Tuesday, June 19, 2018

in keeping with a theme this week, a report in the UK says just one in three arts students think their arts degree is good value for th expense

Just one in three arts students think degree is good value for money over in the UK, it seems

If the rents keep going up then London will become too expensive for artists to stick around

The head of a leading arts organisation has warned that London’s status as a world-class creative city is at risk because artists are being forced out of the capital.

Anna Harding, the chief executive of Space studios, which provides premises for nearly 800 artists including three Turner prize winners, blamed rising property prices and shrinking studios for dramatically squeezing the time and space available for creative activity. Artists now face a choice between working full time to pay the rent and fitting in a few hours in their studios at weekends, or giving up entirely, she said.

Harding’s stark warning comes in a book, Artists in the City: SPACE in ’68 and Beyond, which celebrates the 50th anniversary of the organisation set up by Bridget Riley and Peter Sedgley, leading proponents of Op art, who were frustrated that London’s artists had to work in cramped garden studios. The pair renovated a warehouse in St Katharine Docks which allowed them and others to create art on a much larger scale. Space now operates 17 studios in London and Colchester, a model used by similar organisations like Acme and Bow Arts. Tenants include the Turner prize winners Laure Prouvost, Mark Leckey and Tomma Abts, as well as Heather Phillipson whose work will occupy the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square in 2020.
Put in these sorts of terms an attempt to say there's some kind of inherent value to liberal arts as a study is to make a foundationally religious argument ... which you would think nobody would try to make these days.  The "intrinsic value" argument is a religious argument.


Art as religion would seem like a throwback to a 19th century approach if it's not simply a transubstantiation of religious study being a foundation for traditional humanism which, again, sure seems like precisely the opposite of the kinds of arguments people would prefer to make in academic contexts these days.  But if the entry costs of joining the priesthood of arts and letters keeps going up with less and less chance that said priesthood will lead to gainful employment then why would it be shocking if a new kind of Protestant reformation for the art-religion of the West might emerge?  What might the priesthood of all believers in art religion look or sound like?  Well ... hiphop, maybe? Videos on youtube?  Blogs?  These are things you can take up without having to go tens of thousands in debt to get a certification that won't get you a job.

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