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thanks john from lagoona / china / grayson perry (long)

updated sat 13 dec 03


iandol on fri 12 dec 03

Dear Janet Kaiser,

In Australia, the British are often known as "whining Limeys".

No they isn't. They is whingeing "Poms". And we would never think to use =
the term for anyone from the Celtic Nations. Strictly reserved for the =
"English". And a right crowd of mongrels they is as well.

Enjoy the festive season and I hope , a right prosperous New Year,

Best regards,

Ivor Lewis. Redhill, South Australia

Janet Kaiser on fri 12 dec 03

In Australia, the British are often known as "whining Limeys". I
notice that this less than desirable national trait is being well
practised in the USA, and expressed through the medium of
Clayart. However, I am appalled it is taking on proportions
beyond the questions and information seeking to which Mel refers.

Just listening to the nit-picking complaints about materials,
imports and other topics would be quite enough, but the TONE of
some is just getting right up my nose and is NOT what Clayart is
all about, however philosophical we all get from time to time.
All the navel gazing and self-pity from the richest country in
the world is sickening enough, but when it gets personal it
really is icky to behold. Absolutely beyond the pale and as my
dear Mother would say, "Just listen to yourself".

Cornering good people like John with harsh criticisms and attack
in such a public manner, which could damage the reputation of his
company, the livelihood of employees and even risk reducing the
amount of choice available to other potters on a whole continent,
is a monumental case of cutting off the nose to spite the face. I
really take my hat off to John and others, who always give a
considered, polite and gentlemanly response. Needless to say I
just could not do it!! OK rant over... Just had to say what was
bothering me!

As for the Turner Prize and subsequent discourse on Grayson
Perry, thanks to several Clay buddies for pointing out I was way
out of date with my "news" LOL it has been well chewed over!
Sorry! I might have known, but I am obviously going through one
of those "here it is, here it isn`t" phases receiving clay-mail,
but had not noticed due to the backlog of several days.

But I am with several others on the gender / sexual orientation
issue. Who cares? It is certainly not an issue for me, although
having said that, the question does arise: is it just the
attention seeking device one apparently needs to be noticed by
the media? Rattling the tired old hacks out of their torpia and
getting them to even attend events does take quite a bit of doing
these days and it is amazing to what extremes artists feel they
have to go to achieve fame, notoriety, etc. beyond the work they
produce. I know one artist, who always play-acts the drunken
artist at previews, tossing wine around, bumping into people
"accidentally on purpose" and finally pretending to do a
strip-tease (never quite managing to go all the way! :o) I find
it embarrassing and distasteful, but am amazed that some find it
amusing and entertaining, making the artist "memorable". Not
their work, but their persona... Quite sad really.

As for "reporters", well I have been at two public events
recently and all the "interviewing" was done over the phone. On
both occasions, a photographer was sent to snap a few shots and
(get this) the "press release" was used almost verbatim with
additional extracts taken off web sites the hacks had so cleverly
found... Boy, oh boy... I think my fourth career will be
"journalism"! It could all be done from my bedside! How decadent
would that be?!?!

Another point in the media coverage of the Turner Prize, which
arose some disquiet in me personally, was the "ageism" aspect.
The "middle-aged transvestite" bit. Like it was distasteful in
some way. Again, what does the age of the artist have to do with
their work? Or is cross-dressing (as I prefer to call it) only
somehow socially acceptable in the young and beautiful? I do not
personally think that the age limit of 50 for the prize itself is
necessarily something to be concerned about. All the artists
short-listed have already "arrived" as it were, so the Turner
Prize in itself, is just a tool for "promoting the arts". That
means that there is enough work by the artist already in
circulation to be cashed in upon immediately and there will be
many more years of work still in the pipeline. Not a very
romantic view, but born of my sad cynicism and economic reality.

The prize money may appear a huge amount to you or me, but it is
great value for money in a commercial sense. How much advertising
space would =A320,000 buy in newspapers, periodicals, radio, TV,
etc. etc. world wide? Hardly anything at all... Front page, prime
time coverage for next to nothing is a dream come true for all
concerned. And like any media circus, only time will tell if the
subject is truly memorable. Both artist and work in this case.
Looking at the list of winners as I typed them all out yesterday,
I honestly admit that there were a couple I have no memory of at
all and that is just 20 years' worth.

Ah, well... Back to work... I do wish Advent was made of elastic!


Janet Kaiser -- got to share this one:
Question: How do you kill a circus?
Answer: Go for the juggler!

>clayart has value, and is respected on many fronts.
>i try and protect that common ground. it makes
>us all better. often emails are sent to the person making
>the complaint, or wants information.
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