Been down to Sydney a few times recently researching and photographing locations for the comic strip and stumbled across the ‘Creative Sydney’ poster below and that caught my eye because of the picture it made when combined with graffiti and sandstone wall. All three elements form a snap shot of the state of creativity in this nation with the sandstone wall referencing tradition and past nation building, the tagging (graffiti) arguing ‘creative Sydney’ is illegal street art even if the tags themselves are stylistically a decades long process of copying a long lost original and then the poster itself which is pegged down well within the boundaries of the acceptable. None of this would be a real problem were it not for the fact and as seemingly understood by who or whatever commissioned the poster, that ‘creativity’ has dollar value. Will this poster contribute in any significant way towards the goal of making Sydney a powerhouse of creativity with billions of dollars pouring into the State’s coffers ?
Walking around the city center looking for something, anything, that could be of some use to my comic book project the more distance traveled the more I wanted to puke. As a city Sydney is sanitized and made appropriate and inoffensive to all including the children of millionaires with now a lovely playground sitting right next to the fountain in Kings Cross where previously the homeless, rent boys, prostitutes and drug dealers hung out. OK – nice, clean and the locals living in their multi million dollar flats can now park their Ferrari’s and designer bicycles in what were once-upon-a-time dark back alleys without fearing they being vomited on by drug-fucked and homeless ‘losers’. The poor, the homeless, the artists, the musicians, the poets and that essential demi-monde have been pushed out and I doubt a poster can fill the void.
Bike riding in the suburbs a few days later I actually found a location that could be useful. Horrible cliche though – you know – the urban decay and graffiti thing but has potential as a backdrop for some depravity or other gratuitously violent action. Below are a few pictures taken as part of my search for locations.
On the topic of art and culture it appears much today is part of this now mainstream social engineering trend and nothing of the past appears to be beyond re-interpretation such as below Australian photographer Max Dupain’s famous ‘Sunbaker’ taken in 1937 and used here in an anti-racism poster. Right or wrong in intention I think this takes away from Dupain’s work which was about the sun baked, free, democratic and prosperous Australian lifestyle. Anyway, had a bit of Gimp fun with that one as well.