Victor Gordon, The Essential Arch Bull, 1994, mixed media.
This is a cynical commentary on the art scene in Australia. Each drawer in the metal cabinet contains an identical copy of the Australia Council’s publication The Art of Self Promotion.This Government publication offers suggested methods of how best to appear to beprofessional to impress galleries and critics with the object of carving out an artistic career. Six copies of these books are placed in discreet drawers under different categories each offering a variety of approaches which, if adopted, manipulated and exploited could lead to success.
The title provocatively lampoons the Archibald Prize, the nationally pre-eminent and much commercialised entertainment annual circus hosted by the Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW). This prestigious and rather anachronistic art prize, the winning of which has launched many an art career, is judged by the Board of the AGNSW. This Board is made up mostly of wealthy business men (& women?) who have no or limited knowledge of art. The inference here is that it is not the merit of one’s art work that will launch an artistic career.
The zoo-morphing of a bureaucratic set of metal drawers by the addition of cow horns and brass castors transforms the object into a free-wheeling horizontally mobile object with predatory tendencies!
Photograph by: Akona Kenqu