Cathedral of Shit

has taken a well earned GAP year

Posts Tagged ‘ICA’

And The Beat Goes On…

Posted by cathedralofshit on June 30, 2011

It seems there are still issues at the ICA despite people being generally supportive of the new boss, Gregor Muir.

Apparently the VAT bill for hires is huge and the VAT wasn’t charged back to the clients leaving the ICA’s finances in a very poor state, though not that this is anything new. Apparently it’s a little like groundhog day in the accounts department.

Staff are being culled but those at the top are not taking any cuts to their substantial salaries, which is great news for Karen Turner who after working as a consultant for the ICA and being responsible for the first wave of redundancies, is now the MD and responsible for a second wave.

Soon there will be no one left to sack and the ICA will be a nice building on The Mall that you can hire for weddings and Conservative Party events, without any VAT to pay at all.

And so it goes…

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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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Muir money, Muir problems…

Posted by cathedralofshit on February 3, 2011

Mixed responses to the appointment of Gregor Muir as the new guvnor of the ICA. Whilst his fundraising skills and connections from Hauser and Wirth will no doubt be useful, his curatorial track record is somewhat inconsistent. See THIS vs THIS.

News has reached the delicate ears of CoS that Mr Muir has commenced his reign at the ICA by ditching anything in the pipeline – even whilst one of the artists from the forthcoming group show was in London making a site visit…

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Not me, guv.

Posted by cathedralofshit on December 2, 2010

I imagine that you may be tired of hearing about Ekow Eshun’s adventures at the ICA, but stay with us a moment…
Here’s an extraordinary piece of attempted sympathy-gathering.

It contains a rather unbelievable paragraph:

“…He became executive director in November 2009, but the ‘perfect storm’ blew up well before then. ‘Did you have financial responsibility for the ICA when everything went wrong, from October 2008 to October 2009?’ … Eventually he says, ‘No.’ Was it you who hired 110 people to work for the ICA? ‘No.’ Well, I ask, why are you getting the blame?…”

It is basically saying that while he was co-directing the ICA with the Managing Director (Guy Perricone, who left in October 2009) he had no responsibility for the budgets or hiring at the organisation. This is an extraordinary claim, and simply not true.

Interestingly though, it seems that when Ekow gave this interview he broke the terms of his ‘negotiated exit’ agreement with the board, which included a clause about consulting with them about statements to the press. So he has now been given his marching orders by the new chair, and it sounds like he will now be leaving much earlier than the March date that had been agreed as part of the golden handshake.

Bye Ekow! Thanks for the memories!

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Au revoir.

Posted by cathedralofshit on August 28, 2010

FINALLY. Eshun and Yentob have now left the building.
It’s a shame they’ve left it until there is pretty much only a building left.

À bientôt, fellers.

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Out Of O(ri)fice Autoreply

Posted by cathedralofshit on August 6, 2010

We’ve got that Friday Feeling as copyrighted by the Cadbury’s ‘Crunchie’. The CoS office is like a carnival. There’s dancing and the potentially hazardous over-consumption of Malibu and pineapple juice before the lunching hour.
As the art world breaks up for the summer, off to sunnier climes, CoS are backpacking together in Thailand for a few weeks, retracing the route Leo DiCaprio took in The Beach.

By the time we return, before we’ve had a chance to get over our summer romances and gut-rot, cuts to the arts in the UK may be so severe we’ll be forced to possibly all get a proper job.
In a commercial gallery or something.

We leave you with some random top of the pops since the beginning of 2010.

Best/worst artists:
Alice Neel – ugly, boho, amateurish, retrograde nonsense. And may times can the Whitechapel mention ‘Warhol’ in the wall texts?
Christian Boltanski – he has an archive of 35,000 heartbeats. Not mine. It stopped when I saw his work.
Marc Quinn – to be mentioned in every ‘worst artist’ list until our or his death, whichever comes first. Ours probably, self-inflicted, if we ever have to see one of those giant transgendered paperweights again.

Most ridiculous use of production funds:
Yinka Shonibare – it’s a big slave ship in a bottle with African fabrics as sails – get it? Awesome.
No Soul For Sale – what’s that you say? NO production funds? Oh. In that case…

Most ridiculous use of no production funds:
No Soul For Sale
Pumphouse Gallery

Gayest of the gay art mafia:
Thomas Houseago

Award for the biggest art ligger/hanger on:
A group prize for the Royal College Curating course
Ooh. This is too easy isn’t it? Send in your nominations via the comments please. (You can do this anonymously).

The Award for ‘I am actually, underneath my art credentials, a frightening Tory”

The “What Were You Thinking?” Award:
The Board of the ICA…”well, he ran the Virgin in-flight magazine… he must be qualified”. Genius.
The Board of the ICA… “he’s young, he’s energetic… we can maybe push him around a bit”. Genius.

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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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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? ”
Miffed in Manchester (okay I added that bit).

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

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Zoo are you kidding?!

Posted by cathedralofshit on April 26, 2010

Word has reached the delicate bud-like earlobes of CoS that the ICA may host Zoo this year during the annual chaos that is Frieze Art Fair week. Apparently approaching those not in Frieze’s new ‘younger’ section, Frame, Soraya Rodriguez seems to be intent on moving it west. It’s rumoured this year to be even LESS fair-like and more ‘exhibition-like’ (perhaps playing on the success of Independent?) .
One grumble from younger gallerists however, is that they may not be interested in setting foot in the ICA until those at the top step down or the administration changes. Having seen friends and associates made redundant due to their sloppy management (understatement – see previous posts and great article on by JJ Charlesworth) many galleries and artists simply aren’t willing to go there.

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