Things to remember if you are a federal minister for the arts:
In arts policy, as in the arts, how you do things matters as much as what you do. Good ideas become bad ideas if your tone is wrong or you aim at the wrong audience.
Breaking news: artists are difficult to deal with. There’s no money in art, so people stick to their principles like flies to a jam tart. Trying to change those principles by threatening their funding only makes things worse.
Whatever happens in politics ends up in the arts. That’s because it’s artists’ job to be socially responsive. So no Fake Shock when art ends up a battleground for the issues of the day.
The arts and arts policy are not in stable orbit. They don’t revolve in a genteel way, but zoom about, like Sandra Bullock and George Clooney in Gravity, trying not to kick each other’s teeth in.
There’s more, but these are the most pertinent as Senator George Brandis, the current federal arts minister, continues to respond to the ongoing furore surrounding the 2014 Biennale of Sydney, which begins this week.
Read the full article on The Conversation.