British Conservatives versus art

This video from Britain about Mark Wallinger is called Iraq War protest gets top Turner Prize art award.

From daily The Independent in Britain:

Artists flinch at ‘honour’ of hanging in Tory offices

Culture minister Ed Vaizey says he ruffled feathers after selecting contemporary artworks to adorn Westminster

By Arifa Akbar, Arts Correspondent

Monday, 30 August 2010

One might be forgiven for thinking that the task of choosing which pictures to hang on the walls of an expanded new office in Westminster would be one of the least contentious facing an incoming minister.

Not so for Ed Vaizey, the Culture minister, however. He has admitted that his choices from the Government Art Collection have ruffled political feathers among some of the artists themselves, who did not appreciate the “honour” of being admired by a Tory.

Moving into the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), Mr Vaizey secured a drawing by the former Young British Artist, Michael Landy, called Compulsory Obsolescence. It was the first painting Landy completed after Break Down, a performance piece from 2001 in which he destroyed all of his possessions. But when Mr Vaizey met the artist at a dinner at the Royal Academy and told him of his choice he did not get the reaction he had hoped for.

“I told Michael Landy he was hanging on my wall and he was absolutely horrified,” Mr Vaizey admitted to The Independent.

And not just him. Also on Mr Vaizey’s wall is a poster-style screenprint, Mark Wallinger is Innocent.

Mr Vaizey suggested that the artist himself, Mark Wallinger, a lifelong Labour supporter,

Mark Wallinger may be a Labour supporter, but certainly not a supporter of Tony Blair’s “new” Labour and its wars

would be just as dismayed by his choice and that of his boss Culture Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, who likewise chose a Wallinger from the collection. …

Speaking about his vision for arts funding, Mr Vaizey defended Mr Hunt’s funding model of philanthropic giving combined with government funds. Last month, at least seven of Britain’s leading benefactors wrote to the Prime Minister to warn that the gap left by threatened [governmental] arts cuts of up to 40 per cent could not be bridged by private money.

Shrigley, Emin, Hirst, Hockney & more protest British arts funding cuts proposal – with art! Here.

The Irish Congress of Trade Unions have called for a progressive alternative to the British Con-Dem government’s cuts agenda for the Six Counties: here.

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