Previous Posts: November 2014

Contemporary Art Fail

November 3 2014

Image of Contemporary Art Fail

Picture: via

A zippy new 'contemporary art space' which opened in Colchester in 2011, funded by taxpayers (via the Arts Council) at a cost of £28m, seems to be heading for disaster. FirstSite's café, a hoped for money spinner, has closed, there are no exhibitions planned for the new year, and after renting itself out for 'Christmas-themed events', the whole place will shut down for a couple of months while they figure out what the hell to do with the place.

For more on what appears to be another disastrous attempt to impose contemporary art spaces on the masses see here and here.

FirstSite isn't a patch on the £60m flushed down the toilet by the Arts Council on The Public in West Bromwich. It's a mystery to me that the culturati assume that if you spend millions on a contemporary art gallery, but have no idea of what's going to go in it, that somehow it'll all work out, and that people will come and visit.

Shouldn't we use such funds instead on helping to show the thousands of masterpieces hiding in museum storage? And help support excellent ideas like Mr Ruffer's? I suspect the people of Colchester would rather see a few of Tate's stored Constables (43 out of 50 at the last count) in FirstSite than a few neon light installations by an artist they've never heard of. 

Italian Museums (ctd.)

November 3 2014

In the middle of railing against the latest film of the Vatican's art treasures, Jonathan Jones has this entirely typical account of dealing with Italian art galleries:

All this reminds me of the time I needed to see a Michelangelo drawing in the Department of Prints and Drawings in the Uffizi in Florence. Despite bringing the required references, I was repeatedly fobbed off with reproductions, until I made it clear I would not leave without being shown the real, actual, wondrous thing.

Centuries of tourism have, I think, bred a particular snobbishness in Italy about the nation’s cultural heritage. There is, perhaps, a level of art historical insiderdom where you would be able to see the special stuff and would not be treated like an idiot – though I’ve no idea how you convince Italy’s art institutions you are seriously interested, rather than just gawping.

The Uffizi still has no online collection of any kind.

Dictator Art Week

November 3 2014

Video: Telegraph

It's Asian Art Week in London, and, reports the Telegraph, there's even an exhibition of works by North Korean artists in the DPRK embassy in Ealing.

There's a limerick in there somewhere...

Update - a reader has had a go:

A painter who lived in Pyongyang

Was at home when the shit hit the fan

Which bounced off the ceiling 

And landed in Ealing 

What an unfortunate North Korean.

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