Ian Haig

The original West Space Gallery was in a mall in Footscray above a takeaway food joint and had a smell about it – maybe it was from the sausage rolls wafting up from downstairs. I only went to the gallery a few times. I remember it was near cheap Asian discount stores that sold lots of stuff in Fluoro colours for $2. I heard the gallery burnt down. I liked that the gallery smelled; galleries should smell, artists used to smell more also. These days artists shower a lot more and are less scungy. Like art spaces today, artists and galleries are more professional. I really can’t stand professionalism and careerism in the art world – it’s the death of anything interesting.

I can’t tell the difference these days between artists and other creative types – all of the creative industries have converged. Everyone is on a career path; art students do studio art courses and then go enrol in a curatorial course (why you need to do a course to be curator I am not sure.) Curators are super clean and bathe regularly, like 2–3 times a day. Curators never smell, but they would be more interesting if they did. Give me a dirty curator any day over a clean one.