Cathedral of Shit

has taken a well earned GAP year

Archive for March, 2011

tired and emotional

Posted by cathedralofshit on March 31, 2011

Yesterday was a long day at CoS Towers. We spent it eating fried chicken and occasionally following the Guardian’s LIVE cuts blog and the Twitterometer in the corner. Our round-up is basically this: the visual arts team at ACE did a decent job. A number of the organisations who got cut have been fingered by us already for being dodgy (Proboscis, Afterall, International Curators Jollies etc) and it didn’t take a genius to work out that the two big RFOs to be shafted would be Iniva and the ICA – both of whom have had bucketloads of criticism in recent years. It looks like there’s some strategic re-thinking that’s happened and has been semi-smuggled in through the cuts – such as the retreat from cultural diversity. South London seems to have done all right. Expanding your gallery space (South London, Serpentine, Whitechapel) has been heavily rewarded.

A cut which has caused some lament is the total cut in funding to ArtSway – although it was always a bit puzzling what this organisation brought to local Hampshire art enthusiasts by doing a pavilion at the Venice Biennale every two years. That said, the total cut seemed draconian.

ACE have handled the day relatively well – although the one issue that has been fudged are those organisations who were not previously RFOs, who tried for funding this time round – and failed. This is the only part of the process that is being kept under wraps – although some organisations in other art forms, such as the Rose Theatre, have admitted this failure. The reticence on the part of Visual Arts organisations to ‘fess up to failure is understandable – after all organisations have previously not sent out press releases about grants they’ve failed to get – but it does mean that it’s difficult to accurately sketch the full nature of ACE’s strategy in re-thinking what they do and do not want to fund.

Okay we’re now tired of our one moment of doing semi-serious articles so we’ll be back soon with some crap about spotting Klaus Biesenbach in Mare Street’s Tesco. We’re off down the Joiners.

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My best friend is a white fella

Posted by cathedralofshit on March 30, 2011

The ACE Visual Arts team will be steeling themselves for inevitable accusations of racism having heavily cut funding to Iniva, the Otolith Group, Third Text, Visiting Arts and the International Curators Forum (which seems to have disappeared entirely). And it does look like that there has been a policy decision across ACE to start to disinvest from “Cultural Diversity”- the made-up tag to cover arts organisations that are non-white-British focused. In Combined Arts, Rich Mix took a big hit as did the theatre group Talawa.

The interesting thing here will be to see whether ACE can be upfront about what seems like a significant policy shift. Cultural Diversity was big for them in the 1990s, particularly when David Lammy was in charge at DCMS. But prominent figures like Munira Mirza have long-knocked it for being simplistic, patronising and box-ticking. And artists such as Chris Ofili, Steve McQueen and Anish Kapoor have been overt about steering away from the topic and insisting that viewers simply look at their art-works as they would with any other artist (not easy, if you’re staring into a hellish, blue Kapoor void mind you).

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ACE ACE and less-ACE ACE

Posted by cathedralofshit on March 30, 2011

The Cathedral of Shit telethon team have wolfed their mid-morning Subways and are nearly ready to announce their first total. As the not for profit artworld crowd around their macbooks, asking “who the fuck are Art Gene?”, we’ve pulled out a few titbits. There are winners. There are losers. And then there’s the Otolith Group!

* Hells bells! The ICA is down 42.2%. But with fundraising whizz Alison Myners and Gregor ‘just left a commercial gallery’ Muir in place, perhaps not a disaster. It was always going to a hard ask after the shambles of Eshun/Yentob/that other bloke who buggered the accounts.

* The Serpentine gets a 31.5% increase to take it to around £1.25 million per year. Because they need the cash! After all that second space doesn’t come cheap. And this doesn’t have anything to do with ACE wanting to secure their regular invitations to the summer party.

* The Otolith Group have been cut but are still being recognised as an organisation which is pleasant for them, and annoying for every other artist who hadn’t worked out this particular scam.

* Surely some mistake here: Workplace Gallery – a commercial gallery in Newcastle who regularly show at international art fairs becomes portfolio funded at £120,000 over three years. Bizzare – surely this review was supposed to get rid of these commercial inconsistencies?

* Rumours abound that South London Gallery are planning a move to the Mall after their 127.3% increase. Peckham isn’t big enough for them anymore. But seriously folks, well done to fellow South Londoners, Studio Voltaire and Auto Italia

* Despite improvements after the appointment of nice Grant Watson as curator, Iniva have been slashed, paying for years of piss-poor programming and seemingly not really doing anything.

And finally –
* DON’T PANIC! The National Glass Centre have had an 87.5% increase! Thank fuck.

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Port in a Storm…

Posted by cathedralofshit on March 30, 2011

Gorn, but not forgortten… as the ACE cuts info floods in (believe us, the CoS office today is like a 1980s telethon, complete with Angela Rippon and Michael Aspel on the phones), news has reached the delicate ears of CoS regarding Ekow Eshun’s new job.
Despite being responsible for today’s 42% cut in the ICAs portfolio funding, he’s landed a new position;

British Writer and Journalist Ekow Eshun has been appointed Culture Editor at PORT magazine. He was previously Artistic Director at the Institute of Contempory Arts. Book reviews or any culture-related information can be sent to Ekow, who can be reached at”

So readers, please, do send Ekow culture-related information at your leisure.

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Posted by cathedralofshit on March 30, 2011

Our legislators have published their piece:

All predictably dull apart from their recommendation that the Arts Council sell off some of their collection. Burning bits might be a better?

Still can’t fathom why they thought David Lee to be an appropriate witness and worth quoting in the report. Nice though that they were ‘disappointed’ by THEpUBLIC (sic) in West Bromwich. For our American readers the Public is a gallery and not a projected audience:

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defectated upon lemmings

Posted by cathedralofshit on March 30, 2011

As ACE announces its cuts, historians out there might note that we’ve been here before – William Rees-Mogg slashed half of the organisations the Council funded in 1987, and 1993 there were more proposed reducations. The latter lead to the resignation of Lord Rix as Chairman of the Council’s drama panel with a letter of resignation that contained the following gem which is worth bearing in mind in light of tomorrow’s impending carnage:

“We rush like lemmings to the water’s edge, devising fatuous so-called policies and strategies and visions and corporate plans, which are merely feeble attempts to cover up the fact that we have been defecated on from a great height”

Lord Rix was famous as an actor for appearing in various farces including “Don’t Just Lie There, Say Something!”, perhaps an appropriate instruction to some of today’s recipients of ACE’s tidings.

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Probe My Ass

Posted by cathedralofshit on March 25, 2011

Inspired by the Otolith Group’s jolly wheeze of actually being a couple of artists who pretend to be an organisation in order to be classified as a Regularly Funded Organisation, our team of unpaid but stupidly posh interns have been hacking away at classified information buried deep in Arts Council England.
Okay, not really, we’ve been looking at their website. Shit isn’t it? What’s with the purple type? But aside from that pithy review of ACE website’s front end (“Dame Liz Forgan”) and back end (“Alan Davey”), we’ve found another couple of artists doing crap doodles, pretending to be a cultural organisation and coining it in! Step forward Proboscis – a fancy-sounding name for two artists: Giles Lane and Alice Angus. They are an “artist-led studio” (as opposed to say, an accountant-led studio?) who are non-profit (like 90% of most other artist’s studios) who focus on creative innovation (and other artist focus on what exactly?). But wait! “Collaboration is at the heart of our creative practice.” Great! Presumably this “collaborative spirit” is a joint bank account stashing away taxpayer’s hard-earned cash! Still, CoS doffs it hat to Proboscis and Otolith for this cunning collaborative “we’re really an organisation” ruse. We’re renaming ouselves “Rhizosupramatic Cathedral of Shit Organisation” and we’d like you all to give us 50k now.

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Posted by cathedralofshit on March 25, 2011

We love Lisa Le Feuvre and Tom Morton. But we also haven’t quite witnessed anything quite as self-promoting as their tweet-feed @lefeuvremorton. We all know that the British Art Show is jolly good and that they searched long and hard over one pissed-up weekend in Bethnal Green in order to curate it. We love it!

But so far this week we’ve received re-tweeted praise from @lefeuvremorton that ranges from @krisatomoc saying “I recommend the British Art Show at the Hayward” (thanks Kris!) to “itsyourlondon” claiming the “British Art Show7 looks worth a visit” (cheers itsyourlondon!), through to NickSantosPedro assuring the two curators and everybody they re-tweeted “Your careers are now assured” (thanks NickSantosPedro!).

Now whilst we love hearing NickSantosPedro’s rating of our lovely co-curator’s careers we’re starting to get a little bit suspicious that nothing negative is being tweeted about the show. Surely someone out there can’t stand Charles Avery or thinks that Emily Wardill’s films are mind-numbingly dull? So as an experiment we would like to ask all our dear readers to tweet @lefeuvremorton telling them that the show was a terrible piss-poor excuse of an exhibition and their careers are down the toilet.
Not that we think this, we’re just curious to see if its re-tweeted back to all of us eager followers.

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We consider OURselves a bit of a glamourpuss.

Posted by cathedralofshit on March 24, 2011

Morning all.

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New Email address

Posted by cathedralofshit on March 23, 2011

We’re getting a lot of spam right now, rather than info and emails from you lot. So we are changing our email address to –
We aren’t sure who’s responsible for constantly emailing us and trying to palm off large amounts of money from an offshore account, but we’ve some rough ideas. Inaugurate it by telling us something we don’t know.

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