David Jones, artist and poet (1895-1974) begins his PREFACE TO THE ANATHEMATA :

'I have made a heap of all that I could find.' (1) So wrote Nennius, or whoever composed the introductory matter to Historia Brittonum. He speaks of an 'inward wound' which was caused by the fear that certain things dear to him 'should be like smoke dissipated'. Further, he says, 'not trusting my own learning, which is none at all, but partly from writings and monuments of the ancient inhabitants of Britain, partly from the annals of the Romans and the chronicles of the sacred fathers, Isidore, Hieronymous, Prosper, Eusebius and from the histories of the Scots and Saxons although our enemies . . . I have lispingly put together this . . . about past transactions, that [this material] might not be trodden under foot'. (2)

(1) The actual words are coacervavi omne quod inveni, and occur in Prologue 2 to the Historia.
(2) Quoted from the translation of Prologue 1. See The Works of Gildas and Nennius, J.A.Giles, London 1841.

08 August 2015

Out of Bounds : Adam Goodes and the larger Field of Play

Tonight at Kardinia Park, Geelong, Adam Goodes returns to the field of play.

The AFL field of play has been at the centre of a much larger field of play since Adam Goodes -  2014 Australian of The Year and twice winner of the prestigious Brownlow Medal - had the temerity to point out the young spectator who abused him as "an ape". 
This, during the 2013 AFL Indigenous Round, no less.
Watch his unedited news conference from the following day here

Since then Goodes has been booed while playing and denigrated in the media by those who like to say "I'm not a racist, but...".

In May this year, Goodes celebrated kicking a goal - again during the AFL Indigenous Round - by dancing his black pride at the opposition. The racist response immediately went up another notch.

Finally, last weekend, after Goodes under pressure took leave from The Swans, many Australians protested for him and against racial abuse : from Gumatj clan dancers at the Garma Festival, with Goodes' 37 painted on their backs a Swans red V on their chests...

to the Yuendumu Sports Weekend ( article here ) ....

to Sydney and beyond...

below : Kavisha Mazzella (front left) and Rachael Maza (centre) join the war dance flash mob in Federation Square. (774 ABC Melbourne: Clare Rawlinson)

In 1976, FIAPCE, the Fosterville Institute of Applied & Progressive Cultural Experience sketched a poster design with the text
Why NOT footballers-for Social-Reform ?     

At that time, the question made rhetorical sense, but it seemed odd and unlikely. 

In 2015, thanks to the courage of players such as Nicky Winmar, Michael Long and Adam Goodes, to the institutional efforts of the AFL, in particular under the leadership of Andrew Demetriou, and the advocacy of journalists such as Martin Flanagan and Gerard Whateley it no longer seems a strange or unlikely leadership role.

collection: Ian Potter Museum of Art, Melbourne University      

Now, focus moves to the conduct of the crowd.

Why NOT Theatre-of-the-Actors-of Regard-for-Social-Reform ?
"Well, the Aboriginal footy star Adam Goodes will take to the field on Saturday night when his team Sydney plays Geelong. It will be Goodes first match since he was persistently booed  by supporters of the opposing team two weeks ago.
And people all around Australia will be watching to see not how the teams perform but how the crowd behaves. 
For this past fortnight, the booing of Adam  Goodes has been the subject of heated debate, as if the treatment of this one sportsman lays bare the soul of the entire nation." 
Michael Cathcart on 'Books and Arts'
ABC.RN, 7 August 2015
Introduction to : What role do the arts play in the national debate around racism?

 A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/
 someone looks at something...