“Why do we google_ad_slot = "6023194682"; allow the language of the arts to be bogged down in the impenetrable cant of social science?


Why must every document be laden with words and phrases such as ‘pathways’, ‘entry points’, ‘direction of travel’ and dozens of such like.
If the language is


obscure, woolly and impenetrable, then the ideas lurking behind it will be equally vague and woolly” – John Tusa, The Times


Regular readers of The Jackdaw will know that the Artbollocks column

Keynes for artistic solutions to cultivate their mobile maquette of an idealised health paradise, which mutates and evolves with each exposure to a new environment. Once fully grown, these ideas will inhabit the public spaces in and around the town.” Bring back the concrete cows.

The Jackdaw Jul-Aug 2007


Thanks go to the half-dozen readers who sent in this gem from the newly opened Arnolphony, the Arts Council’s Bristol franchise. It relates to their opening exhibition and they took special care over the words in order to get people in: “Returning to a place once familiar, now changed, or

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imagining how a place will look before you get there often results in looking at things in the present, but remembering or imagining the past.” Now that, my dears, is the Arts Council at its best: complete and utter bollocks.

The Jackdaw February 2006

“visit here” or contact

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And now for what is possibly our first contribution sent all the way
from Boston – Mass not Lincs. Here, a fool called
Regales Megalakos describes the results produced by her

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(?) strenuous curating in Relative Diversions: “Suzanna Coffey is known mainly for her portraiture, However though her face is undeniably hers, the spectator would do well to see more than just that, since she paints beyond
her identity origin and beliefs. In essence she does not paint her self-portrait, but only uses her self as a model. In their ‘painterliness’ her works reveal
their power of contrast between the background and
foreground, accentuated by the expression of

given a residency by the Scottish Arts Council. In its own words: “I am an artist who makes eclectic works of documentation which utilise aesthetics and medium as

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host for meaning within sometimes site specific and socially engaged procedures.” It that guff isn’t bad enough she moves into overdrive: “Generally speaking I work from a reactionary taste impulse … in Tasmania, I made a series of crocheted gorilla balaclavas … in New York I am researching vultures, meteors and The United Nations.” It’s only your money.

The google_ad_height = 90; Jackdaw February 2005


We should like to submit the conception, execution and especially the catalogue of the current Serotaland exhibition ‘Open Systems: Rethinking Art c. 1970′ as the purest manifestation //--> of artbollocks. It’s a well-known fact that a colon in the title is a harbinger of boredom and and

artbollocks in equal measure, and we’re not disappointed here. In this case the bollocks is courtesy of exhibition curator Donna De Salvo. De Salvo talks bollocks for England. And how. We’ll leave you to consult the catalogue yourself – just open it at any page. In what must be the most tedious exhibition ever conceived, De Salvo finds “challenges’ everywhere. In
what is her third challenge in as many rooms, she refers to an installation of Marcel Broodthaers as “challenging traditional ideas about museums’. Broodthaers’ “challenge” was obviously a miserable failure as it ended up in a museum despite itself.

The Jackdaw Jul-Aug 2005

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Since its new director flounced in from the Tate, the Whitechapel has been beefy big on bollocks. Its current exhibition is part of an “ongoing programme strand”: “Shahin Affrasiabi highlights the importance of painting for all the sculptors in Early One Morning by displaying his ‘still lives’ of household


and industrial materials. Using pots of paint, carpets and slabs of aluminium, Afrassiabi evokes a history of abstraction and src="//"> emphasises the constructed and and presented nature of all art.” bollocks. Meanwhile: “Claire Bailey combines notions of the organic and the synthetic in her work. Materials such google_ad_client = "ca-pub-3967079123942817"; as thread, leather and rubber are used for their plastic and


aesthetic qualities as
sculptural components in a return to abstraction, formalism and craft.” The person who dreamed up this rubbish was on a roll … “Jim Lambie references popular culture, in particular music, in his work, drawing on the materials of his everyday life. Using such ephemeral materials as record covers, safety pins and glitter, Lambie creates fetishistic artefacts and exquisite multi-coloured floors expands the

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parameters that define space and form.” Honestly though, where would we

without the Blazwicks of this world
blathering for Britain? The catalogue google_ad_width = 970; accompanying the show has one of those interviews with google_ad_client = "ca-pub-3967079123942817"; each artist, each page a wall of bollocks. Here’s another artist, Eva Rothschild: “I’m interested in un-systems of belief, non-systems, in how people move their ‘spiritual’ desires between different objects and traditions. Also how certain places and things can have a spiritual power which specific belief doesn’t necessarily exclude. I’m interested in the google_ad_slot = "7160667483"; ways of
looking that //--> go with concepts of faith and in how things are invested with a power above and beyond their materiality, the transference of spirituality on to objects. That’s where sculpture comes in, making something that
drawings and large-scale topographical wall works effecting an overwhelming retinal blow-out – a kind of visual and mental overload of light, colour and google_ad_slot = "8637400688"; information.” Ashley Bickerton was showing at the same time. We learn that a woman featured in one painting, though not one of the “hallooed cultic figures”, is “taught and emotional”, while the description of the same work concludes with the sentence: “Bickerton’s exotic is necessarily impure and psychotropic.”

The Jackdaw November 2001


The old ones are the best. Here’s Alfred Hickling scribbling about Marc Quinn in The Guardian: “The caster-sugar surface of the glistening Carrara marble dignifies rather than degrades its subjects, making challenging reference to the notion of perfection and the conventions of classical beauty.” Challenging? Bollocks! And here’s The

Observer’s account of the same Quinn ‘carvings’: “What is questioned is not so much the standard of human
beauty as the idealised values and conventions of art.” Questioned? Bollocks! And here’s another courtesy of the Tate itself: “Quinn’s detailed and pristine sculptures carved from Carrara marble refer to the classical tradition of sculpture yet subvert this by questioning the notion of the heroic and the beautiful.” Subvert? Question? Bollocks!

The Jackdaw April 2002


Since we identified Borlandbollocks as a sub-species of guff a couple of years ago, it has developed into a growth area the size of a cult. Now it’s been dubbed with a name, one spots the phenomenon everywhere. This is Peter Davies, a young painter apparently, describing precisely what it is about Jackson Pollock’s One (Number 31) that tickles his fancy: “I like the way it’s full of contradictions

[This sounds very promising! Ed] It’s angry and aggressive, yet beautiful and sensitive. It’s heavy but light.
It’s expressive yet controlled, complex yet simple, crude yet articulate. For such a severe and tough method, the result is surprisingly delicate and elegant.” Five point nines across the board there, for what must henceforth rank as a textbook demonstration.

The Jackdaw May 2001


Welcome back to dear old Tracey, whose every utterance is twaddle. Here she //--> is, in full spate rhapsodising bollockly in the Independent on Sunday: “I couldn’t fucking believe it when I got here [Saatchi Gallery] the other day and saw what these guys from Momart had done. I mean they’d fucking gone and installed the work without me even being there. That’s just not on. This is my bed. If someone else installs it, it’s just a dirty bed. If I

do it, it’s art… You know, I was in the same room as Mrs Thatcher the other day and I didn’t want to spit on her any more. I looked at her and I thought: you poor, wizened, fucking old shrew. And I thought about my own power and sovereignty and how much I wanted to get the hut back (from San Francisco) and I thought: now I can do it; now I can sell my work to Charles Saatchi.”

The Jackdaw November 2001