Something for everybody? Art, community, the unfamiliar, and Barrie Kosky at the Adelaide Festival

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


In this chapter, I focus on Barrie Kosky’s work as an administrator, and on how this relates to discourse and practice around art, taste and community. In the first part I focus on Kosky’s time as Artistic Director of the 1996 Adelaide Festival, in which he demonstrated a competency with arts administration in ways that expanded the understanding of the role of Artistic Director beyond that shown by his predecessors. As a rare example of a young practising artist rather than a seasoned professional arts administrator in the role of a successful Artistic Director, Kosky paved the way for a string of practising artists at the Festival’s helm in subsequent years. In the second part, I frame the objections to Kosky’s Adelaide appointment in relation to other Australian approaches to season programming and to a discussion on art and community. What does it mean for an arts organisation to provide something for everybody? I argue that Kosky answers this by recognising a diversity of tastes undergirded by a shared orientation towards the new. I end the chapter by drawing links to Kosky’s work in Berlin in relation to barriers to access to the arts.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBarrie Kosky's transnational theatres
EditorsJames Phillips, John R. Severn
Place of PublicationCham, Switzerland
PublisherSpringer, Springer Nature
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)9783030750282
ISBN (Print)9783030750275
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Publication series

NameGlobal Germany in Transnational Dialogues
ISSN (Print)2522-5324
ISSN (Electronic)2522-5332


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