This will be my last blog entry for the year. 2009 was not a year that I’d want to live through again. 2009 was the year of the zombie. There are so many zombie computer games, zombie computers, zombie armies, zombie movies, even zombie artists. Anne Billson in The Guardian Weekly report on zombies in films. “Lively time for the movie undead” (10/7/09)
The suburbs are full of zombies, the inhabitants look like people but they lack a life. Sure these zombies are animated and often employed, zombie slaves make good workers for menial labour, but they are not living their own life. How to live your own life is an important cultural question. Other people might value your life for their own reasons, some want to eat your brain.
Speaking of dead I’ll segway to mention that Famous When Dead will close after two years, the only remaining question is – will it be famous now that it is dead? And Utopian Stumps is about to up stumps from Collingwood move into the CBD next year. 696 has closed, too. I’m sure that other galleries in Melbourne have shut or moved this year but I don’t want to dwell on the business side of Melbourne’s art world. In the art I am glad to see an increasing trend of artist-gardeners and street art sculpture in 2009 and I hope to see even more next year.
Victoria’s draconian anti-graffiti legislation is impacting on some of Melbourne’s municipalities, like the City of Kingston but not others, like the City of Moreland, where the Don’t Ban the Can group is active and trying to get the council to support street art projects. They are having more success with painting the walls of the local businesses and getting in the local paper.
The best, the worst, the new trends of 2009 are now behind us. Personally 2009 has been a busy year for me with weddings, funerals and travel to Singapore (thanks Kamal, Killer Gerbil and Slac for showing me around the street art scene). I was also kept very busy for a few months as the volunteer and emergency secretary for the Melbourne Stencil Festival, a position that I will be continuing in 2010.
I now have my YouTube Channel featuring videos of my art and exhibitions, as well as, other videos about Melbourne’s visual arts. I have also started a fun blog with my wife, Catherine, featuring the worst window-shopping in the world: Who Buys This Stuff? Typical of Internet weirdness the most popular photo on this blog this year was one of me wearing some fancy Indian clothes. I do have two sets of ordinary Indian clothes that I wear on days over 30 degrees; they are far more comfortable and better looking than shorts with a t-shirt. So here it is once more.