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Acquisition of Lindy Lee, Ouroboros, for $14 M

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Dear Minister for the Arts,
I asked NGA to communicate me the Commisssion Agreement for the acquisition of Lindy Lee, Ouroboros, for $14 M authorized by your minister .

They refused to do so. They gave me incignifiant documents and most of them where censored by black pen.

I am seeking this documents with all the numbers...

Yours faithfully,

Mathieu Briand

Dear Minister for the Arts,
i am also seeking the detail budget and the differents tenders.
I imagine for $14M they must be a lot of them.

Yours faithfully,

Mathieu Briand

OFFICIAL

Dear Mr Briand,

Thank you for your email of 19 May 2022 relating to the commission of the Lindy Lee sculpture, Ouroboros.

Your inquiry is with the National Gallery of Australia for a response and the Department cannot be of assistance at this time.

Yours Sincerely
Nicola

Nicola Elsom
FOI Administrator  •  Assurance, Integrity and Risk Branch   •  People, Governance, Parliamentary and Communication Division
GPO Box 594 Canberra, ACT 2601

Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications
CONNECTING AUSTRALIANS  •  ENRICHING COMMUNITIES  •  EMPOWERING REGIONS
  infrastructure.gov.au

                                 
I would like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of this land on which we meet, work and live.
I recognise and respect their continuing connection to the land, waters and communities.
I pay my respects to Elders past and present and to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.

OFFICIAL

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Dear Minister for the Arts,
I hope this message will finds you well.
Your predecessor approved,under the National Gallery of Australia Act 1975, that NGA spend $14 M of PUBLIC money for the acquisition of Ouroboros from Lindy Lee.
I am seeking the documents who help him to take such decision.
I believe it s my right as a citizen to know how my taxes are spend.
I believe its my right as an artist to know how the choice has beenn made.
Your new minister want to support art and artists, it can start by more transparency and fairplay.

Very best

Mathieu Briand

About Me :
I am an International artist borne in France and living in Melbourne since 10 years. I am an Australian citizen.
I am also the creator of u-coa.com

Bio : After holding a large-scale solo exhibition in two parts at Palais de Tokyo, Paris, and Moca Lyon, in 2004, he moved on to a project named Ubïq: A Mental Odyssey. This ambitious time-space project was mounted for the first time in 2006 at the Los Angeles REDCAT, and later at MIT List Visual Arts Center, TATE Modern Turbine Hall and Art Basel Unlimited.

From 2008 to 2015, Briand worked on a project called Et In Libertalia Ego, which was based on the idea of the pirate’s utopia of ‘Libertalia’. The first volume of the project was shown in La Maison Rouge in Paris in 2015, while the second was presented at MONA in Hobart in 2016.

Briand has participated in international group and solo exhibitions in major museums including Centre Pompidou-Paris/France, Bloomberg Space-London/UK, Jumex Founation-Mexico city/Mexico, Walker Art Center-Minneapolis/USA, Sharjah Art Foundation-Sharjah/UAE, ICC-Tokyo/Japan, Moca- Tapei/Taiwan, SiteSantafe-Santafe/USA and Macba- Barcelone/Spain.

His work has been presented in Australia at CCP-Melbourne, ACMI-Melbourne, Carriageworks- Sydney, MONA-Tasmania.
He received First prize in the biennale of Istanbul in 2001.
He has created permanent installations including Eternal Garden, Nanling, China (2005), and SYS*017 for the Moca, Kanazawa, Japan (2004).

OFFICIAL

Dear Mr Briand,

Thank you for your email of 2nd July 2022 relating to the commission of the Lindy Lee sculpture, Ouroboros.

Your inquiry is with the National Gallery of Australia for a response and the Department cannot be of assistance at this time.

Yours Sincerely
Nicola

Nicola Elsom
FOI Administrator  •  Assurance, Integrity and Risk Branch   •  People, Governance, Parliamentary and Communication Division
[email address]
P 6274 6041 •  
GPO Box 594 Canberra, ACT 2601

Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications
CONNECTING AUSTRALIANS  •  ENRICHING COMMUNITIES  •  EMPOWERING REGIONS
  infrastructure.gov.au

                                   
I would like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of this land on which we meet, work and live.
I recognise and respect their continuing connection to the land, waters and communities.
I pay my respects to Elders past and present and to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.

OFFICIAL

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Dear Nicola Elsom ,

it will be appreciate if someone take seriously what i am asking. and also answer in detail to my email.
But perhaps gov change but nothing change...
What i am asking is my absolutely right, the right that have every citizen to know how public money is spend.
Your departamenet gave the approval to spend $15 M on a artwork who is over value 1000 times so your departement is part responsible .
Your departement want to support art perhaps you can start by taking care seriously of the money for the art.
In the case you refused what i am asking i will go to the departement of justice who will force you or nga to do so.

very best regards

Mathieu Briand

Yours sincerely,

Mathieu Briand

Following your email :

Dear Ms Campton

Thank you for your message though I object to the unhelpful tone of your response.

The NGA and your minister have refused to answer a simple question that every Australian citizen has a right to ask: How are my taxes spent and how are new NGA acquisitions commissioned?

As your minister has greenlighted this acquisition your department shares collective responsibility for this project and the funds allocated toward it.

You invite me to waste more time with Kafa-esque questioning of your obstructive processes where those involved and with direct authority on the matter, refuse to assist me with the relevant information. I will now escalate the matter with pro bono, legal guidance.

I also invited you to investigate the so called « independent committee » (when in fact there is little independence amongst a track record of insider friends). Perhaps you could read their minutes and explore a little more deeply..> AUD 14 M for a single work of art by a local artist who has never commanded anywhere near these prices?
Can you imagine how many hours artists spend on grant applications to justify their spend before and after a project is made ? Please refer to the document that the NGA sent me. A joke.

Perhaps you know that the NGA Director also changed the acquisition policy just before this acquisition was made, how timely? The facts speak for themselves.

If everything is in order, why not release the numbers to the public for purposes of transparency? I voted for this your government because I thought their good practices and genuine support for the arts aspired toward ethical and equitable practises.

There are clear conflicts of interest throughout this acquisition process

It is my intention to expose the incompetence of this committee and more...

The work is absurdly OVERPRICED, I invite you to review the details in the documents I’ve previously forwarded to you.

Forgive my brusque tone however I’m absolutely frustrated by the evasive responses to an expression of genuine concern and moral confusion.

I wish you a wonderfull day.

Your sincerely,

Mathieu Briand

Artist & Citizen

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Your email has been received by the FOI Coordinator for the Department of
Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications and
will be actioned appropriately.

 

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Thank you,

 

FOI Coordinator

Freedom of Information

Assurance, Integrity and Risk Branch

People, Governance, Parliamentary and Communication Division

E: [1][email address
GPO Box 594 Canberra, ACT 2601

 Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and
Communications
CONNECTING AUSTRALIANS  •  ENRICHING COMMUNITIES  •  EMPOWERING REGIONS

  [2]infrastructure.gov.au   [3]cid:image001.png@01D724A5.551E1E80

 

 

 

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We don't know whether the most recent response to this request contains information or not – if you are Mathieu Briand please sign in and let everyone know.