Sunday, July 16, 2006

Ho hum for Heide

So, Heide art museum has been given the big bucks to perpetuate its heyday of the Australian modernists. And Bert Tucker, his personal collection now contributed (thanks to Janine Burke says the self-serving Ms Burke in The Age today) and Tucker is celebrated in all his glory as an Angry Penguin. Nolan, too. Joy Hester also. I am not sure how much John Perceval has been incorporated into this display. I have not seen the show and I am on the other side of the world. But I wonder when this Melbourne push of the Heide legend may find room to include writers in their representation of the era. The intellectual catalysts. Ah, so cynically manipulated has been the history. As the Melbourne push has played it, Heide was exclusively an artists' "commune" and their exposure in print and their exposure to the public eye was pure Reed chemistry. Angry Penguins was a Melbourne creation, they seem to think. This little angry penguin knows otherwise and awaits the country's real historians to put the record straight. As it stands, poor, silly, vain old Melbourne can only admire the pictorial aspects - for, perchance, dealing with the intellectual grist which set the movement in motion would be in their cerebral too-hard basket. Nah, they can make it up as they go along.

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