Cathedral of Shit

has taken a well earned GAP year

Strike!

Posted by cathedralofshit on September 13, 2010

Finally somebody has something to say about the proposed cuts to arts funding that makes sense. And surprisingly it doesn’t come in the form of Jeremy Deller doing a William Morris quote in a kookily retro font or yet another one of our arts leaders sending us a note to sign an e-petition. Instead it comes from Brendan Barber’s address to the TUC today:

“You cannot pick up a newspaper without reading about some group saying don’t cut us, we are too important. One day it’s scientists, another it’s the arts. Green campaigners saying that climate change is too much of a threat. Anti-poverty groups distressed about the impact on the poor. The housing lobby warning of the looming housing shortage. Business saying don’t cut infrastructure or skills. And you know, they are all right.”

Barber’s 5 point alternative to the ConLibTossers cuts are good reading: http://www.tuc.org.uk/the_tuc/tuc-18469-f0.cfm
And at least they spell out a coherent alternative response to addressing the deficit to what the most of the meedjah is swallowing with the enthusiasm of a 20 year old hooker in Panacea.

And did anyone from the visual arts public sector attend the TUC conference and work out how to co-ordinate anger over cuts with other public sector workers? Or did they all instead replay the Shrigley video during ironic Sunday lunches in Hackney whilst urging their posh flatmates to sign up to the cutesy e-petition before pondering if Liverpool had any decent hotels for the opening of the Biennial next week. Answers on the back of a P45 please!

9 Responses to “Strike!”

  1. Anthony Blunt said

    That’s it really: Government should always look to assist with manufacturing. In the arts that means supporting artists making things (and the grass roots that enable them to show what they made) over the glorified creches and touristic destinations that constitute the public galleries of the UK. Why the fuck should I back a campaign led by Julia Peyton Jones who is clearly a self serving Tory worried about loosing her 100k salary and social status. I hate ACE for being a pathetic prop to Britain’s moribund ‘service economy’ almost as much as I hate the Tories themselves – this campaign really seeks the retention of both.

  2. Lenny Stinkhorn said

    There are contemporary dancers taking to the streets! A crack team of digital installation artists are building the barricades and wave upon wave of new British painters are manning the Gatling guns. Meanwhile, ACE is to be found fiddling with itself yet again in the bunker while Rome burns. There’s something really distasteful about the squealing from the Save the Arts mob. The fact that the associated artists with the campaign haven’t needed public funding since they all left Goldsmith’s (sorry Tracey, Maidstone)seems to have passed them by. There’s always some smartarse who pulls out a flaccid “but the arts make us so much money” argument on the Guardian blogs, seemingly unaware that there’s the mother of all recessions happening. I’m going to make my own Jeremy Deller style poster saying: “The Majority couldn’t give a tinker’s cuss what Jeremy Deller or William Morris want, they’re taking away our hospitals and Police.”

  3. Dermot Reeve said

    Good points above (erm, aside from yours Mr Cathedral). As I recall there is a union for people for work in ACE which most folk in ACE don’t bother signing up for (can’t remember which union it was). It would be good to see if there were any ACE folk from Visual Arts up at the TUC conference but somehow I doubt it. Answers please from “the team” would be appreciated (although they’re all on the piss in Liverpool for the biennial so we’re not going to get any are we?)

    I’m off to bomb Jeremy Deller’s car

    Dermot
    xxx

    • Jennieside said

      I’m no longer on ‘the team’, Dermot, but as I recall, the union the Arts Council people use is Unite.

      I reckon that’s a good bet on the TUC conference, not so accurate on hobnobbing at the Liverpool Biennial, unless you’re one of ACE’s army of execs in which case it’s doubtless a busman’s holiday of the canapes and champagne stakeholder relations lifestyle you signed up for in the first place (though in fairness they do generally they serve each other prosecco at these things in the vain hope it might seem more…what’s the phrase…’down-to-earth’).

      Watching this sort of thing in action is likely the reason the ordinary ranks of ACE staff don’t sign and pay up to Unite. No faith in the insanely top-heavy organisation, and no faith in the union’s ability to influence it.

  4. Dermot said

    Unite! I can imagine Charlie Whelan leading our brave art troops into battle on the front line. Except of course Whelan has just resigned and as you say none of our brave troops at ACE join the union. And for the reason you give, that’s understandable although I’m sure a few of them will soon wish they had some sort of union representation. Is the public sector art world the least unionised bit of the public sector? If so, are they totally reliant on super-duper pieces of art from Shriggers and Dellers to save their backsides when Hunty lights the blue-touch paper? Poor sods. Good point also above to Lenny – bizarrely most arts leaders don’t seem to realise that a council worker in Wolverhampton isn’t going to be tremendously moved by the Guardian’s coverage of the latest ‘Save the Arts’ video/poster/jolly wheeze. Our only hope is Richard Wentworth – after all his poster for the Labour party worked wonders at the last election!

  5. Tony Webster said

    David Shrigley went to Glasgow School of Art.

    Jeremy Deller doesn’t have a car.

    The recession is only in your mind.

  6. Dermot Reeve said

    I meant Jezza’s bombed out Iraqi car, not his real car like. Sad to hear he hasn’t got an actual car though – does that mean the Modern Institute have to ferry him to his many participatory events? xxxxx

  7. Ruggles said

    Bye bye, ACE funding. Time for you artists to get down to the doorsteps of the rich and eat some ass, as our American cousins say.

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