World’s Largest Henry Moore?

After all the gnashing of artist’s brushes over Wallinger’s Horse maybe we should honour my hometown’s pile of concrete instead ..to be frank I prefer the Power Station 🙂 Indeed Marina Warner argued for its preservation after it decommissioned as a Modernist Monument to the age of power and energy consumption..that may be sooner than we think..

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source: http://edvaizey.mpblogs.com/2009/01/03/didcot-home-to-the-worlds-largest-henry-moore/

Didcot, Home to the World’s Largest Henry Moore
Didcot has just got a new arts centre, but this is not the town’s first foray into the arts. Mark Hedges, the editor of Country Life, has the memory of an elephant, Shortly after meeting me, he sent me an article from Country Life dated 3rd May 2007, which was an interview with Howard Colvin, the architectural historian. colvin is quoted as saying “I remember we [the Fine Art Commission] were shown scale models of the cooling towers for Didcot power station and Henry Moore spent ages moving them around to create a good composition. I saw them the other day from the train and think he did rather a good job”. So there you have it, Didcot, home to Henry Moore’s largest sculpture

CODA: 2014 they knocked the fucker down with explosives…

Altermodernism is the new world order…discuss..

french

This just about summed up how clapped out and inane the contemporary art scene is….not content with just posing inane speculative theory grounded in nothing or as Bourriaud states..

Like modernism and postmodernism, though, it’s not easy to sum up in a sentence. When I ask for the one-line Wikipedia version of the theory,  Bourriaud is cautious, saying it is a ­complex idea that can’t be simplified (FYI, Wikipedia defines altermodern as “an ­attempt at branding art made in today’s global ­context” and says it’s part of a commercialism backlash).

Bourriaud, who co-founded Paris gallery Palais de Tokyo and has ­written influential­ tomes on art theory, describes today’s superstars like Hirst as making “very static artworks” which are on their way out.

from The London Paper

Well there you have it – it too sophisticated to be explained…..I was going to give it benefit of doubt but when I see an article proclaiming a ‘new world order’ illustrated by a picture of a man wearing a badger on his head ( Marcus Coates – I kid you not:-) here it is…well what point satirising..it done for me…)

hrseshit

The basis of alter modernism is ‘it moves around a bit’ ..because of age of mass travel stupid artists can move around the globe being well..stupid and that’s ok?

The fact that it attempts to replace ‘postmodernism’ ( i.e. real theories based in real world) with a theory based on ‘travel’ just at point where the collapse of capitalism will mean fewer artists travelling ..indeed most will find it hard getting work of any kind is ludicrous in the extreme. Like many so-called ‘movements’ before the design of the catalogue is good (..proper design agency Paris involved) and we have the conceit of welding disparate concerns into a box of the curator’s ideas…(typical posture – there been goodness how many attempts in last two decades to get WOW factor moving again post..’Sensation’ Saatchi’s ragbag advertising coup which enfeebled subsequent generations of British artists). So now we all ‘altermodern’. Bullshit.

Bourriaud is a typical game-player and self-publicist and shame on the Tate for falling for his inept trendy theories and shocking lack of substance but as we live in an age of form over content and curator over artist I am no longer surprised. There will be decent work in the show even Bourriaud will get it right occasionally but as for a new movement….just ask Friends of the Earth or any serious grounded envoronmental artist if the new world order one of travel…exactly…

Maybe curators can travel first class in the new world order…for the rest of us its buses and tubes as usual and drivel from on high whether it be banker or man with badger on head……

Love to hear Brian Sewell on this…for now Ben Lewis does a lovely job on it

http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/arts/show-23592557-details/Altermodern:+Tate+Triennial+2009/showReview.do?reviewId=23636018

CODA
From Moogee on Guardian blog in response to Charlotte Higgins on Wallinger’s Geegee..

http://www.guardian.co.uk/culture/charlottehigginsblog

 

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As Marcus Coates is presently being touted as a symbol of Nicholas Bourriaud’s ‘Altermodern New World Order’ for wearing a badger on his head maybe we could build a statue of Nicholas with his head up a horse’s rear instead?

Thereby we would not only be creating a visual affirmation of our own cutting-edgeness but also showing a clear sign to our continental knowledge economy rivals of how brilliant we are….of course it would not be built of local cement that no longer exists….a bit like the Oxford Mini..a casualty of global market I’m afraid but the frisson of the impermanent would tie in beautifully with the altermodern golbal perspective…in fact lets retrain all the unemployed car workers to be curators ..

On second thought lets just forget the whole thing and spend the money wisely instead ….a very modernist idea whose time may finally have come….

CODA 2 and 3

Wallinger is a ray of sunshine in a bleak artworld..I like Charlotte will look forward to the show..
see my comment on M.W. from 2008 here..

http://belcheresque.wordpress.com/2008/01/21/art-politics-ed-vaizey/

A more compliant bunch than that would be hard to find. Indeed Wallinger stands out as one of few artists who had more in common with the left wing artists of 1970’s e.g. Conrad Atkinson than their cash-laden capitalist benefactors. To see how the colour supplement crowd actually got into bed with mass-marketing (most notably with Charles S.) and how that coincided with a lot of spare ‘profit’ from banking in late 1980’s is a book unwritten…they went hand in hand of course….

BUT…

how the hell did he end up being involved in something as rightwing as spurious regeneration

If his politics are to be believed ( and I do believe he sincere) did he do it for a joke and it all gone terribly wrong….???

sad…

I just read Jilly Cooper on said horse…it so stunningly idiotic a piece of writing it defies satire..just read it for oneself….
http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/2009/feb/12/ebbsfleet-landmark-art-jilly-cooper
British culture is in safe hands….or should that be whip hand?

I wonder if she would have said same if it had been a giant statue of a car worker with his nether regions exposed towards Europe?….

the enthusiasm may not be so great then eh Jilly

toodle pip darlings….

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

Art & Politics: Ed Vaizey

Originally the Vaizey article available at the Art Newspaper: NOW offline and only available from archive.

http://www.theartnewspaper.com/article.asp?id=7041….

Artists are apolitical, doctor leaning to the left but embracing right-wing standards

There’s an entertaining “Alex” [The Telegraph’s hard-nosed City banker] cartoon where the eponymous hero is asking why his bank buys contemporary art. After all, he ponders, it’s impossible to…