A PLACE TO CALL HOME
or You can stick the home ownership dream firmly up your ass
You can buy a hill top castle in Spain for the same money it costs to buy a single fronted shit heap in Reservoir. So why would you buy Australian property? In many ways it’s almost an irrational investment, steeped more in emotion and grown-up rite of passage than pragmatic, fiscal sense.
I have no idea why we would be paying more for houses than anyone else in the world. I do however, blame little Johnny Howard. Even if it isn’t his fault, which I reckon it probably is, house prices went up on his watch. I could not be bothered making sure of the facts, all I know is that almost overnight a housing boom went on that has resulted in many being left out of a dream we’d taken for granted. You also know someone is evil like Johnny is, when the banks love your policies.
Now the banks own all these poor, anxiety-ridden, wretched sods, who walk around town dazed, whispering interest rate statistics to themselves and dreaming of foreclosure. Sometimes staying in unhappy relationships, not for the kid’s sake, but because of the cost of splitting a broken home. Indentured servants to debt for the rest of their lives. Renting has its advantages. I don’t listen to interest rate details on the box and if the roof caves in, it’s not my repair bill. In his speech last night, the lovely Stuart Koop mentioned that Artists are prepared to live and work where others are not. Artists are leaders of development cycles that are the key to gentrification and booms. Then he talked about the art economy, the housing economy, then my fiscally challenged brain wandered. Economy Economy. I had never noticed how often people talk about money until I reached middle age. It’s a mostly boring topic of conversation, unless there’s some crime involved. The thing about people with nothing to lose, is that one day they might do something they shouldn’t. Like challenge the status quo…
Play Money is a pop inspired show about home ownership and anxiety, and should not be missed. (Natalie Thomas)
Play Money runs until 25 August Counihan Gallery,
233 Sydney Road Brunswiick
Curator Jane O’Neill Talks about the works and the show on Sat 17 August 2.30pm