Thursday, June 18, 2009

National Art Hate Week

It was probably only a matter of time before "the artist sometimes known as Billy Childish" surfaced again to rail against the crumbling bricks-and-mortar of Britain's art establishment. One of the founders of an informal movement known as Stuckism – a name bestowed by Childish's former lover, Tracey Emin, who told him his art was "stuck. Stuck, stuck." – the 40-year-old Childish (real name Steven John Hamper) has since forged a grudging art world respect as a cultural provocateur through a series of eccentric identities and a relentless output of paintings and prints, self-published books, music CDs, as well as tours with a handful of cult bands (I'm a big fan of The Buff Medways) and the production of a range of neo-Victorian prison merchandise.
Now, in the guise of The British Art Resistance – in association with the L-13 Light Industrial Workshop and Private Ladies and Gentlemen’s Club for Art, Leisure and the Disruptive Betterment of Culture, a new art space in Clerkenwell, London, that features the works of British artists Harry Adams, James Cauty, Jamie Reid, Geraldine Swayne, A.S. Waghorne and of course, Childish – he is mounting National Art Hate Week.
As the B.A.R.'s brief manifesto explains: "National Art Hate Week has been instigated for the disruptive betterment of culture.
"It is a call for direct action against the mass acceptance of art, the grip of control over culture as a tool for mediated emotion, market lead, non-critical homogeny and boring popularism.
"National Art Hate Week presents a unified front of non-unified creative individuals against all that is despicable and loved by the people.
"We oppose the deliberate socio-economic strategy to make us all complicit in our own dumbness. We oppose the affront of state endorsed auto-cryptic balderdash made by the few.
"We oppose the chosen-few ruffians who have been polished up and elevated for our meagre consumption. All art is tainted. We oppose all art.
"National Art Hate Week takes the swastika hung on the gallows as its symbol of resistance. During National Art Hate Week the good citizens of Albion are encouraged to visit the art institutions of the land and silently seeth.
"If a child offers you a painting during National Art Hate Week you are to turn away in disgust."
What more can I say except that we should all enlist as propagandists. It begins July 13th. For further information, visit the Art Hate Week site.

1 comment:

Mona said...

Jamie Reid and Jimmy Cauty (who before the KLF had made that bloody 'Lord of the Rings' poster that was everywhere in UK in late 70's but i suspecy you knew that. hope yr well and it's bloody cold down here isn't it?
regards/