Punk Rock lasted maybe four or five years but Punk Art seems to be never ending. What is it? Twenty eight years of the Turner Prize?
Twenty eight years of nothing very much and an awful lot of awfulness.
I have said it before and I will say it again-
When Picasso died in 1973 it was as if a line had been drawn under the visual arts with the implicit message- follow that!
And we have been unable to do so. Over the subsequent four decades the art world has been floundering, looking for the next big thing and finding nothing of substance.
So off we go again and here is Sofia Karamani, curator at the Tate Britain, explaining why Spartacus Chetwynd, Luke Fowler, Paul Noble and Elizabeth Price made the shortlist for 2012 Turner Prize.
And if you can sit through that without losing the will to live I congratulate you on your fortitude (the advert at the beginning made more sense).
In 2002, Culture Minister (and former art student) Kim Howells pinned the following statement to a board in a room specially-designated for visitors’ comments:
“If this is the best British artists can produce then British art is lost. It is cold mechanical, conceptual bullshit. Kim Howells. P.S. The attempts at conceptualisation are particularly pathetic and symptomatic of a lack of conviction.”
Turner Prize art is based on a formula where something looks startling at first and then turns out to be expressing some kind of banal idea, which somebody will be sure to tell you about.
The ideas are never important or even really ideas, more notions, like the notions in advertising. Nobody pursues them anyway, because there’s nothing there to pursue. It would be like pursuing the ideas in Snatch or Essex Boys .
Today’s art is a kind of hell, one Blake could never have imagined, even though he seems to have imagined everything – a multitude of vivid hells and heavens.
“The Turner prize, I’m afraid, has decayed into a total disgrace. It’s a soggy, flaccid, in-group exercise in an art world that has run out of steam. You’re given a tour of hell and it’s as Milton predicted, ‘in the lowest deep a lower deep’.
And here is David Lee’s latest diatribe against this annual farce in the current issue of The Jackdaw
Also writing in the current issue of The Jackdaw, Michael Paraskos says-
“The terrible truth about Art in Britain is that it is in such an infantile state we dare not even talk about quality any more. Instead we have to justify almost everything we see in contemporary art spaces in terms of personal taste, opinion and other spurious subjective factors.”
Just as multicultural has come to mean that all cultures, however repulsive we may find some of them, are equally valid so now all opinions are equally valid. My opinion on art is no more or less valid than your opinion and vice versa. My opinion of the current state of British art is no more or less valid than that of Sir Nicholas Serota.
Which begs the question: why is he the director of the Tate Gallery and not me? Clearly, if all opinions are equally valid then he is no more (or less) qualified for the job than I am.
Which brings up another question. Who appointed him? And why?
This is a very serious issue if you think about it. Is he there because he knows all about art or is he there because he knows the ‘right’ people?
As my father used to say, many years ago, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know that matters”
Not that I am suggesting for one moment that Sir Nicholas is not the best man for the job, as it is obvious to one and all that he is.
I’m just asking…..
The offer was declined.
If he’d any sense of humour he’d have accepted and displayed their most famous image of him, called Sir Nicholas Serota makes an Acquisition. It shows him smiling maniacally behind a large pair of red knickers on a washing line, asking himself:
“Is it a genuine Emin (£10,000) or a worthless fake?”
“Were the knickers clean?”
“Then I guess they couldn’t be authentic.”
At least the Russians know how to put on a contemporary Art Show with their Архстояние 2012
The bouncy forest path in this video looks like great fun!!