Whitechapel Art-O-Mat, 5 July 2011
Preferred public-image launderer of the ruling class
…. at work!
July 5th 2011, 7pm
Cultural workers whose generally meagre incomes and precarious survivals have been worsened by this government’s cuts are on their knees tonight, helping politicians and bureaucrats to launder their image!
In spite of a long history of support for anti-fascist and other social justice groups, the Whitechapel Art Gallery has been enlisted in a laundering scam to clean up the images of such unpopular figures as Nick Clegg, Samantha Cameron, Peter Mandelson and Ed Vaizey, each complicit in or responsible for cuts of 40% to the Arts, not to mention Education, the NHS, Benefit and Public Housing. They have been invited to select and display works of art from the Government Art Collection, representing such themes as peace, beauty and migration, while waging ugly wars on several nations, on the poor, on migrants and on those working in culture.
Adopting tactics from their friends at BP and other corrupt corporations, the Coalition are clearly using art and its so-called ‘public’ institutions to make their dirty things seem pleasant.
And we are letting them!
It is clear that cultural leaders who rallied around the flacid statement ‘cut us don’t kill us’ were not working to serve the interests of the majority of the people working in the arts but sudding up for years of scrubbing the government’s soiled pants to save their own. By supporting this government they are encouraging the elitism that so many have worked against in efforts to democratise culture.
This summer, let’s put a stop to the laundering.
… engage in creative direct action, interventions, letter-writing and demonstrations to put a stop to this and show that a collection purchased in the name of the many should not be presented at the hands of the few.