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  • Jamie McCarthy

I’m Bored of ‘Excellence’.

18th July 2015.

I'm really bored with the notion that we should promote and support artistic 'excellence'. First of all it begs the question of who defines this 'excellence' and who has the right to define it.

Secondly, for every 'excellent' artist, there is an ecology of those who will never get awarded the prize of 'excellence' and the support that comes with it. Art is a human activity and arises from human relatedness - nothing comes from nothing or nowhere. Every so-called excellent artist has been supported, informed, inspired by what others do and make, even if someone sees or hears something and decides that's what they don't want to do.

It reminds me of corporations who don't want to pay taxes for the societal infrastructure without which their business would never function. 'Excellence' demands recognition and support but denies that the infrastructure of art-making gives rise to its existence. Just as corporations don't want to support the human society that they exploit to gain 'success', the cult of excellence leaves the rest of us to flounder and struggle as best we can.

Here's to the failures, the unsuccessful, the crap, the inept, the doomed ... the good shit that gives life to the arts.

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