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Why works of art?

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Throwing food at works of art, which are mankind's way of loving reality, is like pushing a custard pie into David Attenborough's face. How's it supposed to work.  (Member of Greenpeace etc.)

1
 MeMeMe 24 Oct 2022
In reply to Pete Pozman:

It's because other protests simply don't get widely reported in the media. You can have a protest with thousands of people and it's not mentioned anywhere, throw soup over a Van Gogh, potatoes over a Monet or humous over a Gauguin and it's all over the papers.

Whether it's effective in terms of messaging I've got my doubts but it's incredibly hard to make any impact with any protest that doesn't cause outrage in the media.

Post edited at 12:30
2
In reply to MeMeMe:

Exactly, you can fill a town centre with protesters and theres not a peep out of the media until someone smashes a window. We've tried the nicely nicely approach for decades.

Time to start collecting bricks IMHO

34
In reply to Pete Pozman:

It also gets the news into the generally wealthy 'consumers' of art with large carbon/environmental footprints. Living in their country mansions they can ignore street protests, but when their beloved art is affected.......

3
 ianstevens 24 Oct 2022
In reply to Pete Pozman:

The point is that people are more outraged by non-damage to a painting (i.e. something quite inconsequential in the grand scheme of things) rather than with the damage being done to the planet (very consequential).

4
 joeramsay 24 Oct 2022
In reply to ianstevens:

This, but also the symbolism is totally obvious - there's only one of those paintings, and there would never be another if it really was destroyed by a tin of soup. The protestors, knowing that, wantonly threw soup all over it anyway. Sound familiar?

 broken spectre 24 Oct 2022
In reply to joeramsay:

> The protestors, knowing that, wantonly threw soup all over it anyway. Sound familiar?

Wontonly 🤣

 joeruckus 26 Oct 2022
In reply to Pete Pozman:

As it hasn't been mentioned so far, which is surprising, I thought I'd comment that Just Stop Oil, Liberate Tate, Art Not Oil and other such activist / pressure groups are really open about why they've given some dramatic focus to the art world. It's because fossil fuel companies (e.g. BP in the case of Tate galleries) have been 'artwashing' their public reputations by being major sponsors of exhibitions, galleries, museums etc.

The publication 'Culture beyond oil' makes the general point clearly:

"Cultural institutions provide the social approval which companies like Shell and BP need to cover up the harmful impacts of their practices. In fact the best way to look at it is not that the oil companies are supporting the arts, but that the arts are supporting their lie – that they care about anything other than pumping as much oil out of the ground as quickly as possible. In fact oil sponsorship of the arts is an act of anaesthesia, something that numbs us, stops us perceiving the reality of fossil fuel extraction. It is the opposite of an aesthetic act, since aesthetics should enable us to feel the world, to sense what it truly happening deep within our guts."

cf. https://platformlondon.org/cbo.pdf

1
In reply to Pete Pozman:

Surely it'd have to be Campbell's condensed tomato soup? Then they could offer the defence it was an artistic statement not criminal damage, perhaps spurious perhaps not, but it'd be an additional legal factor to bring up in court?

 wintertree 26 Oct 2022
In reply to Pete Pozman:

Also shit on a memorial statue.  

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-derbyshire-63389935

In reply to CantClimbTom:

No point in chucking it over a Jackson Pollock though. No one would ever know.

 VictorM 27 Oct 2022
In reply to Andy Clarke:

LOL

Aren't all the paintings affected so far covered by glass? 

 neilh 27 Oct 2022
In reply to joeruckus:

When I am visiting an exhibition sponsored by BP it’s the artist I see not BP. I admire the art world for hoodwinking the likes of BP and Shell etc for conning those companies into sponsoring their exhibitions.so allowing me to see great art. Credit to them!

1
 joeruckus 27 Oct 2022
In reply to neilh:

Sure, that's an angle.

Another angle is that every time you see a shell or bp logo you should feel some revulsion (perhaps in the same way that you might do if you see a MAGA hat in the wild), but because these logos show up on tate branding etc they become sanitized, acceptable, gradually becoming reputable in polite society.

 mondite 27 Oct 2022
In reply to neilh:

> When I am visiting an exhibition sponsored by BP it’s the artist I see not BP. I admire the art world for hoodwinking the likes of BP and Shell etc for conning those companies into sponsoring their exhibitions.so allowing me to see great art.

Aside from the amount paid seems to be insignificant in return for the level of exposure. If you look at the Tate and BP for example it was 4 million over 26 years.

They are reported to have spent 800k in the first half of this year alone on social media ads in the UK alone.

Since it would almost certainly include corporate events at the site in the cost it is a bit of a bargain really.

 65 27 Oct 2022
In reply to willworkforfoodjnr:

> Time to start collecting bricks IMHO

No.

Carrying public opinion is the biggest advantage any protest/campaign can get and rightly or wrongly the general public have no time for this sort of shit. We had some in our local Waitrose a week or so back, emptying out all the milk onto the floor. Pricks, have they any idea about the dairy industry with regards to both animal welfare and global climate change? 

Likewise, there is a group who go around deflating the tyres of SUVs in urban areas. They haven't done me yet but I do have a 4x4 estate which I need for work; driving a normal car onto muddy fields or up wind farm tracks isn't feasible. If I'm late for work because I've had to inflate the tyres it's generally no big deal but the same can't be said for some other professions, (Vet, Dr etc). I'm all for minimising car use in cities but all these idiots are doing is annoying people and turning Joe public against them and what they represent.

Same goes for rioters smashing cars and shop windows, (and I was at the Poll Tax riots, but broke no windows) and critical mass cyclists, (again, I used to go on these but stopped as they were purely antagonistic). What do they think they are going to achieve? Some of those idiots target John Lewis/Waitrose because it's a very middle-class/wealthy brand, yet it's also a worker's co-op with some of the best employment conditions anywhere.

They need to up their game, then I might have a bit more sympathy for their methods even if I'm totally on board with their aims. Heck, I might even join in.

Post edited at 11:49
2
 Pedro50 27 Oct 2022
In reply to 65:

Yes, sitting on top of a tube train was the stupidest thing imaginable and well dealt with by the commuters.

 neilh 27 Oct 2022
In reply to joeruckus:

never bothers me at all.

In reply to Pete Pozman:

It's the only way to grab the attention of the media.

Law abiding peaceful protest gets no attention at all.

2
 wercat 28 Oct 2022
In reply to AllanMac:

I agree with the logic but generating unneccessary enmity with the public achieves nothing.  I find these actions intensely annoying and stupid but definitely support going outside the pure law abiding when it comes to protest.  There are lots of laws that can be broken spectacularly without looking stupid and making mass enemies

2
 henwardian 28 Oct 2022
In reply to joeruckus:

BP and Shell are a product of our society in the same way that Donald Trump is. These entities are symptoms, not causes. If you shoot Trump tomorrow or bankrupt BP, the result will be the same; another person/company will rise to fill the vacuum created. As long as there are disaffected-right-wing-gun-nut-racist-conspiracy-theorists in the USA, there will be opportunists that will step up to be their figurehead. As long as society uses oil and gas, there will be oil and gas companies that step up to supply it.

Where there is demand, people will step in to create supply. See also drug dealing.

The way you stop this is a) doing the little things you personally can do and b) getting the government to legislate faster energy source change. Unfortunately the fptp system is a lot worse than the proportional representation system for translating moderate percentages of green votes into pressure for the government to enact green legislation.

You can embarass and hate petrochemical companies all you like but even if they laid down their oil rigs and gas pipelines tomorrow and turned to 100% renewables, it would be about 15 seconds before other petrochemical companies stepped in to fill the gap.

In reply to wercat:

Completely stupid, I agree. My reaction was the same as yours. Defacing works of art is too obscure a connection towards the big oil companies who used to sponsor major galleries. They no longer do (so I believe), so the damage is even more obscure and disconnected.

I'm even more annoyed at the BBC for giving airtime to that condescending, misinformed, climate denying, ranting old witch Julia Hartley-Brewer last night on QT, presumably in the interests of 'impartiality'. The climate emergency has been a certainty for decades and no longer a subject for doubt. It was another Nigel Lawson moment from the BBC.

If protestors are forced to break the law to get attention, action needs to be directly and conspicuously against those continuing to do damage to the climate, and also against the likes of the Mail andTelegraph (for whom Ms Hartley-Brewer vomits up her corrosive bile) who studiously fail to inform the public of the terminal damage we are all doing to the planet if we carry on as we are.

1
In reply to AllanMac:

> that condescending, misinformed, climate denying, ranting old witch Julia Hartley-Brewer

More living proof that it's far too easy for bloviators and blowhards to blag their way though a degree in PPE at Oxford. 

In reply to wercat:

> There are lots of laws that can be broken spectacularly without looking stupid and making mass enemies

Such as? 

Meanwhile we continue to burn and nobody is doing anything like whats required to fix it. This is war. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/oct/27/world-close-to-irreversible-climate-breakdown-warn-major-studies

 doz 28 Oct 2022
In reply to Pete Pozman:

> Throwing food at works of art...

If you'd been dragged around as many art galleries as me as a kid you'd want to throw a lot more than a can of soup at them.....

 StuPoo2 28 Oct 2022
In reply to 65:

> No.

> Carrying public opinion is the biggest advantage any protest/campaign can get and rightly or wrongly the general public have no time for this sort of shit. We had some in our local Waitrose a week or so back, emptying out all the milk onto the floor. Pricks, have they any idea about the dairy industry with regards to both animal welfare and global climate change? 

Have to agree.

The message behind this action is lost on the general population.  When this news first broke ... I too could not understand the connection without googling it. 

I'll be honest - not a vote in support if only because I don't think the general public get it and if the general public don't get it .. then it's just cultural vandalism(?).  I don't think it's going to do anything in regard to green washing at all.  All its going to do is put art behind glass ... it's obvious that this is the behavior this action will drive the galleries to take.

> Likewise, there is a group who go around deflating the tyres of SUVs in urban areas. They haven't done me yet but I do have a 4x4 estate which I need for work; driving a normal car onto muddy fields or up wind farm tracks isn't feasible. If I'm late for work because I've had to inflate the tyres it's generally no big deal but the same can't be said for some other professions, (Vet, Dr etc). I'm all for minimising car use in cities but all these idiots are doing is annoying people and turning Joe public against them and what they represent.

Have to admit .. not the case with the deflated SUV tyres .. its pretty clear why they do that.  It's public shaming and I suspect it might even be effective on some of those people on the receiving end.   I have sympathy for those that get caught in their drag net .. but I'm probably broadly okay with it occasionally happening.  My hunch is that the general public, those who are not SUV drivers, are probably generally okay with this action too.

> They need to up their game, then I might have a bit more sympathy for their methods even if I'm totally on board with their aims. Heck, I might even join in.

Post edited at 15:45
 mondite 28 Oct 2022
In reply to StuPoo2:

> All its going to do is put art behind glass ... it's obvious that this is the behavior this action will drive the galleries to take.

The Van Gogh which had the soup thrown at it and the Monet which had mashed potato thrown at it were both protected by glass.

Post edited at 15:52
 wercat 28 Oct 2022
In reply to willworkforfoodjnr:

it is as serious or more serious than war.  But war is destructive, wasteful and has at as many backward steps as forward

 StuPoo2 28 Oct 2022
In reply to mondite:

> The Van Gogh which had the soup thrown at it and the Monet which had mashed potato thrown at it were both protected by glass.

Fair.  I will change my statement to "more art behind glass". 


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