Polly Toynbee’s article (Inside the National Gallery, a portrait of modern inequality, 20 January) regarding our modernisation plans says “all gallery services go out to tender in April, something no other national gallery or museum has done”. I would like to clarify that our proposals are to contract out visitor-facing and security services – not “all gallery services” – and that many of the other national galleries and museums have already outsourced some of the equivalent roles. We recognise that change creates uncertainty but believe it is essential to enable us to deliver an enhanced service to our 6.4 million annual visitors for many years to come. The article criticised us for not paying the London living wage but failed to note that in recent discussions with the PCS union we proposed a basic salary far in excess of it. One staff member was quoted saying they feared being “transferred to a supermarket car park”. I want to … [Read more...] about Bigger pictures on arts issues: workers at the National Gallery and BP’s sponsorship of Tate
I was told something would happen at Tate Modern on Monday, but not exactly what. In the event, had you wandered through the London museum mid-afternoon, you would probably have missed the three activists winding their way through the galleries, whispering chunks of the transcript of the BP Deepwater Horizon trial into phone-sized cameras. Last year, Liberate Tate, the group founded three years ago with the aim of ending the sponsorship of Tate by BP, delivered a wind turbine blade to the gallery. The year before, a naked man covered in oil curled up in a foetal position on the floor. By contrast this week's "performance", timed to coincide with the third anniversary of the notorious oil spill, is low-key. The signs are that the museum will let it go ahead as planned, for an hour each afternoon this week, in the building and live-streamed online. "We obviously can't comment on how we will respond to events which have not happened yet," said a statement, "but the events on Monday did … [Read more...] about Can Liberate Tate free the arts from BP?
By Osa Amadi, Arts Editor Nigeria’s creative industry accounts for 2.3 percent, approximately N239 billion of the nation’s GDP in 2016. Experts agree that the sector can be the Midas touch of Nigeria’s economy, especially in the areas of music and movie productions which have already experienced huge successes globally, even without any financial aid from the government. Okobaba Fire: Sanwo-Olu promises succour to victims(Opens in a new browser tab) Before the idea of Creative Industry Financing Initiative (CIFI) of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in collaboration with the Bankers’ Committee, the creative industry has been projected to contribute a whopping $1 billion (about N350 billion) to the country’s GDP by 2020. Now, with the CIFI, it is possible to surpass that projection. Similar interventions The CBN, in line with its developmental function, established the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP). The Programme which was launched by Mr. … [Read more...] about CIFI, National Arts Theatre and the industry
Humber Street Gallery in Hull was a blank slate two days ago, but by the time I arrive the ground-floor space is already half full with newly made sculptures. Nnena Kalu works fast and she works big. The artist repurposes waste material like old VHS tape, and as I watch her in action, she unspools it in long, satisfying reams to garnish her boldly expressive sculptures. A massive stockpile of raw material sits at one end of the gallery, from videotapes to assorted coloured adhesive tapes, and piles of fabric, like puzzle pieces waiting Kalu to fit them together and make sense of them. She paces across the gallery at regular intervals to dive into this trove, beginning a process that repeats its basic steps yet produces something new each time. A pre-made group of boulder-like forms are bound together, and then attached to an ingenious system of adjustable frame-like structures, where they’re wrapped and bound further, to create messy forms that seem to bristle with energy. For … [Read more...] about The time of her life: how Nnena Kalu turned Patrick Swayze videos into art
Photo: Athanasios Gioumpasis/Getty Images A bullwhip. A pink ukelele. A pair of pliers. A bowl of Hershey kisses. They’re all laid out neatly on a table in front of me in this small Los Angeles art gallery, where I stand alone, waiting. A young, hesitant woman emerges from behind a curtained-off room, looking surprised to see me. “Sorry,” she says. “Um … we’re not ready.” Before the black curtain falls back into place behind her, I spy a figure in the next room, a man wearing a tuxedo with a brown bag pulled over his head, onto which are scrawled the words “I AM NOT FAMOUS ANYMORE.” It’s only the briefest glimpse, but anyone who’s been online this past week would immediately recognize the masked figure as Shia LaBeouf. The actor made headlines last weekend when he stormed out of a Berlin press conference for his new film Nymphomaniac after muttering a weird, plagiarized line about sardines; he’d later show up to … [Read more...] about Holding Hands and Shedding Tears With Shia LaBeouf at His New Art Show