Breaking Muse

Clouds hang over the rainbow



HOW much is the “pink dollar” worth against the “hetero” dollar? What’s the conversion rate and where can these gay dollars be exchanged?

Can you imagine any other minority group being discussed in such divisive economic terms? Would we be comfortable referring to the “black dollar” or the “disabled dollar”?

This imaginary “pink dollar” does not exist. People who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, intersex — no quotation marks necessary, by the way — use the same money as the heterosexual population.

While the GLBTI community may have advocacy groups and equal rights lobbyists, it does not have its own dollar and is not separate from the rest of the community.

I am taking this all a bit seriously, I know. The “rainbow community” and the “pink dollar” is effective marketing talk, referring to a tourist market that Tasmanian tourism operators want, well-meaningly, to attract.

Read More

Theatrics of mental diversity



A NEW production from IHOS Opera invites the audience to experience neuro-diversity first-hand by becoming active participants in a performance that explores the disorientation of dementia.

Read More

Free speech comes at a cost



FREEDOM of speech is important, but when it’s targeted at individuals in the street, it can become harassment.

Anti-abortion protesters outside gynaecology clinics are exercising their freedom of speech. This freedom is intrinsic to our democracy, and when we outlaw protesting we are limiting this democratic freedom.

Even if we don’t agree with what is being said, it is a valid legislative concern that if people are not allowed to protest the causes that they disagree with, it may in turn affect the activities of other people’s freedom of speech.

But when freedom of speech is a protest targeted at vulnerable individuals seeking private medical procedures, public protest becomes a violation of privacy and respect for autonomy.

It becomes personal, directed at women going about the very private business of terminating an unwanted pregnancy.

Read More

Writing’s on the wall for heritage


Some of the graffiti found during the redevelopment of the former Electrical Engineer’s building at the Domain in Hobart. Picture: SAM ROSWARNE


GRAFFITI is largely seen as a social problem, requiring substantial public resources in policing, cleaning and diversionary programs. But it does have cultural significance.

A multi-million-dollar development of one of Hobart’s educational landmarks recently unearthed some colourful old graffiti, which is now to be preserved behind glass for its heritage value.

Read More

Honesty and irony live together in perfect harmony.

Honesty and irony live together in perfect harmony.

(via loveyourchaos)

Dark side of lightening up



WHEN people tell me to “lighten up” about disparaging jokes, I do try. But some things are dark matters and deserve to be taken seriously.

We may not care about the Oscars, but the performance by this year’s host, Family Guy and Ted creator Seth MacFarlane, raised plenty of issues that we ought to care about. The tirade of bad jokes was offensive to almost everyone except for white heterosexual men.

Read More

Big worry in happy valley

                           

ARE you happy? The pressure to be happy in today’s society can make a person pretty miserable.

In overcoming stigmatisation of mental ill-health, the normalisation of depression as an illness is undoubtedly a healthy thing, because more people are readily able to identify with and deal with its repercussions.

But depression may be dominating our understanding of suffering. If we’re not happy, it is increasingly acceptable to identify as depressed. At least it’s something to work with.

In Australia, antidepressant medications account for 61 per cent (about 13.7 million people) of all mental health-related subsidised prescriptions, followed by anxiety-reducing medicines.

One in five Australians aged 16 to 85 are afflicted by a mood, anxiety or substance-use disorder (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2012).

Suicide is the leading cause of death in Australia for men under 44 and women under 34 (Lifeline).

The World Health Organization has predicted that by the year 2020, depression will become the second-highest global burden of disability, after heart disease.

We now know that depression is not just a disorder of the mind — it also increases risks for a host of conditions, diseases and mortality.

So yes, we do need effective treatments.

But depression is not just an illness — it is also a societal story about our suffering, its source, and its relief.

Read More

catpower:

afasm:

UNDERGROUND TOWN

MONA LONG WEEKEND ANNOUNCES CAT POWER AND GEORGE CLINTON & PARLIAMENT FUNKADELIC
When in Tassie for the March long-weekend, what could be finer than an encounter with Cat Power and George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic over the course of one lazy, sunny, beer-sippy, bean-baggy Mona long weekend.
Get some bang for one hundred bucks. This March long weekend head to the lawns at Mona and take in some Cat Power (Sunday March 10) and George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic (Monday 11).
Purchase tickets here 

catpower:

afasm:

UNDERGROUND TOWN

MONA LONG WEEKEND ANNOUNCES CAT POWER AND GEORGE CLINTON & PARLIAMENT FUNKADELIC

When in Tassie for the March long-weekend, what could be finer than an encounter with Cat Power and George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic over the course of one lazy, sunny, beer-sippy, bean-baggy Mona long weekend.

Get some bang for one hundred bucks. This March long weekend head to the lawns at Mona and take in some Cat Power (Sunday March 10) and George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic (Monday 11).

Purchase tickets here 

Bold new Tasmania - state of the arts



THE upcoming reopening of the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery will mark another milestone in the state’s growing cultural renaissance.

A hard-hat preview tour of the newly renovated Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG) last week affirmed my optimistic feeling that Tasmania’s cultural sphere is moving into a new and brave era of innovation.

Opening to the public on March 15, the TMAG revitalisation is a $30 million redevelopment in the works since 2006 that will open up more than 2000 square metres of new space for public access.

In its first year of reopening, the museum plans to offer more than 1200 activities and events for visitors, including tours, school holiday programs, curatorial talks and public events, according to director Bill Bleathman.

It’s a big change for an institution that was previously conservative and unchanging, and it is indicative of a broader revitalisation of our cultural endeavours statewide.

Last Friday, a Brand Tasmania Art Forum, hosted at the Conservatorium of Music by Radio National’s Fran Kelly, debated the idea of the “MONA effect” at length, exploring what impact the Museum of Old and New Art has had on the island’s creative industry, sector and makers.

Everybody’s talking about it, from Island magazine to The Griffith Review, from The New Yorker to Lonely Planet.

However, enthusiasm for MONA aside, there are great leaps being made by cultural institutions across the board.

Read More

Time to reflect on art


Above: Jacqui Stockdale’s self-reflective work The Procession.

AT a well-known museum recently, a very fragile and much-loved work was inadvertently destroyed by a visitor.

"Well, it was only a matter of time," was the museum management’s reaction.

The response was surprising. It displayed an unusual acceptance of impermanence for today’s art world, where commoditisation is king and permanence is a widely prized attribute for acquisitions.

Some art is made to last, such as Aboriginal cave paintings in Western Australia and Cro-Magnon cave paintings in Lascaux, France, terracotta warriors buried in the tomb of Qin Shi Huang in 201BC, Michelangelo’s ceiling in the Sistine Chapel, and Egyptian sarcophagi on display at the Museum of Old and New Art.

Conversely, some art is made not to last, such as the deliberate impermanence of Buddhist sand mandalas, contemporary “time-based art” like that of Christo and Jeanne-Claude or Andy Goldsworthy, ice sculptures and chalk drawings, and performance pieces that exist for a short time only.

Exploring our understanding of time has always been at play in art and in creativity, as depicted in some of our earliest considered art works, and as explored in modern ephemeral art movements.

Read More

Future favours the bold



THE GriffithREVIEW launched recently in Hobart, a celebration of issue #39: Tasmania: The Tipping Point?

Co-edited by Julianne Schultz, professor in the Centre for Public Culture and Ideas at Griffith University, and Natasha Cica, director of the Inglis Clark Centre, the issue is a robust and diverse compilation of commentary, memoir, reportage and fiction on Tasmania, featuring award-winning authors, academics and talented newcomers, including Peter Timms, Favel Parrett, Cassandra Pybus, Rodney Croome, Jonathan West, Matthew Evans, Scott Rankin, Kathy Marks and David Walsh.

Together, they paint a portrait of an island in a state of transition, grappling with the past while working toward a potentially brilliant future.

This issue asks: where does Tasmania’s future lie? Has Tasmania reached a “tipping point”, politically, economically and culturally? The titular “tipping point” refers to a critical point when unprecedented changes occur rapidly with irreversible effect.

It can also indicate a point where the accumulation of small changes leads to a big topical change in a system.

In the context of climate change, the term “tipping point” usually refers to the moment at which internal dynamics start to propel a change previously driven by external forces.

It’s the point of no turning back.

Read More