Tuesday, 6 July 2010
New: The Saatchi Gift (Art21)
“To the nation,” “for the nation,” “by the nation.” In Britain, things are always being done to the nation, as though the nation were a vegetative octogenarian unable to make its own decisions about anything. “It’s for your own good,” say the national institutions, casting a simpering smile at the drooling, quivering figure strapped to the bed, while they fork out a billion of public money on a rare Raphael doodle. “The nation” is an undifferentiated mass of passive receivers, happy to gobble up whatever it’s thrown. The notion of national gifting becomes a questionable idea when the art itself has barely any foothold within the national imagination (it’s a bit more complex with, say, the Elgin Marbles – sorry, Parthenon Frieze), but when the gift is this enormous, this absolute (all costs will be covered by Saatchi himself, not the taxpayer), this tried-and-tested popular, it’s hard to remain septical, right?
Read the whole piece at Art21 here.