comments are closed on this review, click here for worldwidereview home

Re: east london

From: blp
Category: Art, Life
Date: 25 March 2005


Fully agree. A while back I took a friend from Berlin round the galleries and the only good thing we saw, also at Modern Art, was Bas Jan Ader - thirty year old work, not from London. The scene is unmitigated shit. Most of it's painting and most of that is badly done. Furthermore, this whole city is indeed a disgrace. It is far far too expensive and the quality of life is not nearly good enough to justify it. For one of the wealthiest and most expensive cities in the world, there is a shocking amount of poverty, an atrocious gap between rich and poor and a scandalously bad because underfunded public sector. No wonder the art is so bad. The artists are desperate. Either they must convert their work uninterestingly into tidy little commodities, or shoehorn it into trite, blahly, half-bakedly intellectual funding proposal shape, or do another job that takes up most of their time or a combination of all three. Too often you find yourself out with art types who are in a state of suppressed panic because they don't know how they're going to pay their rent. It stinks and there's not an obvious solution.

I think it's Thatcher's fault. She's the one who created the service economy that dominates this country, meaning that alongside all us regular joes, there's a sizable proportion of the population here in London earning salaries in excess of 100K, a major factor in the insane property price spiral. She's the one who destroyed the alternatives, making it almost impossible to squat via the criminal justice bill and demolishing protection for tenants by abolishing the fair rent commission. Charles Saatchi won Thatcher her first election with the slogan 'Labour isn't working' on a poster depicting a long unemployment queue, after which Thatcher pushed the unemployment figure from 1 million to 3 million while a minority got super rich, ultimately creating the current situation in which artists are so desperate for buyers that they sell to Saatchi under the odds. Obviously, I'm not saying he planned this, but it's worked out a little too nicely for the unscrupulous old adfuck.

Under New Labour, the country continues to be run by complete bastards. This is apparently a nation of masochists.

comments are closed on this review, click here for worldwidereview home