A fuck up in two parts.
Part One – after a glance at the feature in the print paper…
More risible guff in The Observer newspaper this week as it declares that Britain is in the midst of a cultural revolution.
The evidence of this, as reported by Rachel Cooke, who should know better, was reported largely in terms of numbers of millions invested in individual theatres, galleries, spaces (man) and numbers of punters who had passed through the door of said establishments.
This does not constitute a cultural revolution. This strongly suggests that marketing itself IS culture and that culture is, as it ever was, driven by the lowest common denominator.
Until such time as we can report of the impact of artistic activity upon the culture itself it is difficult to see how such claims can be justified by anyone other than those few whose “art” is marketing, whose “art” is publicity, whose “art” is popularity among the voiceless mass of bodies passing through the space (man)
In a particular entertaining side feature one cultural curator was quizzed on her cultural highlights of the year. She herself was French – though now employed in the UK – and not one of her chosen events featured a British artist. Which I myself have no problem with as precious few of my “cultural highlights” were by British artists – but I am not trying to make a case for the UK Cultural Revolution like these lazy fucks.
Part Two – after a speed read of Rachel Cooke’s article in the online version of The Observer…
Yeah, well, ok, her motives are maybe a little purer than I gave them credit for. The paper article was snowballed with third party comment and statistical nonsense – a call-out bukkake tsunami, if you will – so it was nice to be able to read the online version with fewer distractions (many of the call outs are at the end of the article). However, to quote the article… “Last Tuesday, at the Man Booker Prize dinner, I was struck by the evident pride of the corporate sponsors at being associated with such an event; the same goes for Unilever, who sponsor the Turbine Hall installations at the Tate.” (Included here, in the turbine, is the “piece” that allows middle class adults to indulge in flumes without having to engage with the indignity of dressing in trunks and going to the public baths and going down a, real, fucking, flume) And then, this quote, almost immediately after… “But to go all mushy for a moment, art does serve a higher purpose. Best not to get too distracted by pound signs. It’s still the way we tell our stories, the way we create our myths. In a society that is increasingly fragmented, it acts as a kind of glue. “
Glue? Is it? I see no evidence of this glue? I see plenty distraction by pound signs. The way we create our myths? Well what does that mean, Rachel? Really? The way we tell our stories? What, like when we TELL stories?
Higher purpose, pound signs, stories and myths – nothing there that you could pin down and dissect, eh? Perfect liberal middle class communication. Blandly persuasive, engagingly meaningless, and politically safe. THAT is our contribution to culture.
Bless this cultural revolution.