Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Assange Donates "Consent" To Sydney Museum of Words

By Jerry Smith Nov. 12 2013

For comedian Charles Firth what seems to have started as a joke, or maybe a scam, has now snowballed into a full fledged art exhibit, that may have to go on without him.

Firth and friends got people like Assange, Gina Rinehart, Dr Mehreen Faruqi and others to donate a word to the Sydney Museum of Words, but now the team working with him on the exhibit has gotten rid of him after he described the project as a scam.

The Sydney Writers’ Room, a non-profit work space in Sydney’s Trades Hall set up by Firth and friends was losing money, so Firth went looking for art grants.

‘‘So we thought, OK, how can we scam an arts grant by creating a program? A museum of words was the cheapest thing in the world," Firth said. "Now it has snowballed, so I don’t know if it’s a scam any more.’’

‘‘The original idea was to spend $150 on the museum and the rest on booze for the opening-night party,’’ Firth said.

Firth chose the word "love" after considering the word "the".

‘‘Everyone wants to contribute a word, which they can’t use while it’s on loan. Most words are on loan because otherwise they could never use them again,’’ said Firth.

On Tuesday morning Firth tweeted:
"So the Sydney Museum of Words is currently holding an emergency meeting - without me - deciding whether to sack me. I don't understand."

He later tweeted:
"Yep. They've sacked me. Ironically, I'm at a loss for words."

Firth later said:
"The rest of the team are resentful of the way I did the publicity. Tania Safi is the producer and she thought I overstepped the mark. She is brilliant and she has done all the heavy lifting."

Safi, a young Sydney artist, said:
"The museum has been an ongoing legitimate project. A number of us from NewsLab team have been working tirelessly on it for six months and we're disappointed that Charles made light of it. We think it's best he doesn't speak on behalf of the museum."

Safi also said about the exhibit:
"It's more a collective community project than a wankfest. It's something I believe in and has never been done before. I don't want this to deter anyone from visiting the museum."

Some of the words on loan:

Julian Assange, WikiLeaks activist – Consent

Gina Rinehart, richest Australian – Perseverance

Clover Moore, Lord Mayor – Sustainability

Dr Mehreen Faruqi, Greens MLC – Government

David Hunt, popular historian – Bininggaray

Charles Firth, museum director – Love

Ghassan Hage, academic – White

Judith Butler, feminist philosopher – Gender

Wayne Blair, writer/actor – Comedy

Paul Livingston, comedian (Flacco) – Magnate

Dan Ilic, filmmaker – Regret


  1. i dont recognize most of the names. couldnt they of gotten more known people