Re: FWD: Audacious experiments in

Phil Rubinoff (
Wed, 20 May 1998 14:11:23 -0500

On 19-May-98, Lile Elam wrote:

>Hi folks,

>Someone forwarded this story to me today and I thought you
>might enjoy it.



>> Students make an exhibition of themselves
>> By Nigel Reynolds, Arts Correspondent
>> THIRTEEN art students given a grant and sponsorship of 1,600 to put on
>> an exhibition spent the money on a week's holiday on the Costa del Sol
>> and returned home claiming that the trip was conceptual art.
>> Two sponsors, including the Leeds University students' union, which
>> gave a grant of 1,126, said yesterday that they had been misled by the
>> students. They claimed that the stunt gave art a bad name and demanded
>> their money back.
>> But the 13 students, the entire third year on Leeds University's Fine
>> Art course, said their holiday - when they swam, sunbathed and visited
>> nightclubs - was designed "to challenge people's perception of art"
>> and to make people discuss whether there was any limit to what could be
>> described as art.
>> One of the students, Matt Dunning, 22, said: "It was essential for us
>> to go to the Costa del Sol because that courted controversy." A fellow
>> participant, Emma Robertson, said: "This is leisure as art. It is art
>> and it was an exhibition. People have very set ideas about what art is
>> and we are interested in the media reaction because we want people to
>> discuss what art is."
>> About 60 lecturers, local artists and fellow students invited to the
>> first-night party for the exhibition - enigmatically titled Going Places -
>> were surprised when they entered a gallery empty except for a large bowl
>> of sangria, the sound of flamenco music and a drama student dressed as
>> an air hostess with a megaphone.
>> As they stood around, uncertain what would happen next, they were ushered
>> on to a double-decker bus, driven to Leeds-Bradford airport and left in
>> a bar overlooking the arrivals area. A short time later, they saw the
>> entire troupe of laughing, sun-tanned, third-year students - who had used
>> the money to buy 185 flight-and-accommodation packages - march through
>> Customs armed with souvenirs from the Costa del Sol. The two groups met,
>> the stunt was explained and they all adjourned to the bar again, running
>> up a bill of 180. They spent a couple of hours discussing the meaning
>> of art before they were bussed back to Leeds city centre.
>> The students' union, which said it had been led to believe that the art
>> students were mounting a more traditional exhibition and that the grant
>> of 1,126 was for framing, materials and hiring a gallery, suffered a
>> serious humour failure yesterday. Ruth Wilkin, the union's communications
>> officer, said: "We have asked for the money back. When we gave the money
>> there was no mention of any holidays. We have very limited resources
>> and we are trying to raise 20,000 for a minibus with access for the
>> disabled. It is fairly outrageous and pretty upsetting to see some of
>> our students taking money for a holiday when it should have been spent
>> on a much worthier cause."
>> Myles Dutton, who runs the Dixon Bate art shop in Leeds, was one of
>> several commercial sponsors who gave more than 400 for what they thought
>> was a conventional exhibition. He said: "I gave 50. It's not a lot but
>> I feel I have been duped and I want my money back."
>> A university spokesman declined to condemn the students and said: "It
>> should be noted that on little more than 1,000 they managed to spend a
>> week in Spain, hire a space for the exhibition, hire the double-decker
>> bus and keep a tab behind the bar at the airport. They got a lot out of
>> it."

works for me. I think it's great. I can see how it might offend contributors
but, WHAT IS ART? anyway??
I wish I had been there!!