Tony Abbott and post-impressionism
Tony Abbott adds a seemingly post-impressionist colour and essence to the dullness and sameness of Federal politics.
Compare that to the unbearable lightness of Labor being.
I have this unshakable vision of a be-smocked Kevin Rudd creating washed out pastoral prints without structure or spirit. It captures for me the political crapulence and decrepitude of Labor.
Instead of detailed programmatic specificity we get shit happens.
And yet, Abbot is not a post-impressionist. He is an artist without a canvas.
At best he is an Andy Warhol; a bright print which captures the eye but repulses and attracts the mind at the same time.
Abbott struggles not against the existing order and its impressionism. While he declaims individual expression, he wants to reorder the world in the old ways, not the new.
That individual expression is the cry of the slave, bound and gagged. It is the scream.
Abbott renews by reclaiming the old.
But in doing that, his style is to emphasise the subject.
Abbott is about reinventing the ancien regime and its dull stultifying order, an order of workers downtrodden and defeated, cogs in the machine of capital.
We trudge to our drudgery, in a dull dark world of conformity and discipline.
The spirit will be leashed; there will be no lost ears in Abbott’s world.
His broad brush is the pointillism of profit, the watercolour of workchoices.
And so while the impression of change captures some, its reality is very different – a wash out of yesterday with nothing new, nothing different, for our eyes here and now.
We will not embrace the past without a future; we will reject our first impressions and return to light and substance.
We will ignore the universality of their difference.
We can assert own individuality only through our community, where we can all be Picasso and Rembrandt and Gauguin; not post or pre – just being.
Post-impressionism from the Musee D’Orsay is at the National Gallery of Australia until 5 April. It includes works by Vincent Van Gogh, Paul Gauguin, Paul Cezanne, Georges Seurat, Claude Monet, Pierre Bonnard, Edouard Vuillard and Maurice Denis.