Monday, September 24, 2012

Question time

The Auckland Art Gallery has played the decision by the Walters Prize jury to select exhibitions they haven't seen pretty low key. Apparently efforts were made to get the four jury members to front up and explain their rationale, but they all declined. We certainly never got a response from them.

You can see the difficulty for the Gallery when the jurors wouldn't play ball but as they were paid for their services it's hard to understand how the Gallery could just roll over on it. Who's betting the jury contract is being revised right now?

Given all this, what do you think could have been going through the Auckland Art Gallery’s head when it decided to incorporate the jury’s odd behaviour into its marketing plan? We kid you not. The tagline for the Walters Prize poster campaign is: “Can you judge it without seeing it?” It feels defensive but is probably meant to be provocative and street-smart.

Thanks to the Walters Prize jury’s no-go-no-see policy we all know how they’d answer the question.

But now with the AAG’s marketing department forcing the issue so publically it’s probably time for the Auckland Art Gallery to come clean and let everyone know where they stand on it.