A show programmed by self-professed non-curator Benjamin Aitken. “Artists to Appreciate” sounds like one of those lame-duck sections in Australian Art Collection – a bit like “Curators to Watch” or “Young Artists Worth Collecting”. It’s not about that at all. It’s more simply “Cool Art to Check Out” without shoving anything down viewer’s throats. It doesn’t carry the now academic burden of being “curated”, which is largely bullshit now courtesy of the university courses, not to discredit some of the amazing curators out there envisioning amazing exhibitions and creating important political discourse. Sure it could have a snazzy, wanky title like “Melbourne’s New Millennial Zeitgeist”. But it’s not about that. There is no curator. There’s a ‘programmer’ which is more like someone who collected bands for a festival which may have included DMX, Swans, GG Allin and John Denver. There is no curatorial theme. This could be argued, by design that this show is actually, quite could be subconsciously curated.
“Shit That I Like’ is simple, honest, a bit anarchist and punk. It’s not dressing mutton up like lamb. Hopefully it has an edge, which most of the art does. It’s literally shit I like in not for profit and unfunded space that gives the artists a platform. If the viewer thinks it’s simply shit, that’s their call. You are welcome to visit some other gallery for some flowers and seascapes.
A ‘curate’ is a person who conducts worship for a parish. Curate comes from the word cure; a curate is supposed to cure that most important part of you – your soul. And that’s what I hope the art in this exhibition will do for each individual. None the less the only holy spirit I believe in is Saint Vodka.
– Benjamin Aitken