art and our own culture.

  3. AR

    “Starving in a garret” has a purpose – it gives a praeternatural light to the world and concentrates the mind on the only worthwhile purpose, to create something. Eating & stuff is irrelevant to a true artist.

  4. Phill Black

    “A pavilion most Australians will not see”. Just as most British don’t experience the British Council, such is the way with anything that is internationally focused or in the realm of soft diplomacy.

    Yes Ben, you’re a philistine with this one.

  5. Plane

    Agreed, Ben the philistine

  6. Achmed

    I hope that this exhibition provides a beter outcome than one that saw locals from Roebourne taken to Viena to show their art. Middle of European winter, they were not provided with proper clothing. Few saw any of the money from the art.

    I remember one artist getting off the plane in Karratha without even enough money for a taxi home while those who went him and the others as “mentors’ were sitting in a 5 star hotel in Perth with business class flights arranged

  7. Madison

    As a young artist I always aspired to the Biennale. Its the big deal, we didn’t really care where the cash came from. So artists are whores, so what?

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