BBC BLOGS - Gomp/arts
« Previous | Main | Next »

Breaking olds

Post categories:

Will Gompertz | 09:55 UK time, Monday, 22 November 2010

Painting should be banned. At least that's what the Turner Prize-winning artist Mark Lecky thinks. Not forever, just for a year or so, during which time artists who don't use paint to make work - those who produce collages, installations, video and internet-based works - have a moment in the sun.

It Felt Like A Kiss

A couple of days after talking to Mark, I read Adam Curtis's latest blog post, From pigeon to Superman and back again; as is the way with Curtis, it uses extensive archive material to make a very contemporary point.

Then I re-watched his 2009 film It Felt Like A Kiss, which was made in collaboration with Punchdrunk for a show at last year's Manchester International Festival, about which his friend Charlie Brooker enthused.

Iris Murdoch

And then I thought: let the painters be, but what about a week without new footage on television and radio, except the news? A week where all stories - new and old - have to be told using pre-existing material, where we dust off the archivists and put them in the limelight for a bit?

What has happened in the last 45 years, other than changes in style and technology, that makes this Iris Murdoch interview with Frank Kermode dated? The substance is entirely relevant: form and content.

The ideas they are discussing in the film are the same as those explored by Jonathan Safran Foer in Tree of Codes, his new die-cut book based on Bruno Schulz's Street of Crocodiles. The same goes for Visual Editions, the young publishing house that produced his book.

Safran Foer

They love literature, they say, and want to play with its physical form while their writers do the same with style and structure.


  • Comment number 1.

    Why not ban the Turner Prize and all other competitions that promote art as a financial commodity and the producers of this commodity as the latest 'genius'.

  • Comment number 2.

    How about having a white room with a guillotine in it with heaps of body parts donated (willingly if possible) by the art leeches of the last 25 years? (You know who they are.) They will then have sacrificed something for their art.

    What shall we call this cutting edge installation?

  • Comment number 3.

    "What shall we call this cutting edge installation?"

    The birth of "art"

  • Comment number 4.

    "Painting should be banned."

    A bit harsh -- what will we put on the walls to cover up that graffiti?

    Everyone above seems to want to live in an idealistic utopia with no money or wealth. Where would Prince William get the 'brass' for an engagement ring - oh sorry he just used his mum's - but most of us don't have a dead mother with such a ring to use and also most spouses do rather like selecting their own ring! We live in a world dominated by the means of exchange and its unequal distribution. This shibboleth is very destructive, but utopias are also unrealistic.

  • Comment number 5.

    In the Guardian interview, Leckey says he doesn't really want to exhibit in galleries, instead he should like to be on tv. Is he in the wrong occupation, I wonder?

    On the other hand, see what tv did for Rolf Harris, and paint. And it might explain Leckey's choice in facial topiary. How is he around lame animals?

    (Can you see what it is yet?)

  • Comment number 6.

    No artist of any sort should be banned from whatever he or she feels about the matter, thats like saying we should ban inventors because of there carbon footprint! Pathetic!

  • Comment number 7.

    You can't ban "Art" any more than you can ban eating or sleeping. It is something humans do naturally


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.