Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Is the Tate missing the point?


Ready to Wear 1999 by Angela de la Cruz. Short listed.

It's the annual Tate Britain shindig for the Turner Prize in December. Always controversial, it's a great way to see the work of up-and-coming artists, whether you agree with the winning choice or not. Edgy art, outrageous art and obtuse message art vie for the £25,000 prize.

What a pity, then that the organizers don't show the same entrepreneurial zeal the artists do. On press day the gallery tried to make photographers sign a contract stating that their published work "must not result in any adverse publicity for the Tate." Obviously, many refused to sign and walked away, including the Evening Standard, Reuters and the Press Association.

What are these people at the Tate on? Do they think that press cameramen decide what goes into their publications? There are Night Editors and Editors whose job is to decide that. The poor camera guy is lucky if they even talk to him. So the Tate can 'publish' whatever they like on their walls, including dead sheep in formaldehyde, but the press can't? Who has made the Turner Prize such big business? Pictures in the Tate catalogue? No, it's the press men and the huge publicity it receives annually.

Do grow up, Tate - there's no such thing as bad publicity!

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