Arts & Elbows

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

Sunday, September 24, 2006

We've got to get out of this place

The Margate Exodus draws near, and despite the best efforts of a dedicated few is tending to reveal more a lack of community and a wasteland of regeneration via the arts. This won't slow the production an iota but is likely to give London folks a terrine full of horror tales very likely to make them look elsewhere for future projects.
The G.P's on the island have been rubbing their hands with glee at the profits they've managed to wrangle from the licences needed for the eighty plus extras who are under sixteen. For each needs to have parental consent, school consent and a letter from their doctor saying they're fit enough. To make life easier for hard pressed doctors Artangel prepared forms which could be filled in by parents and simply signed by the docs. Seeing an opportunity for some quick cash the doctors have refused to sign them insisting on writing letters, often just a single sentence, and charging anything from £15-£45 for each one.

Michael Morris, the man behind the whole project , has started getting emails, faxes and letters from concerned councillors because the project features a large burning structure of a man. Despite this having been a part of the plan all along the councillors seem to not talk amongst themselves nor to the council and have suddenly started complaining about it.
It's not just each other they don't talk to, Margate's greatest writer Iain Aitch was commissioned to write a piece for the Arts section of the Guardian about the project. Lots of interested parties were happy to talk to him about it with two worrying exceptions; the first being Kent County Council who responded politely to his press enquiry with a "We don't want to comment." and the not so polite response from Thanet District Council which was based on the simple press office tactic of not bothering to return the call.
There was a brief rumour that the old art rag "NeatNeatNeat" might be resurrected for a special Exodus edition, and after months of wrangling a fee was agreed only for the plug to be pulled within days when someone from head office phoned the folk behind it to say "We really can't afford it, would you do it for free?"

4 Comments:

Anonymous Iain said...

Hi Philip
Good to see a slew of intresting posts. Wish I had made the Neville Staples gig.
Just to get things right: I didn't ask KCC about Exodus, they simply refused to talk to me about Turner. TDC refused at both fences, as it were. Guardian article is in tomorrow (Tuesday).

12:51 PM  
Blogger Artyblartfast said...

Thanks for the clarification.

7:20 PM  
Anonymous Adrian said...

Shame about 'Neat Neat Neat'. I was looking forward to that veritable organ being wipped out and waved around again. Someday perhaps.
Artangel have tried it on with a few people and it's their CV's that will benefit the most. More glorified babysitting in the name of art intervention/penetration. They actually use this type of powerlanguage.

6:08 PM  
Anonymous Matt said...

No wonder Jack Cohen quit.

9:15 AM  

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