Spin! and Gompertz’s gospel
UK dance enthusiasts would have to have had their heads in a sack to have missed the storm following Will Gompertz’s report suggesting that subsidy for the arts had been “to no great effect”. Like others, I’m amazed that someone supposed to be representing the great British Public can have allowed himself to be so ill-led.
The idea that he painted seems to have come from a cursory review of a very biased report. From what I’ve read it seems entirely possible that it was constructed purely to enable the justification that arts are elitist. While a few may well be, most of the organisations that I cover reach a far larger constituency than the 8% given as Gompertz’s gospel. What of East London Dance and Stratford East’s huge East London dance community? Akademi’s raison d’etre is to reach different communities which includes Alzheimer’s patients among a wide variety of others. The Young Vic gives Southwark and Lambeth residents free and low-price tickets and the Barbican does a lot in London’s East End. Sadler’s Wells works with schools, all of Islington and just one of Breakin’ Convention – just one of their many annual festivals – brings in 5,000 people from every socio-economic and demographic group you could imagine.
I like the BBC, believe we need to keep it and can’t understand how any BBC Arts correspondent – or someone who has done such sterling work – could have been so prejudiced or could have presented the arts in such a strangely biased way.
I’ve chosen these images to represent spin partly because of their content but also because the production 60×60, comprised of 60 dance productions each of 60 seconds, was framed by the revolution of a large clock.