Criptic Critic Conscience and Known for it

Friday, October 24, 2014

towards the need to deconstruct the metaphor "bite the hand that feeds" as the foundations of Democratic Transparency, presently missing.

Is anyone else interested about wondering what is driving the plethora of public art commissions?, residencies? patronage per se, community arts?, festivals? trails? At any one time there appears to hundreds of new ones every day around the
  • Karl Geiringer The exquisite art of corporate philanthropy : article by Arundhati Roy
    • Barry Thomas indeed... one works hard to repel one's cynicism
    • Barry Thomas Yep... Marx... Capitalism, he said, “has conjured up such gigantic means of production and of exchange, that it is like the sorcerer who is no longer able to control the powers of the nether world whom he has called up by his spells”.
    • Barry Thomas and... Meanwhile in Chhattisgarh, the Salwa Judum burned, raped and murdered its way through hundreds of forest villages, evacuating 600 villages, forcing 50,000 people to come out into police camps and 3,50,000 people to flee. The chief minister announced that those who did not come out of the forests would be considered to be ‘Maoist terrorists’. In this way, in parts of modern India, ploughing fields and sowing seed came to be defined as terrorist activity. Eventually, the Salwa Judum’s atrocities only succeeded in strengthening the resistance and swelling the ranks of the Maoist guerrilla army. In 2009, the government announced what it called Operation Green Hunt. Two lakh paramilitary troops were deployed across Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Jharkhand and West Bengal.
    • Wells Tao
  • Barry Thomas and... more from Arundhati Roy ..."Of late, the main mining conglomerates have embraced the Arts—film, art installations and the rush of literary festivals that have replaced the ’90s obsession with beauty contests. Vedanta, currently mining the heart out of the homelands of the ancient Dongria Kondh tribe for bauxite, is sponsoring a ‘Creating Happiness’ film competition for young film students whom they have commissioned to make films on sustainable development. Vedanta’s tagline is ‘Mining Happiness’. The Jindal Group brings out a contemporary art magazine and supports some of India’s major artists (who naturally work with stainless steel). Essar was the principal sponsor of the Tehelka Newsweek Think Fest that promised “high-octane debates” by the foremost thinkers from around the world, which included major writers, activists and even the architect Frank Gehry
  • Barry Thomas Like all good Imperialists, the Philanthropoids set themselves the task of creating and training an international cadre that believed that Capitalism, and by extension the hegemony of the United States, was in their own self-interest. And who would therefore help to administer the Global Corporate Government in the ways native elites had always served colonialism. So began the foundations’ foray into education and the arts, which would become their third sphere of influence, after foreign and domestic economic policy. They spent (and continue to spend) millions of dollars on academic institutions and pedagogy.
  • Anthony Gielingh Art was used by renniasance bankers in Italy as a way to showcase their stature. Hard to imagine a rennaisance without the tastes of the church and the bankers anxious to secularize usuary away from Europen Jewry and its classification as a sin. Art and money are historical bedfellows and cheers to the Borgias Popes etc for the art they gave us
    • Barry Thomas yeah na.... I guess what that means is that the likes of mona lisa, david, sistine chapel et al.... while they attempt to say 'beauty', 'wisdom', creation - what they actually say is - this is the oligarchy...
    • Jean E Loomis I knew this is theory but during a visit to Venice a few months ago It all became very clear - I felt physically sick after viewing one more gigantic room filled with gold and huge paintings glorifying the patron.
    • Barry Thomas On the one hand it questions the very fact and core nature of patronage nay? The distancing /long arm of the use of the means of exchange to deliver art (that one cannot make oneself) [or anything for that matter] -is a symbol of community, specialization, the market... at work... it's the cornerstone of civilization, the fuel. I pay you, you work, we are all happy? Right? but then I wholeheartedly agree - there is a deep disgust one feels in the face of this display of power/wealth... I fear art has almost always and will likely forever create itself with a blind eye to the hand that feeds and the real expectations (costs) in those contracts.

      Where push comes to shove here is in the example of when an artist chooses to focus on a given subject... that is at odds with (or very central to) discussing, displaying the power structures themselves... that's when the patron gets creative and pulls out their club-like brushes to clobber the artist... This is the rub nay? Nice, pretty, beautiful art is all very well but like Goya's Black Etchings... it can speak truth to power and should.
    • Anthony Gielingh Agreed doing the gallery rounds in Europe and what a relief when you hit the moderns. Goya, an awful court painter but brillant dead chickens, plates of fish etc and so on into the 20 th century for some good art before a puke at a Schnabels
    • Anthony Gielingh Great art of the past has managed to use the trappings and fashions of the day to woo the patrons and subversively make its point. Caravagio? Bosch!
    • Barry Thomas My understanding is Goya decreed that these remain hidden for 35 years following his death... to ensure he (and his family) would not fall foul of his patron who is implicated in the images of war. The Patron exposed - an early version of 'the world is watching' TV coverage of Vietnam war.
    • Anthony Gielingh The great war between the Spanish and the French dueling in etchings as a war between the rational and the spiritual and best you dont bite the hand that feeds
    • Barry Thomas One must fight the hand that bleeds lolalot
    • Anthony Gielingh Ha but pretend your bandaging it while sucking it dry
    • Wells Tao take your hand out of my mouth
      Like · 1 · 15 mins
    • Barry Thomas Great image Wells Tao...
    • Wells Tao
  • Kimbra Taylor Like most human relationships past and present the one between patron and artist is co dependent. Whilst our agenda is indulgent self fulfilment nothing much will change. Fortunately I can still marvel at the Mona Lisa as an object of great beauty.
    • Barry Thomas and so... thousands of artist residencies, public 'art' projects, site specific ephemera means??? a deeper desire for collective metaphor/myth? Art being wrangled into a feel good socialism? Art being used by corporates to sell more crapola and crapola ideas and ideals? What say you Derek Cowie?
    • Wells Tao
  • Derek Cowie 'Then there’s the position that ‘dirty’ money can sometimes produce
    a great artwork, a great project that rises above the dirt, and that
    this validates it. Only very rarely can an artist take the money and

    through the brilliance of the artwork itself rise above the source. Or,
    question, defeat or undermine the source. '
    This is from 'Take the Money and Run' written by Jane Trowell. She publishes through . The conversation above seems to me to have plenty of observations, insights and a strange overview of how it is. Where is the strategy the plan now to make change. Ideas are easy but implementing or acting on an idea is the hard part. I'm talking about intellectual corporate fracking and how to do it.
  • Bridget Louise Wellwood isn't just because there's no real jobs, only residencies
    • Barry Thomas true - long gone are the days we employed ourselves full time on TEP... like a proper society would do for all... in the absence of jobs a living wage is the way forward
    • Wells Tao every one is on a temporary contract.
    • Wells Tao
  • Derek Cowie This discussion is actually about income. An artists income and more importantly status. 'I have sales, a residency a scheme and or patronage therefore I, my work has meaning and I have standing' and that standing is given. As far as I can see this buys into and reinforces the very problem. My interest 'The List', is about empowering artists. The rich and powerful acquire anything they want as easily as you and I look at an object. The practice of an artist I think, at its best, is separate, outside and actually untouchable. Joseph Beuys said " Earn a living for eight hours, sleep for eight hours and propagandise for eight hours." No one owes you anything and dependency on funding, especially when those funds are of dubious origin and the motive 'to' fund has an agenda beyond an artwork renders an artist complicit.
    • Barry Thomas Finally we see Derek ... brilliant words and I utterly agree... where/ how do we assist with The List oh I have just had a pop up tell me... is this it??? will go look. For many many years from 78's artist's co-op through the establishment of Art Base in Shelly Bay I have been involved in collective art/artists actions... it's an itch in perpetuity. Absolutely agree with your point... paid for art mean complicity in and around those terms (mostly never spoken about) but which actually silence, control and subvert the power of art and thinkers to soar.
    • Wells Tao As an artists I am often very greedy. I want a lot of money for my creation. To counter this I try to sell cheep works, but that does not lessen my greed. All struggling gurilla camps are starved for supplies..
      Like · 1 · 8 mins
    • Wells Tao
  • Derek Cowie From 22 October 2014, any party seeking to include a work by Derek Cowie in a collection, whether that collection is privately or publicly funded, must submit to an application process.
    This is a key part of 'The List'. Who are they? Why do they want it? Why should they 'select', or not? Funding? Theirs? is obvious, and critique is another area we are looking at controlling.
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · 23 hrs
    • Barry Thomas Ok yes I read this but not sure why it is called "the list" is it the list of good/bad art buyers/ patrons/sponsors? or good/bad artists? If it's the latter I would suggest adding items like - in what way's does said new 'owner' of the work aim to share profits in any subsequent re-sales (this with the artist) and how does the new owner intend archiving the work and other documentation around it?
    • Derek Cowie Resale is also something we have talked about. David Hockney is very outspoken about this. Again this can probably be addressed as 'part of the work' rather than falling to the market to determine
      Unlike · 1 · 23 hrs
    • Wells Tao
  • Derek Cowie It started as a discussion between myself and my friend and lawyer Stephen Dudding. Our first interest in this is environmental and the list will be made up of companies who are engaged in suspect practice and who patronise the arts. Now however the project has grown and increasingly there are many aspects to this. It is definitely growing.I want to turn the entire process on its head. Art is not product. You cant just come by this and assume its place, for whatever reason can be part of your life. The intellectual 'halo' of a hand made pot, suit, painting and all the intentions that go into a enterprise are continually being hijacked and subverted by institutions and individuals whose aims are placed above the work and the intentions of the maker simply because of wealth. In the case of curators of public collections, that wealth is the taxpayers and yet these individuals are the arbiters of taste.
    Unlike · Reply · 2 · 23 hrs
  • Derek Cowie Its a list of the unsuitable, noxious, greedy lying bastards. Defamation is going to be a problem but if you choose one green over another or this line rather than that then it follows, these people not those is the positive discrimination one exercises at every turn.
    Unlike · Reply · 2 · 22 hrs
    • Barry Thomas So the List is a facebook page - where is the actual list of unsavouries?
    • Barry Thomas Oh and do you know about Terry Handscombe's lists of c. 97? lots of similarities
      Unlike · 1 · 22 hrs
    • Derek Cowie Terence was not banning and controlling. List is the only similarity there. The actual list is with my lawyer of course and is growing. Go back to a message I sent you earlier (week or so) re. Todd Energy
      Unlike · 2 · 22 hrs
    • Barry Thomas I once visited an old art school buddy (thankfully our backgrounds and art now mean we are no longer 'in touch') who went to school with one of the Todds... visited at the Todd, Coromandel, beachside, new, holiday pad... The small section cost over a mill (back in 2005 or so) and they built this thing there... made me quite ill - artless I recall, but overflowing with money money money... these squillionaire holpads are only occupied 10% of the year... are virtually gated and act to silo both themselves IN and us OUT... occupy Matarangi as art???
    • Barry Thomas I must also say - Terry's lists are - Deeply controversial, offensive, relationship severing, a direct threat to the oligaARTy, hilarious, most inspiring. "Those who I would and would not bed to get ahead in NZ art" "Those in NZ art whose plastic surgery works/fails" etcy etcy In other words they attest to the same momentum we are in agreement about... an oligARTocracy of small numer, that is wealth obsessed, controlling, siloing, and hellbent on the maintenance of the status quo for it's own selfish, greed centred position - rather than the tenets of art... freedom of expression, speech and truths.
      Unlike · 1 · 21 hrs · Edited
    • Wells Tao
  • Derek Cowie Occupying actual physical property is not my bag. Its relegated to the mad left now. For me anyway. However oil money and art? There is a thing called 'The Todd Gallery' in auckland and a year ago one of the Todds opened a gallery n Courtenay Place. The only thing Im saying about them now is that the Todd fortune came from OIL
    Unlike · Reply · 2 · 20 hrs
    • Hide 15 Replies
    • Barry Thomas Which gallery did they open in Courtenay PLace???
    • Derek Cowie Checking that out. As you head toward Mt. Vic. it was half way along on left upstairs
    • Barry Thomas ???

      30upstairs is a new exhibition space...
    • Derek Cowie Thats it
    • Barry Thomas Well that's interesting I just rang them and although there is nothing on the website about who started it and or who owns it I was just told the hidden controller/owner/founder is one Malcolm Brow (and spouse?) collector bla bla
    • Derek Cowie Beverly Brow is John Todds sister. Be careful. I am taking guidence from my lawyer with all of this and we cant speak for any thing you say or write. The great thing about the law and the internet is that everything gets dated and logged as you go along.
      Like · 1 · 20 hrs
    • Barry Thomas Ah... now I see the picture... might be time for some oil art down town then lolalot
    • Derek Cowie Slowly slowly. something is falling gently into place
      Like · 1 · 20 hrs
    • Barry Thomas no rush... I love how the oligARTy hides behind edifices, hoardings, facades... and this is a great example... nowhere on that gallery's website does it say who and whose money is driving it... deeply deceitful IMHO
      Unlike · 1 · 19 hrs
    • Derek Cowie Incredibly exciting. To approach these issues, their practice throught business is impossible. Its art and we are artists and through that we get to go first to whereever we want
      Unlike · 1 · 19 hrs
    • Barry Thomas Infact - they hide behind the fearlessness of art and artists... then clink a glass or two as they pat themselves on the back (all very mutual) for being the greatest patrons... which of course takes me back to my "Dance of the pocket pissers" (read - men and women in suits)
      Unlike · 1 · 19 hrs
    • Marian Evans You might want to broaden your definition of 'public art' as you pursue this inquiry. #thatisall
      Unlike · 2 · 19 hrs
    • Barry Thomas Can you clarify Marian Evans? show biz? Film industry... all industry???
    • Barry Thomas Precisely why we are having this discussion I would have thought. DMs??? domains? And which good things have you taken for granted? or do you mean taken at face (facade) value?
    • Barry Thomas Surely all art is public... in so many respects it's always about the relation between an artist and an audience/viewer ala Duchamp... it's a dialogue. And do you mean you support much public art infrastructure and power here in NZ vs other cultures?
    • Wells Tao
  • Barry Thomas Hey Wells Tao... come and play
  • Ben McFadgen Death, i.e. the perceived threat of imminent mortality by a generation and the desire to leave a legacy that fulfils their all consuming need for subjective materialism...
    Like · Reply · 1 · 18 hrs
    • Barry Thomas Wo Ben... so you are saying our (baby boomer) generation? the artists? the patrons? the 1% oligARTs?
    • Ben McFadgen Babyboomers mate, large portion of the population... its a numbers game....
    • Barry Thomas I feel materially implicated eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek
    • Barry Thomas The same could be said for the babyboomer artists Ben McFadgen but one would hope they/we have somewhat more helpful motives than pure legacy for legacy's sake
    • Ben McFadgen Not the artists Barry, they have already contributed ...are continuing to contribute, but now with the benefit of wisdom that only comes with maturation. They continue to influence other generations. I'm thinking of the less creative finance and corporate lizards who, as the sun sets on their mortal coils, have just realised that they have no creative legacy. That they have spent their years worshipping an abstraction that, when they are gone, dissipates like smoke. They feel the need to leave something meaningful, And the only means they know how is to fund someone else to do it. I reckon it happens with every generation, to a degree. It is just in this case that the numbers and the sociological profile match so it is more visible.

      Noting that this is just a hypothesis. Of course.
      Unlike · 1 · 11 hrs · Edited

      • Wells Tao towards the need to deconstruct the metaphor "bite the hand that feeds" as the foundations of Democratic Transparency, presently missing.
        • Barry Thomas brilliant --- will think into this... well I have ages ago with the idea fight the hand that bleeds but will dig deeper - on the face of it - it's about weak strong.... altruism vs selfishness... hunger vs plenty...power over and receipt of core need... food
        • Wells Tao
      • Wells Tao the call, asking that University Artists, Michael Parekowhai, Peter Robinson,, Maddie Leech, etc all who receive public funding to make art, and are legally required to "accept a role" as critics and consciences of society, that they have stupendously avoided doing so. By not actively promoting their public institution sponsorship. That the public don't know that they pay millions of dollars for these artists, chosen as a kind of eliete, to defend, what, the principles of democarcy? against what? Corporate greed, consumersim? I don't know.. but the fact that this debate never happens. Though we as the public have paid for the last 25 years for it to happen. Makes me take another look at these artists, and well, I shake my head.

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