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As Australians enter a discussion about advertising space on the Opera House, it is Banksy that has already spoken on the issue.
Banksy burned himself into our attention over the weekend with his latest piece, making sure his art would shred itself once purchased at auction. It’s ostensibly a slam on the art world’s overvaluation of nonsense, it was also a symbol of the division between rich and poor, and the propensity of those who have it, to distance themselves from those who don’t.
Banksy publishes video detailing auction stunt plan – video https://t.co/aecJqawiGm
— The Guardian (@guardian) October 7, 2018
However, the well-heeled of Sotheby’s do not exclusively walk that room, as Sydneysiders are discovering, as they’re building volume in an attempt to halt the murky forces who are attempting to monetise existing art for personal gain. We’re all extremely familiar with the narrative of what our politicians believe the Opera House should be, but it is the words of Banksy, not his work, that speaks wonderfully to this issue:
Any advert in a public space that gives you no choice whether you see it or not is yours. You owe the companies nothing. Less than nothing, you especially don’t owe them any courtesy. They owe you. They have re-arranged the world to put themselves in front of you. They never asked for your permission, don’t even start asking for theirs.
The minds of those responsible justified the move thusly, claiming that this race should be pitched on the side of the Opera House, because it is “providing $100m to the economy, delivering a tourism boom to Sydney Sydney around the world.”
It’s worth mentioning that both sides of the NSW government backed the move. For them, it’s a question of money. For us, it’s no small change.
We owe them nothing but our opinion.