David Thompson


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August 28, 2010



It's like Kickstarter, minus the sincerity, imagination, and technical skills.



Excellent, as usual.

But we already have "insight into the psychological underbelly of contemporary art practise".

It's narcissism and freeloading.


"while simultaneously reminding them of the risk involved..."

An exhibition were the 'artists' risk no time, talent or effort is supposed to show us how risky art is? Doesn't the fact they got exhibited (and paid) prove the opposite?


That word ‘interrogated’ again. One of those doing words, evocative of tying someone to a chair and giving them a slap around to extract the information in a timely fashion. Appropriated by those that usually apply it to the ‘narrative’ to give an air of something other than the safe, flabby and middle class.

Does it ever appear in this context without that connotation?

Apologies for venting on a personal linguistic bugbear.



“That word ‘interrogated’ again.”

Yes, it’s one of those status words that trigger my flimflam alarm. It’s usually rhetorical camouflage. I suppose the idea is to signal the proximity of Deep And Serious Thought while remaining conveniently non-specific. Hence insecure artists can claim to “interrogate” such-and-such without explaining how, and without being obliged to specify what, if anything, has been discovered as a result. It’s rather like how “critical thinking” has come to mean practically the opposite of what it suggests, and generally heralds the regurgitation of someone else’s boilerplate.


"graft and expertise"? That's an hilariously appropriate typo Kholeif made.


At least there's not the 'paradigm' word.


Hoping for the day when all these pomo frauds are begging on street corners: "Brother can you paradigm?"


I'm all for this. The less space and time the Pretentious Class occupies with their little projects, the better.

Now if we could get them to do this with politics.


"But we already have "insight into the psychological underbelly of contemporary art practise".

It's narcissism and freeloading."

As well as masturbation it appears. (Alas, not in private.)

Robert Edwards

David, I hope that you follow this useless bastard down like a wounded and smoking Me. 109. Let us celebrate uselessness! Let us open the Bolly to affirm the inability of 'angry young men' to finish anything! The reason I dislike the company of 'creatives' (musicians excepted) is that all most of them want to talk about is money.

Nothing wrong with that, of course, but an idea should be finished, polished, honed. Most of the crap flying about is little more than graffiti; the energetic and repetitive use of the rattle-can.




I hope that too. But I'm afraid it won't be a simple swipe. Animals like eels and weasels come to mind.


"Is this meant to be a satirical comment on arts funding? On arts jargon? Is it a dig at the premise of the exhibition? It's so very hard to care."

The 'message' I got was that the Arts Council should be shut down on Monday morning.


“The ‘message’ I got was that the Arts Council should be shut down on Monday morning.”

Well, if you treat the project as a snapshot of a certain public subsidy-seeking caste, the impression you’re left with isn’t a particularly good one. It’s hard to see how one might look through the proposals and then feel well-disposed towards the people who wrote them. Unless, like Mr Kholeif, you’re part of the same hustle.

When “works” attract reviews like those of Mr Kholief and Lois Klassen, who tells us, “impossibility and failure are as playful and meaningful as the potential for everyone to get involved,” then it’s pretty obvious we’re in the realms of pseudery.


The heavy and near-obligatory reliance on textual validation and pseudo-intellectual posturing is rarely a good footing for great art, or competent art, or even a diverting afternoon. Though it may reward the participants’ egos, at least temporarily. Again, the impression given is of an insecure, pretentious and parasitic caste talking to itself about itself.

Which, oddly enough, does not inspire warm feelings.

Sakarya Everrett

You're all coming accross as sad bitter unimagitive boring fools, whose can't muster any intelligent stand point on this type of work/practise, your tideous arguments are both cliche and retrogressive at best. As Otis Reading sang 'Actions Speak Louder Than Words'! Don't harbour bitterness, ignorance and hostility, go out there and present your own work, if you can get off your lazy behinds and prove your worth! You bunch of sheep!


Sakarya xx

P.s Good luck in your endeavours!


Who let the drunk in?

Karen M

You naughty cynics. Show some respect. :)


Karen, when they show me they can make something beautiful I'll show them some respect.


RJ, I'm pretty sure Sakarya is being sarcastic...of course it is possible s/he is unaware of this...

Robert Edwards

@ Sakarya- Spelling needs a bit of work - Otis Redding! I trust that your post was tongue-in-cheek; if it was not, then God help you.


"while Adele Prince proposes a series of drawn instructions on how to fold a bus ticket."

It sounds like they're running out of reasons to get handouts.


“It sounds like they’re running out of reasons to get handouts.”

It doesn’t suggest the field is humming with great ideas, no.

Incidentally, Ms Prince’s previous artistic ventures include a “durational performance” at the ANTI Festival of Live Art in Finland. The “performance” involved a forty kilometre walk around Kuopio, complete with Twitter updates on her progress. Gripping stuff.


As a lightener, and a purgative for such claptrap as David points out. A simple juggler, but with a raise the bar attitude.


That is something real and worthy, devoid of politics or subsidy I suspect, but showing skills beyond what most of us possess. I'd venture to say most unlike those participating in 'Unrealized Potential'.

H/T... http://www.bookofjoe.com/

Spiny Norman

OK, that's what I call "performance art". Thanks for the link, Luther.


Why are these people so obsessed with interrogating underbellies?


I deeply suspect that "Conor McGarrigle" is an alias...

sackcloth and ashes

I have an idea for a piece of performance art which I'd like to call 'Asking for it', which features me kicking Omar Kholeif in the plums.

Can I have a subsidy, please?

Sakayra Everett

Ok, so English isn't my first language, and I typed my last messages from my mobile. But I think the typo on Otis's name is funny.
I am serious, so God please help me to understand the infantile delusion of this pointless rants, but most of all may she help you - see the light and errors of your ways you inapt fools who like to metaphorically poke yourselves in the eye!



Sakayra Everett

Oh Mr David Thompson I'm posting you a dummy - don't worry I've only used it as a butt plug once;-)



sackcloth and ashes

Sakayra, I think I got some emails from you saying that you wanted to marry me, because you thought I loved God and would be a life-long soul-mate. I'm afraid you're wrong on both counts, and while I'm sure you're a wonderful person I'm not going to give you my bank account details either.

Patrick Brown

Public subsidy of the arts tends to favour good bullshitters, people who talk a good game, over people with the ability and commitment to actually create art.

It also distorts art into a kind of game played between artists and what used to be middle-men, as artists tailor their work to tickle the tastes of the people who give them money. The public don't come into it, and you end up with gibberish like this: http://thejoinery.org/ .

A friend and I run a monthly stall at a local arts market selling small press, self-published comics by artists from all over Ireland (including ourselves). None of the artists that I know of get public funding. They pay for the materials and printing costs themselves, mainly by having day jobs, and do the work in their spare time. One month we found out that an arts centre round the corner was running a workshop on book arts - book binding, zine making, and generally creating art in book form. Sounded like just our thing, so we went along.

But many of them had no interest in my observations about affordable short-run digital printing and finding ways to get your work seen and read, build an audience, and make a bit of money out of it. What they wanted to know was how to get a grant and get your book into Waterstones. The audiences they were aiming their work at at were funding bodies and book chains - middle-men. The thought of anybody actually reading their work didn't seem to have crossed their minds.

Patrick Brown

They're at it again. Cuts in the Arts Council's budget threaten the ethnic diversity of poetry, apparently-


The bit I particularly like is when she admits that "the cost of the entire Ten project [a book of poems by ethnic minority poets] was minimal" - if that's the case, what do you need Arts Council funding for?


“Tackling UK Poetry’s Ethnic Imbalance.”

Two weeks away and you almost start to miss the Guardian’s lamentations.

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