Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: A Golden Age for the Arts?

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  • bronwyn,

    I wasn't aware Chris Finlayson had started writing for The Civilian.

    tamaki makaurau • Since Nov 2006 • 86 posts Report Reply

  • The Ruminator,

    Is it me, or has National gotten a touch hysterical with their responses lately? "North Korean economics" "Tragic and sniping" and my personal favourite "Devil Beast".

    They were so disciplined for the first term and a half, but now they're starting to look like a third term Government...

    Fascinating watching the decline.

    Since Apr 2013 • 54 posts Report Reply

  • Tristan,

    I noted Collins wasn’t covering her self in glory on the tweets last night and even the PM was calling the opposition liars last night on Campbell live when he should have been talking about National.

    Is this the third term arrogance blooming early ?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 221 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood,

    Everyone knows starving artists produce great works of art, so logically the best way to create a golden age of arts...

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1445 posts Report Reply

  • Stuart Coats,

    It does depend on what the minister is refering to. Are there great artists out there producing terrific work? Yes. Are they being fairly recompensed for their work? No.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 192 posts Report Reply

  • Tim Michie,

    Most of those golden ages had dire life expectancies...

    Auckward • Since Nov 2006 • 614 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Bennett,

    I dabble in theatre as well as television. And have been working in this sector for the last 25 years. As far as I can see, the level of enthusiasm, talent and commitment, particularly from younger practitioners, is as strong as ever. However, decades of sinking lid freezes in funding levels have seen a considerable de-professionalising of theatre. There is next to no consistent career path for actors, directors and playwrights. Outstanding people are often lucky to get one short gig a year. This means that professional standards become eroded and the vibrant imaginations eventually move away from the arts into fields where livelihoods realistically exist.

    I'm sure this has always been the case to a lesser or greater extent. However I do look back on the late 80s, where there were resident theatre companies in each main centre - each employing an ensemble of actors, as well as associated crew.

    There is still outstanding work being made - this is usually in spite of, rather than because of the current funding environment. And it often involves a tiny cast with minimal production values.

    As you can probably gather, I consider Chris Finlayson's comment to be bulls***. Unless he counts Peter Jackson's empire as 'the Arts in New Zealand'.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 169 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    I think Finlayson is probably talking about The Hobbit.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10641 posts Report Reply

  • Shaun Lott,

    Slightly off topic, but when you say

    There is next to no consistent career path for actors, directors and playwrights. Outstanding people are often lucky to get one short gig a year. This means that professional standards become eroded and the vibrant imaginations eventually move away from the arts into fields where livelihoods realistically exist.

    you are pretty much describing the case for the basic sciences also.

    I feel your pain.

    Waitakere • Since Aug 2009 • 111 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19688 posts Report Reply

  • Ethan Tucker, in reply to Sacha,

    To be fair, the Minister is not endorsing excellence in the arts through a concerted consumption of class A drugs in the mid-1970s.

    Wellington • Since Apr 2008 • 118 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Shaun Lott,

    you are pretty much describing the case for the basic sciences also.

    I feel your pain.

    It is a bit like they're distrustful of professional skills.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Bennett,

    Yes. Maybe the NZ tendancy to embrace amiable amateurism has something to do with John Key's success.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 169 posts Report Reply

  • Grant Robertson,

    Apologies for the link-whoring, but here is my contribution. http://blog.labour.org.nz/2013/05/17/all-that-glitters-is-not-gold/

    Very keen to get feedback from the creative community about what is needed and wanted from government. A few examples of what I have been hearing in my relatively short period as Spokesperson are in the blog, but there is much more I am sure.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 25 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie,

    Actually it kinda is a pretty good time for the arts in NZ. There's a bunch of Clark era good stuff floating round still, and while Finlayson has been meh at best, lots of things have been just quietly continuing.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1452 posts Report Reply

  • Ana Simkiss,

    Chris Finlayson is about to start tweeting why he thinks it's a golden age for the arts...

    Freemans Bay • Since Nov 2006 • 141 posts Report Reply

  • Lyndon Hood,

    Apparently Finlayson is tweeting a series of reasons (#1 - Frankfurt book fair.)

    Anyway, Finlayson's announcement of this was immediately recast by Dave Armstrong:

    Shortly I’ll be tweeting reasons why I think we’re at the beginning of a #goldenage in the political satire sector in NZ

    Dude has a point.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1115 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __,

    If an artist were to say, "This is a golden age for the arts", I would listen.

    But a politician? And one who doesn't care for some of our most revered painters?

    Finlayson follows in the fine NZ tradition of treating art as a marginal and unimportant activity, pursued by those dedicated enough to do it without reward or recognition.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3887 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __,

    Tweet just in:

    Chris Finlayson ‏@chrisfinlayson 2m
    Govt kept the Hobbit in NZ, saving hundreds of creative jobs – and the future of the industry here – from union wreckers #goldenage

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3887 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Check the #goldenage tweet-stream for comedy both unintentional and otherwise.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19688 posts Report Reply

  • Sara Bee, in reply to Sacha,

    The coolest :)

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 67 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Hamish Keith wrote an interesting take on the operation of the arts in New Zealand back in March. Worth reading.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie,

    I actually kinda don't agree with Hamish Keith there. Anyway, must dash, Physics Room opening (Gavin Hipkins) in 10 minutes.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1452 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Keir Leslie,

    Actually it kinda is a pretty good time for the arts in NZ. There’s a bunch of Clark era good stuff floating round still, and while Finlayson has been meh at best, lots of things have been just quietly continuing.

    This is an important point. What the Clark boost did was build capacity. I know about this in the music industry context and NZ On Air funding and the deal with radio on voluntary local targets, as flawed as each was in some respects, provided a degree of certainty that made it viable to learn to be a manager or a specialist lawyer, or to take a punt on new ways of working at the major labels.

    The so-called "artists' dole" (actually an exhaustively-accounted skills development grant) has genuinely helped too.

    And I'm personally proud to be involved at a governance level with NZ On Screen and Audioculture (which launches on May 31). But if you keep strangling the funding, you're not going to see any of this kind of innovation. Five years of frozen NZOA funding is a long, long time.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    All this golden age stuff, someone should tell Chris Finlayson that Civ IV was released in 2005.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2213 posts Report Reply

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