Muse by Craig Ranapia

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Muse: Rugby World Kitsch

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  • Grant McDougall,

    election year "damn Maari" dog-whistling

    As indulged in by that toe-rag Rodney Hide the other day, when he whined about the waka. Hmm, guess he's conveniently forgotten about the $25m that went down the drain getting Don Brash to spout ACTisms under the guise of the Aussie 2025 sinecure.

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2006 • 755 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Grant McDougall,

    Grant:

    To be fair, if ACT wasn't having its middle age spread in public, Hide could take the consistent position that the state shouldn't be funding arts/culture (or commercial sporting events) at all. Why it isn't is well outside MUSE's remit, or my expertise in political pathology.

    And when it come to dog-whistling about "bloody Maari's", I think it's fair to say Shane Jones is proving as adroit as Lucia Popp nailing "Der Hölle Rache"

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    And when it comes to two dollar shop kitsch, Ngati Whatua is going to have to epically pimp out that plastic waka to out-tack this load of old balls the Auckland City Council will hold a publicly-subsidised tea-bagging with.

    No need to knock the ball. It’s something of a technical marvel, and it has been installed by Tourism NZ in various world cities as part of a four-year tourism and trade campaign that was always intended to culminate with the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand. As such, it’s a rare and rather blessed example of a long-term strategy.

    And it’s not the taxpayer stumping up $100,000 for the choral project – it’s the Lotteries fund, which invited applications last year. The waka, on the other hand, seems to be the product of a less co-ordinated, and certainly less transparent, process:

    An Auckland Council spokesman, who did not want to be named, said the council had been approached by Dr Sharples’ office to take ownership of the waka. The minister’s office wanted an immediate decision but was told the matter would have to go through an approval process. The council heard no more after that.

    It sounds a bit of a mess, in keeping with the recent history of of the Queen’s Wharf site.

    Disclosure: I’m pleased to be able to say (ie: hadn’t realised it had been officially announced) that NZ On Screen applied and was granted the equal biggest Lotteries grant ($400,000) for this installation project, which will appear around the country:

    New Zealand On Screen is an unparalleled showcase of Aotearoa identity as seen on screen. From Billy T to Boy, from Gloss to Goodbye Pork Pie, from Peter Snell to The Piano, Hillary to Hudson and Halls, New Zealand On Screen celebrates screen icons that embody Kiwi spirit and stories.
    With eye-catching installations New Zealand On Screen will celebrate, move and inspire New Zealanders. For visitors it will be a stirring affirmation of the best of Aotearoa in 2011.

    The installation is composed of three zones: an identity gateway giving a stirring introduction to the rich diversity of our national screen culture; an interactive area made up of a series of kiosks and a state-of-the-art video feature wall. Here, visitors will be able to celebrate local communities and locations through their screen stories; A ‘wish you were here’ e-postcard space where visitors can have their image inserted into their choice of classic New Zealand film scenes. They can then print off a copy or email it to friends and family. Visitors will be left with a rich understanding of what it means to come ‘from here’.

    The full list is here as (why? why?) a Word document. It’s quite an amazing array of projects, with lots of smaller grants, many local Maori projects, etc.

    I’m not not up in arms about the waka plan, but it does seem poorly executed in comparison to the other projects you’ve criticised.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22584 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    That's always been my favourite piece of opera. I'm still, to this day, amazed that it's actually a human voice doing all the work. Some of the notes sound like they're coming out of a flute, and in these days of autotuning, that's an automatic assumption.

    It most certainly is Mozart's take on transcendent ragging.

    Why it isn't is well outside MUSE's remit, or my expertise in political pathology.

    Well, I'd say that even Hide is aware that if you rag on absolutely everything that is thought of or made by NZers, pretty soon, they'll all hate you right back. Then the public will turn on that performance art which is ACT waxing lyrical, and decide it doesn't need any funding either.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10560 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    The full list is here as (why? why?) a Word document. It’s quite an amazing array of projects, with lots of smaller grants, many local Maori projects, etc.

    Quite, which is why I said there are plenty of totally unexceptional projects – and a half dozen or so I find quite exciting – in a pool of contestable Lotteries funding, which I’m sure has been apportioned with utter propriety. Wearing my AFS hat, I’m not going to bitch anyone for going for any funding on offer.

    I’m not not up in arms about the waka plan, but it does seem poorly executed in comparison to the other projects you’ve criticised.

    Can’t disagree with you there, but plenty of people are and there’s a faint whiff of concern-trolling and political opportunism in play. Did The Herald cover the REAL New Zealand Festival Lottery Fund Committee announcement at all?

    And I think it’s at least debatable that “Match Day Festivals around the approaches to Eden Park” and “support[ing] the delivery of community engagement activities at Rugby World Cup 2011 team open-training sessions at venues around Auckland” could have been paid for by the Council and the RWC itself, while the Lotteries funding went to another project. But I guess that’s not a really sexy question to be asking.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    I’m not not up in arms about the waka plan, but it does seem poorly executed in comparison to the other projects you’ve criticised.

    I keep imagining the brief: "Okay, we want an auditorium that's at least five times as deep as it is wide. Also, fully one quarter of the audience must be positioned behind a post".

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Can’t disagree with you there, but plenty of people are and there’s a faint whiff of concern-trolling and political opportunism in play. Did The Herald cover the REAL New Zealand Festival Lottery Fund Committee announcement at all?

    It appears not. Nathan Guy made the announcement on March 31 – 175 events sharing $9.48m – and Stuff and NZPA recycled the press release almost verbatim and that was it.

    But, again, there was a process, people presented proposals. Pita Sharples calling the Auckland Council and trying to get them to agree to take ownership of the waka right there, over the phone, just sounds like a shambles.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22584 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Honestly, Russell, I'm just looking at this and weeping softly.

    The culmination of the Cultural Olympiad, the Festival will open on 21 June 2012 – Midsummer's Day. It will run until 9 September 2012 – the last day of the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

    At the heart of the festival will be a programme of commissions by some of the finest artists in the world in events ranging from pop to film, from visual arts and fashion to theatre, from circus to carnival, from opera to digital innovation.

    The first commissions include works from the likes of Rachel Whiteread, Akram Khan, Cate Blanchett, Mike Leigh and Damon Albarn, Rufus Norris and Jamie Hewlett.

    In total, the festival will feature more than 1,000 events, with an estimated audience of more than three million people. Some of the events will be ticketed, some will be free to attend. A dedicated website will go live from summer 2011. Further information on ticketing, pricing and promotional plans will be provided in the build up to the first tickets going on sale in October 2011.

    OK, I know there was never a hope in hell of New Zealand doing anything on the scale of London next year, but there seems to have been some joined up thinking going on where arts wasn't a "nice to have" afterthought. (And they're having a recession too, Bill.)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Bowden,

    Long time listener, first time caller here. I just wanted to say that I went inside the rugby ball when it was in London and thought it was fantastic. In fact, I immediately joined the rather long set of tourists from all over the globe and went and did it again. We passed the time in the queue being entertained by what I guess where the London NZ Maori group. It was a great AV experiece and I thought it was a great adverisement to NZ, sitting right by the Tower Bridge too. Pity my cycle odometer went missing while I was in there, but that is another story.

    Auckland • Since Apr 2011 • 27 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    OK, I know there was never a hope in hell of New Zealand doing anything on the scale of London next year, but there seems to have been some joined up thinking going on where arts wasn't a "nice to have" afterthought. (And they're having a recession too, Bill.)

    Well, it's what we've got. The mandate, according to Internal Affairs minister Nathan Guy was:

    The festival will showcase the best of New Zealand's arts, food and wine, heritage, entertainment, and experiences during the Rugby World Cup 2011.

    So it was never going to be the Cultural Olympiad, especially with only 1/20th of the funding and no corporate support.

    FWIW, the criteria were:

    • The funding priorities are events and/or activities that:

    •showcase New Zealand’s culture, heritage and diversity
    are one-off, although they may be within an ongoing activity
    encourage diversity of participation by communities and visitors
    • deliver community benefit of a public nature
    • deliver community benefit that would otherwise not be available
    •encourage volunteering.

    Funding will not be provided for:
    • events and/or activities that may be funded by other Lottery distribution committees
    • capital expenditure projects. This includes the purchase of land or buildings, and the construction or extensive alteration, repair or maintenance of buildings
    • Rugby World Cup 2011 Fan Zone costs (e.g. venue hire and/or construction and set up costs)
    • commercial ventures
    • salaries; except for fixed-term event related contracts
    • promotional events and/or activities of a commercial nature
    • activities not directly associated with showcasing New Zealand during the Rugby World Cup 2011
    • an allocation of an organisations' overhead costs to an event and/or activity.

    Bob Parker, Sir David Gascoigne, Bob Harvey, Sharon Hunter and Wally Stone were appointed by the minister to consider the applications, which ran to about four times the available budget.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22584 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    Welcome, Chris.

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2524 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Chris Bowden,

    Long time listener, first time caller here. I just wanted to say that I went inside the rugby ball when it was in London and thought it was fantastic

    I won’t be missing it, for sure. It’s a rare treat to see the large-scale installation work of Mike Mizrahi and the Darkroom people actually in New Zealand.

    This clip of the opening in Paris four years ago features quite a bit of ooh-ing and ahh-ing in the second half:

    This PR-ish piece claims it's "been seen by more than 400 million people around the world". Not all from the inside, presumably ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22584 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    Phew! It is going to be a busy few weeks getting all these events + a game or two. We have two tickets to the AB vs Japan game but it cost two arms and half a leg.

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2524 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark, in reply to Geoff Lealand,

    Pop in for a bevvy, Geoff. Our house will be a RWC free zone in the midst of the suburban chaos. Well, my bit of the house will be, anyway.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3136 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Geoff Lealand,

    but it cost two arms and half a leg

    maybe RWC is the perfect time for a disability recruiting drive :)

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19554 posts Report Reply

  • James Butler, in reply to Jackie Clark,

    Our house will be a RWC free zone in the midst of the suburban chaos.

    Likewise! We could have little signs on our fences, and distribute a map of Mount Eden with all the safe havens marked.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 856 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark, in reply to James Butler,

    What a jolly good idea, James.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3136 posts Report Reply

  • recordari, in reply to James Butler,

    We could have little signs on our fences, and distribute a map of Mount Eden with all the safe havens marked.

    Contrarily, I'm planning a sign that says 'garage grandstand, taken projector from work, coffee and beverages of choice at hand'.

    Note: Rugby heads on Craig's blog? It just seemed like a once in a life time opportunity.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Bob Parker, Sir David Gascoigne, Bob Harvey, Sharon Hunter and Wally Stone were appointed by the minister to consider the applications, which ran to about four times the available budget.

    Can I just say this one more time:

    I have no reason to believe anyone connected with the REAL New Zealand Festival Lottery Fund Committee acted outside their remit or improperly. Hell, they issued some grants I'd personally have probably argued against, but that's a quibble you can have about any funding round anywhere. And should when millions of dollars of public money is involved.

    But am I entitled to find the media swarm -- and the tone of a good deal of it -- sketchy when the previous week even more public money got dished out with almost no national media coverage? Russell's right, the process around the "tupperwaka" was not beyond reproach but it just felt to me that there was another subtext in play.

    And finally, The Giant Rugby Ball still doesn't do a damn thing for me -- and it's debatable whether it really couldn't have been "brought home" through other funding channels -- but different strokes, different folks. And if we all responded to the same shit the same way, what a boring 'verse it would be.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Andre Alessi,

    I think we're all missing the real story here: how will all these RWC thingies affect my view of the harbour from Devonport? My middle-class outrage is tingling and throbbing!

    Or maybe not. But anyway, I think that the term "plastic waka" encapsulated enough topics that outrage the uninformed that it was always going to make waves (pardon the pun.) I wonder if there isn't some reverse form of PR where people are paid good money to think up effective anti-marketing campaigns to torpedo suggestions via pithy characterisations and quotable quotes.

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 864 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Andre Alessi,

    My middle-class outrage is tingling and throbbing!

    There's cream for that

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19554 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Sacha,

    There's cream for that

    Most entertainingly delivered externally, on the business end of one of these. (Link to image SFW but may offend as it educates those of a seal-loving disposition.)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Isabel Hitchings, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    (Link to image SFW but may offend as it educates those of a seal-loving disposition.)

    Cue much confusion as I misread seal as self and then realise I am not actually looking at a prehistoric dildo.

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2007 • 719 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Isabel Hitchings,

    I am not actually looking at a prehistoric dildo.

    I’ve been told in no uncertain terms that dildos are NSFW, regardless of the vintage. Prissy wussies… But isn't it pretty? I'd get rather narked having to scrape seal goo out of the detailing.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Isabel Hitchings, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    But isn't it pretty?

    Objectively I can see that it's a lovely object but my brain is doing that thing where having seen it one way it cannot now interpret it as anything else and my lips keep doing the twitchy thing.

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2007 • 719 posts Report Reply

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