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A musical proto-brain, an Alzheimer Symphony and the rise and rise of conceptualism in dance constitute food for vigorous thought in this e-dition. But a real no-brainer is the necessity to rigorously protest the Turnbull Government’s brutal depredation of Australia’s complex, highly effective but extremely vulnerable arts ecology.

Artists and supporters are now mobilising to demand the return of Catalyst funds to the Australia Council and a return to the status quo—a single federal arts funding body insulated from ministerial interference. Labor (yet to announce its election arts policy) has promised to return unspent Catalyst funds, the Greens all of them. The big challenge for artists is how to convince voters of any persuasion of the extremity of the crisis and how it will sooner than later affect them too. We can endlessly recite figures that prove what this government ignores—the substantial jobs’n’growth and innovation which art generates. For all that, the arts and, unbelievably, creativity have not figured in Turnbull’s policy announcements.

The issue is principally ethical: the Government and Arts Minister Fifield’s treatment of the arts has been dictatorial, disrespectful, divisive, non-consultative, secretive and opportunist—in a word, un-democratic, not least in its plundering and diminishing of an independent statutory authority, the Australia Council. The moral case has to be put, that a government that does not believe in the integrity and creativity of artists cannot be trusted by Australians as valuing art. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull can only gain the trust of voters by returning to the funding status quo. Beyond protest we all need to think big about the place of the arts in this country. Read more.

Alzheimer Symphony
ALZHEIMER SYMPHONY     Tasmania’s Justus Neumann moves Zsuzsanna Soboslay to tears with his “tragically funny” account of an actor struggling to recall lines from King Lear.
HOME-GROWN BRAIN ROCKS      For UNSW Galleries’ The Patient, bio-artist Guy Ben-Ary’s other brain (grown from his own cells) jams with leading Sydney musicians, 10-12 June. Read Gail Priest’s interview with the artist to see how it’s done.
THE CHOREOGRAPHIC: CONCEPT OR CON?          What is “the choreographic” and what, hand in hand with conceptual choreography, does it mean for dance as art galleries increasingly embrace performance, asks Keith Gallasch.
Next Wave Vis Arts
Four exhibitions of works by emerging artists range across self-portraiture, cross-cultural meditation, art fakery and Indigenous knowing.
The Afterglow season at Sydney’s PACT features powerful performances from Angela Goh, Thomas ES Kelly, Annaliese Constable and Amrita Amrita Hepi & Jahra Wasasala. See RealTime reviews.
Guggenheim Giveaway
Thanks to Madman Entertainment we have 3 more copies of Lisa Immordino Vreeland’s engrossing 2015 feature-length documentary account of the life of Peggy Guggenheim. Closing date 8 June.

RealTime E-dttions are published by Open City an Incorporated Association in New South Wales. Open City Inc is supported by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding body, and by the Visual Arts and Craft Strategy [VACS], an initiative of the Australian, State and Territory Governments. RealTime’s Principal Technology Partner is the national communications carrier, Vertel.

Opinions published in RealTime are not necessarily those of the Editorial Team or the Publisher. 

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