┐ Artists wanted! To play their role └

© LOGOG; Seb Coe, Tracey Emin, Director of the Tate Sir Nicholas Serota, Martin Creed, Michael Craig-Martin, Jonathan Edwards, Gary Hume, Cultural Olympiad Director Ruth Mackenzie and Howard Hodgkin.

Finally someone says something about the issue! Peter Suchin, makes a critic about the involvement some artists are having with the Olympic Games. Not that I their recent work and attitudes hasn’t been leading up to this but some critical thinking is still to be expected within the art world, come on’. The more impact and recognition you have the more thought provoking you can be. A lot of examples can attest to this, just like Anish Kapoor recent protest following Ai Wei Wei’s detention.

“In the art world figures such as Creed, Emin and Hirst, although occasionally feted – and no doubt envied – for their celebrity status, are not necessarily regarded as significant artists, nor are they perceived as being particularly astute, except perhaps commercially. The Young British Artists movement, partly because of its (manufactured) reputation of comprising working-class rebels who “broke through” into mainstream culture, was strongly supported by Tony Blair and other politicians keen to suggest that British culture had, during his term of office, returned to a level of vibrancy not witnessed since the 1960s. This official support for what many in the art world think of as mediocre and inane is continued by the present government, and for the same ideological ends.
But the more these artists engage in an affirmative way with the broader culture of capitalism, the more they renounce what has long been a central responsibility of the artist – the examination, critique and renewal of culture.
Such artists ought to ask themselves why they are so keen to be involved with the Games at all, effectively supporting the huge waste of public money that the Olympics is bound to be, and especially when the government budget for the arts has been redirected to shore up this miserable corporate extravaganza. At a time of particularly vicious cuts to university arts and humanities funding, the cynical deployment of artists – whose main contribution to culture resembles nothing so much as the invention of a brand – is insulting. Rather than comply with such nonsense, artists should mobilise themselves against profiteering beneficiaries of the Olympics, not take on the role of quiescent performing dogs.”

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