Wednesday, 10 April 2013
Margaret Thatcher: Beyond Caring
Paul Graham: Beyond Caring
Rachel Whiteread made an interesting comment in last week's Guardian on the frustration of teaching people who..
..."wanted to know how to become a wealthy artist. It wasn't really about making work any more, it was about having a big career. I just kept saying 'keep your head down and get on with it'. If the work is good enough the career will come."
I think that might be a bit romantic, but the spirit of it sticks. It fits this death-of-Margaret-Thatcher week. Thatcher believed that everything is a market - and not in a good way. She believed it in an ultimate kind of way, that was unconnected to the creative and vital energy of growing, making and creating things, the vitality of small trade but as something predatory, where the Big Fish eats the small fish and the small fish eats the prawn. The older she got, the more she moved up the food chain, the bigger the fish, the better, the more disconnected it was from community (there is no such thing as community, she almost said), the better.
I find her death tremendously sad, not because I liked her, but just because of the way that she transformed the UK. It's not just what she did, but the way that she did it, the way that she demeaned vast swathes of British society in such a manner that things that as a nation, we have become brutal, we have lost compassion, we have become greedy little money-grubbing, gizmo-desiring number punchers. Like Rachel Whiteread's Careerist Art Students, we have lost sight of the point of our existence. There's nothing to celebrate about that.
Robert Wyatt put it best in his version of Shipbuilding. Is it Worth It?