Friday, May 29, 2009

GFC, SFP and other TLAs

It was refreshing to see on the 7.30 Report last night a short, positive piece about an artist-fuelled project at the Taronga Zoo in Sydney.

Whilst the work produced - with one or two exceptions - wasn't particularly interesting to us, the idea of a genuinely reciprocal relationship in the course of raising funds was well conceived.

Essentially 30 artists (all numbers inaccurate here) were invited to spend time in the Zoo and enjoyed privileges and access not normally afforded to the general public... they were even allowed to camp on site.

The work generated was then sold at auction by Sotheby's and raised in excess of $130,000.

The artists came out of it - in the words of one - with potentially a new 'muse' and the funds raised will help develop projects at the zoo.

Too often Philanthropy and other such things are one-sided affairs when the dreaded 'good publicity' flag is flown under the noses of (often struggling) artists.

Don't get me wrong, I think giving work (as any other 'currency') is a good thing when it's going to stuff you 'really' believe in and it is 'handled' professionally. I just dislike how the 'good publicity/free press' notion is abused - often without basis - and how work is often presented/handled very poorly.

The Taronga model is obviously not without fault. The artists might not have been 'briefed' as such but you'd assume that expectations as to 'what' should be produced were at least in the air. You have to wonder how a 'vigilante' in amongst them might have been 'dealt' with ... Lion cage perhaps?

Ultimately, a variation thereon is a healthy and creative way forward for both parties... it could also produce interesting work.

SFP = Swine Flu Pandemic --- soon on a TV near you!
TLA = Three Letter Acronyms --- with credit to Nat.

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