I wanted to share this very fine article by David Lee in The Jackdaw from Nov 2012. Needless to say although the article is topical it is also – unfortunately – timeless.
“How long will it be before this system is exposed as a monumental racket dreamed up by a cabal of public officials, commercial dealers and auctioneers with the aim of creating false gods, rigging the market and handsomely feathering the nests of all concerned.”
I saw this with my own eyes when I went to the press view at the Frieze (it;’s also the VIP view) and saw them all cozying up to each other – the publicly-appointed guardians of our national art collections hand in glove with the dealers, foisting more of that “international” (i.e. identikit) tripe on us.
The other thing is the London-centricity of it all. Just recently there was announced the so-called ‘most promising art school graduates’ one year on from their degree exhibitions. The prize finalists are: from Goldsmiths, Central Saint Martins, Royal College of Art, Central Saint Martins, Royal College of Art, Edinburgh College of Art and The Ruskin School of Art Oxford. So, of the 6 finalists, 4 of them are from London art schools, one from Oxford and one from Scotland. Let me rephrase that, 4 from London one from near London and one form Scotland’s capital. But wait, of the 4 London finalists, only 3 schools are represented. I read an interview with the founder of the prize who stated that the prize was in part designed to avoid London-centricity yet there it is. It’s hard to imagine that out of what must be at least 80 degree programmes across the UK, and probably as many MA programmes too, only 5 schools are represented and 3 of them in London.
Given that unless you’re from London, only rich students can live in London these days, what does this mean?
I dunno … I’m not an artist but my films are about art, and I’m an occasional curator; and I’m writing an art / film history book right now – so I’m in the art loop, though on the very outer edges. It all seems a bit wrong to me. And the work that is put out there for me to see by the powers that be doesn’t excite me.
I was planning to curate a show this year but I’m too busy