Arts & Elbows

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

Monday, May 22, 2006

Last Chance For Art?

Parambulating and snapping shots is a regular part of my humble existance especially as the town is quiet and business slow as the sunny mid-week photo above illustrates. My point was to capture a few of the latest Artangel banners in context with their surroundings, there's little use to a photo of a photo without a touch of perspective after all.
Having eventually snapped a few worth taking a voice made itself audible with the mantra "English person, English person." It was a local geezer who'd just picked up some pilau rice to add to his leftover Chinese take-away from the night before who couldn't contain his desire for someone to take a photograph of him.

His lack of satisfaction with the Artangel images was clear although unspoken, and reflects the growing malaise amongst locals for arty projects as a whole. There's little relevence in any of them for most, not even an opportunity to board the gravy train to Empire-Building upon Sea which many have become.
This neo-negative Daily Mail style view is founded on years of below par activities enjoying above par funding, and pre-dates Artangel's "Margate Exodus" project. Anyone applying this jaded view to the "Exodus" is three things; wrong, wrong and wrong.
It's a pity this latest project didn't come along years ago, we could have done with it to win the aortas and synapses of the majority over towards arts regeneration. Instead I fear it may well be a visit to the last chance saloon bar with a very real chance that we, the public, might be the ones to get it all wrong this time.
The premise of "Exodus" is simple, a well respected London art gang give our Island the chance to star in a modern filmic interpretation of a Biblical tale. They really do want us all to get involved, to enjoy that involvement, and they don't want us to pay a penny for it. After all which has wandered before cheaply dressed as involving the public, or endlessly megaphoning public interest while filling private pockets it's shocking to hear someone say it and mean it, but mean it they do.
Endeavouring to catch them out, trick some hidden agenda into view and played devil's advocate to everything they've told me for a whole year, probably convincing them that I suffer from a rare bipolar narkyness aggravated by sea air.
It turns out they're what we wanted all along, a public art event which means what it says and says what it means. If it works it will be the single most important development in attracting attention to our meagre efforts at regeneration via art. However if we allow it to fail it will likely mean the end of "arts as regen", not in some dramatic climax involving pyrotechnical fireballs but in a drawn out starvation of artistic souls at great cost with tight fake smiles from those responsible, a.k.a. things staying very much the same.

5 Comments:

Blogger tony flaig said...

I must get out more, well I do go out but mainly to and from work which is never in Margate. Mostly London and beyound. Take the photo of photos as this, presumably will be a rare record of something thought provoking.

I did see a couple of these photos the other week around the winter gardens. They struck me as odd but maybe it was the empty location a deserted winter gardens bit unsettling. I'll have to get off the flaig backside and walk around margate now. damn

10:41 PM  
Blogger Artyblartfast said...

I think they are a trifle odd, their deliberate starkness is part of it. Consider getting involved with the project if you have the time, it's the easiest way for us to get our handsome forms onto channel four.

10:52 PM  
Blogger Snailspace said...

Tell it to the poor bugger who was run over by a motorist trying to read the caption

11:00 PM  
Blogger tony flaig said...

Pubicity on channel 4, I ticked the box requesting complete anonimity, just on that subject whenever I post to a blog, my comment has a picture of a older fatter me, does this just show on my Pc or does it accompany the comment if so how do I get rid of it.

11:03 PM  
Blogger Artyblartfast said...

Snailspace: Missed that, share more details?
Tony: We can all see it, I think it's set in your profile, so whenever you post it's there. Take it out of your profile and it'd disappear.

11:54 PM  

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