Here is something you might not know: French people aren’t actually that amazing. Like you think they’re really elegant, smoking cigarettes, talking about their time at the Sorbonne, and having open relationships without emotionally devastating consequences. But pretty much every French person I’ve ever met wears Polar Fleece and loves bowling. In comparison, people from Tasmania are pretty cool. They know about things like cold climate wines and wear sensible shoes.
For a long time, these were opinions that I kept mostly to myself. But now they have been vindicated by the good people at the Australian Research Council. A new study shows that Hobart residents visit contemporary art museums more regularly than French residents.
Obviously this isn’t a crazy thought, considering Hobart has MONA. But the French have a lot of good art too, so let’s call the playing field sort of even. Also, it’s kind of a ball-ache to get to MONA, but that hasn’t stopped 75 percent of Hobart residents from making the trip in the past year. In comparison, during that same period, only 13 percent of French residents visited a contemporary art museum and 23 percent checked out a fine art museum.
Speaking to The Mercury—who reported these findings—Adrian Franklin, Professor of Creative Industries and Cultural Policy at the University of South Australia and Adjunct Professor of Sociology at the University of Tasmania suitably mused, “With my glass half full how shall I sum this all up? We are doing way better than France.”
He’s a classy guy, so he also added: “I’m not saying we’re more cultured [than France] but it’s a good start. We should not forget Mona and Dark Mofo are very rich in contemporary art which is typically less popular than traditional fine art galleries and festivals.”
We’re not classy, so we’ll say it—suck it France!