The strangest thing (other than a slight feeling of ‘success’ for being damned by a tabloid) is that funding bodies encourage the ‘double dipping’ across multiple funding bodies.
No mention (on the pdf) that “Inert” (wacky project) was funded by Arts Victoria in 2004 and 2006, and then by the City of Melbourne in 2008. That’s actually $40k AUD of public funds over 5 years of development, and involving 5+ different artists, 137 performances in Melbourne, and screenings of the film in Scotland, England and France. This might be considered value for money, but I hope I am not sounding too defensive!
The larger story is perhaps about how we devalue things that are not designed to make money, when perhaps (particularly given the wonderful display of stability and honesty in the ‘free market’ lately) endeavour that is not about profit or market should be prized.
I am involved in making performance and screen work because I believe it is meaningful; not in a world changing way, but with small, delicate (and often wobbly) steps. This is not so wacky.
Here’s Efva Lilja (again):
I sometimes get so dreadfully tired of the fact that significance is only assigned to that which fulfills some obvious function. As a result, art becomes aesthetics, entertainment, form … Function becomes synonymous with meaning, or with what can be explained.
(from Dance ??? For Better, For Worse, p.38)
Productivity is very much in focus when it comes to contemporary work for the stage, as are quantitative assessments based on the number of performances and the size of audiences. ‘Knocking out a hit show’ ??? the very idea impoverishes the content and blocks off possible paths to development. Performances become trade goods, adapted for the market. Work fast and simply and it will be cheap, which means many people can see it. But what will they see? What do you? (p.26).
By the way, Elizabeth just landed in Melbourne and happened across a copy of the Herald Sun (or The Hun as it is known there) that contained this expos??. And she thought she was getting away from me.