Re: FWD: Audacious experiments in

Marius Johnston (mariusj@best.com)
Wed, 20 May 1998 20:16:58 -0700

Phil Rubinoff wrote:

> On 19-May-98, Lile Elam wrote:
> >art
>
> >Hi folks,
>
> >Someone forwarded this story to me today and I thought you
> >might enjoy it.
>
> >-lile
>
> >[www.telegraph.co.uk]
>
> >> 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??

Why bother?

Marius Johnston

> I wish I had been there!!
> Phil

--
Marius Johnston
http://www.art.net/Studios/Visual/Mariusj/studio_door.html
Every man before he dies shall see the devil.
English proverb  1580
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