a comment posted on Jonathan Jones blog

‘Could the economic crisis affect art?’


As I live on another planet to the London-based coterie the notion that the art world around here will change at all is an amusing one. You won’t miss what you never had comes to mind. The only money spent on art in the East Midlands is Arts Council money and most of that now curtailed. In my opinion a good thing because most of that money wasted on vain glorious local artists who seriously deluded about their own importance. After the ‘golden decade’ of lottery money there not one East Midlands artist who could be truly be shown as part of the ‘elite’ earners pace Hirst and Co’s banker friendly cohort.

We do have some ominously empty ‘centres of excellence’ though to keep these vanity artists alive though so the cracks will not show for a few years yet…not until the squeezed taxpayers call a halt to their running costs….maybe sooner rather than later round here..

So far from worrying about the ‘crunch’ ( we been in crunch for years) the main problem is that the illusion of some fairy godmother capitalism that there to aim for awaiting our cutting edge heroes with open arms ..well it shattered…..thankfully…..

So now the question is what do we replace those bubble fuelled illusions with?

Teaching skills again in art-schools or at least transferable skills instead of left-wing delusions and right-wing dreams? We have to tell our young students something truthful instead of leading them down the garden-path….admittedly a well-paid path for some but a heap of nettles for others.

Capitalism will not collapse, ailment a squeeze only a pinch at the top and a crushing weight at the bottom.

I hope the ‘crunch’ (sounds like Kellogs advert already) will at the very least awaken a sense of realism in those provincial capitals hell-bent on being the next Miami or Venice Biennale…..

It’s over…if it ever started…..time to clear the decks, cheap use your heads and start ignoring the cloud of deceit called the International Art World and concentrate on basics. I wouldn’t call that new labourism, conservatism or marxism..I’d call that common sense. There are some very hard times ahead and no ‘bounce’ is ever going to smokescreen that…art is not going to be top of anybody’s agenda….

Least of all the taxpayer worried about bills, council tax rising and losing a job…..are they to be comforted by the latest cutting edge show of relational puff in the multi-million pound arts centre…..

No of course not……and rightly so.

The banking bubble has burst..next the panacea of regeneration through art will explode too….and we will be working in the ruins for years to come.

“Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”
Nothing beside remains: round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away

In that desert many strange blooms will thrive both right and left-wing let us hope some do not thrive…

Published by

Shaun Belcher

Contemporary art critic

4 thoughts on “Ozymandias”

  1. I salute you Lord Biro for keeping the flame alive single handed virtually 🙂

    P.S. minus point for consorting with Mr Snaatchi..be careful not to become contaminated by his evil empire….:-)

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