Thursday, June 11, 2009

What Is Art?: A Debate Down Under

What is Art"What is art?" A long-time favorite answer of mine to this unanswerable question comes from the venerable English philosopher Keith Richards: "As far as I'm concerned, 'Art' is just short for 'Arthur.'"

The aboriginal people of Alice Springs, in the Northern Territory of Australia, are a little less cheeky in their definition of art; reacting strongly this week to an "anti-nuclear art installation" located on the sacred Annie Meyer Hill. Per the ABC News,

The art features an anti-nuclear poem, which says: "Solar city, getting hippy; nuclear city, what a pity. Solar city sitting pretty, nuclear city makes me shitty."

The hill is part of the Olive Pink Botanic Gardens and a registered sacred site.

A custodian for the site, Doris Stuart, says the Aboriginal Areas Protection Authority has told her it had no knowledge of the sign.

"I'm in mourning at the moment because we had my brother's funeral there at Annie Meyer Hill.

"That's how much we hold, you know, so I'm upset to think that one of our sites can be used as how people perceive them to be used as."

The curator at the Olive Pink Botanic Gardens, Mark Carter, says he removed the poem from the hill and handed it to the Aboriginal Areas Protection Authority as evidence.

"The nuclear issue - that's actually irrelevant," he said.

"What it was was somebody putting their opinion on a site which was absolutely just unquestionably the wrong place.

"It would be the equivalent of someone going and spray-painting an anti-nuclear symbol on the Sistine Chapel, or something like that.

"It is absolutely outrageous."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

But ... but KB, you don't understand.

Anti-nuclear activists are good, virtuous people. They can do no wrong. Each and every one of their actions are a favor they bestow upon humanity for the greater good of the planet, and the steps they walk are, of course, scented like roses. They hate nukes, you see? From there, everything proceeds.

This lady, Doris Stuart, is utterly misguided. Really, her "opinions" should be totally dismissed. She must be some industry shill, anyway.

- Friakel Wippans