In late January, inspired by 'The Abuse of Beauty', a series of lectures by the American philosopher Arthur Danto, Domenico de Clario - one of Australia's foremost artists and Head of the School of Visual Arts at Edith Cowan University - invited artists, writers and theorists to gather in Albany to discuss the idea of beauty in contemporary culture. In the cosy Spectrum Theatre near the harbour, art historian Charles Green gave the keynote address on the return of beauty in recent art. At one point, Mateer was startled by the ugly images projected to one side of Green: a photograph by Cindy Sherman of a doll-crone, part Bellmer, part Bosch. Yes, when last had contemporary art been beautiful? Later, Green cited the German composer Karlheinz Stockhausen's now infamous statement that September 11 was the greatest work of art of our time - a disturbing and provocative notion.