Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Art Attack

No, that really is a brand of kitchen roll. Click here if you don't believe me.

Any old hoo, that's not the point. My spies over in mARgaTe™ report some dischord in the rarified world of arts regen. Apparently, just like Mr Brawny there, the Turnip is sucking up all the good funding juices, leaving very little behind for the minnows. I've already reported the trouble at t'IOTA gallery, who are rumoured to be exiting the new super-duperised harbour arm due to a contretemps with the developer and a grant drought. Now I hear that the Substation space off the Lower High Street is finding it difficult to come by the folding. Not only that, but they were also apparently approached by the Turnip to use their space for three months - gratis! What a diabolical liberty!

No wonder the Margate wags have renamed the Turnip's latest exhibition Superabundant Funding!

Click here to go to Superabundant exhibition on Turnip website
Click here to read review of Superabundant on Independent website


Bertie Biggles said...

This is what we can expect for our £7 million spent already and another £18 million to put up the gun battery 'visitor attraction':

"Jacob Dahlgren is fascinated by the surface of things and our everyday encounters with pattern and abstraction, from striped t-shirts photographed on the street to the curves that a stack of coloured plastic cups makes. Heaven is a place on earth is an installation made up of red, white and blue bathroom scales arranged on the floor like an interactive, modernist grid."

I am delighted that Mr Dahlgren is fascinated with the shape of plastic cups and bathroom scales; so is my 18 month old grandson; it doesn't make it art and worth paying to see. I am a Philistine though, because I would prefer to view a Titian or two or a real Turner painting.

tony flaig bignews said...

I would heartily recommend superabundant and in particular the ikea scales which appeared to give me an ego massaging weight reading.

Also I cannot recommend enough the quick chit chat with the staff as you stroll out, which will help you polarize or confirm views on contemporary art.

Jean-Pierre said...

IOTA were great - they touched our lives and made our children smile.

The Turner Center says nothing to me.

Brawny fan said...

At last a real man - when is he coming to Thanet to promote his product?

Anonymous said...

Did any scales get removed from any eyes though Tony ?

Plastic cups ?

I recall doing a course on linear accelerators at David Salomons House in Kent (NHS residential training set up). There was an NHS management course running there at the same time "Practical approach to problem solving"

Whilst we learnt about the differentiating and integrating of error signals and transient responses (Calculus stuff) the managers were next door making a model hospital from plastic cups and drinking straws. Apparently this equipment is useful for bonding and team building for the management team.

There should be an exhibition on shapes. The shape of things to come. But Peter would refuse to photo it.

Anonymous said...

while I am sorry for the predicament of IOTA - I do feel that the committees/curators of Substation Project Space (and Limbo) have not really engaged with the potential and opportunities that their wonderful building could have bestowed on an unforgiving public.

Thinking that an organisation such as theirs can survive on southern Arts grants and funding is naive at the least and down right absurd at the most.

The space could have been used for a whole manner of art related events constantly throughout the months of the years it has been formed; but it has not been promoted nationally or locally enough. Having a couple of exhibitions each year does not count as a marketing campaign. Many artists in east Kent have never heard of the place - and it is not surprising.

A stream of practitioners may well have paid a small fee to use the large space for short residencies or experimental projects, but this has never been implemented.

If a small arts organisation in a small seaside town with limited interest from the locals does not diversify in its sources of income then it will falter. Creatives they may well promote themselves as being, but this may only account for their own artistic endeavors and not their organsational and managment skills.

Michael Child said...

Richard is there something wrong with my PC? Substations website mostly left me in limbo, perhaps you have to have special artistic training to navigate to their current exhibition, I wonder how much grant money went into producing this website?

I then went onto Superabundant and downloaded the essay on the exhibition called, Pleasure and Pain, once again something wrong with either me or the PC I only got the pain, perhaps someone should tell them that the beans tin has already been done, so lacks the “shock of the new”.

One way or another you me and everyone else is paying for this, how do we know that we haven’t been swindled? I wouldn’t mind at all if I had the option to opt out of paying for it.

I am not an artist and from an artist I presuppose someone who can produce something aesthetic that I can’t produce, not something I could do but wouldn’t bother to because it isn’t attractive enough or doesn’t make a new aesthetic statement.

Cllr. Mike Harrison said...

Art is anything you can get away with.
Andy Warhol

Anonymous said...

It's only 'Art' if someone pretentious tells you it's 'Art'.

In the Glasgow Museum of Modern Art there is or was a trampoline with the bouncy bit replaced by a sheet of glass. Typical Glaswegian comment? 'What a load of mince' and it was.

Anonymous said...

RE: Michael

"I am not an artist and from an artist I presuppose someone who can produce something aesthetic that I can’t produce, not something I could do but wouldn’t bother to because it isn’t attractive enough or doesn’t make a new aesthetic statement"

what you state is purely in the subjective (like that of the artist)you may have not taken into account that this objective view might be by 21c standards an aesthetic judgment that could be out-dated, or un-educated or ill-informed - or even unquestioning. Or even that that it may be missing the point and that aesthetics have ceased to be the hierarchical top.

Also does it do anyone any good to enforce supposition - I could say that I presuppose that every blog writer in Thanet write something original and that I cant write.
And not bother to rant on about the same old tosh that every body else does, because I subjectively find in uninteresting and the language dosn't match a standard of frilly antiquarian English.

I don't - i wouldn't because it doesn't make sense to and it suggests a narrowing of mind and thought.

Anonymous said...

from last post

"this objective view might be by 21c standards"

sorry should read 'subjective' not objective

Michael Child said...

5.49 I expect art to be the bomb that fails to explode in the maze, I know I’m in the maze but yes I expect a bit more if you don’t mind, I have to admit to a few book covers bur they don’t count according to blurb.

Anonymous said...

I would go to a Mr Brawny exhibtion he's well lush

Anonymous said...

See here for a cautionary tale:


Bertie Biggles said...

Thanks, 7.40pm; it reads like the TC but just a more expensive folly than it! I liked this quote from the article that has a certain resonance with expressed views by the public here:

'Never mind what the people of West Bromwich had wanted. Never mind that a swimming pool would have cost a fraction of the price.
The grandees with the grants all insisted there had been the mandatory 'in-depth consultation process with the local commyooniteee . . .'
Regardless of that consultation, officialdom decided that what these Black Country folk were really crying out for was not a pool or a cinema, but an interactive digital art gallery.'

Goodness, doesn't this sound familiar.

Anonymous said...

Do the people of Thanet want the TC? Does the local creative community think it will help them sell their goods? and if not, can it be stopped? I realise the old argument that the money is for the TC and nothing else but TDC are going to be paying a chunk to keep it going? and this money could be used for something else? I also think the M&S exhibitions are a waste of space. Who is paying for that?

Anonymous said...

Don't forget the Turner Contemporary in the old M & S building pays no rent to the site's owner, TDC, and costs the KCC taxpayer £000s every year. After all, the utilities bills have to be paid somehow. Perhaps a few other local businesses in these difficult times, could move into TDC premises to help them ride out the recession.

Anonymous said...

I am a people in Thanet and I want it. You lot don't speak for everyone. Thank God.

Anonymous said...

Talking of uselessly wasting Kent taxpayers money, how about Kent TV?

Anonymous said...

I for one take exeption to your assumption that the sub station project space survives on arts council funding,this is untrue.
Mostly It is self funded and stands on it's own two feet.
Even a very low budget show or event costs them money with running costs.when they can they market there shows really well ie Dream coaster.and recently the show"andy warhol tv"was featured in the saatchi galleries magazine-distributed in all the galleries in London,which meant vast numbers of people would have seen it-which makes your comment about artists from east kent not knowing about it absurd.They have been in the local papers,radio and fliers that are put round local shops and galleries.
In reply to the comment regarding how the web site was funded-there was no public funding,It was self funding,and I found it easy to navigate.
The team I know are dedicated and commited,most have other jobs and the work put in to the substation is voluntary-they have managed to keep this alive on a shoe string,would'nt it be better to support the space not critise with with illfounded assumptions.

Michael Child said...

Lilly abject apologies I really don’t mind at all what people do with their own money, I manage to run a cultural and local history resource with no outside funding and appreciate how difficult this is.

I had assumed that where it says on their website:

Limbo Arts gratefully acknowledges support since 2003 from:

Arts Council England South East, Thanet District Council’s Regeneration and Development Unit through European Regional Funds, Creative Partnerships Kent, Awards for All, Millennium Awards.

That they were publicly funded.

On their website I clicked on Exhibitions And Events current and arrived at Limbo just the word no links, so I clinked on next and arrived at Limbo just the word no links apart from one to, Exhibitions And Events current and a picture placement with no picture, so clicked on future, and arrived at Limbo just the word no links, so gave up.

I have now gone back and clicked on passed which takes you to some links and yes they go to pages, I leave it to others to judge their merit, as I wouldn’t not wish critise with with illfounded assumptions.

Most of my criticism is aimed at superabundant, because of the amount of money that has been fed into the M&S.

I was talking to quite a well known professional artist the other day who said he couldn’t get funding for an expedition as it was paint on canvas.

I worked at one time with a conservationist, who through the work he did for London galleries knew Carl Andre, apparently when the Tate bought Equivalent VIII he had used it to build a wall, so he ordered another 120 firebricks from the builders merchant and told them to deliver them to the Tate and send the bill to him.

I hope you will consider the juxtaposition of the two previous paragraphs and how they relate to the story of The Emperor’s New Clothes.

Anonymous said...

Fair Point michael.
I am to understand the reason that it says they were publicaly funded is that in the past they had events funded but only a few-mostly they are self funded,but they had to achknowledge It.I have spoken to someone from Limbo and they are going to amend it so it says they are primarily self funded.

Anonymous said...

TC pays TDC a massive business rate for the old M&S building so you are wrong 10.07. They had over 650 visitors in there last Saturday, thats 650 people who all wanted feeding and watering, as a local trader i welcome that influx.

Michael Child said...

Lilly thanks I think it very important that who is picking up the tab is very clear, when it’s you me and the other taxpayers it puts things in a different light.

Nor would I want you to think I don’t appreciate modern art, Andy is a bit of a fave of mine and I think I have everything Velvet Underground ever produced yes even the fold out coke bottle on vinyl, Andy could paint and although Nico’s rendition of "Das Lied der Deutschen" could be open to aesthetic misinterpretation.

What concerns me very much though is that in the bookshop a book of Andy Warhol’s work sells and is recognisably art, you don’t have to be told, my problem is with what when taken out of an art gallery isn’t, or is at best craft with an elevated price tag.

Anonymous said...

Michael, if anything TC helped out TDC after they went ahead and (ill advised) brought the old M&S for five million at the height of the boom. TC was looking around for a temporary space to work in for 18 or so months while the gallery is being built and TDC offered it to them, yes they pay rates on it. i worry who will want it when TC pull out in 9 months. I hate empty buildings.

Fiona (Margate Harbour Arm) said...

I'd like to dispel any rumours that there is any 'contretemps' between IOTA and the 'developers' (I so hate that word) of Margate Harbour Arm. I hope Phil won't mind me saying that the problem was lack of funding for his projects which reflects the state of things generally. We are ironing out the details of the exit and I personally have no animosity towards Phil whatsoever. He's a great guy and I'm sad it didn't work out for him in Margate.