THERE’S A WHOLE CHANNEL OF THIS STUFF
A 26 minute barrage of bollocks, compiled from series two of Artbollocks Theatre with a new disturbing laugh track and inappropriate library music. I know, just what you always wanted. The writing of many artists, gallerists and curators is a tragedy, so I’m repeating it as comedy.
You can also check out my new Artbollocks Theatre channel on Vimeo. There’s now a facility there for you to leave me a small tip with PayPal or your magic pretend money kurejittokādo if you like Artbollocks Theatre WHICH I KNOW YOU DO BABY. It’s like Kickstarter, but I’ve already done it so that’s better, surely? You could even regard tipping as if you’re in the USA, and you have to leave a tip or your “ass” will be shot by the waitress and you will probably die. Or something like that.
I’ll leave it up to you, though. If you want to die, obviously it’s your decision.
“I could go on, but I’m probably boring you.”
A listicle of famous art collectors, movers and shakers. See, I’m really getting the hang of this lazy journalism blogging clickbait type thing. Just string a bunch of clichés together, condescendingly pretend that the reader is a pal so we’re just hanging out shooting the shit, and Bob’s your uncle. Oops, there’s another one! I tried really hard, but unfortunately I couldn’t shoehorn anything funny and adorable about cats or pugs into this listicle. Sorry about that.
IN ASSOCIATION WITH BUCKFAST TONIC WINE
One of China’s leading commissioners of art, and of disastrously ill-conceived social engineering enterprises that lead to the deaths of millions. Doh. We’ve all done it at least once, right ladies? So embarrassing. Also one of China’s leading destroyers of art, literature, families, teachers, revisionists and running dogs of capitalism, pots and pans, sparrows, etc. Iconoclastic!
Having aggressively amassed a huge collection of paintings and annihilated many of his opponents (literally! I mean literally as in for real, not literally meaning actually the opposite of literally but added as a kind of emphasis one stage beyond “you know?” or “right?”), this former artist is credited with creating a number of major booms throughout Europe. LOLocaust!
Clockwise from top left: “God in a bottle”, chimney sweep trade mannequin, soldier’s pincushion, boody (broken china) mosaic tray with doll, papier maché meat from a butcher shop, carved bone chicken.
Tate Britain’s British Folk Art exhibition (continues in London until 31 August 2014, then moves to Compton Verney in Warwickshire) is one of the most inspiring collections I’ve seen in this country recently. I dislike terms like “folk art” or “outsider art” because to me if they’re art then they’re just art, but I acknowledge that these terms can have their uses. This is a minor quibble anyway, in the context of a show that clearly celebrates and validates the umtrammeled creativity of ordinary people in an intelligent and unpatronising way that few of our large art institutions would even bother to try. Most of the objects come from the often sorely underappreciated museum collections in places like Beamish, Norwich, or Tunbridge Wells, which I hope will encourage more people to visit them. It becomes terrifyingly clear that the collective memory of society is very short and full of holes. For example, who knew that male soldiers dug needlework so much and were so good at it, even as recently as WWI? Where did all our dressed wells, Obby Osses and Gods in bottles go?
On the day I went there were a lot of delighted and interested people of all ages very vocally and visibly enjoying the items on display. How often does that happen in an art exhibition nowadays? Such a contrast to the arid I-don’t-even-know-if-it’s-conceptual-or-what of Phyllida Barlow in the hall right alongside British Folk Art. Barlow’s work always reminds me of my dad’s penchant for keeping old bits of wood, obsolete plumbing and old tarpaulins stacked up against the back of our house, just in case they were ever needed… which they never were. And they weren’t art, either. Criticising Barlow is apparently a no-no because she’s a professor and she probably taught a lot of artists and so nobody ever does. That good old art world omerta. I’ll assume she’s fine as a human being until I hear anything to the contrary, but I get absolutely nothing from her work, or from the work of her numerous imitators and fellow travellers. What is it saying? Is it saying anything? What am I supposed to think or feel here? I think and feel nothing in front of this work. Worse than nothing, actually, because on balance I’m slightly annoyed by it. I’d enjoy throwing it in a skip and seeing it hauled off by a lorry, but I’m into a good tidy up anyway and I wouldn’t credit Barlow for the pleasure.
Thursday 10th July, 1pm-5pm Hestercombe Gallery, Cheddon Fitzpaine, Taunton, Somerset TA2 8LG
Please join me, Mark Segal (The Artists Agency, formerly director of the mighty ArtSway), Tom Freshwater (Contemporary Arts Programme Manager at The National Trust) and artist Alexa De Ferranti for a seminar about practice and support for artists outside of England’s cities. It takes place at Hestercombe Gallery, the new contemporary venue at Hestercombe House in the splendidly named Cheddon Fitzpaine, just north of Taunton in Somerset. You can thank Google’s “smart” search helper for the picture of “Taunton” above, by the way.
It costs £10 but bursaries and free transport are available to those who might need it, e.g. and most particularly artists. Apply ASAP, using one of the links below. You just need to very briefly explain why you’d like to attend.
More details of tickets, bursaries and transport here, along with info about Hestercombe.
Same ticket and bursary stuff, different link.
Somerset’s really “happening” right now. Hauser and Wirth faaaaaarrrmmmmmmmm. Expect a confused Phyllida Barlow or Mark Wallinger in the area soon, walking around with shopping bags on their feet like Richard E. Grant in Withnail & I. “We’ve gone on holiday by mistake. We’re in this cottage here. Are you the farmer?”
This is a great opportunity for an artist who is willing to give their all and present the kind of challenging work that can sometimes lead to them getting it in the neck. The deadline already passed for this year, but they’re definitely always looking for new blood.