I have just had the good fortune/misfortune to catch the Culture Show take on The R.A. Summer Show. Up to now I have been unmoved by the Summer Show. I have never submitted. I have been once and it seems pretty similar every year. Sadly instead of being happy with being the the festival of British ordinariness beloved by Telegraph and Daily Mail readers this year in keeping with its new found edge….Perry, Landy and Hume are Ra’ers we have a special room of Michael Craig Martin’s ‘Fate’ and accompanied by his ex students…a kind of flatulent Reynolds and his school for the digital age. It is a triumph, on screen viewing, of corporate, pseudo pop-art a la Goldsmiths silliness. This is the triumph of the mediocre. Nothing I could see in the room (apart from Cornelia Parker) was either a good example of the artist’s oeuvre and in some cases was indeed , and let us not mince words, shite……arrogant, tedious shite.
It is meant to be a snapshot of the Great in Britart and it doesn’t even get past dull. The brightest thing in the room appeared to be Emin’s risible neon scrawl. There was a compulsory Deacon, Kapoor and Wilding to fill floor space and the walls…oh dear….oh fucking dear…… and I don’t mean bright intellectually.
Because this is all set up to boost not only Craig-Martin’s unassailability as art-guru to the nation but also his lifelong project to foist undemanding crap on us from Goldsmiths we are supposed to buy into it. I do not and I do not on a scale that is off the dial. One conceptual acorn in a bottle and we get years of bad computer assisted pop art that makes this particular critic yearn for an end to the sixties in the sixties. I suffered a few of his computer aided works in the eighties and thought they tedious machine made Caulfields then..they haven’t got better just brasher and more pretentious..FATE..yes folks that’s a heavy word. WOW factor ten.
This is the fag end of the real non-new media art world….it has not moved on since the Chelsea Arts Club heyday and getting pissed at the Groucho Club. Terminally in aesthetic arrears we are supposed to take seriously possibly another ‘work’ that the worst piece of Barnum Hokum disguised as art yet. Landy’s Cezanne copy is so bereft of talent, ideas and surely only survives as a pisstake..or is this serious…Feels to me like Fawlty Towers of the artworld? Or is this a postmodern joke on all of us..I am not laughing.
So this is what we poor underlings out in the shires have to aspire to….fucks sake I seen better art here in nottingham and consitently good art not this lazy, arrogant beached whale art we see here. I suppose my R.A. membership will be on hold now – not that I ever took it that seriously. A corporate whore flogging a mass democratic show that is nothing of the sort is a smokescreen for an intelligentsia in the artworld that long lost artistic credibility and rigour.
The best art in Britain is now isolated, ignored and all but extinguished by the new ‘economic reality’ but it still has a pulse….this show, especially the Martin room is just the worms of industry feeding on the beached whale corpse of Britart. It time to rest the compass and explore other territory for this will pretty soon smell as rank as it looks….
Oh but come now Belcher you cannot be serious these people are worthy of our adulation…….our respect and rightly so….
No in a word they are not…individuals can hold their head high..Hockney continues to surprise and extend..he has not grown lazy…..
Wilding probably deserved the prize but has also waited too long for it….Parker should have won it. Alastair Sooke showed a keen intelligence and I felt came as close as he dared to dismissing the whole sad farrago…i.e. as far as Telegraph readers and BBC editors would let him. His mother could actually paint too…
The only surprise there no shite Hirst …but then again Koons will always do when one wants something effortless, meaningless and covered in money…….bit like The Royal Academy itself.
Who would have thought that Goldsmiths and the R.A. were made for each other but then so were moneylenders and temples…
p.s. the image above is a stock Telegraph image which attempting to sell the image of the show as young and vibrant…bit like the Telegraph readership then or old Martin himself:-) Thank god Fate takes us all some day I couldn’t stand another twenty years of this….