Cathedral of Shit

has taken a well earned GAP year

Posts Tagged ‘Sarah Thornton’

A Fete Worse Than Death

Posted by cathedralofshit on July 14, 2010

Let’s talk Veronica Wadley.
Rejected last year to become head of the Arts Council by Culture Secretary Ben Bradshaw for the appointment being inappropriate according to Major’s Committee on Standards in Public Life. It had been suggested that Wadley, a great supporter of fop-haired cunt Boris Johnson, was being repaid for her services to the man. No- at the Evening Standard. Not those kind of services.
Anyway, Ms Wadley has indeed wheedled her way into the top job at the ACE (thank you Jeremy Hunt), and we can’t wait to see what’s in store. Amusingly, in the Guardian article of 10 June detailing her appointment, the National Theatre’s Nicholas Hytner said “As editor of the Standard, Veronica Wadley was a fierce advocate for the London theatre. She has remained passionately committed to the arts. She is enthusiastic, perspicacious and informed, and I look forward to working with her.”
Their budget was sadly subsequently cut by £98,699.
This excellent Guardian data blog has all the facts and figures.

What a treat for the arts. With news that Ed Vaizey is launching such schemes as ‘The Big Arts Give’, promising to give an initial £3 million back to arts organisations when there will be rumoured 30-50% cuts, well, that leaves him just £84 million short.

Hang on. DON’T PANIC. Cathedral of Shit has come up with some ideas to help raise a little cash for the Arts Council. That’s right – never let it be said we’re not willing to give help where it’s needed. And so:
How about a tombola? EVERYONE loves a tombola don’t they? We can contribute four cases of Carlsberg Export, some bottles of Tango, a bottle of Limoncello, and I’m sure there’s a case of marrowfat peas in the cupboard behind the fertilizer and the chapati flour that we’d be happy to donate.

Or a raffle? We can donate a couple of works by Tim Noble and Sue Webster we’d be happily rid of, a back catalogue of eight years’ worth of Modern Painters, five slightly soiled copies of Sarah Thornton’s Seven Years In The Art World (soiled I said, not actually read. I think it’s gravy. It smells meaty), and, sod it – we’ll split the case of peas if we have to.

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Posted by cathedralofshit on July 8, 2010

Art and football, have they ever mixed? Remember Johnnie Shand Kydd’s moving photographs of Jay Jopling leaping up in front of a television showing the football? Or Max Wigram’s barking midfield orders during the late-lamented Zoo Art Fair football matches? Or collector Carl Kostyal in a pair of bikini briefs playing beach football in Miami? No, nor can we. Football brings out brilliant attempts at masculinity from all the gayers and effete wimps that make up the male art world, and we’re hoping for this in oodles with Art Review’s football day on Sunday. Ever wanted to see Charles Avery sweat like a stripper? Or Ash Lange pant like a friendly dog? If you have, head over to the five aside place in Shoreditch this Sunday you loser. But why, CoS wants to know, are neither Mark Rappolt or David Terrien, the hunky beefcakes at the helm of Art Review donning a pair of arse-rippling 70s football shorts and taking part? Surely they’re not just there for a day of eating canapes? And why are no women playing? I personally would have paid a fiver to see Sarah Thornton perform a sliding tackle.

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“skin” and “fruit”, are entirely unmemorable unless they combine into something that makes sense, like “fruit salad”

Posted by cathedralofshit on March 12, 2010

It’s not easy being Pulitzer Prize winning writer Sarah Thornton. After the heady success of “Seven Years in Victoria Miro’s private upstairs gallery” (translated into 104 languages and available sale or return £20 for 20 direct from the author), Thornton now pens her thoughts on arts for The Economist. This issue we learn that Sarah has been confused by Armory week. Not only are there lots of fairs, the Armory doesn’t take place in the Armory Building. Instead the ADAA takes place there and the Armory takes place on two cold and badly-laid out piers in the Hudson River. This is news indeed. Then our dear author is confused by ‘The Independent’ which she notes is not easy to google – alas putting a downer on Sarah’s main form of research. By word of mouth, she finds it! Hurrah! She likes the “non-title” of the Whitney Biennial which is called “2010”. However our sage thinks that the ‘New Museum’ might be sunk as the name of the museum is “fatally generic” as her taxi driver can’t find it. But most importantly she is saddened by the title of the New Museum show ‘Skin Fruit’. As a prize-winning author Ms Thornton passes on the observation that “two unconnected nouns, such as “skin” and “fruit” are entirely unmemorable.” Indeed, we say. A bit like “social-anthropologist” and “ligger”. Or “cash” and “I’ll do anything for” (is that a noun, editor?).

See it and weep here.

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Posted by cathedralofshit on December 26, 2009

Christmas is over, and we at CoS are all very well rested and full to bursting with Christmas fayre.

So, final votes in….. here we go.

Most Ridiculous Idea For An Exhibition
And the nominees are:

    And the winner is… DAMIEN HIRST. Of course.

Most Ludicrous Use Of Production Funds
The nominees:

    And the winner iiiiiis – GORMLEY. Need we explain?

Most Tiresome Self-Promoter
No nominees, just…..

    HANNAH BARRY. It just shows what you can do with a premium PR background.

Best Art Blog


Winner: ANITA. We can never compete with such a high profile line up; Madonna, Stormin’ Norman Rosenthal, Nick Serota, Jon Bon Jovi, err, Graham Hudson, David Blandy and Max Wigram. So the extremes of the art celebrity scale then.

Here’s some reminders of her brilliance for your viewing pleasure.

The “Really? Is That Actually Good?! You Rate That? Huh.” Award to An Artist


Winner? All of them, in their own special way.

Moodiest Gallerist


    Interesting, No women in there. Can you think of any moody women gallerists? Answers on a postcard (or comment, whichever you prefer). Oh, these lot, who’s won you say? God I’m bored of this. They can all win, miserable bastards.

and finally, the Cathedral Of Shit Award for the Person We’d Most Like To Just Change Career or Disappear Entirely As They Don’t Even Serve Us As An Object Of Mockery.


Special Mention for 2009 goes to SARAH THORNTON. For being special and talented.

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The Colonel

Posted by cathedralofshit on December 13, 2009

That self-appointed ‘insider’s insider’ Josh Baer is at it again in his invaluable round-robin ‘The Baer Faxt’. After some interminable dirgeful crap masking as market-analysis, Baer reveals to his stunned audience: “I gave a talk last week on “Ten Things You Should Know About Buying Art.””. He then gives his lucky lucky readers a short summary of this prize-winning lecture which includes his useful point: “Buying Art is like buying a car – you lose value the first mile”. Which makes us think that Josh Baer isn’t really Josh Baer, the jovially rotund Colonel Sanders figure so lavishly illustrated in Sarah Thornton’s award-winning novel “Art: My Friends and Me” BUT in fact Swiss Tony, the comedy figure from The Fast Show.
Firstly remember Swiss Tony’s advice: “Washing a car, is very much like making love to a beautiful woman. You’ve got to caress the bodywork. Breathe softly and gently. And give it every inch of your loving attention. And make sure you’ve got a nice wet sponge.” Secondly, look at the three photographs carefully and think again art lover!

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Baer faced-cheek

Posted by cathedralofshit on November 11, 2009

Is it just us being ungenerous and mean-spirited or does anyone else out there think that Josh Baer’s ‘Baerfaxt’ manages to strike the critical nexus of managing to be boring, fawning to collectors and dealers, and simultaneously self-serving all at the same time? This week’s issue features the sad deaths of some art collectors (we say, gun the fuckers down!), the happy births of some art progeny (no doubt to inherit mummy’s gallery in 20 years and run it into the ground) and a plug for an upcoming recommended art talk in Miami: ““Ten Things you should know about buying art,” by Josh Baer at Art Basel Miami Beach on Dec 5″. So that would be the Josh Baer who writes the email circular that”s erm, named after himself? Ah, sweet. Still at least he features heavily in Cathedral of Shit’s favourite art book of all time, Sarah Thornton’s ‘Seven Days About Me and My Chums in the Artworld’ so he can’t be all bad! Baerfuxt we say! 

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Thornton’s Valuable Insights Mk II

Posted by cathedralofshit on October 8, 2009

In the late 1970s Art & Language, in an initially puzzling move, seemingly turned away from conceptual art and towards painting. The late, great Charles Harrison has analyzed this shift: “With the benefit of hindsight, we might say that the problem was how to recover a kind of complexity and depth in art that could somehow live alongside the shallowness, artificiality and travesty which artistic culture is also composed.”
Fast forward thirty years and dear Damien Hirst is ready to unveil his return to painting with his imaginatively titled collection, ‘The Blue Paintings’. Hirst offers his in-depth reasoning: “I’ve always loved the idea of being a painter….they seem they can work in this market. Who knows?” And as Art & Language had Harrison to articulate the many debates around the status of Modernism and Conceptual Art, we are blessed with the Cathedral of Shit’s most-loved writer, Sarah Thornton. Our 21st century Vasari notes: “Hirst is gloriously paradoxical, not least because he is testing the limits of what an artist can be by simply making his own paintings in an iconic/ironic shed.” Brilliant stuff Professor Thornton, what can we expect next? A fawningly sycophantic yet simultaneously self-glorifying feature in the Sunday Times talking about hanging with Hirst in his country-pad in the romantic drizzle? Oh, too late.

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5 Long Long Years in the Art World

Posted by cathedralofshit on September 24, 2009

By way of contrast to Muir’s seat-of-the-pants page-turner Sarah Thornton’s unmissable tome ‘Seven Days in the Art World’  has inexplicably garnered praise from far and wide (well at least it has according to the author’s website, come on Gregor, watch and learn, I think is still free!). The wondrous volume of Professor Thornton’s reflections is translated into all sorts of European languages. And private view go-ers around the world, and in particular those who visited Victoria Miro Gallery from around 2003 onwards will remember with fond memories the 5 long years we had to painfully witness Thornton schlep her way around her research subjects wheedling invitations to supper or at least a free drink in that jolly authentic pub just off Wharf Road. Often the delightful Ms Thornton would regale the good art folk at positively interminable length about her academic prowess as a sociologist (one book published in 1995 on Club Cultures which lead to Vogue describing her as a “renowned sociologist” 13 years later). We all learnt she almost once wrote a book on brand planning but decided against it and wrote an article instead. Marvellous! What next can we expect from world-renowned Dr Thornton – perhaps a meticulously researched book in 2014 revealing the dining habits of great collectors of the 21st century? I’m going to pre-order my copy from ‘Discount Books’ on Brewer Street right now.

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