24 July, 2022
Artist & Inpatient at Ramsay Clinic
31 Albert Rd, Melbourne VIC 3004
To the reader,
If you are here for the purpose of assessing the work of Jessie Bullivant, I write to you with my deepest sympathies.
Contemporary art can be challenging. Not just for the artist, but for the viewer too. How often do we find ourselves asking, “what does it all mean?”
As an assessor, it’s understandable to be overwhelmed by the works of Bullivant. You might even be afraid. What the fuck is in that envelope? What if it’s an act of terror? What if you get cancelled? Or worse still—what if it’s a joke at your expense?
I have kindly been invited to write this letter of support, as the victor over Bullivant in the John Fries Award in 2016. Bullivant was highly commended for their work “In the event of winning”. It was a pre-recorded acceptance speech, saved on a USB thumb drive, delivered in a sealed envelope, which was only to be opened and played in the event that it was announced as the winner. The work was recognised, but uneventuated.
I split the prize money with my collaborator Herbert Jercher (who was unrecognised), and spent the rest of the money on marijuana. In a way we cheated; we were two artists and Bullivant was one. Despite being against the rules, The John Fries Award still nominated me, individually, as the prize winner.
In the event that Bullivant should not be successful in this application, I am willing to provide my services in lieu of their replacement. Please feel free to get in touch if you are seeking a previously deemed superior work.
That however, would be taking the easy road. I would like to invite you to take the risk, muster some courage, and support the practice of Bullivant. I can personally guarantee you won’t be disappointed—but you probably wouldn’t understand.
A true avant-garde artist is rarely recognised in their time. A brilliant curator holds the foresight to acknowledge greatness when it stares back at them, blank in the face.
It is with my deepest admiration, and highest recommendation, that you commision the practice of Jessie Bullivant: the kind of artist I wish I could be. An artist’s artist. For a curator’s curator.
So what are you so afraid of?