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Not Quite Art (2007)

March 24th, 2008 by marcus

Not Quite Art

Not Quite Art was my first attempt at writing and presenting a TV series. It was named as one of the best shows on Australian TV in 2007 according to the Sydney Morning Herald and described by The Age as “the freshest, most illuminating, thoughtful and funny locally made arts program in years.”

From the ABC Press Kit:


The art show that believes there is life outside the galleries.

Host Marcus Westbury, founder of the This is Not Art Festival in Newcastle and the former director of Next Wave Festival in Melbourne takes on a tour of how the art world looks from the other side.

Tuesday October 16 10pm, ABC TV Australia

Why do we spend far more money building sterile palaces to dead artists and their artefacts than supporting living ones?

Presenter Marcus Westbury travels to his home town of Newcastle, Australia where the cultural vision looks a lot like a real estate development. He then takes a trip to the Scottish city of Glasgow, where DIY culture has transformed an post-industrial casualty to a hub of happening culture in Europe.

Marcus puts forward the question of whether you can buy culture by building an iconic building or even franchising a McLouvre or McGuggenheim? Or is culture a messy, dirty thing that comes from the bottom up, refuses to behave, is borderline illegal and breaks a lot of occupational health and safety rules?

This episode features a guest appearance by the Pasha Bulker.

Tuesday October 23 10pm, ABC TV Australia

Is culture a set of elaborate and elaborately funded life support systems, or an infection that’s trying to attack us? What’s the difference between a Symphony Orchestra and a covers band (apart from about $40million dollars a year) and why does the Australia Council spend more money on A SINGLE opera company than all the visual artists and musicians (not including symphony orchestras) in the country combined?

This week presenter Marcus Westbury meets artists that have turned the laneways of Melbourne into one of Australia’s prime tourist attractions (whilst dodging the police), finds out what uncollectable art is, hangs out with multi media musicians The Herd and wonders why the computer games industry has so much money and so little content. Creator of the Australian game, Escape from Woomera, Katharine Neil has some ideas why, which she shares with Marcus.

WARNING: May contain traces of criminal activity!

Tuesday October 30 10pm, ABC TV Australia

Where does art stop and business begin? Is the difference between art and commerce whether you make money out of it or whether you are making it to make money? Why does Melbourne have laneway bars and NSW have poker machines and what the hell does that have to do with art?

Marcus Westbury ventures into a video art bar, meets an artist who sells ideas, reveals the angst of being a sneaker designer and comes across a magazine that you can only read on a wall. Along the way he asks if are artists are just the underpaid R&D guys for big fashion, design, music and business?

With sneakers on show at the National Gallery of Victoria and every new art movement the basis of an advertising campaign, as a society, are we just better consumers than art critics?

This episode features Marcus in a suit.

Writer/Presenter: Marcus Westbury
Director: Brendan Fletcher
Producer: Frank Haines
Editor: Melanie Annan
Design by Tin&Ed
Commissioning Editor: Megan Harding

You can still download the original series from the ABC TV ‘Not Quite Art’ page or read some reviews of the series here and here.

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1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Terena Oct 28, 2008 at 10:11 am

    I am trying to find information about the Book of Ideas that was presented.