Friday, September 10, 2010

Makes Arts Advocacy Fun: David Shrigley's Anti-Arts Cuts Video

Just saw this over at the Guardian. It's great to see a prominent artist like David Shrigley advocating on behalf of their arts community this way. My only critique would be that some jokes are made at rural folks' expense--but then again, Damien Hirst's A Thousand Years gets some jabs too.


pixo said...

A Toronto Star article on Friday reported the chief of TIFF saying Canada is making too many films, and the country cannot sustain so many. He said “I’m happy that people are making films and all that kind of stuff, but what kind of resources have been taken away from filmmakers who perhaps needed those resources, that could have used those resources? Are there significant filmmakers with things to say?”.

Can the same be said about "Arts"? Are we producing too many artists and making too much art? Can Canada sustain so many artists?

The TIFF chief has the idea that there should be "one film per a million people".

Can that idea be applied to artists and art making. How many artists should we have, or how many art works should be produced each year, per a million people?

Leah Sandals said...

Hey Pixo,

Thanks for your comment!

I think Piers Handling's comment was an interesting one.

I don't think I would set a limit on number of artworks to be produced in Canada, because, well, artwork gets made for different reasons. People make it for therapeutic reasons, for educational reasons, for recreational reasons, for community reasons, and some, yes, make it for professional reasons. (And sometimes these reasons cross over)

I guess it's the "professional" production that Handling was probably referring to in the film world. And I don't really see how a limit could be set on that in art either. Many artists already get by with very limited resources and recognition, so I don't imagine that in the art world some monies are being taken away from the "good artists" (note that's in quotes) making "good works" for the "less good artists" to use on their "less good works". I think that's the kind of concern Handling is raising about film, maybe?

I also posit some self-investment was in his comment; a situation of more films being made makes his job (and the festival's job) harder, because they have to watch every film that's submitted to the fest--or so I've heard. So I'd take his comment with a grain of salt, in that the more films that are made in Canada, the harder and more time consuming TIFF's job gets. I think he is likely also speaking from other areas of expertise, but you can't ignore the impact of the day to day slog on someone's worldview.

One thing I do appreciate you raising tangentially is how much arts funding is enough, basically? That's a perpetual question, right? And it would be worth some calculating in terms of how much is needed to run an equitable, healthy, accessible and vital arts realm

Also, one thing you also tangentially raise is the question "Does all arts funding go to artists?" The answer to that is no--and I personally think that's a good thing, even though I do support artist grants. To me (and to the government) arts funding also means money going to arts institutions, arts festivals and (superimportant) to *arts education,* which should benefit a much wider public much more directly than just the portion of arts funding that goes to artists.

One thing I think is so great about UK arts funding, and the reason I'm concerned to see it cut, is there's so much provided for public access to arts and culture. Arts funding there provides free admission at major national museums, and funding for super public art projects like Artangel and the Fourth Plinth, and much more. So when we talk about cutting arts funding, it's not just some mythical "artists" who lose out; depending on how it happens, it's the public, too.

pixo said...

Hi Leah, thank you for the response.