Redleg V artists

Robert Raymond Cripps

sues artists for defamation:

Redleg Museum Services (ACN 105 986 829) sues

Demetrios Vakras (artist)
Lee-Anne Raymond (artist)

Supreme Court of Victoria
SCI 01484/2011

Cripps' crack legal team: Christopher Dibb & Buddy Low (Efron & Associates, Melbourne) Tao Jiang (replaced)

1. Redleg Museum Services now runs RUBY'S MUSIC ROOM , Registration number:    B2409701A, ASIC;
2. Cripps' Redleg Museum Services Pty Ltd was the respondent to objections raised in VCAT regarding his Ruby's Music Room
3."The team behind one of Melbourne’s much loved galleries and performance spaces, Guildford Lane Gallery are very proud to present Ruby’s Music Room."

Note: Redleg runs Ruby's Music Room, and in the past ran Guildford Lane Gallery. That is a simple fact. But to mention it, and make sure that we are not sued for some reason on grounds we are not aware of and have not anticipated, entails that we have to make "a bigger deal of it" than we otherwise would. It would have been simpler to just mention the fact, but by leaving it at that might be said to have been done by us out of "malice", or that it may have been wrong in fact; hence we need to show where the relationship lies between Redleg and Ruby's Music Room. Indeed, it becomes MANIFESTLY obvious that we could avoid mention of the fact and avoid any legal repercussions; self-censor; which is precisely the the outcome achieved by Australia's 2005 Defamation Act, though the act itself asserts categorically that it is not designed to "unreasonably" impinge on the right to freely impart (and receive) information (though not necessarily expressed by these exact words).

The Great Censorship Act 2005 - oops, Defamation Act 2005
EXTRACT the entire document is to be posted 3/3/2014)

Extract published on Redleg-v-Artists 9:35 AM 28 December 2013

By way of actions Cripps undertook against artists who exhibited their works at his gallery, being actions similar in nature to those he employed against us, he caused his gallery to fail. That is, Cripps acted in a similar (unprofessional) way with other artists as he did with us and these actions caused his business to fail.

However, Cripps is suing us because defamation law in Anglo-Australia allows him to sue us because of his own actions, not ours, actions that he alone undertook, which caused his business to fail.

Under the bizarre principles of Anglo-Australian law, a "defamatory publication" is not a lie, it is not a falsehood. A "defamatory publication" is ANY publication written about someone:

"... that a reasonable person would think less of [them] after reading it..."

quoting Mark Pearson, from Crikey, )

But apparently, this is not supposed to be a censorship law? Who's kidding who here?

fig. 1. Anglo-Australia’s famous Censorship Act 2005 Defamation Act 2005. The legal industry claim that this law seeks to prevent the “defamation” of its citizens by keeping the truth from being imparted lest truth destroys whatever a lie it is that someone claims their reputation to be. At the same time Anglo-Australian law claims that it strikes a balance that also permits the right to impart and receive information. Bullshit. Employing the linguistic sleight-of-hand of the English language, this law ascribes as a corollary to "fame", a positive value (similarly, the English language does the same with the word “luck”) to claim that the corollary to “defamation” is a negative that subtracts from the positive attribute “fame” is claimed to have. However, "fame", like “luck” is blind to any "positive" or "negative" attribute. A person hit by a bus is lucky, not unlucky, for to be without luck (unlucky) and hit by a bus would mean one contrived to be hit by a bus, which would have nothing to do with their luck. Luck is blind chance. Likewise, a person’s fame is that which the actions one has done say it is. Where it otherwise, “fame” would instead be a lie, or what you want it to be regardless of what the truth is. Therefore, Anglo-Australian law by deliberately dispensing with truth being a necessary ingredient in what defines one's "fame" is about protecting the lie, "fame", from injury. It is a simple logical corollary: if truth can injure a reputation, then that reputation is a lie. Anglo-Australians construct laws to defend liars and cheats. Robert Cripps lied to induce us to exhibit at his GLG (misleading and deceptive conduct), and by lying cheated us of money: we paid to "exhibit" at his gallery based on his lies (inducements). He made a profit at our expense (we paid him for something we were prevented from receiving, and had paid him in advance). And the law is now allowing him to sue because the truth injures his reputation and because the truth causes injury one has the right to sue to have it censored.

But apparently, this is not supposed to be a censorship law? Who's kidding who here?

According Anglo-Australian law, Cripps has a legal right to:
a) act as awfully as he wants;
b) to act unlawfully: and
c) to conspire with others (his staff at GLG) to commit unlawful acts to prevent his unlawful actions from becoming known.
Defamation law assures for him a right to sue anyone who imparts to another how he acted, because by writing about how he acted, the reader will think less of him because he acted this way regardless that it is true. And, since one can be sued for imparting information, it is better to impart no information at all; censorship.


But apparently, this is not supposed to be a censorship law? Who's kidding who here?

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Dawn Tan held an exhibition at Cripps’ failed Guildford Lane Gallery. She posted a summary of her unfortunate encounter with Cripps on her personal blog in which she enumerated Cripps’ many bizarre antics which were of a similar nature to those we experienced.

In late July 2013 I emailed Tan. Below is her blog at 4:03 PM 26/7/2013 (fig. 14)

fig. 14. Dawn Tan’s page enumerating Cripps’ many bizarre antics.

Tan’s page had been posted (according to the date on it) since Monday 11 October 2010. This was close to 6 months before we were sued by Cripps. According to Cripps, we caused his business to fail, not his actions of the kind of which we as well as others wrote about. And Tan’s page lists the kind of actions that would cause his business to have failed.

Defamation law intends to allow Cripps to act as badly as he wants, and act as badly as he wants to as many people as he wants, so that despite acting in this way he will suffer no adverse effects from his acting badly. If Anglo-Australian defamation law intended something different, it would have been framed differently.

Australia’s bizarre defamation law is deliberately framed in such a way so as to permit people like Cripps to claim that they could only have suffered damage because someone - us in this case - wrote about their awful actions. According to Anglo-Australian law having acted badly does not cause problems; writing about someone acting badly does. And the author can be penalised for writing about it. The law allows those who act badly to sue, and as such the law intends to encourage bad acts. And to repeat, if Anglo-Australian defamation law intended something different, it would have been framed differently.

I emailed Tan to ask her about what she had experienced, explaining that I and Lee-Anne Raymond are being sued by Cripps for writing about our experience of him. After I contacted Tan her page “vanished” (fig. 15).

fig. 15. Tan pulled her page that had been available from October 2010 to July 2013 after I emailed her telling her that I was being sued by him because I wrote of what he did to us.

Tan’s partner, Darren, telephoned me and was adamant that Tan would not be a witness to Cripps’ actions during her exhibition, and would even go so far as to claim what was written on her blog was actually taken from mine and Lee-Anne's writings - even though the material she wrote of was unique to her exhibition experience with Cripps.

Cripps' actions were typical Cripps at this Fully Six exhibition! For example, Tan had written that Cripps demanded that no written material would be allowed, and that if written material was necessary, then the artists should just staple written material onto the frames of the works exhibited!

Tan wrote:
Even our work descriptions weren't allowed to be taped onto the walls. Honestly, which gallery does that? ... We weren't even allowed to blu tac our tiny little bios onto the walls. He suggested we staple-gun my friend's bio, onto her frame

The artists who exhibited at this exhibition did ultimately comply with Cripps’ bizarre demand. The works by one of the graphic artists participating in the “Fully Six” show exhibited at GLG, Jessica Hyde, can be seen with the information stapled onto the frames. As Tan asks "which gallery does that?"

fig. 16. Cripps demanded artists staple their information onto the frames of their work. Jessica Hyde’s works have the descriptions stapled directly onto the frames. (I emailed Jessica Hyde and she responded that she did not hang her works there herself.) The stapling of the information onto the frames diminishes the artist, it's amateurish. Without Tan’s written explanation, one is more likely to think little of the artist who stapled their information onto their frames, because they would be unaware that the gallery owner, Cripps, had demanded this to be done.

Will the “ordinary” or “reasonable” reader find the stapling of information onto the frames to be “defamatory”? I doubt it.

The stupidity of the “ordinary” or “reasonable” reader is boundless.

The “ordinary” or “reasonable” reader would think nothing of Cripps’ bizarre demands and this would mean that Cripps is not defamed.

However, by making such a reader aware of why these are idiotic demands, one will defame Cripps because it will cause such a reader to think very little of Cripps! The “ordinary” or “reasonable” reader would come to understand why someone who claims to be “professional gallerist” but who makes such ridiculous demands is really just an idiot.

The placing of disclaimers, along with the forcing of artists to staple their descriptions, bios, and explanatory texts onto their frames would destroy any gallery that enforced such practices. No artist would ever pay Cripps to exhibit their works in his gallery. Such a gallery would very obviously be one that is run by someone who should not be in the industry.

fig. 17. definition of “idiot”. Cripps is a man of limited intellect and limited in his erudition.

BOXING DAY VISIT TO THE NGV 2013: Why Cripps is an idiot for posting disclaimers in our exhibition and demanding that information is to be stapled onto frames during the exhibitions by others:

During our exhibition at Cripps’ gallery we posted explanatory essays alongside the works exhibited (eg. fig. 3). What was posted was taken from a publication we produced to accompany the exhibition. There is nothing unusual in either producing a publication, or in placing explanatory texts alongside art works.

fig. 18. Painting hung at the NGV, with the artist’s biographical information and an explanation of the work posted onto the wall to the left of the painting.

fig. 18b. The biographical information and explanation to the work in fig. 18. The painting intends "to create abstract representations"; "is an immersive spatial portrait"; and is not a "familiar representation". During our show Cripps placed a disclaimer of liability because he claimed the art was “racist”. On suing us Cripps is claiming that this disclaimer was instead due to “complexity”, and is suing me on the grounds that “ordinary” or “reasonable” readers won’t know the meaning of “big words” like “manifestation”. Under such circumstances a painting that intends "to create abstract representations" and "is an immersive spatial portrait" would be way-too complex and should necessitate a "Crippsclaimer" (being a disclaimer on the grounds of complexity). According to Cripps it should have been expressed more simply (Refer Tao Jiang's farcical Points of Defence

fig. 19. Painting by the Symbolist Pierre Puvis de Chavannes. Anyone reading my own biographical writings will read about about the symbolists, as well as the surrealists. Chavannes, according to the text beside the work, painted "allegorical schemes"; with a "tendency to a … non-narrative style". However, this description is way-too complex and should make necessary a Crippsclaimer (being a disclaimer on the grounds of complexity).

fig. 20. The “Salon Room” at the NGV. The painting by Jean-Baptiste Regnault is in the centre with a biographical note to its left and an explanatory text of what a “Salon Room” is to the right. According to Cripps this information should have been stapled onto the frames (refer fig. 16), that is, the work should have been “Crippsed”.

fig. 21. St Catherine statue. The information text is affixed to the gallery wall to the left and behind the statue. fig. 21a. Now fixed and much better! St Catherine statue. According to Cripps the information should have been affixed onto the frames, or, in this case, the object itself, not the gallery wall (refer fig. 16). This is how it would have appeared had it been Crippsed.

fig. 22. The NGV made new acquisitions in 2013, that were not on show during our previous visit on September 2013 (I may have missed them?). Above a recent acquisition of a surrealist exquisite corpse. The explanatory text is on its left.

fig. 22a. Now fixed and much better! According to Cripps the explanatory text should have been affixed onto the frame (refer fig. 116). In the Cripps universe this would improve its aesthetics. This is how it would have appeared after being Crippsed. The text panel explains it is the art of "chance" which produced "strange and unexpected hybrids". This explanation means that it would have required a Crippsclaimer too, lest that which is unexpected unexpectedly turns out to be complex. Calling it an "exquisite corpse" definitely should have elicited a Crippsclaimer!

fig. 23. Painting by Max Ernst with an explanatory text to its right, and an even larger explanatory text on Surrealism to the right of it.

fig. 23a. Now fixed and much better! Painting by Max Ernst as it would appear had it been Crippsed. This work would definitely require a Crippsclaimer! The explanatory essay, a succinct synopsis of surrealism, explains that surrealism was a rebellion "against all forms of authoritarian control", that its practitioners drew on the "irrational logic of dreams", "attacke[d] nationalism, religion… mechanisms that had contributed to war", with themes that include "sexuality and violence inextricably [blended]", and was "transgressive". This should have required not only a Cripsclaimer but a large WARNING! (eg. fig. 6).

fig. 24. Chinese steamer with two pieces of explanatory text. fig. 24a. Now fixed and much better! Chinese steamer as it might appear on being Crippsed. Sure, it covers up sections of the object, but it's worth doing so for the sake of aesthetics! The explanation of what this object is would appear to be non-controversial and uncomplicated enough to not require a Crippsclaimer, HOWEVER, one can never ever be too sure!

fig. 24b. WARNING! WARNING! WARNING! The Chinese “steamer”, may not quite be a simple steamer. It represents 3 Chinese Taotie, a stylised snarling face, which sometimes exposes fangs, sometimes has a protruding tongue, and sometimes both. (This information is not provided by the NGV). Conceptually it is related to the Greek Gorgons (Euryale, Medusa and Stheno). As this is WAY TOO COMPLEX (!!) it should have required a Cripsclaimer! as well as a WARNING! (eg. fig. 6).

Tan's redacted page included many negative comments about Cripps made by readers of her blog. One of the commenters, Jacinta Moore (friends on Facebook with one of Cripps' staff, Stacey Jewell), wrote that she too had a similar experience with Cripps when she was leaving the gallery at the conclusion of her exhibition opening. She has not responded to several messages that I sent her (fig. 25).

fig. 25. Jacinta Moore "copped a bit" of Cripps' "craziness" when she was leaving GLG. So too did we! Moore has not responded to my emails, and Tan has withdrawn her page. Now I know why there was no information available on Cripps before I exhibited at his failed gallery.

Of course, it is no secret that the intention of Anglo-Australian defamation law is to censor and that it actually succeeds in achieving censorship. If one can succeed in having people remove information - because of their fear of being sued - then the only information that will remain available is that which someone like Cripps wants to remain available. What is now available about the Fully Six exhibition for example is what Cripps himself supplies on his now re-furbished GLG website (figs. 26 & 26 a). That exhibition was a resounding success! It is amazing to see what can be achieved by the law of censorship defamation!

fig. 26. Fully Six opening on Cripps' refurbished GLG website (which had disappeared and then re-appeared with some information missing). Jessica Hyde's works (which had the information stapled onto the frames, re fig. 16) can be seen in one of the stills. The Fully Six opening appears to be wildly successful!

fig. 26a. Fully Six opening on Cripps' refurbished GLG website (which had disappeared and then re-appeared with some information missing) showing the works of Dawn Tan.

But apparently, this is not supposed to be a censorship law? Who's kidding who here?

Cripps should have been embarrassed by his actions, and sought to remedy us for the consequences of his acting badly. Instead Anglo-Australian law permits him to sue us to profit over those actions for which he owed us money (rescission of contract). Cripps should modify his behaviour, instead the law has allowed him to behave in a similar manner again, and again, and again. Cripps is a ridiculous man, but the law allows him to sue others because he makes himself an object of ridicule. To date the reaction from Cripps' crack legal team has appeared to be "we just sue harder Mr. Cripps!" What kind of bizarre law is it that would allow for this? This question is rhetorical.

But apparently, this is not supposed to be a censorship law? Who's kidding who here?

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(EXTRACT the entire document is to be posted 3/3/2014)

*Edited 29/12/2013 to include fig.1 and the criticism of S.3 of the 2005 Censorship Act Defamation Act.

Robert Cripps, above, ran a failed-gallery

 Author: Demetrios Vakras December 2013

We are petitioning the Australian government to amend the Defamation Act of 2005 to make Australian law consistent with its international obligations.

Support our petition here: