Playing Games: A Failed Failure (Winner)

It wasn’t supposed to get in.

The idea was to keep entering the same work into all the available art competitions and to have it continually fail to get in. I was adding up all the tries, the competitions, entry dates, costs and refusals and collating them into a wall text that would accompany a blank drawing box. I was planning to  exhibit it in the Masters seminar as: Failed Posted Drawing Box (Never Sent).

A way of commenting on the nature of sending work out to competitions, of entering things and not getting in (a process I was familiar with) of looking for validation and cash prizes. An artist’s joke or game.

The rules were that I played their game, fulfilled their entry requirements. Parkin wanted up to two images, a title, sale price and $40. I didn’t get in. One down. Wallace didn’t want my money, but they did want a supporting text. I wrote one. Two down I thought.

And then it got in.

I had not envisaged this. It left me in a somewhat awkward position. obviously I’m really happy that I placed among the finalists, I was just really excited to be in the travelling show to be honest, but it has ruined the possibility of making my oh so clever-clever blank box drawing.

I’m not unappreciative, I’m overjoyed that the work is included, that other people find the same interest that I do in the work. I also love that in a homestead full of shiny, colourful, beautiful, thoughtful work my slightly dented cardboard box manages to hold its own.

But I also feel like I have lost my chance to critique the idea of art competitions which was my intention, the game I was playing. I’d never really wanted to critique anything before and I thought the drawing box was a good vehicle for that.

Now I have to find some other purpose for them, another game for them to play, a process for them to record.

and another way to critique the competition process, but from a different position, as benefactor, First Runner Up.

How ungrateful.



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