Friday, June 27, 2008

Friday Flash: Who do you trust, artworld?

A couple of days ago, the results of yet another asinine survey were released, filling up that day's soft copy sinkhole in the newspapers. Taking time out for a moment from mailing me plastic keys and literature about "Prizes I may already have WON!!!", the Reader's Digest surveyed New Zealanders' opinions of the trustworthiness both of prominent individuals and professions.

I'm sure I wasn't alone in noticing that there was no one from the visual arts on the trustworthy list (although there were literary types like Margaret Mahy (#2) and -- pushing it a bit -- Nicky Hager (#61), as well as an opera singer or two). Nor did any job remotely connected to the visual arts feature in the top 40 most trusted professions.

Uncertain as to whether this might be due to the generally low public profile of the visual arts as a career choice, or a general perception of the artworld as a den of vice and inequity so far below that even of sex workers, psychics, telemarketers and politicians that it fell off the bottom of the list, I thought it might be instructive to run my own survey and see which art profession is New Zealand's most trusted.

Will auctioneers outbid gallerists? Are conceptual artists fundamentally more honest than painters? Do art curators speak truth to power, or are they making it all up? Make your point of view count.

A highly scientific analysis of results posted here in a week or so.

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