Thursday 28 February 2008

The Olympics of the art world

This morning Over the net posted about CNZ's refusal to provide them with a list of the proposals put forward by artist/curator teams for selection to represent New Zealand at the next Venice Biennale.

16 proposals have been submitted. The Selection Advisory Panel will winnow these down to a shortlist, and the CNZ Arts Council will make the final decision, 'taking into consideration advice from the Selection Advisory Panel'.

Over the net argues that

there is a clear public interest in the Venice artist/curator list. It is a perfect opportunity to have some conversations about what they may be proposing, how they might be regarded in the Venice context, who has not submitted a proposal, and why etc. All the usual exchanges that make for an engaged and committed art community.

The Venice Biennale is often referred to as the Olympics of the art world. It's interesting then to think about the application process for the Biennale compared to the Olympics. Athletes have to compete, in the public eye and before the media, to represent New Zealand at the Olympics: they have to beat times, beat other countries' teams, and beat each other.

There's been considerable coverage about Rowing New Zealand's attempt to exclude the media and the public from this weekend's trials at Lake Karapiro, where Rob Waddell and Mahe Drysdale are facing off as part of the long qualifying process for the only single sculls position in the rowing squad that will be sent to Beijing. However, 'huge public interest' appears to have forced Rowing NZ to back down from this position.


Anonymous said...

Imagine if the Man Booker or the Montana awards wouldn't annouce the list of nominees - or the Oscars...?

Anonymous said...

To take the sporting analogy to a logical conclusion, surely it's only the winner that matters - what difference who was in the quarter finals?

Anonymous said...

Further to my comment above I guess the shortlist wll be announced but anon raises an interesting point - but where would the fun be in that :-)

Courtney Johnston said...

I'd guess it's unlikely the shortlist will be announced: it wasn't last time, althought it did eveutally make it to the media after the 'donkey in a dunny' debacle.

So to continue anon's analogy: it'd be like watching a rugby match, but having everything except the winning team's tries and conversions blanked out.

Anonymous said...

Nice, but no.

When watching New Zealand's track runners, for example, at the Olympics, do we reasonably expect a government agency (SPARC, to keep the analogy going) to inform us who Nick Willis beat in an olympic trial 18 months ago?

Surely it's not unreasonable to expect that any interested party talk to the runners, coaches, attending track meets, and watching for themselves, and not rely on the selectors to fill in the gaps?

Courtney Johnston said...

Considering that the results of the race would have been likely to have been published (by bloggers, online media, sports sites, print media etc) SPARC wouldn't be the only people providing the info, and we'd be able to google 'nick willis olympic trial 2007' and likely get what we wanted.

So maybe if enough 'runners' and 'coaches' speak to Over the net., we'll be able to!

Anonymous said...

Exactly my point.

Very very little information comes from just one source.