Cathedral of Shit

has taken a well earned GAP year

Archive for May, 2010

Where Do I Begin?

Posted by cathedralofshit on May 21, 2010

Where Do I Begin? is the aptly titled blog update from Anita. Highlights include some confusion -apparently it’s the Tate’s 10th wedding anniversary. Who would the Tate even marry we wonder? Not the Serpentine – the Serpentine’s a bit of a slut. More likely the Whitechapel. Stable, old reliable Whitechapel. Keen on DIY and baking, enjoys live music, long walks and socialising with friends.

I digress. Here you are, though you should have the address etched on your brain/tattooed on you arm by now.

GUUUULP.

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Question of The Day?

Posted by cathedralofshit on May 19, 2010

Which Quinn is worst? Ged or Marc?

A winner will be chosen out of a hat to win a a choice of a guided tour round East London’s galleries with Jay Joplng or Anthony Wilkinson, or a tropical organic fruit basket.

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Our Souls For Sale

Posted by cathedralofshit on May 19, 2010

We’ve been rather slow on the uptake to report on No Soul for Sale, but needless to say we did pootle along, drink a little too much overpriced beer and knocked tipsily into more than enough ‘art’ on the stands of confused and tired looking not for profit organisation ‘directors’ (not-for-profit/not-for-fun). Everyone we spoke to simply didn’t know exactly what they were doing there, and more than a few whinges were about the lack of support -not just financially, but in general.
Well. Cathedral of Shit says – GROW A PAIR. Because it could be the only time in the very near future many of you are going to get your stickers and bits of paper and crayon drawings and pieces of cardboard into Tate. Right?

Well, okay. A bunch of organisations we quite like were there, doing the ‘right thing’. Well done you guys, your souls are still indeed intact. We did also half enjoy the slightly incomprehensible ramblings of Long Meg, a band seemingly made up of eight people who met on the tube last night and haven’t made it home yet. Jeffrey Lewis made us want to dress up as goths or glam rockers or anything to disassociate ourselves from alt/un/anit-folk, or whatever the fuck you want to call his mind-numbing sixth-form drivel. Oh, and Martin Creed did that shouty 1-2-3 thing again. Which, we quite like. Our favourite number is 6. Email your favourite number in to win a special prize (a Jeffrey Lewis CD).

Anyway, bed now as we are off down Brick Lane market early to see how much we can get for four slightly soiled souls, not many miles on the clock, one careful lady owner. Any offers?

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About Bloody Time MKII.

Posted by cathedralofshit on May 18, 2010

Artists have written an open letter to the Tate in another example of a large organisation using younger (and generally skinter) organisations to bolster it’s image as a museum with it’s finger on the pulse… though it’s a surprise this hasn’t happened before (Serpentine/ICA also guilty of these tactics).
The letter in full:

Taking the Tate to Task
AN OPEN LETTER TO TATE
TATE: NO SOUL FOR SALE // ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM // FAIR PAY FOR ARTISTS

“We don’t really cherish our artists to the degree we should.”
Sir Nicholas Serota, Director of Tate, quoted in the Evening Standard 23.04.10

As a grouping of national and international artists, we publicly challenge No Soul For Sale (NSFS) at Tate Modern over the weekend of 14th-16th May 2010.

The title No Soul For Sale re-enforces deeply reductive stereotypes about the artist and art production. With its romantic connotations of the soulful artist, who makes art from inner necessity without thought of recompense, No Soul For Sale implies that as artists we should expect to work for free and that it is acceptable to forego the right to be paid for our labour.

It has come to our attention that many participants are not being paid by Tate Modern for their efforts. In fact, most are self-funding their activities throughout the weekend. Tate describes this situation as a “spirit of reciprocal generosity between Tate and the contributors”. But at what point does expected generosity become a form of institutional exploitation? Once it becomes endemic within a large publicly funded art space?

Reciprocal generosity is the lifeblood of independent art communities throughout the world. This spirit is not however the property of any one institution, artist or curator and it is complacent for Tate to believe that their position is comparable to ground level arts activity. It therefore seems disingenuous for Tate to claim that their hosting of NSFS is somehow altruistic or philanthropic. Tate publicly has the most to gain, yet we have discovered that Tate’s reciprocity does not even extend to the provision of basic resources, such as the use of chairs and tables for some of the participants in NSFS. Tate will commercially benefit from NSFS through increased audiences and the inevitable increase in the sale of books, magazines, merchandise, refreshments, donations and exhibition entry fees. Is the nature of this exchange really occurring on a level playing field? Is the relationship as reciprocal as it could be?

As many of us in Making A Living have worked with Tate and other major art galleries, we understand that the expectation of free labour and self -funding is not exclusive to NSFS. During our discussions it has come to light that Tate has not paid artists for some exhibitions, workshops and events, including last year’s Tate Triennial, and that this policy has existed over a considerable period of time, long before the current economic crisis became an issue for arts institutions.

We call for an end to this poor practice and manipulation of generosity as Tate Modern celebrates its 10th birthday. We call on Tate to make public its policy in regard to artists’ fees.

If artists continue to work for free, or are expected to pay for their efforts when working with our major art institutions, then we deny opportunities to the great majority of artists who simply cannot afford to take such financial risks. Tate and other major publicly funded galleries risk spoiling their good work by unwittingly limiting their pool of future exhibiting artists to individuals who can afford to pay for the privilege, or who are content or able to work for little or no pay. If NSFS manages to start a productive conversation about this ‘elephant in the room’ then we think it may yet be described as a success.

M.A.L
(Making A Living: A discussion group of Arts professionals currently active across the UK)
makingaliving@live.co.uk

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About Bloody Time.

Posted by cathedralofshit on May 14, 2010

Someone finally punched Emin in the face for being a foul Tory?
No! It was an aaacccciiiiideeeeennnnntttttt. Honest.

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Zoology

Posted by cathedralofshit on May 12, 2010

Invited to use the ICA by Ekow Eshun and David Thorp, the Zoo Art Fair were dismayed to have the offer withdrawn. Apparently curatorial staff said that they didn’t want it and Ekow didn’t want to upset them. Might be a little bit too late for that? Rumour is Richard Birkett will be quitting long before October to go to Artists’ Space in New York. Last we heard, the other ‘Curator’ was an ‘Assistant Curator’ covering someone’s maternity leave (its so hard to keep up). Perhaps the real problem was that Zoo would have given the rest of the current programme a run for it’s money…

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The new Minister for Culture, Media and Sport!

Posted by cathedralofshit on May 12, 2010

Number10.gov.uk states ‘there is no content. Please try again later’.

How much later? Five years?

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Ben Lewis, never knowingly undersold.

Posted by cathedralofshit on May 7, 2010

Annoying Evening Standard art idiot and TV bore Ben Lewis is back again, making a programme with The Culture Show. Yawn you say?! Well hold on one goddamn minute!
Apparently – “For an upcoming episode of The Culture Show, themed around science and art, presenter and art critic Ben Lewis will be applying the science of psychometrics to assessing people’s attitudes towards the future of art. Will we find anything out?”
A questionnaire sent round by the Beeb seems to have ignored some basic and simple rules. Even my GCSE Business Studies coursework taught me that questionnaire questions should be open and not leading… unlike this gem –

and hell, I only got an E!
Despite the implication that the psychometric testing will be used to asses the attitudes of people towards the future of art, something tells me this is a thinly veiled excuse to get back at those art world bad guys again…. judge for yourself?

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Putting the ‘ding’ back into funding.

Posted by cathedralofshit on May 6, 2010

Nice point from a ‘reader’ sent in (ooh, we sound like Points of View!) –

“If the Otolith Group win maybe Kodwo Eshun could donate the winnings to another UK institution in financial trouble? Like Ekow Eshun’s ICA? ”
Yours,
Miffed in Manchester (okay I added that bit).

So yes, let’s keep funding in the family.

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Goldsworthy on sale NOW!

Posted by cathedralofshit on May 6, 2010

News just in from a loyal correspondent –

Despite promises that life, and gallery, will go on somewhere in W1, a stock sale nevertheless seems to be in progress — and job application in hand with everybody’s favourite Anglo-Swiss Haus of Kunst.

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