Dancing on the YBA grave…

ozymandias1

A response to a Jonathan Jones blog entry on the Guardian website
http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/jonathanjonesblog/2009/jan/30/contemporary-british-art-recession?

A generation of lo-fi subversives may finally have found something to be lo-fi and subversive about. After all, Hirst, Whiteread and their generation found their striking voices at a moment of recession.

The artists who think like this are kidding themselves.

Thankyou JJ I am pleased if I dumped in the ‘Lo-Fi’ bin with all the rest….sadly you utterly wrong because as an urban white middle class professional you cannot see past the ring-fence that been in operation for the past twenty years and which the ‘revolutionary joy’ about which you complain actually directed at….put simply I live and have lived outside that area for most of my life until now…ironically…you have no knowledge or experience of that so how could you comment or are you thinking of the shallow subversives of our modern art schools as they the only ones you ever met?

see Nick Cohen on this factor here..
http://www.guardian.co.uk/culture/2009/jan/25/television
as he says..

In general, though, literary writers and filmmakers (AND ARTISTS/CRITICS my addition!) had little interest in deprivation and wealth, and failed to see the connections between the two. Raised in public-sector families, educated in universities and working in academia, they were the artistic equivalents of Westminster’s political class: narrow professionals with few experiences of life beyond their trade. No writer is obliged to write a state-of-England novel, but so few wanted to that the critic DJ Taylor complained in 2007 of “the fatal detachment of the modern ‘literary’ writer from the society that he or she presumes to reflect”.

Two generations of artists were as badly damaged as they were helped by the art market YBA years…..one of my best friends actually committed suicide because of it because of the depression of trying to survive with skills in a market which dumped those values and rode the stock market instead…..money and trash made good bedfellows …

So I found my subversive voice now have I??…sorry wrong again.

I like some others have been subversive since day I left Hornsey back in 1981…..I and others like me walked away and turned our backs on this parade of Goldsmiths driven rubbish and were ignored or worse pitied for our opposition.

There is no glee in my heart at all just a sad realisation that not only real lives but art school ethics and skills training has been dumped along with the giant YBA baby……Hirst was a giant Cuckoo in a very small nest who managed to distort a difficult occupation into an impossible one…now a lot of magpies, rooks and ravens are coming home to roost….they will pick a lot of corpses bare not just Hirsts….

CODA

Yesterday by some quirk of nature I found myself cheek by jowel with Mr Saatchi along with a dear friend who has been painting brilliantly in a council flat with no support from state or bankers for 30 years…..it was a strange moment to be caught between the devil and the deep blue sea of real artistic talent…..I know which knew more about art….

The only difference between them was about a few million pounds…..I have no doubt Mr.S believes he right and doing good for artists…I do not think he was right and the period of YBA you identify RIP YBA 1991 – 2007 is just another lazy soundbite piece of journalism…. the rot had set in way before and the damage will last far longer and goes far deeper than you realise…

Does this matter in face of mass poverty and recession probably not…..make hay while the sun still shines for its going to be a bitterly cold year in all the arts….I take no joy at all in any of this….

In fact I trying to rebuild from ground zero like a lot of others……the view from the ivory tower is over….

Moogee

The New Depression Gallery

whitesm

To be serious for a moment (it happens) the last post  from Badam saddens me greatly. I too was a ‘serious’ artist with unpaid bills,  a freezing studio, an interview at Goldsmiths (same year as Hirst if accepted..I wasn’t ..too serious for the times it appears..Fuller/Bacon self-portraiture didn’t ‘hang’ well with a interview panel of a graphic designer, a conceptualist and a student who hung black bin liners in rows…I kid you not.. to look for the real tale of why art where it is go to the enfeeblement of the art schools by profit and Thatcherism and YBA’s)…

I hung in there in the starving artist manor a lot longer than most – in fact until 2004 when I finally did teacher training and I now teach multimedia students.

What saddens me is that Saatchi being a wiley coyote knows that with the collapse of state support as grants and the recession hit the art schools we will see a downturn in both student numbers and ability as working class students fail to make the financial sacrifices demanded of them. What chance a new Hockney, Moore or dare I say it Hirst these days??

Then Hey Presto! here comes a new income stream for his ‘global reach’. No longer able to afford art school ..just log on and become a famous artist Charles’s way…no need for time consuming education. The fact that one in a million becomes your betting chance of success as opposed to 1 in 25 or less AFTER graduating from the Royal College or any other Art School (official statistics reveal that you may become a teacher but a successful artist….well you have a cat in Emins chance)

So as art education collapses for lack of support who better to take over the education of our new ‘elite’ than…Saatchi Enterprises..who was rumoured to be preparing his own Art School as we speak..privately funded of course and what better way to promote it than getting prime time BBC2 coverage to get it going…no fool that one.

He no more interested in the talent than Lloyd Webber……their real talent is pushing their tie-in profit making concerns..via these programmes…pure Cowellism.

Musicals or Singers or Artists its all the same racket….

As for Badem…do it for yourself mate there are no silver linings, no Galleries paved with gold…..my lesson in reality started early.

Unable to attend a Royal College M.A. in painting because Thatcher slashed funds I wandered into a gallery with some slides….

‘Don’t bother showing me the slides’ said the gallery owner..
“Dear boy we toddle along to the Royal College M.A. every year and pick the ones with prizes’ They choose for us the rest like you are forgotten….”

How true…

So well done Charles for proving that nothing ever changes..as for poor students…at least they don’t have to waste years paying off loans..they can be rejected from the get-go.

A Rake’s Progress indeed?

I shall be first in line for dismissal in The new Depression Gallery….

working

The Future of Art Education: Ikon Birmingham

Is there one?

Public Debate: The Future of Art Education

Ikon Gallery, generic Birmingham

Monday 6 October 2008, sales 6.30pm

 

A debate about the future of art education is raging on the pages of Art Monthly. In October readers will have the opportunity to come along and put their questions to our panel of educational professionals and policy makers. The panel will debate the future of art education – is further privatisation, unhealthy corporatisation and instrumentalism inevitable or are there alternatives?

 

Read all the articles from this debate at

http://www.artmonthly.co.uk

 

1968 and all that

Will the 40th anniversary of the 1968 protests inspire today’s students to demand radical improvements in art education?

Students at the London College of Communication have had enough and have officially registered their dissatisfaction by demanding the return of their fees in protest at staff shortages and the lack of organisation. Staff, for their part, are over-burdened by bureaucracy, rising student numbers, low pay and low self-esteem. Vice chancellors, meanwhile, are focused on corporate-style branding and the commissioning of gleaming new buildings. The legacies of St Martins School of Art in the 60s, or Goldsmiths in the 80s, should serve as reminders that it is not buildings that make for a dynamic teaching environment but people.

Extract from editorial April 2008

 

Mayday Mayday

The sad truth about art education today is that New Labour has finished what Thatcher started

Ironically, Thatcher’s plans for factory-style education were only to be truly achieved under New Labour. It was the setting up of the dreaded inquisition, the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA), by the first New Labour government in 1998, barely one year after the election, which made the institutionalisation of what Stephen Lee in his letter aptly describes as ‘educational Taylorism’ possible. The QAA, and its spawn, the Teaching Quality Assurance (TQA), became the means by which the product, broken down into bite-sized pieces as a result of the imposition of American-style modularisation, could be tested. Since the government had already begun to refer to the arts as the ‘creative industries’, a term first coined when Labour was still in opposition, this must have seemed like a perfect fit between the so-called ‘aims’ and ‘outcomes’ of an art education.

Extract from editorial May 2008

 

Can’t Get No Satisfaction

Anyone considering studying fine art (at undergraduate level) in England and Wales should google the National Student Satisfaction Survey, particularly the Results By Institution. Six of the bottom ten are or were art schools. Bottom of the survey, that is to say the ‘least satisfactory’, is the University of the Arts London. This will come as no surprise to anyone who has studied or taught there recently.

Link:

http://education.guardian.co.uk/students/tables/0,,1574395,00.html

Extract from letter by Graham Crowley published in April 2008

 

Educational Taylorism

I can appreciate the current state of educational Taylorism and the overbearing, corporate-style management that Graham Crowley describes. The corporate model is a powerful one. It tends to be one-dimensional and seamless, where accountability and success can be clearly measured. To understand the impact of the corporatisation of art schools it’s important, I think, to examine the language or jargon used to organise and disseminate learning, then look at the extent to which fine art students adopt this language. Fine art graduates talk of promotion and marketing, or finding a niche market for their work. If a critic writes about a graduate student’s work, the artist may not necessarily see this as participation in an independent critical arena. On the contrary it’s likely they may see it as an opportunity to gain an additional promotional tool with which to market their work. My point is that the corporate model is pervasive in our wider culture industry

Extract from letter by Stephen Lee published in May 2008

 

Creative Industries

Estelle Morris posed three questions for debate. ‘Will the structure in the paper – with all its committees – actually damage creativity? Will the accountability mechanisms jeopardise risk-taking? And, will mainstreaming discourage some people from wanting to work in the creative sector in the first place?’

Extract from report on the government’s new strategy document Creative Britain: New Talents for a New Economy published July-August 2008

 Excellent sarcastic ‘Reader’s Digest’ version here and if you have atime to waste the full report linked off image

http://strategydigested.blogspot.com/2008/02/creative-britain-new-talents-for-new.html

Debate panel will include representatives from Colleges, Unions and Government Departments.

 

This event is free but booking recommended

To book call 0121 248 0708