“The main issue for me is how do we effectively force systemic change that reforms and transforms current perceptions, values and access paradigms within the broader art cannon?
It makes me think; how do we take these considerable challenges to the kingmakers and cultural/political/social influencers, so we aren’t simply having these critical discussions with the converted?
The COVID-19 timing in terms of [this] research is fascinating. Perhaps we will see a faster, more inclusive transformation of the arts sector than we would have otherwise? All organisations and individuals have to rethink who they are talking to, who they are connecting with and how. Access and accessibility are moving more to the fore more than ever before. I think accountability is a significant issue.
Institutions such as the museum and gallery, need to be held to account to represent artists from diverse backgrounds more broadly; what we engage with should reflect our current society and culture. Periodically deaccessioning collections (“selling the Rothkos”) to purchase other works that reflect better the artists and culture of the time, could be a step toward creating a more accurate cultural history. However, would it not be better to add to the collections, and use the existing artworks in the collection as a point of reference for understanding why particular artists of that time were (and still are) underrepresented. It’s something I think about.
We still have a long way to go, but change is in the air!”
SIM LUTTIN, ARTIST AND CURATOR & GALLERY MANAGER, ARTS PROJECT AUSTRALIA.