Tuesday, October 19, 2010

more arts grant madness

Creative NZ may sound like the name of an advertising agency, but since 1995 it has been NZ's central government arts funding body. We have often wondered what mental requirements there are to be on its panel - an advanced case of insanity seems to be the main one. In its latest controversy - oh yes, there have been others - it has given $40,000 to an out-of-work artist to set up a taxpayer-funded "beneficiaries' office" in downtown Wellington to promote the virtues of being unemployed.

He is part of a $53,000 performance art installation series paid for by Creative New Zealand and Wellington City Council.

Tao Wells, the "artist", 37, advocates the "opportunities and benefits" of unemployment and says it is "unfair that long-term beneficiaries are labelled bludgers for exploiting the welfare system". Oh yeah?

Wells' installation, The Beneficiary's Office, urges people to abandon jobs they don't like rather than suffering eight hours of "slavery".

"We need to work less, so we consume less. The average carbon footprint of the unemployed person is about half of that of those earning over $100,000." Well that's not too surprising if you do virtually nothing with yourself.

His Manners St office is open until Friday 29 at least. Backed by five "staff", Wells plans to promote his unemployment philosophy publicly and debate it with politicians and the gainfully employed.

He described himself as an unemployed artist with a masters degree who had been "off and on" the unemployment benefit since 1997.

Should we have "Creative NZ" at all?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

How absolutely ridiculous! This sort of grant actually insults proper artists.