Thursday 30 May 2013

Yarts News

Regulars will know that I always relish Will Gompertz's BBC News reports about goings-on in the wonderful world of The Yarts. He is of course in Venice just now (lucky man) to report on the Biennale (not so lucky), and last night he told us about Britain's entry, an exhibit called English Magic by Jeremy Deller. Deller has seized the opportunity to 'get things off his chest', as he puts it - well to be sure and isn't that precisely what art is for? (Clue: No.) Deller seems strangely exercised by Range Rovers and Hen Harriers, so his main image is of a Hen Harrier carrying off a tiny Range Rover - this is called 'playing with scale' and is very clever. He thinks Prince Harry might have shot a couple of harriers but he's not sure - anyway he's angry. Deller also has a thing about rich people - or perhaps it's just Roman Abramovich, whose yacht (also tiny) he depicts being tossed aside by that scourge of the wealthy (hem hem) William Morris. This is all very fine and dandy, but is it ---? No,I'm not going to say it. Gompertz claims that English Magic makes Deller the 'artistic heir' to the Olympics Opening Ceremony. Well yes, his display seems to be equally moronic, but without the sheer crazed energy that somehow made the Olympics thing work (or at least made resistance futile).  
The Venice Biennale was once a way of showcasing a nation's best art - you know, paintings, sculpture, that sort of thing - but it is now an entirely incestuous art market event, not least because the organisers can't afford to pay for all those big installations, which can cost a fortune to set up. In the first postwar Biennale, in 1948, Britain exhibited sculptures by Henry Moore, works by Ben Nicholson and the less well-known modernist John Tunnard, and paintings by the hot and happening J.M.W. Turner. Enough said. If you really want to see Gompertz and Deller, here's a link. Enjoy!

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