In 2010 David Farrar, Judith Collins, the NZ Listener and others attacked artist Wells Tao in a case reminiscent of Catton's.
"There was an opportunity there that went begging for making a case for public art and the social and cultural capital that it represents"
- Wells Tao "I believe that, the true artists of our times, are the politicians and PR companies and the Lobby groups that are creating the frames for how we interpret reality" - Tao Wells https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=re-ibgGeR7s
- Mike Nixon I prefer your framing of the key questions Tao's "The Beneficiary s Office" raised Giovanni Tiso. In my opinion, "Wipe" while perhaps true, actually just contributes to more confusion about what is going on, not less. Just because Curtis speaks with an authoritative voice does not make it true. It is very disappointing that Labour refuses to engage with what is more important to me personally, not working, and the nature of what society deems worthwhile for those not "working". Those contributing cultural "capital" to coopt some of capitalisms rhetoric. And Wells Tao work , followed by your commentary is a great starting point. In a wider context, all those volunteers working on environmental projects, which is now a luxury I can't afford, despite my experience and wish to contribute. Same as art, despised actually unless it is for someone elses purpose, ie boosts John Keys ego and electability. Well these are my thoughts, happy to see where Tao's work goes, thanks for raising its visibility in a post-Catton context ! .
- Wells Tao My biggest supporters feel it is better to be critical of my work and not support it's follow ups (critique of the University artist employee 25 years of public fraud) cause it's distasteful. It makes me look like a neo-liberal nazi, right wing goofball which also conveniently maintains distance of disgust. Which from my perspective illuminates just a sad kind of competitiveness between 'art' projects and their despot masters and religously divided audiences. Too sad
- William James Sleeman Robertson Tao also very kindly designed flyers for a Muslim solidarity event in Christchurch when local Muslims were feeling under attack. It's great to know there are still artists of conscience working in New Zealand who are not aftraid to work independently of the gallery-patronage complex and engage in community-driving non-violent protest. 50 plus attended. No media coverage.
- Tina Zucchini Giovanni we could have a discussion on the dissolution or improvement in free speech in NZ since 2010.. But for now, my Free Speaker of the day award goes to Sam Neill who, at Ian Athfield's memorial service today spoke honestly about Ath's dislike for authority (clearly shared by Neill) and authority's displeasure with Ath. He then described his despair with the lack of vision in architecture in downtown Auckland and in the design of Te Papa. In particular with Te Papa, the failure to have chosen a design by Frank Gehry, Rewi Thompson and Athfield Architects. It's not that he was trying to reverse history through the speaking. But he was passionate enough to disclose his disappointment. This felt quite rare even in amongst some very witty loving and fascinating new anecdotes about Ath.
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