Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Moaning from Underground

 To continue bitching, the result of the competition of the Kings Cross Arts Festival was that an ex-Mormon priest who runs a private art school won with a hideous self-portrait. It looked like "The Picture of Dorian Gray" and it was hung next to mine just to put a hair up my arse. The competition was supposed to be "Images of the Cross", and how his ugly mug was an image of the Cross I don't know, but it was safe, and he had to win as there was too much investment in his private art school to let an untrained, gutter-level artist like myself get the better of him and win any more kudos, (I won last year.).

I noticed the crowd on opening night took a long hard appreciative look at my work which was a double-edged satire, done in cartoon style but with lots of the written word via advertising slogans, to be read in one page like a graphic novel. I gave the competing Art Master's oily visage, (in three ugly parts!) only the cursory grimace it deserved, it had nothing going for it except narcissistic decadence, and yet he won, he was best friend's with the "Booze on Tap" Gallery's manager. I had satirized consumer capitalism, which in its absurdity cries out to have shit put on it, and at the same time I satirized the idea of "revolution", as it's obvious nobody's going to set up a guillotine these days and chop off the elite classes' collective head.

(I depicted John Howard and his Liberal Party front bench getting their heads chopped off, and the winner of this art competition was a die-hard Liberal voter.) The powers that be know 'They" can get away with whatever 'They' want these days as they have the technology of oppression in place: surveillance cameras, computers, police/army, the media: we are made to pay for our oppression, there will never be a revolution in Auz.

It looks like "we" are being returned to Dickensian times, workers begging for any shit jobs and the poor starving in the gutter, sleeping ten to a bed, when they can find a bed, and falling dead drunk on gin, only these days it's 'ice' and 'smack'. And nobody dares speak about the shit going down, 'war' rages, children are killed and maimed, and armaments-shares make huge profits for investors in the wondrous free-market. If a painter dares to paint it out he/she is buried in the underground, a "cone of silence" descends, and portraits of famous wankers are lauded in the public sphere instead. The "Elite" seem to find even one artwork can be dangerous and revolutionary and so the artist has to be killed off. (I got framed and squashed by the pigs in the early '90s for the armed robbery of a cake-shop, of all things, but that's another story, to be told if ever I can get my long labour of a book out into the open.)

I think of that wonderful artwork by Delacroix in the 18th century, with the ship sinking in a storm and the raft of survivors trying to make it to shore. Apparently the French plebs were so inspired by it, they rioted and this led into the French Revolution. Oh if only such effects could be engineered by art today!