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Modernising the Archibald Prize

A venerable Aussie institution embraces modern content creation

Vincent Fantauzzo’s portrait of Kimbra utilises multimedia in a break from Archibald Prize tradition

The Archibald Prize is the biggest there is in the Australian art world. Prestige, publicity and a tasty $75,000 prize await the winner, who this year could include digital artists.

Recognising the impact technology has had on every aspect of life – including art – the prize is evolving. The Art Gallery of New South Wales’ acting director, Anne Flanagan, says: ‘I think everyone’s very conscious about the way people are dealing with all sorts of media.’

Leading the charge, and bringing a 90-year-old contest firmly into the modern era of content creation, is Vincent Fantauzzo. The Sydney Morning Herald reports that his portrait of singer Kimbra ‘includes a square QR code, akin to a bar code. Used with a smart phone, it connects viewers to an online clip of her singing in the same garb she wears in the portrait.’

Of course, critics will claim the prize’s adoption of new mediums is at odds with its founding principles. But what do you think? Should the traditional hold sway, does art, with its history of pushing the boundaries, have an obligation to adopt new content memes?

 

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