Sluice is an artist-led, London-based but international project that runs an independent non-profit biennial, exhibitions, talks, screenings and a twice-yearly magazine. I’ve written an opinion article for every issue of the magazine so far.
The well off can choose whether or not to play the arts for fun or for profit as they see fit, and they often sneer at or simply don’t comprehend those who can’t or won’t make that choice.
The list of now canonical “proper” artists who got critically shit on or were commercial failures in their lifetimes is very nearly as long as the list of known artist names in its entirety up to the YBA era.
Blokey bish-bosh-art-is-done explanation of a complicated subject like conceptual art or transgender issues, luckily it all got sorted out in under forty-five minutes on BBC4, oh hello Grayson Perry I didn’t see you there.
Most of the practicing artists I know may not think of themselves as debtors but they too live on borrowing: perpetual overdrafts, accessing the income of a partner or family member, and secretly using facilities from their other jobs are all very common. So is simply eating the total cost of whatever they’ve been asked to do, essentially borrowing from themselves.
5. Am I local?
The phrase “I’m a local artist” makes anybody running a gallery or arts organisation want to plunge headfirst through a plate glass window to escape.
Every successful artist is sort of in cosplay or drag as themselves anyway, because of the need for a real artist (as opposed to a dabbler or an amateur) to share and be open; not just to face inward even though I think most artists are fundamentally introverted and contemplative.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: all money is imaginary now. There can be any amount of it that we want there to be. Or at least for now, there can be as much of it as the people we elect direct their central banks to mouse click into existence. That’s what fiat currency means, currency not tied to a commodity and with no intrinsic value; only the value we collectively ascribe to it. Fiat means “let it be done.” So let’s let it.
In any era of ideological conflict and supremacy of opinion over fact– and sorry/not sorry, our current “fake news” narcissistic Insta-clusterfuck of a culture isn’t the first or worst of its kind, it’s just the biggest – libraries and archives usually preserve a multiplicity of perspectives.
The survival of many UK art institutions and funders depends to a pathetic degree on courting the rich, moisturised hand that feeds or fists at its own whim.