Monday, 28 Nov 2022

Artist seeks emails in court after Australia Council pulled funding for self-insemination show

Artist seeks emails in court after Australia Council pulled funding for self-insemination show


Artist seeks emails in court after Australia Council pulled funding for self-insemination show

Lawyers for an artist who had their Australian government funding withdrawn for a project in which they intended to self-inseminate over a live stream say it is possible emails linking the decision to the former arts minister have not been disclosed.

Casey Jenkins, who uses the pronouns they/them, is suing the Australia Council in the federal court for withdrawing funding for the performance exhibition Immaculate in 2020.

The court heard on Wednesday that Jenkins believed the Australia Council had not properly complied with court orders to provide documents relevant to the decision to withdraw the funding.

In 2020, Jenkins received $25,000 funding from the council for an international project.

When the pandemic closed international borders, they sought an amendment to the funding so that it could be used for Immaculate, a live stream of them self-inseminating with donated sperm while discussing their past experiences with conception. They said the project aimed to confront stigmas against queer pregnancy and parenting in the art world.

The amendment was initially approved, but then rescinded by the council in a letter sent in September 2020.

Emrys Nekvapil, for Jenkins, told judicial registrar Amelia Edwards that the search for documents related to the decision had turned up fewer files than may be expected, including from the office of the then arts minister Paul Fletcher.

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