Saturday, 3 May 2014

I will not sing a hateful song

 The 25 Paintings by Bill Drummond
slightly blocked by Man Made Bed by Bill Drummond
and Raft by Bill Drummond

Since he walked out of Art School in the early 1970s (disillusioned by the lack of ambition of final year students) and turned his back on Art Bill Drummond has dedicated his life to . . . Art.  He may have given up the idea of being Rembrandt but his actions, from the brutality, religion and a dancebeat of Big in Japan, through Lori & the Chameleons and the KLF to No Music Day and the17; from pre-Millennial graffiti to The 25 Paintings, from Soup Line to Curfew Tower everything is Art.  With a capital A. 

Much of Drummond's work is intense, earnest (nominative determinism in action, William Ernest Drummond) but with enough humour, childlike innocence and chutzpah to pull it off.  Drummond claims his work has no political or moral message but it does: everything I do, you do, he does has a moral or political dimension, even if it is only question everything.

Drummond is a painter, a musician and a sculptor  (Everything I do is a sculpture Bill Drummond; Everything I do is a prayer Spoonface Steinberg).  More than that he is a merry prankster and a conceptual artist.

The concept is crucial.  A canvas painted blue and yellow with the words BAKE CAKE is only a part of a much bigger concept: the size of the canvas (the width an inch less than Big Bill Drummond's height; the height in proportion with the Golden Rule), the colours - black, white and the primaries, no mixing (Mondrian would be proud), the font, nothing is left to chance. And then (quoting Bill Drummond):
"One of the paintings just has the two words BAKE CAKE on it, no further explanation. But what I will be doing is baking 40 cakes at Eastside Projects (Victoria sponge or chocolate). I will then draw a large circle on a map of Birmingham that is pinned to the gallery wall. The centre of the circle is the gallery where I have baked the cakes. Then I will drive out to the edge of the circle with a cake, knock on a random front door. If anyone answers I will say, ‘I have baked you a cake, here it is.’"

 5 of The 25 Paintings by Bill Drummond

Pieces of art are announced, with detailed devilment, like this one describing the process of defacing a dozen billboards over a period of a dozen years.

Nothing is left to chance, not even the type of paint or the nature of the vandalism.

I suppose there is one aspect which is left to chance
          The choice of the billboard
          is governed by Drummond's irrational anger
          generated by the billboard

So it was a gift that this was posted a couple of 100 yards away from the gallery where Drummond has started his world tour in Digbeth, Birmingham.  I'm not really happy about sharing the poster here. I wouldn't want one person to see it and think it was ok to vote for them.  But this is about the art.

Someone (The Lone Billboard Defacer?!) has been at work on this Ukip billboard! Photos by

photo by thecornnpoppy
So maybe a little bit political.

If Bill gets to read this can I say:
The Leaving of Liverpool
So fare thee well, my own true love,
And when I return, united we will be.
It's not the leavin' of Liverpool that grieves me,
But, my darling, when I think of thee
Boots of Spanish Leather
So it's fare-thee-well, my own true love,
We'll meet an-other day, an-other time;
It's not the leavin' that's a-grievin' me,
But my darlin' who's bound to stay behind
Bob Dylan
Visions of Johanna
The ghost of electricity howls in the bones of her face
 Bob Dylan
Dark End of the Street
written by Dan Penn and Chips Moman
single by James Carr
recorded Royal Studios, Memphis
released on Goldwax Records, 1967
Any Day Now
b-side of In the Ghetto by Elvis Presley
recorded 20 February 1969 at American Sound Studios, Memphis, Tennessee
producer Chips Moman

in the interest of balance here's a comment from Streets Ahead on the Bristol Post website

UKIP claim 75% legislation comes from the EU but according to a House of commons research paper only 7% primary & 14% secondary legislation comes from the EU.
UKIP would have us believe EU migrants are sinking the UK but according to the University College London's research unit:
"People from European Economic Area countries have been the most likely to make a positive contribution, paying about 34% more in taxes than they received in benefits over the 10 years from 2001 to 2011, according to the findings from University College London's migration research unit. Other immigrants paid about 2% more than they received.
Recent immigrants were 45% less likely to receive state benefits or tax credits than people native to the UK and 3% less likely to live in social housing, says the report written by Professor Christian Dustmann and Dr Tommaso Frattini."
UKIP MEPs are looking after the UK's interests in Europe but vote against everything on principle, be it good or bad.
Ukip has been accused of "defending the indefensible" after it emerged the party's MEPs - including Nigel Farage - voted against a resolution designed to combat the illegal ivory trade in Europe.
Only 14 of the 671 politicians who voted opposed the resolution, and six of them were Ukip.
They included Farage, along with the party's deputy leader Paul Nuttall, Derek Clark, Gerard Batten, John Agnew and William Dartmouth.
UKIP claim we'd be better off outside the EU but the Confederation of British industry seem to hold a different view. Which research are UKIP's views based on?

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