Cathedral of Shit

has taken a well earned GAP year

Archive for January, 2010

It’s Ofili Loud In Here… (sorry).

Posted by cathedralofshit on January 30, 2010

Good to see brave white art folk getting down and dirty with some dancehall style moves at the Chris Ofili party on Tuesday night. Awards to Victoria Miro gallery for obtaining the biggest set of speakers ever seen at an art party. A further award to the doormen who kept out liggers with firm and definitive hand gestures. CoS was in particular glad to see those well-known party hounds Darren Flook and Sarah McCrory kept outside in the sub-freezing temperatures pretending to be on a “cigarette break” whilst desperately trying to score one of the strangely unnerving musical invites.
Amusing that it took that radical combination of Tate Britain, David Zwirner and Victoria Miro to effortlessly achieve the intercultural, polyphonic, multitudinous (that’s for you, fans of Hardt and Negri) nirvana that the Arts Council have spent years and millions of pounds (mostly hurled at Iniva) trying to achieve.

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Garlic Sauce, boss?

Posted by cathedralofshit on January 28, 2010

Frieze magazine’s looking terribly thin these days. How long before they reintroduce the staples? But Matthew Slotover has been relying on the public purse for basic sustenance for a while now. Munira Mirza, Boris Johnson’s hopelessly overqualified Cultural Adviser, treated him and his best pal Ed Vaizey to lunch back in July 1998. She spent £10 at an unnamed establishment on Old Street here. Small döner kebabs?


Ed Vaizey? Yup: the Honourable Edward Henry Butler Vaizey, Shadow Minister for the Arts. The title is inherited – his (relatively) recently exposed parliamentary expense claims of 2007 suggest he is not particularly ‘honourable’ but arguably cultured in other ways (likes both antique and contemporary Scandinavian furniture). Brilliant.

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Labour isn’t Working

Posted by cathedralofshit on January 28, 2010

So, Scratchie’s tagline of ’79 is back (yawn).
Okay, so Labour decided to ‘instrumentalise’ culture, turning art galleries in creches and patronising people belonging to any ethnic group other than ‘White British.’ They ruined the Arts Council with political interference – but do we really want the Tory alternative? The Labour Party’s 30 million or so in the red. No-one is a member of a Trade Union anymore so there’s no cash coming in and what self respecting hedge funder is going to pay up? Oh… only the ones who don’t have money anymore.
Step forward the (genuinely) lovely Richard Greer a “long term Labour supporter” (since 1994 then). He has come up with a great solution: invite artists to design the election posters! They will however be disguised as posters which simply encourage people to vote thus making them palatable to rich idiots from the new democracies east of Braunschweig who will buy them in an auction the proceeds of which will go to ‘proper’ marketing people who’ll do an even worse job. So far Bob and Roberta Smith (who, ironically, has recently made a career out of slagging off the Government with his tiresome ‘Stop the War’ stuff), Jeremy Deller (likewise) and Richard Wentworth (did you see the Lisson’s summer show!?) are all on board.
We are all totally fucked then.

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Bag of Shite

Posted by cathedralofshit on January 28, 2010

Anyone bin (sic) to Michael Landy’s new show at SLG, the gallery formally known as the South London Gallery (marketing’s brilliant isn’t it?)?!
Thought not.
Any chance that Michael Landy’s 600m³ container for bad art could simply turn itself inside-out to contain itself? Pity the show isn’t in June enabling Camberwell School of Art to clear its degree shows. Anyone remember Bob and Roberta Smith’s Art Amnesty? Michael Landy clearly thinks not. Spot the difference here: and here:

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Oh Solo Rego….

Posted by cathedralofshit on January 26, 2010

Cruel rumours reach Cathedral of Shit’s one working ear that Andaz Hotel (which used to be known as the Great Eastern Hotel) were happy to throw a dinner for the Whitechapel Gallery’s openings last week as they were assured by the Whitechapel press folk that many glamorous VIPs would turn up; and then were less happy when the glamorous VIPs turned out to be Paula Rego and erm, that’s it.

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I C A – T T F N……?

Posted by cathedralofshit on January 25, 2010

So, as exclusively (along with the few dozen people who let us know) revealed in CoS, the ICA is the deep doggie-do as reported by Charlotte Higgins in the Guardian on Saturday:

Director, Ekow Eshun blames “a perfect storm” of events which includes a half a million plus loss on the fund-raising auction, a shortfall on venue-hire and sales dipping at the bookshop. Now, CoS are no financial wizards – nor indeed do we have the financial experience of the esteemed ICA board (come in Alan Yentob!) – but does deciding to hold an auction, projecting wild sales and hoping that a couple of patrons will go stir-crazy and bid a few hundred thousand for an Enrico David sketch strike you as a sensible financial strategy? Or indeed hoping for a bumper year of wedding-hires or indeed sales of cultural theory from the bookshop to suddenly go bananas?

However perhaps a more pertinent question is about Eshun’s claim about a “renewed vision”. Whilst everyone (well not everyone, but you know, everyone in this wireless cafe on Broadway Market) agrees that the ICA was a vital presence from 1947 to the 1990s, it would be good to hear exactly why we need the ICA anymore – it’s hardly as if central London is starved of contemporary practice after all.

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No Dough From Gago Show. Woah.

Posted by cathedralofshit on January 22, 2010

Despite being a public gallery rumoured often to have dubious relationships with commercial galleries, we heard that Julia Peyton-Jones recently was stiffed by the behemoth that is Gagosian. Despite the Serpentine paying shipping and production costs for the Jeff Koons works in his decidedly average exhibition last year, Gagosian sold all the works from the show, not only refusing to donate or contribute to the gallery but to even refund any costs.
When the question was posed as to why money back from sales wasn’t contracted, allegedly JPJ was quoted as saying she didn’t expect to have to ask for the money in these situations. Pretty disappointing as the Serpentine receives funding from the government… CoS wonders whether the vast sums this glorified park toilet receives is deserved, especially as a Serp-source tells us that the visitor sums collected to wow their patrons and the Arts Council include anyone going in for a mid-jog dump, or entering to buy their copy of Dazed from the shop.

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a note…

Posted by cathedralofshit on January 21, 2010

We’ve had a few mailings in recently – in the spirit of disclosure, they’ve derided us for deriding them (Banksy, that’s you), they’ve accused us of being too infrequent (yes, true. Lazy AND busy). And then there’s been a few useful comments and suggestions, and of course endless accusations and revelations as to who we are. Well. that doesn’t matter really. Are we a ‘we’ even? Or am I just sat at a desk in Miro, blogging between photocopying duties? No, of course not. Or are we? Or am I? Either way, all the suggestions so far are comfortingly off the mark. It’s always the quiet ones, see? Haven’t you seen ‘Pump Up The Volume’?

We were also accused of being “a bit Baer Faxt of late, and cosying up to our mates”. Well, sometimes we are filled with the milk of human kindness. Don’t despise us for our capacity to love, man.

So, in short, we’d like to encourage more outside input. With my new job as Director of Tate Britain, I find it hard to find the time to write down the unimportant information you don’t really need in your life.

We promise anonymity.


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Mr Smith

Posted by cathedralofshit on January 19, 2010

We would like to wish Mr John Smith the best of luck working with the fourteen trainee curators who will be producing a retrospective of his work at the Royal College of Art as the culmination of their Curating Contemporary Art course. Does the RCA cash crisis have anything to do with the choice? Only one fee to pay, no transport or travel expenses and no production costs. We hope the show is an improvement on last year, when they forgot to put any art in the exhibition, and the year before when they only showed bad art and broke some of it.

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who’d a thought it?

Posted by cathedralofshit on January 19, 2010

Nicholas Logsdail and Victoria Miro used to date, Maureen Paley used to have dreadlocks, Andrew Wheatley is a born-again Christian and Darren Flook is organising an art fair.

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