Monday, 1 September 2014

Panic Not, The Artists Will Save Us!

Music and art have always been a vehicle for political protest: from Bob Dylan and Bob Marley to Billy Bragg.
Now a new group of British artists and musicians are hoping to use art, song, theatre and words, as well as social media, to combat the coalition's austerity agenda.
Oooh, oooh, wait….

*fetches popcorn*

OK, hit me!
Created specifically to campaign against the government's cuts to public services, charities and the creative industries, the Artists' Assembly Against Austerity, launching today, is a grassroots alliance of more than 200 creative artists.
Signatories include actor, Maxine Peake, fantasy author China Miéville, poet and writer Blake Morrison and artist Peter Kennard.
Riiiight, so that’s a whinging Northern bint off the TV, a noted socialist and occasional figure of fun at David Thompson’s blog, someone I’ve never heard of and … someone else I’ve never heard of.

Wow! Bringing out the heavy battalions there…
"The coalition's austerity measures are a violent programme of cuts," says Season Butler, a writer and academic at Goldsmiths, University of London and coordinator of Artists' Assembly Against Austerity.
"The cuts are affecting artists as much as they are the public – many artists rely on benefits. Cuts to education mean it's harder to find work as an art teacher. Artists have been a bit shy recently of working on social justice issues but, now, we're seeing more come out in opposition to the broader austerity programme."
If artists were any good, why would they rely on benefits? Ergo, this ‘art’ isn’t the sort of stuff anyone wants to pay for…
Katherine Araniello, a performance artist with spinal muscular atrophy, is angered by the austerity programme. "As a disabled person who relies on government-funded income, I am appalled by the benefit cuts," she says.
"Someone like me requires 24/7 support. My funding hasn't kept pace with inflation for the past five years – I'm having to pay my care workers at the minimum wage."
Newsflash, sweetie, my pay rises haven’t quite kept up with inflation, and I’m doing something people will pay for! Why should you be different?
"My art is about what capitalism does to your heart, and the inner child in you," says Rob Montgomery, whose works was recently displayed at the Louvre."
I guess I’ve figured out why no-one wants to pay for it…
On a practical level, the Artists' Assembly will challenge the government's austerity agenda through online activism, marches and art.
"We're not going to tell artists to make certain pieces of art," says Butler."That will be their choice. But art can be a powerful tool for social justice."
There’s certainly a lot of tools involved…

14 comments:

Ted Treen said...

Of course most current art can't fund itself - usually because it's pretentious self-indulgent crap.

With these precious little delicates, I'm even less interested in their views than I am in their output...

bobo said...

".....Now a new group of British artists and musicians are hoping to use art, song, theatre and words, as well as social media, to combat ISIS."

We can't be far off............

Anonymous said...

I'm generally a kind tolerant person but these people bring out the inner Goebbels in me, the bit involving culture and Brownings. I am not sure we can share the same planet especially if I'm subsidising them from my shrinking capitalist remuneration.

Lancastrian Oik said...

Therre they go with that "social justice" thing again.

I know I'm repeating myself, but the only way that phrase makes sense is to add an "ist" to the "social".

Anonymous said...

Bunny

I hadn't really noticed much austerity and the economy is on the move again, couldn't they find proper jobs. Except for the disabled who need 24 hour care and act as performance artists. That's going to be a laugh a minute for the audience.

Why don't they give themselves an honest name, Useless Tossers Are Us.

andy5759 said...

I've just finished a China Mieville book. I really enjoyed it, and will look out for more at the library. Even though I detected signs of the author's political philosophy. Art for art's sake tastes better than art for the sake of a cause. I did like the mention of reduced Government spending on charities, wtf are they doing donating MY money to charities?

Ian Hills said...

The Arts Council and other quangos spend a fortune on so-called artists. If only they'd stick to sponging off benefits instead.

Flaxen Saxon said...

I think it was Goring who said something about 'Kultur and the gun.' Still, I can't wait to see 'world peace' come about through the medium of mime. "Goring, after you with the machine pistol, if you please".

ukFred said...

I cannot remember Ayn Rand ever complaining that she did not get enough state funding.

Rightwinggit said...

I'm sure Sir Terry Pratchett or Neil Gaiman ain't short of a few quid.

Anonymous said...

I'm fucking sick of being assaulted by wankers on stilts while I'm trying to do a bit of shopping.

Paul - Nottingham said...

See, see the wonders of Robert Montgomery's art!

http://vimeo.com/99418718

(Lasts 15 seconds)

mojo said...

AAAA? Hey, if they go global, they can be the WAAAA...

JuliaM said...

"With these precious little delicates, I'm even less interested in their views than I am in their output..."

Amen!

"Therre they go with that "social justice" thing again.

I know I'm repeating myself, but the only way that phrase makes sense is to add an "ist" to the "social"."


Agreed!

"See, see the wonders of Robert Montgomery's art!"

Longest 15 seconds of my life!