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If you love your fine art and classical music then vote Liberal. If you’re a contemporary creative soul performing in live local venues around the country then vote Labour. Here’s why.
We’ve got two mugs to choose from.
Tony Burke (following on from Simon Crean) on the Left.
George Brandis on the right.
Both these characters believe that the arts are important and not to be justified simply because they bring in tourism, or played magic tricks with the economy, or contributed to the light seen from our region. Both Tony Burke and George Brandis believe that the arts are a national treasure. They believe the arts have intrinsic value, which is great to hear even though it’s bullshit rhetoric.
Before I go further into the detail I just wanted to mention. This process of electing an Arts leader is personal. It’s a challenge because it goes to the core of a difficult question. Do you believe in a free, liberal, uncensored, flexible economic drive, fast passed, natural equal opportunity art world or a supportive, social aware, collaborative, labour forces, tax payer funded art world. These two parties are looking at the same problem with a dramatically different approach. Also, consider how these two different perspective affect the TOP, MIDDLE and BOTTOM end of art creation and art consumption. For example, if you believe in a ‘free / naturally equal’ market then perhaps those arts projects that are already succeeding should be given more funding. It’s an ideological point. The left is more than happen to spend a little more towards middle Australia. Pumping money into political safe artistic initiatives is often counter productive.
I’m constantly shocked by how un-unified the art world is. For a bunch of socially aware emotional switch on people we are surprisingly self centred. Classical musicians vs Rock’n’roll. Street art vs Established galleries. It’s as though every single artist is working towards a uncommon goal. A unique artist collaboration paradox.
How can we frame a debate, form a national agreement and spend $200 million on Aussie abstract, emotional, cultural, progressive, satisfactory art? Why is this so important?
Tony Burke is formally a industrial union worker and is now at the pointy end of bring together the first Nation wide Creative Australia Policy. It’s been a 20 yrs since the federal government last address this. Recent reports have been heralded as a big step forward. Many of the shining elements of this initiative are focused on contemporary, live and accessible art. It details wide ranging new approaches that are intended to see culture and creativity play a central role in everyday life. This is a ‘wide open’ approach that supports both the ‘big’ and ‘small’ end of town. Large pots of cash for ‘grass roots’ ideas.
George Brandis is primarily a lawyer who recently spoke at a dinner in Jeanne Pratt’s Raheen mansion. An event in honour of the Melba Foundation. Melba produce the best classical CDs in the country. Geoffrey Rush, Barry Tuckwell, and Bill Henson, Vladimir Ashkenazy, among others, were there too. He spoke about the intrinsic value of art – and the need to support its economic demands without complex financial reasoning. A very positive message. Robert Richter, QC, a man with a highly developed sense of liberty, also spoke about the injustice that had been done to Melba which was not about making money but about recording the work of great Australian artists. Maria Vandamme, the head of Melba, said a few words about the importance of what the foundation wanted to achieve. To sum up, George has a toe in the long lasting high value classical music scene. Need I say more.
The assumption on the left is that the right ignores art. The left assumes that art is simply far too noncommercial for the right to take seriously. Ideologically though; ‘freedom’, ‘creativity’, ‘artistic expression’ are smack bang at the core of the libertarian view. Arguably more unregulated spaces throughout the city would lead to artist innovation. The assumptions the left make about the right, and visa versa, isn’t helping the debate. What common ground can we all find on art – the ultimate private passion?
Few people believe Tony Abbott will put more money into the arts. He’s known for cutting back across the board to achieve a surplus. He’s got many arts organisations worried. Does anyone truly believe he can cut costs and retain arts funding? Despite recent failings of the Labour government, the left has a long history of supporting the arts.
The federeal election is on Saturday 14 September 2013. Have you joined the #CreativeAustralia conversation? Who are or aren’t you going to vote for and why?