Arts, sport and the Australian media: a vignette

Today I found myself watching a replay on ABC News 24 of Simon Mordant’s National Press Club Address. Mordant was discussing the new Australian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, the fundraising for which was spearheaded by Mordant and his wife Catriona.

‘I’d like to see Cate Blanchett & Fiona Hall given ticker-tape parades through the city, the way we do for sportspeople,’ he said. The audience laughed, a telling reaction – Mordant’s proposal seems logical yet profoundly unlikely.

At one point a journalist posed a question to Mordant about the declining media landscape in Australia, and the lack of coverage for the arts. In a profoundly ironic move, ABC News 24 chose the moment of Mordant’s answer to this question to cut into the replay in order to cross to a live press conference held by the National Rugby League, regarding hoon spectators throwing bottles during a football game the night before.

Unfortunately I’m not expecting to see Fiona Hall driven down George St in a cloud of confetti any time soon.