Pyramid Comment

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Monday, October 24, 2011

Turner 'Contemptible' Shuns Local Writers

Note: All the comments made on this page and other (Comment)
pages linked to it are entirely my own and no endorsement by the
IsleWriters Group should be presumed (LB)

Burying the hatchet is a laudable intention, but arrogance makes that impossible and so lives on the description:

The Turner Contemptible

The concept of creative art includes writing and a group of local writers inspired by Rodin's The Kiss produced some eclectic works. The Turner Contemptible summarily rejected any connection and a very curt refusal was issued in an extraordinarily dismissive e-mail. Such a refusal is, of course, the Turner's prerogative, but it would be more helpful if a properly argued response had been constructed (vide infra). No such argument was offered (and professionally communicated by a proper letter, not simply an e-mail! - DA].

  • "Thank you kindly for sending through your proposal, Kiss (For accuracy, this is Kissed Off, or should that be Pissed Off? - DA). We have now had the opportunity to discuss this in a programme meeting and we have decided that we will not be able to offer an exhibition based on this proposal. While the title of the show picks up on our current programme, referencing Rodin's The Kiss (1889) the content of the show does not seem to resonate with audience [sic] and aims of the organisation. I wish you the best of luck with the exhibition.
Hansi Momodu
(On behalf of the programming team)

  • Formatting of the e-mail has been considerably improved for presentation here. There are standards to maintain, something the Turner organisation claims to have, yet doesn't itself demonstrate - DA

Whether anyone other than Hansi Momodu read the pieces is unknown, but taking the (presumed - DA) honesty contained in the reply at face value, it would have been simply a matter of courtesy to explain how 'the content of the show' fails to 'resonate with audience [sic]' when an audience has not seen (and therefore could not have been asked - DA) the exhibition of writing and what 'the aims of the organisation' actually are. In the interests of fostering relations between various (local) groups of the creative arts (publishing includes creative writing) sector and the Turner this is very disappointing as it was a terminally lost opportunity to enhance the Turner exhibition. That, after all, seemed to have been the reason for the TC gallery in the first place (raison d’être).

  • Accuracy demands that the term 'show' is replaced by 'literary exhibition'.
Over 60 visitors (unrelated to the IsleWriters) were recorded attending the Kissed-Off exhibition (elsewhere from the Turner, of course). Not in the league of visitors over several months (since 17.06.2011) to the Turner gallery, perhaps, but at least all the exhibits (24) were on view from start to finish (just a few days into early October). The age range of visitors was right across the board from young children to senior citizens and from the UK, (southern) Ireland and Belgium (that's an impressive international attendance record for a bunch of amateurs facing up to the highly-acclaimed Turner Contemptible. Can the 1000s claimed to have visited the TC actually be verified? - DA).

Some of the (written) comments made by visitors

  • Lovely – funny, sad, emotional – all is there. Pity these weren’t shown in ‘The Turner’ along with ‘The Kiss’
  • Encapsulating
  • Interesting and thought provoking
  • Though the stories are all different, they seem to reveal a common theme, tenderness
  • So many emotions and memories… fantastic
  • Shame on you. The loss is the Turner’s! Shame on you.
  • Wonderful! A great way to spend an hour
  • The Turner Gallery’s loss
  • What a shame the Turner missed such a thought provoking opportunity. Jolly well done IsleWriters 
  • Awesome music!!
  • True life. Great feelings
  • Very enjoyable
  • An awe inspiring anthology of work – deserved a place in the Turner
  • Great – would be good to see alongside The Kiss in the Turner
  • Lovely, original
  • Some lovely poetry
  • What a shame your (sic) not in the Gallery. Very powerful
  • The writings make you think of the sculpture in new ways
  • Great work and inspirational
  • Great variety
  • More please!
  • Great to find art outside the gallery too
  • The dog story reminded me of my cocker spaniel!
  • Super writings… enjoyed them all
  • Very enlightening, so many variations of a simple action, sad, romantic and joyful
  • All exploring different emotions, all really impressive, enjoyed them all
  • Amazing how one work of art can encourage so many others – a great idea! Well done
  • I liked the Jill Smith one.
  • Favourite words… ethereal and beatific
  • Encapsulating! Such great words that really make you think. Love the variety as well
  • Excellent and laid out so professionally. It was a great shame that the Turner turned you down, it would have been the perfect venue, but their loss
  • One kiss and thousands of words – lovely xx
Notably, one visitor was made aware of Rodin's The Kiss exhibit at the Turner, but only after visiting the Kissed-Off exhibition. No effort had been made (by Hansi Momodu) to examine the finished works and so the comments made are clearly ill-founded (vide supra). It is only fair to say that one (newly appointed) director of the gallery did venture to read the exhibits. This does demonstrate genuine interest (or curiosity - DA). The display (laminated A1-size with large text font) was only envisioned to be mounted for a short while to complement Rodin's The Kiss exhibit and hardly to compete with it. It's even possible that some sort of permanence at the Turner was being requested and that Kissed Off was meant as a derogatory sleight at the Turner exhibit. Further examination of the 'proposal' would, therefore (presumably - DA), be deemed unnecessary, although a genuine consideration would clearly have shown more respect than was afforded to the IsleWriters.

It could even be imagined that the writing group was attempting to feed off Turner's (presumed - DA) glory. All are well off the mark. In fact, in the totally <- opposite direction to the aims of the IsleWriters (this must be insulting! DA). Rodin's The Kiss exhibit is nothing to do with the gallery and so the description of the Turner Contemptible lives on. This gallery is, after all, just a fancy studio (regarded by many, DA included, as nothing more than an expensive tin shed) in which to display it. Any other view could be interpreted as being somewhat pompous.

According to the Turner Contemporary website:

Community and Groups

  • We aim to make art accessible, relevant and personally fulfilling for all members of our community. We do this by finding innovative and dynamic ways for people to engage with art and Turner Contemporary, through a rich programme of community projects and events. We aim to create a dynamic community around our gallery and Margate that embraces and stimulates change and reaches to wider local, national and international communities.
This simple link to the Turner Contemporary was totally ignored, though even this does not define these 'aims'. Politico-speak is a form of double-speak in order to talk-up an enterprise by saying very little about the subject.

  • “welcoming, accessible and spacious building, both functional and efficient for a small arts organisation to run and a building that our visitors and our artists will enjoy being in.”

Apparently, Victoria Pomery's view of publishing literature is that it does not constitute art. Sculpture and painting - Yes, but writing - No.

Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri: Dante's Inferno

Rodin's The Kiss depicts the lust and adultery between Francesca da Rimini and her brother-in-law Paolo Malatesta, both murdered by husband Gianciotto (Giovanni) Malatesta after their betrayal. Dante's epic poem is set in inferno (Italian for Hell) and is clearly about more than just a simple loving relationship. See Second Circle (Lust).

Conservapedia - Inferno structure

  • The structure of the three realms (Inferno, Purgatorio and Paradiso) follows a common numerical pattern of 9 + 1 circles of the Inferno (Lucifer at its bottom). The 9 rings of Mount Purgatory, followed by the Garden of Eden crowning its summit and the 9 celestial bodies of Paradiso, followed by the Empyrean containing the very essence of God. Within the 9, 7 correspond to a specific moral scheme, subdividing itself into three subcategories, while two others of more particularity are added on for a completion of nine. For example, the seven deadly sins of the Catholic Church that are cleansed in Purgatory are joined by special realms for the Late repentant and the excommunicated by the church. The core seven sins within purgatory correspond to a moral scheme of love perverted, subdivided into three groups corresponding to excessive love (Lust, Gluttony, Greed), deficient love (Sloth), and malicious love (Wrath, Envy, Pride).