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The Artist is Dead R.I.P.

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The most inflammatory, politically woke Turner Prize shortlist so far has been announced. It signals not only the death of the individual artist but, in time, the end of our great art institutions.

The Tate, Great Britain’s state-funded national museum of art announced the triumph of left-wing collectives over individual artists in the Turner Prize 2021 shortlist.

For years, left-wing activist curators have been undermining the principle that truly great art is made by exceptional individuals; the Impressionists, van Gogh, Leonardo da Vinci, Salvador Dali, Rembrandt and suchlike.

This week has seen the coup de grâce: Marxist ‘social justice’ activists have captured Britain’s premier art prize, ensuring that a political collective must win the prize when the winner is announced on December 1. 

The shortlisted groups for the once-great prize are a who’s who of radical leftie groups: Array Collective, Black Obsidian Sound System (B.O.S.S.), Cooking Sections, Gentle/Radical and Project Art Works.

Array are Belfast-based political campaigners, Gentle/Radical are ‘community workers’ from Cardiff, Project Art Works ‘explore’ art for and by neuro-minorities. Cooking Sections is a London-based duo examining the systems that organise the world through food,’  and finally, ‘formed by and for QTIBPOC (Queer, Trans and Intersex Black and People of Colour), B.O.S.S. challenges the dominant norms of sound-system culture across the African diaspora through club nights, art installations, technical workshops and creative commissions.’ Tellingly, no single participant in these collectives is named in the press release. 

The Turner Prize, named after painter J. M. W. Turner was founded in 1984 in order to stimulate interest in contemporary art. In its early years, it succeeded in attracting publicity and creating genuine debate. Recently, it has stumbled into a left-wing ambush. Individuals ~ well groups now can tap into massive government funding for their activist campaigns.

The art it has chosen to laud has been incompetent, patronising, absurd and, worst of all, forgettable. The Turner Prize is hurtling towards irrelevance, as contemporary art is now in galleries nationwide and available on the internet.   

The 2021 shortlist is the latest sputtering after a string of serious failures. The 2019 prize was shared by four nominees when they refused to accept the idea of hierarchy in art. It effectively undermined the whole idea of a prize for contemporary art when the nominees are sympathetic to the leftist opposition to the idea of exceptional accomplishment. The 2020 prize was cancelled after the UK-wide government-imposed lockdown due to Covid-19. Instead, significant tax-funded grants were handed out to numerous woke artists and collectives.

The merit of the 2021 shortlist is that it makes explicit the fact that arts venues are run by activists who no longer feel interested in supporting real art or artists. Art has no place in art galleries, progressive curators have declared. No one seems prepared to oppose them.

This will not be the first time the Turner Prize will have been won by a collective. The 2015 prize was awarded to Assemble. Assemble works on community architecture projects, whilst retaining a ‘democratic and co-operative working method that enables built, social and research-based work at a variety of scales.’ They refuse to name individual members. The collective’s persistence makes its anonymous workers irrelevant and easily replaceable.

Collectives are a means to access tax funded income that should be spent on actual art; post-modernism is the Trojan Horse that allows the untalented opportunists into the country’s most prestigious museums. 

Art departments have been encouraging ‘artivism’ for years and art curation has been promoted as a viable route for social justice ~ and government funding.

Now these graduates have positions of influence in the UK’s taxpayer-funded venues, they are becoming bolder because the weak Conservative government fails to oppose the seizure of venues by campaigners. Funds earmarked for art, artists and museums are now routinely parasitised by political groups, discrediting the funding model that had previously nurtured serious art and served the public. 

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Related books: Sculptures of the Third Reich: Arno Breker and Reich Sculptors, Volume I , Sculptures of the Third Reich: Josef Thorak and Reich Sculptors, Volume II, Sculptures of the Third Reich: Porcelain and Reich Sculptors Volume III, Art of Adolf Hitler: Ultimate Album of the Fuhrer’s Artworks, The Red Brigands, Ransacking the Reich by Michael Walsh.

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2 replies »

  1. —————————–and of course Hitler was a house painter and an art academy reject.

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