Wednesday, September 26, 2012

room for both

The Shawn Kemp piece I did for the black exhibition, I tossed up between several ideas to put for wording on it. But one was about Hip-hop being the only musical genre that really truly embraces sport, as if b-ball were the unofficial 6th pillar of hip hop or something.

Sometime sometime I 'liked' a facebook status to the gist of 'thumbs up to those enjoying live music tonight instead of football.' this is a common sentiment, not universal some kind of 'arts vs. sports' sentiment, I mean it's generally probably a minority opinion, but amongst artists it is (allegedly) common. My former colleague Ollie was a huge footy fan, but as a muso felt he copped shit if he was open about his love of the game.

This took me aback. What are we fucking morons? music vs sport or art vs sport is a bogus dilemma, perhaps more ignorant than a disbelief in bisexuality. perhaps... I guess I come from a meritocratic schooling system where you generally had high achievers and no achievers as the dilemma, overachieving snot faced pukes like me with all kinds of artistic, sporting, academic achievements embroidered on our blazer pockets, and then kids with none. I actually hated the colour system and was furious when my mother made a 'scab' out of me by getting my blazer embroidered when the school posted my achievements to her.

But I digress, my point being that people going to the footy on a friday night are not the enemies of people going to the northcote social club on a friday night. Sure one person can only be at one event at one time, but the real status update that I feel deserves 16 thumbs up is 'thumbs up to those enjoying live music OR sport and not staying at home tonight.'

My artistic friend Bryce wrote a wonderful piece on how much community theatre had to learn from community sporting clubs in their ability to engage a whole community, that unfortunately seems to no longer be available. But really, both exemplify a way to get out there and connect and contribute to people pursuing dreams.

I get as much mental stimulation out of following NBA and AFL as I do from listening to music, they are really different and really the same. I mean sport is where true improvisation occurs, season after season, game after game, you will never see the same basketball match twice, it's what makes a great game so great, where you clasp your hands to head in the glory and despair that you will never again witness Ron Artest sink a championship winning 3 and turn around and thank his psychiatrist.

Music is probably more obvious, particularly live, the venue changes every time, the crowd, you have the vicarious euphoria of an album launch to the intimacy of a quiet residency gig on a tuesday night. Admittedly, the AFL provides a number of people with a perfect excuse to sit at home and watch the game in HD rather than going out. But having booked in two exhibitions, I can say, it isn't the people who don't come because of clashes with other concerts, birthday parties, housewarmings, sporting comps, or other exhibitions, it's the people who don't come because they just can't be bothered that have a bigger impact.

It's not music OR sport, it's something vs. nothing. Those people kicking a ball round a field are just as much the kid of proud parents as the kid behind the bass guitar, drum kit etc.

Look I am a jealous and competitive person and I say there is room for both, I can joke about having nemises and rivals but the fact is, there's plenty of love in this city to go around. So much in fact I could use a whole heap more competition. Most of my friends I suspect have attended 1 art launch in their life - mine.

So it isn't the families clogging up the train lines on weekend decked out in the woolen colours of their favorite team, that are lapping up 'free' posters in the herald sun and making the copies at the McDonalds restaurants well and truly more well thumbed at the back that bother me, it's the people streaming breaking bad, game of thrones (especially since if you bothered to read you could read something truly great) and any infinite number of activities you could do just as easily in Donolly or Yass as you can in Melbourne's inner suburbs that twist my dick.

And at the same time, I don't care at all, they are an anonymous silent mass, not even notable in their absence from the cities culture. We don't think of them, hence how we can be suckered into thinking it's art vs sport.

But the point is there's plenty of room for art and sport and all the people sitting at home to get out and enjoy this city.

No comments: