Symbol of the People

Recent reports in the Australian media of university students creating flag burning kits to sell as a way of protesting government policy have sparked the debate about whether flag burning should be a criminal offense and highlighted people's misguided understanding of what the Australian Flag represents.

First and foremost our flag is not a symbol of a specific government. It represents us. No matter how far we travel an Aussie flag helps connect us to other Aussies abroad and it reminds us of home. It is a symbol of the people.

Some say that our flag represents freedom. Quite often people who say this will attempt to deny you of your freedom to burn the flag.

Australia prides its self on being a tolerant society. It is our ability to tolerate criticism without resorting to violent retaliation that helps makes us strong. It's one of the things that hold us together as a community. I don't want to be represented by violent individuals that can't handle criticism. i can't support violence even when I agree with the perpetrators point of view.

I certainly don't encourage flag burning - especially not as a way of protesting government policy. It's misguided and divides people who are proud of their country. At the same time I can't support making flag burning a criminal offense. If our flag does represent freedom then not being able to burn it is as 'un-Australian' as you can get.

I saw on the news that the university students were banned from selling their kits by the university administration. I also saw images of so called 'patriots', right in the faces of the students, verbally bashing them about how many people died under our flag so they could have the 'freedom' they enjoy. Two totally disappointing responses.

Impressive though, was the response of some Liberal party student representatives, who took it upon themselves to sell water to people who may need it to extinguish potentially dangerous burning flags. Nice to see a sense of humour. How very Australian is that.

The Danger of Meeting Monotany Part III

The meeting of the School Governing Council threatened to continue into the early hours of the following morning.

Fortunately proceedings were interrupted by the Tactical Response Group, whom had been deployed with much urgency, after an anonymous tip off that several upstanding community members were being held against their will within the grounds of the local high school.

Whilst a meeting of the Governing Council was not what the Captain of the TRG was expecting to find, never-the-less, he understood the seriousness of the situation.

Immediately the chairperson was taken into custody along with several committee members who would later be charged with 'stealing time'. A number of others were cautioned about 'taking too long to get to the point'.

The rest of the committee were released from the ordeal, thankful that their fate of 'being bored to death' had been narrowly averted.

More than 'Nothing'...

To understand my previous article ''Nothing' on a grand scale' you need to understand that I'm not trying to convince you my exhibition, 'Unstarted', is 'Art'. It's not a case of 'The Emperor's New Clothes'. I'm not trying to con you into thinking there is 'Art' in a space where there is nothing on display to look at.

In fact my exhibition is entirely about there being no art on display and that I did not even think about creating any art at all. It is an honest exhibition that is not trying to deceive you. It is what says it is.

No doubt some Art Critic could give it more credibility by describing it as 'Conceptual minimalism to the extreme' but the average Joe or Jane public would word it better with the simple statement 'That's not art!'

Whilst I'm not against Conceptual art as such, my criticism is aimed at artists who appear to rely on Galleries, Art Curators and Professional Art Critics to give their work an air of credibility that really isn't deserved.

I believe artists should be putting more thought into what they exhibit and refrain from exhibiting half baked concepts in high profile galleries simply because they know the right people who will give them the space.

I'd like to see artists playing a significant role in the development of their art, beyond the concept stage, and especially, not just 'finding something' and calling it 'Art'.

Artists should be making the most of highly sought after gallery space with their ideas (or even their skills). Reaching out and connecting with their audience rather than leaving them empty and perplexed.

Consider taking the time to make simple ideas extremely interesting and complex ideas both interesting and accessible.

All Artists should be aware that competition for gallery space is fierce. Particularly in the large, public galleries that can afford to exhibit more experimental, conceptual work.

If you're one of those artists that has access to such a space, please don't waste that opportunity by farting.

'Nothing' on a Grand Scale...

As an artist I would like to leave the world with the legacy of my greatest exhibition of conceptual artwork (or lack of it as this article will reveal). My vision is on such a grand scale that only one of the world's great art museums could house it.

In essence I would like to empty all the art from the walls and rooms of one of the great art museums. I would then like to hang my exhibition entitled 'Unstarted'.

Every room in every gallery will be filled with artworks that I have spent no time at all creating. Not so much as a single empty canvas, just a museum filled with nothing. Unstarted.

Naturally each individual artwork not appearing in the exhibition would be 'Untitled'.

I imagine the souvenier catalogue of artworks to be filled with blank pages. Unprinted.

What a bold statement. Shifting aside all that important art for nothing (literally). Minimalism to the extreme. An artist who has got so good at creating less and less he's finally worked out how to make doing nothing into an artform. For nothing must be done on a grand scale for people to take any notice, otherwise why would they care?

This exhibition has nothing to do with the space other than my desire not to fill it with anything of substance (until some art wanker decides that 'nothing' has substance and aplauds my genius).

You should not marvel at the space, having never seen it this empty before. You should look closely at the art and decide for yourself if this really is 'conceptual' or is it just another drop out artist 'yanking your chain'.

Of course, you will never see this exhibition in its purest form because already the conceptual integrity has been compromised. The mere act of conceptualising such an exhibition means that it has been 'started' and therefore 'Unstarted' no longer represents the concept. For 'Unstarted' to work the idea must never have been thought of in the first place. Only then will it truely be 'unstarted'.

Perhaps the world will be spared my legacy after all.
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