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Artist paints picture of The Nobility being on the dole

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Artist paints noble picture of dole

 

Can't wait to hear your comments on this one! Certainly provocative :blink:

 

...one for the Bear Pit perhaps??

 

 

http://www.stuff.co.nz/entertainment/arts/...picture-of-dole

 

Artist paints noble picture of dole

By LANE NICHOLS - The Dominion Post

 

An out-of-work artist is setting up a taxpayer-funded "beneficiaries' office" in downtown Wellington to promote the virtues of being unemployed.

 

He is part of a $53,000 performance art installation series paid for by Creative New Zealand and Wellington City Council.

 

Creative NZ is defending its decision to provide a $40,000 grant but said last night it was unaware of the installation's "precise content" when the grant was signed off.

 

Tao Wells, 37, advocates the opportunities and benefits of unemployment and says it is unfair that long-term beneficiaries are labelled bludgers for exploiting the welfare system.

 

 

<script src='http://img812.imageshack.us/shareable/?i=wells.jpg&p=tl' type='text/javascript'></script><noscript>wells.jpg</noscript>

 

 

CHRIS SKELTON/The Dominion Post

WORK IN PROGRESS: Tao Wells is using a taxpayer-funded project to promote unemployment. "We should never be forced to take a job,'' he says.

Wells' installation, The Beneficiary's Office, urges people to abandon jobs they don't like rather than suffering eight hours of "slavery".

 

"We need to work less, so we consume less. The average carbon footprint of the unemployed person is about half of that of those earning over $100,000."

 

His Manners St office will run from Monday for at least two weeks and is open to the public. The project is part of the Letting Space public art installation series which uses vacant Wellington commercial spaces.

 

Backed by five "staff", Wells plans to promote his unemployment philosophy publicly and debate it with politicians and the gainfully employed.

 

He described himself as an unemployed artist with a masters degree who had been "off and on" the unemployment benefit since 1997. Wells said he was receiving welfare and admitted his benefit was at risk by him speaking out.

 

Late yesterday afternoon his benefit was cut off after Work and Income learned of the project.

 

His case has parallels with Wellington's "political busker" Benjamin Easton, who lost his benefit earlier this year after revealing he had not had a job interview since he went on the dole nearly three years ago.

 

Wells denied his pro-unemployment stance was hypocritical when he was being paid $2000 for the project. "We should never be forced to take a job. If you're forced to take a job it's a punishment. If a job's a punishment then society must be a prison."

 

Asked about the irony of taxpayers funding an art project that promoted unemployment, Wells said: "That's a huge argument, there's some huge ideas there. The bottom line is money. What I'm critiquing is the idea of work."

 

Creative NZ boss Stephen Wainwright said the agency's role was to encourage, promote and support the arts. Innovative new work, such as the Letting Space series, could act as a powerful form of social commentary and encourage debate.

 

The Beneficiary's Office is on at 50 Manners St, level 3, from Monday.

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I think this is one of the best investments Creative NZ has made and good on this guy for making the best of a bad situation.

 

Offering welfare and then critising via the media those who take it up never made much sense to me.

 

I predict this WILL be the most contriversial art installations in Wellington this year, coming in just behind the "Free Food Project" which set up a "shop" where all the items were free. It filmed members of the public to catalogue their responses when offered something for free. [some were grateful and humbled, a small group were greedy, some were needy, some were embarassed that they walked into a store giving away everything it could. Others felt that the store reduced unnessesary waste and supported the project becoming a permanent feature in Wellington. Fascinating character study]

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NZ taxpayers should be up in arms:

Seeing someone PAID to pound lead into their feet

 

Blog_Shoot_Foot.jpg

 

One day, they will wonder: Why am I limping?

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People who are not able to provide for themselves due to violent thugs preventing them from cultivating the land, have no alternative than to take whatever is on offer. To portray these people as bludgers or spongers shows a worrying lack of sympathy and empathy with fellow men. As a matter of fact, the only reason that welfare is paid is to keep some kind of order - when the welfare stops then unpredictable events occur which may upset the plans of those in control.

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Don't see a problem with it.

 

Art humanizes the world, and helps us laugh at ourselves. Without it, people might think society is an economic machine where the prime virtue is efficiency.

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Don't see a problem with it.

 

Art humanizes the world, and helps us laugh at ourselves. Without it, people might think society is an economic machine where the prime virtue is efficiency.

 

Many do think that way - have been conditioned to thinking that way from birth - it runs deep and has the effect of taking away the self-worth of those without work and making those with work and/or money feel falsely virtuous.

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People who are not able to provide for themselves due to violent thugs preventing them from cultivating the land, have no alternative than to take whatever is on offer. To portray these people as bludgers or spongers shows a worrying lack of sympathy and empathy with fellow men. As a matter of fact, the only reason that welfare is paid is to keep some kind of order - when the welfare stops then unpredictable events occur which may upset the plans of those in control.

But why pay someone to celebrate a situation?

 

Let's face it, someone else has to work, to give them their bread (benefits.)

 

My view is, there is something intrinsically shameful in this, and no adult should be comfortable REMAINING in a dependent situation. They should strive to move on to another status. And if they remain there complacently, and worse-yet DEMAND respect from those who are supporting them, I cannot agree.

 

Instead, The grant should have been to tell the story of those who found new and creative ways to move beyond dependency. Or perhaps for those who found other ways to give something back to those who supported them when they fell into a dependent status. (Unpaid charity is noble too.)

 

= =

 

FACE is a strong motivator in Hong Kong. People lose face, if they are not working and supporting themselves here. The result is people seek work, at whatever they can find, when they lose their initial jobs.

 

As an example, I have a friend whose family business faltered, and her sister lost her job in the family business. The sister had always worked for her family, and so had few credentials that were valued in the job market. So she wound up working as a cleaner for several months, earning the same as some Filipino helpers for a brief while. My friend then gave money to her sister, partly to help pay school fees for her niece and nephew. That was over one year ago.

 

The sister has now moved on to a better job. And her nephew has finished his early training, and moved into a reasonably high paying job in finance, and he lives with his mother (the former cleaner), and pays her rent.

 

RESULT: Family face and finances restored. With no need for a single Dole payment from the state.

 

In the UK, this entire family might be on the dole, demanding respect from those they sponge off. I say phooey-to-that! The Hong Kong way is better, and I feel good about being surrounded by people who have such resilience, and look after their family members in such ways.

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http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/...Paul-Henry-role

 

 

[Paul Henry a well known NZ broadcaster/breakfast anchor resigned last week after the public outcry about one of his comments being racist]

Artist says he's the man for Paul Henry role

By MICHAEL FOX - The Dominion Post

 

The artist advocating unemployment is using his newfound notoriety to plump for axed Breakfast host Paul Henry's job.

 

Wellington beneficiary Tao Wells, 37, sparked controversy – and a heated reaction from Dominion Post readers – when it was revealed he was setting up a taxpayer-funded "beneficiaries' office" to promote the virtues of being unemployed.

 

Creative NZ provided a $40,000 grant for the Manners St office, which is open to the public for at least two weeks from today as part of the Letting Space public art series. The Beneficiary's Office urges people to forsake jobs they don't like rather than endure eight hours of "slavery".

 

Wells' benefit has since been suspended as Work and Income investigates him for receiving income above the maximum allowable as a result of the grants – something that he denies. He said it was an "absolute lie" to suggest he benefited personally from the Creative NZ funding, as it all went to the Wells Group, of which he is the director. He admitted the funding let him and five colleagues work on the exhibition.

 

Wells said the anger prompted by his argument was a response to the issues he raised, not an attack on him. "The anger is very real and it's not about me. It's about feeling ripped off – we are collectively being ripped off."

 

He disagreed that beneficiaries were getting paid for "doing nothing". "Everyone who is alive works to live. Now what is that work? Is it just purely financial? It can't be – we all rip off our jobs, we all participate in other things that we're not supposed to at work.

 

"If we didn't, society in itself would collapse. If we didn't notice our neighbour, if we didn't say hello, if we didn't do the extra things – I feel ridiculous even having to make those points but this is the state of things."

 

He was not advocating for people living off the state but "living for the state". However, he did not have any ideas on how this would be achieved, admitting "we're making this up as we go".

 

When asked what he'd learnt from the experience, he said: "That I want Paul Henry's job. I'm outspoken, I'm not afraid to speak my mind, not politically correct – and if all those people thought that that was important about Paul Henry, then they should feel the same way about me. And I am unemployed."

'Don't Bite The Hand That Feeds You'

"I am just so angry about Tao Wells being given money for his Beneficiary's Office ... My fantasy would be that when Mr Wells next goes to buy some food he is told there is none available as all the people involved from growing the produce to delivering it and selling it had decided they didn't want to be in slavery for eight hours a day."

Heather Nelson

 

"I see no problem with promoting `unemployment'; it is the concept of early retirement and enjoying your money and youth while you have it. But the key is to enjoy your money, not mine. I see a problem with the slavish welfare state that we have which steals the fruits of the people's labour to give to people who do not work."

Ian of Tawa

 

"I feel sorry for beneficiaries who actually need it then have people like this idiot open their mouth! It's people like him that makes people have a negative view of the dole. Don't bite the hand that feeds you." Brett

 

"Thank god for people like Tao Wells who have the enormous courage to critique the sacrosanct idea that work will set you free (remind us of anything?) no matter what that work is, how tedious, or how abhorrent it is."

Tara Kloss

"I live on $280 a week. If someone offered me a job, I would fricking take it. Yes, I like art very much but this is ridiculous, and he is not, in any sense of the word, a worthwhile artist. He's a waste of space and thank God he got his dole cut ..."

Lana

 

"So I pay a huge amount in tax, work fulltime normally up to 12 hours a day for 12 out of every 14 days to better my position and pay for no-hopers to have a bludging lifestyle. It makes me wonder sometimes why I really bother."

Jonathan

 

"If you weren't taking a benefit I'd say that's fine but when you expect others to work to fund you, that's just being a spoilt brat. We'd all like 50 hours off a week; luckily for you, some of us were brought up to work for what we get, otherwise you wouldn't have a welfare system to bludge off. It's meant to be a safety net; not a lifestyle choice."

Anne

 

"Nobody should be forced to work, as well as nobody should be forced to subsidise them through their taxes." Steven L

 

LOL I find this hillarious! The fact that NZ is a democracy is lost on these people. The welfare system has been in place for decades, why if the public is really so anti beneficiary as these comments suggest (aren't you suspicious of the John S type comments?? Do these people really exist? Even if the name is real there is no safegaurd on the internet for the use of someone elses name) THEN WHY HAS NOBODY CHANGED THE LAW?

 

Apathy? These comments suggest there is a significant amount of venom. You would think if this were the case they would lobby MPs.

 

Perhaps as a society we secretly agree with Wells.

 

 

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Perhaps as a society we secretly agree with Wells.

I think people have some sympathy for those who lose their jobs,

and think that a TEMPORARY helping hand is okay.

 

But those who argue that is is fine to be a permanent beneficiary of the dole, and promoting living off others as a lifestyle choice may have a tough time.

 

The UK already has far too many people who think they are ENTITLED to such payments for their entire lives. Do you really want to see that Entitlement culture spread to NZ? If so, in the long run, New Zealanders are going to wind up starving, or in service to wealthy Chinese (who are not afraid to work hard, and promote the virtues of hard work.)

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I think it's a pity that people get so polarized over unemployment benefits.

 

Maybe it would help the case for art if the isssue of unemloyment was separated from benefits. If the artist is seeking some some modicum of self-determination in his life, then surely he/ she would want to be free of the need for benefits.... of having to answer to the State.... or employers.

 

That said, art should play a restorative unifying role, where all, whatever their circumstances, can participate in something that transcends the mundane and often devisive "realities' of life.

 

edited.

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I think it's a pity that people get so polarized over unemployment benefits.

 

Maybe it would help the case for art if the isssue of unemloyment was separated from benefits. If the artist is seeking some some modicum of self-determination in his life, then surely he/ she would want to be free of the need for benefits.... of having to answer to the State.... or employers.

 

That said, art should play a restorative role, where all, whatever their circumstances, can participate in something that transcends the mundane "realities' of life.

 

This artist has made the front page of the national and local newspapers, not once, but twice. This is quite a clever lad. He has picked this topic perhaps in part because it will prod people into reacting, perhaps even thinking critically about the issue of welfare and how our country handles unemployed.

 

There is much bitching in the media about people on benefits. The overall tone implies that only the wealthy should dare to have children in the first place - filthy bludgers! But a smaller voice is sometimes heard talking about how their life was changed due to sudden loss (job/partner/etc) and how the NZ welfare system supported them when they needed support.

 

I am not convinced the artist is believeing what he is saying, so much as representing an extreme point of view in order to break up the impression of welfare.

 

 

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This artist has made the front page of the national and local newspapers, not once, but twice. This is quite a clever lad. He has picked this topic perhaps in part because it will prod people into reacting, perhaps even thinking critically about the issue of welfare and how our country handles unemployed.

.....

I am not convinced the artist is believeing what he is saying, so much as representing an extreme point of view in order to break up the impression of welfare.

A clever lad but more political than artistic imo:

 

....art should play a restorative unifying role, where all, whatever their circumstances, can participate in something that transcends the mundane and often devisive "realities' of life.

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