A friend on Facebook has pointed out the existence of an entertainment in Perth this summer that is billed as Naked Girls Reading. One assumes they are, and they do. And you buy a ticket to see them do it.
And that, not to put too fine a point on it, is the fine point at which the Turnpike of Culture splits into two forks – Low and High. One pathway where you pay money to see and one where you pay money to hear
Any Fringe Festival event is going to have some degree of ooh-gah in it. We’ve been watching crap films and hideous dancers and unintelligible singers for decades now, and as long as there is some alcohol somewhere in the venue and at least cheese on a stick, we will spend a couple of hours putting up with it. It’s a night out after all, and if your house air conditioning is dodgy you can get some relief from the heat.
But the question of whether this is a legit art event or just a piece of sleaze does come to mind. And as with most things, I think it will best be resolved with scientific investigation.
We have a number of inter-related words here; naked, girls, reading, tickets, and audience. If we mix and match them we come up with even more possibilities.
1. Naked girls reading to a paid audience – the basic premise of the event up till now.
2. Girls reading to a naked audience for pay. Well, it IS hot weather, after all…
3. Girls paying an audience to read to them. Naked or clothed – your choice.
4. Clothed girls reading to a paying audience. This is the real test of culture. If you can sit through couple of chapters of Hume or Rousseau and not get into a fistfight, you are a cultured person.
5. Books with no covers displayed openly …Ooh…Ahh…woopwoopwoop…
6. A girl sitting at home naked with a book and reading to herself. In several different voices. Until the neighbours complain.
7. Ditto the audience – doesn’t sell a lot of tickets but you don’t have to find a parking space and you can drink as much as you like.
I can’t help but think that a fair bit of this sort of art is fraud. But that would be judgmental and cynical and anyway – I owned two Frauds and they were very nice motor cars. The Fraud Laser went for 13 years and the Fraud Longreach Ute for nearly that long. Sometimes I wore clothing whilst driving them.