Shovelling Money at The Vanishing Point
by Alex Wisser
originally published: Wed, 2009-12-23 on www.carnivalaskew.com
Just for background… I am a recently become co-director @ At The Vanishing Point Gallery in Newtown. To those who know this I seriously apologize for allowing promotion of the gallery to swamp personal and interpersonal use of social networking sites that shall here remain unnamed. I really don’t want this blog to be about promoting the gallery, nevertheless I suspect it will feature large as it is a major part of my life right now.
So last night we had an end of year fundraiser. It began as a kind of throwaway, or afterthought of a director’s meeting we’d held in the back yard of the gallery in some disgustingly hot Australian weather. We were dizzy and tired and thirsty and I don’t know, I think it was me or someone who could have been me, suggested we put on an auction to raise some money for the gallery. The idea sort of caught when the name “Demolition Sale” was suggested, cause it was funny in some way that had to do with the fact that our brains were a little addled by the sun. I mean it’s a little funny, but you can’t quite find the punch line, and I like that. So that’s what started it really. Now with decisions like this, what usually happens is that they are made and agreed upon and then forgotten for as long as they can possibly remain forgotten. We only kick ourselves into action when there is a scent of impending doom in the air — at which point there is a slow swirling of energies and a gradual ramping up of activity untill we find ourselves working furiously right up to the final hour to prepare. It’s amazing how prescient our instincts are, as though all preperations are measured from the last possible moment backward so that the very last neccessary thing gets done at exactly the very last possible moment. And at 730, when it was time for the auction to begin, I finally worked out how to print on our strange beaten computer and the work lists were printed.
So anyway, I think the night went brilliantly. I got to play the beautiful assistant, taking the works off the wall and walking them around the room, gesturing seductively and indicating their quality as consumer fetish objects. I was so damn good at it my partner (Georgie Pollard) and I bought $800.00 worth of the stuff. Juma Adi, Amanda Hills, Anthony Bartok, Nicole Toms, Gilbert Grace — you might not know their names, but I do, and I can tell you its a rather delicious feeling knowing that I own their works — and then I can think about how cheaply I got them and I smile a little bit to myself. Even though they’re my friends, and I know they suffer for their art and pay for it in so many ways, its just one of those unconquerable cruelties of human nature that I can still take pleasure in making such great deals at their expense. Sorry guys — if its any consolation, I love your work.
Cause I was helping the auction, Georgie did most of the bidding for us and I have to say I was quite proud of how fearlessly she waded into the fray — frankly her judgement is pretty impeccable and the confidence with which she went after what she wanted was just a little scary. We also sold a good number of works, which helped take the sting out of our purchases. The night was generally a success, with only a few works passing in and then we got drunk and smashed a wrecking ball pinata against the gallery wall and got even more drunk and then I sang a love ballad with Peter Mcguinness and I tell you when we finished there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. And then we got drunker. It would have gone on like this but our daughter (who had eaten most of the lollies from the pinata) had to go home to sleep (not according to her) and so, sadly, the night eventually ended.