Sunday, 13 February 2011

The Right Stuff Almost

Hey hey Internet!

So re my last post, in case you have been living under a rock or are signalling this blog from another planet or a satellite, (in which case, cool!) the Egyptian people won. Thank frickin' goodness. We can all feel a little bit better about being human and being in the world and what four million people can do. For now.

In other news, I had a rollicking time this week at the annual RSA State of the Arts Conference where my lovely co-director Andy Field was speaking about Innovation in Theatre. Excellent stuff, and his also happened to be the best panel in my humble opinion. One thing that panel really brought home for me was the importance of visionary curators and producers. Artists have been and and will always be making visionary work on their own time, but without a producer or curator with the vision to platform them in some way, be it by buying one of their paintings, offering them space to perform, or paying for their first symphony, we won't ever know they exist. Those who ran the panels that day were desperate to avoid talk of funding, lest the conference descend into some kind of artsy whinge-fest. But how do you talk about risk without talking about money? Artists do take a risk when they make experimental work, but equally curators take a huge risk by supporting that work, and perhaps what we really need to be discussing in these belt-tightening times is not only how to continue to support artists to make this kind of risky work, but how to support and encourage curators and funders to programme and platform it?

Anywho, a lot of interesting thinking done around the entire event. Andy, Laura McDermott from the Fierce Festival, and academic and artist Hannah Nicklin had also organised a wonderful "Flash Conference", where in a rather Guerilla fashion artists got up during coffee breaks and answered some tough questions about work and how to continue making it. Considering how few actual artists spoke at the event this was mighty interesting, and tucked away in a corner somehow felt appropriate. A definite highlight was Lucy Ellinson's answer to the provocation "How do we involve art in mass protest?" Lucy staged a miniature sit-in in a sea of somewhat awkward networking. It was a definite fan favourite and unsurprisingly confirmed my unending respect and admiration for her politics and performance.

Oh my gosh, did I just blog about an Arts Conference on a blog that is usually reserved for hilarious youtube clips only? I certainly did. What a world. Well, just to keep up my street cred, watch this, and feel free to disparage my attempt at credible blogging in the comments. (I'm looking at you, Spammy McSpammer! I just love your replica SwatChes.)

No comments: