Arts & Elbows

A catalogue of commentary on events in Thanet and occassionally the rest of the world.

Monday, April 10, 2006

He sells seaforts off the seashore.

The world of contemporary art can be secretive not least when it comes to it's use of public funds. This makes it difficult for us, the people, to judge whether we're getting value for money, reduces accountability to zero and assists in tarring all modern artists as parasites living rather well from our taxes. Sometimes there's a glimpse of the cash cost, despite the unwillingness of those involved to openly discuss the filthy subject of money.
One such glimpsed project is Stephen Turner's "Seafort", for which the artist lived alone on the old world war two seaforts off the north Kent coast for roughly six weeks in July, August and September of last year. The funding came from three sources; Canterbury City Council (£2,500), Margate-based Creative Partnerships (£48,000) and Arts Council England (£43,000), giving a healthy total of £93,000 - approximately £15,500 a week.
Readers can judge for themselves if this was worth it by looking at www.seafort.org, but note there's no sign of the promised updates to the site nor the related book which was to be published in January of this year. Similarily the project discussion forum has, like the seaforts themselves, been abandoned.

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