Cathedral of Shit

has taken a well earned GAP year

Posts Tagged ‘The Otolith Group’

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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Posted by cathedralofshit on March 22, 2011

Wednesday 30th March is the day when ACE make their announcements as to this year’s Big Lottery (or perhaps that should be bonfire) of publicly-funded arts organisations. As Sir Alex Ferguson would say it’s certainly “squeaky bum time” (and he wasn’t talking about gay sex here) for all your friends who work in those benighted galleries, magazines and half-baked organisations up and down the country who depend on ACE’s largesse to keep their ramshackle asses going. There are 189 visual arts organisations up and and down the country who have been happily splashing your cash. There’s probably about 20 more new ones who’ve applied so we reckon around 30 of the existing ones will be slashed (don’t ask how we calculated this; it involved a multi-sided Dungeons & Dragons dice and some left-over miaow-miaow).

Just in case Julie Lomax hasn’t got round to picking out names from a hat yet we thought we’d help! Our favourite RFO’s for the chop are:

International Curators Forum – “the open conceptual network” that gets in 50k but really just goes on jolly jaunts
Afterall – the tremendously boring art magazine that serves as an advertising brochure for CSM
Iniva – the tremendously boring and wildly expensive organisation that does culturally diverse stuff ignoring the fact that segregation is over and Mandela is out of jail.
International 3 – a commercial gallery who take part in international art fairs shouldn’t really be getting tax-payers cash
Leicester City Council – like WTF?
Serpentine Gallery – they’ve got enough cash
Spike Island – chippy Bristolians
The Otolith Group – erm, they aren’t really an arts organisation are they?

Anyhow, good luck to all and one! May the best woman win etc!

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The Otolith Snoop

Posted by cathedralofshit on May 6, 2010

Well done to Guardian blogger ‘fears’ who points out that there is something rather odd about Turner Prize nominees The Otolith Group being an Arts Council Regularly Funded Organisation – ie one of those arts organisations like the Serpentine, Tate or Afterall who are guaranteed funding over a three year period before being reviewed and considered for further funding.
Now we all know that individual artists get funding from ACE and then go off and win marvelous prizes, but there does seem to a significant difference between getting a one-off grant for 5k and doing an exhibition and having annual funding that is being raised from 25k in 2009/2010 to 70k in 2010/11. That’s right, £70,000.
CoS’s staffers are too busy leafleting for the Labour Party in Poplar (bizarrely the leaflets feature hunky Ross Kemp) to really think through the ins and outs of it but lets face it: IT’S NOT RIGHT!

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Turnering in our graves.

Posted by cathedralofshit on May 4, 2010

Reaction to this year’s TURNER PRIZE is burning through blogosphere like white lightning. To save your fingers and thumbs CoS presents a live rolling blog of reaction – just like the papers are doing with the election:

11.45am The Guardian’s Jonathan Jones labels two of the nominees (The Otolith Group and Dexter Dalwood) “duds”.
11.46am But one the judges, well-known art expert and author of saucy gay murder mysteries Philip Hensher has rifled back that Dalwood’s paintings are in fact “instantly tantalising” because they have catchy titles.
12.15pm William Hill, bookmaker and art historian has stated Dalwood is “easy on the eye”.
12.25pm Over in deepest Tower Hamlets London’s brightest curator Polly Staple has noted that Susan Phillipsz’s sound installation are “incredibly difficult to photograph.”
12.26pm Meanwhile The Evening Telegraph of Peterborough leads with “A Bristol-born artist has been shortlisted for this year’s Turner Prize.”
12.27pm The Evening Telegraph also notes that Mayor’s Walk in Peterborough has had to be closed after a burst water main.
12.50pm The Nigerian Best Forum talks about evoking “memory and desire” in its breaking news report on the Turner prize.
12.52pm Manish Sood, Labour’s de-selected candidate for Norfolk North-West labels this years Turner Prize “the worst Turner Prize this country has ever known” and demands and Philip Hensher apologise to the Queen.
1.30pm The CoS team can’t stand the excitement anymore and we’re now off to Subway on Mare Street for an “Italian Special”. Find us there if anyone has anything interesting to say about THE TURNER PRIZE in the next 7 months.

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