This is a response to Anna Francis’s article entitled ‘Artwashing’ gentrification is a problem – but vilifying the artists involved is not the answer. It includes comments from myself, Emily Jost, Rab Harling and Ewan Allinson.Read More
This is my paper which I presented at the Northumbria-Sunderland AHRC Centre for Doctoral Training Art and Design Research Annual Conference at the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead on 25th July 2017. Powerpoint and PDF versions can be downloaded here too...Read More
This blog post is about ASH - Architects for Social Housing. It uncovers a different side to ASH's founder that is rooted in the establishment and seeks to work with local councils to promote citizenship and art as a public good. It suggests that these values (and others) are at odds with the aggressive and passionately political persona often adopted by ASH. ASH's work has been outstanding but is it all it appears?Read More
I did a talk at Diffusion 'Revolution' Festival Symposium at Cardiff University today. I've uploaded my presentation with notes here. Click the link below to read it and remember to turn notes on in bottom right hand corner of presentation when it loads... The talk is called Artwashing: From Mining Capital to Harvesting Social Capital.Read More
The first post in this series, Artwashing London, explored V22 and its alter-ego V220 in a little detail, linking its group of companies to its headquarters in the Isle of Man. It asked why would an arts organisation apparently interested in social impact want to register its activities in a tax haven?
This second post looks in more detail at some more of V22’s connections and compares its stated aims to its other directly or indirectly linked corporate interests. This is a trail from London to the Isle of Man to Africa and back again. I do not suggest that anything illegal has happened but there are several ethical questions that, in my opinion, should be answered.Read More
London is awash with ‘artist-led’ initiatives that use ‘meanwhile’ spaces as temporary galleries, studios and all the usual stuff. There are many bigger companies doing this too. Nothing new here. Sometimes, like in the case of Bow Arts and Balfron Tower, for example, they are rightly called out for artwashing. There are many more cases of artwashing now than ever before. More and more people are getting interested in its cynical misrepresentation of arts and culture as a ‘community good’ when really art is used as a front for big businesses, national and local government ‘regeneration’, property investors and a whole host of other people wanting to make a profit from, what is for many people, social cleansing. Even artists are getting in on the artwashing act.
But why would any arts organisation want to set up its primary base in a tax haven - particularly one who claim to be all about supporting local people and local economies? And, why would Arts Council England and the Mayor of London (amongst others) be happy giving funds to a company that’s ultimately based in the Isle of Man?
This is the tale of one such case – V22, an ‘artists-led’ and, indeed, ‘artists owned’ arts organisation with a few different incarnations. It’s a bit complex, but that seems to be how they like it. It is one part of a mammoth case of interrelated artwashing that’s going on in London right now.Read More
This is a reblog (with additions) of a post that was originally posted anonymously on LSE Sociology blog. I must explain a few things. I wasn't comfortable being anonymous because, as a fellow activist said, anonymity is the greatest dispossession. So here it is on my own site. I stand by my work but must explain that my issue is not with the ESRC research nor with anyone involved in the forthcoming research project. I am only interested in exploring The Idea - Platform-7 and what I consider to be an example of artwashing. It is also important to note that this work is personal and not connected to anything else I am involved with professionally. I consider this part of my ongoing activist work: an intervention; a performance; research as practice (praxis); art (or perhaps anti-art). It is an act of resistance and a critique. If this is problematic, I'm happy to explain more.Read More