whose side are you on

for Jonathan Jones


whose side are you on

that question again

wont leave me alone

even in the national gallery



anything but labour



im looking at tit

ian      a socialist in the museum



presumably      retiring

totally fruitless

stoppages      all out


immediately break

jeremy corbyn

all my adult life      in the past

a cynical      muscle



the case      has been made


desire      closing

worse disruption to come

nonsense      art      people

kids in the summer holidays

visitors who come      all over

a lot of ordinary people

great art


the management

savage neoliberal ideologues

i       love      its hard


down     the workers


possibly      retiring

writes      speaks


face      soft      old

oil      strike many

a long tradition

inclined      unthinkingly

rooms and rooms





the most extreme provocation

public service      i cant help

much easier



i dont think

i think

throw its weight about

i didnt think

seriously      put      out

much of my lifetime


whose side am i on

a tory      i am







26 thoughts on “whose side are you on

  1. I well remember that article.

    Jones’ complete failure to realise that the paintings in the National Galley have survived and will survive any number of political upheavals was extraordinary, Given their tenacity wouldn’t it be sensible or intelligent to judge the political action on its merits? Obviously not amongst those who are still doing well under this government.

    We opened the new show 2 weekends ago – a lot of nipping and tucking to do but it’s got something worth perservering with. There are some photos on our Facebook page if you’re interested.

    Hope all is well in Korea.


  2. It’s the self-pitying narcissism that really sticks in my mind from that article. An even lower point than when he claimed that Franzen book was the novel of the century (after just ten years of said century had passed).

    Good luck with the show. Where are you taking it?

    All is well in Korea, thanks. Just sent off some job applications, so hoping to be in a new job (with slightly better pay and far less punishing working hours) by the end of the year, or by spring next year.


  3. The new show is in Greenwich, Tynemouth, Waterfoot, Derby and possibly Darlington, Hull and Bradford. Not a bad haul considering the dire state of public finances in this country.

    Interesting to see the Tories tearing themselves apart over Europe – as Europe has always been a festering wound in the party it’s no surprise it’s all getting out of control. There’s been some spectacular racism served up by the Leave mob.

    Having worked in Europe for over 30 years I can only assume those who want to leave have not given a moment’s thought to the taxation and VAT implications of being outside of a union. The red-tape they think they’ll avoid by being outside will return in the form of individual deals with each country they work in, all of which have different regulations concerning how much you can earn.


  4. Plus, of course, the ‘red tape’ that such people fantasize about cutting includes regulations that have reduced workplace accidents and limited the ability of bosses to treat their employees like slaves. But it’s all in the name of ‘freedom’.


  5. It’s getting close now, in both senses. My daughter works for a French company who have no plans in place in the event of Brexit, because they don’t believe the British people could be that stupid. Little do they know…


  6. Indeed, the stupidity of it is frightening. It almost makes me hope that the consequences of a vote against sanity will be as catastrophic as possible, and will be felt as rapidly as possible, just so that lesson is made completely clear.

    I understand to some extent some of the arguments against the EU. It is a deeply unsatisfactory institution: remote, unwieldy, undemocratic, and in thrall to capitalist orthodoxy. It would be wonderful if we could somehow get rid of it and start again, replacing it with something that might allow progressive politics to thrive. But the chances of that happening are zero. The complaints of left-wing Brexiters are going to look rather beside the point when we become even more subservient to US and global corporate interests than we are now.


  7. The long-term arguments I think are irrelevant. Supposing we leave the EU those years when new treaties are being negotiated could be disastrous, and I can’t see anyone knocking themselves out to make life easier for the UK. Throw in the possibility of a new government ( it’s hard to see how some of those Tories can work together again ), and things could get very difficult indeed.


  8. There was someone on the radio who deals with the drawing up of law who said that the Brexit campaign have not put a moment’s thought or any money into the fact that many laws will have to be re-drawn if we leave and the period whien they are being re-drawn leaves us open to loop-holes being exploited by the unscrupulous.

    The bloke on the radio was an expert so according to some on the leave side we shouldn’t take any notice of his type.


  9. A substantial amount of the population have gone all Trump on us.

    Gove has been the most fascinating – now even his father is pouring cold water on some of his claims. His sudden complete change of opinion over the EU makes me wonder if he’s still smarting from Cameron removing him from education.

    On a completely different subject the final scene in this trailer amused me


  10. I miss the intensity that he put into his early feature films but 21st century Herzog has a sense of humour that you couldn’t see coming and he still makes good documentaries.


  11. Well the Great British public didn’t let us down.

    Our new show which looked in general terms at how things that are set up can be wilfully knocked down now has a bit of an edge to it. We’re performing it in Greenwich this weekend so it will be interesting to see how it is received.

    I’ve avoided as much media coverage as possible but there’s a lot of gloating going on amidst the claims by Farage that this referendum was won without a bullet being fired ( there’s a whole Stewart Lee routine in that ).


  12. And now we’ve got PM Boris to look forward to.

    On another note, do you know a Korean artist called Lee Jung-seob? It’s the centenary of his birth this year, and I went to see a big exhibition last weekend. I’d seen bit of his work here and there, but it was wonderful to see so much together. A very striking and individual artist, beautiful but also disturbing and baffling at times. His best pieces are miniatures – a series of postcards he decorated and sent to his wife, and a series of thin metal sheets from cigarette packets, which he scratched with an awl, were the highlights for me.

    Good luck with the show.


  13. I will give Lee Jung-soeb a coat of looking at.

    I can highly recommend Cemetery of Splendour by Weerasethakul.

    A mesmerising piece of work with at least 2 genuine mind-fuck moments. Everything looks so everyday and almost banal but it’s infused with the uncanny.

    I’ve only seen 3 of his films and each one lingers in the memory.

    Greenwich was very good, terrible weather notwithstanding. The show is like performing with a bucking bronco but people seemed to like it a lot.


  14. Weerasethakul is one of my favorite living film-makers. I too have seen three of his features, plus a short and an art installation. Syndromes and a Century is probably my favorite film of the 00s. I shall seek out his latest.

    Glad the show went well.


  15. The last week’s been pretty horrific. Even though I’d been expecting a bad result it still came as a shock. I couldn’t speak to my son, a keen Leaver, for several days. He won a grand on it into the bargain, which was really irritating. You’re better off in Korea.
    Good luck against Belgium.


  16. It’s the gradual discovery of what will be affected by leaving the EU and how little thought those at the top who wanted to leave put into the next step that disturbs me. .

    We still have a Queen so it was inevitable that any appeal to patriotism would play very well.

    I’m enjoying Marina Hyde’s columns about the state we’re in but can’t help feeling that as a well-paid journalist she’s slightly immune to the fall-out.


  17. Can’t say I blame you. We’re all entitled to Irish passports, but I probably won’t bother since I can’t get travel insurance anyway.

    Day by day it seems to get worse, and with the Labour Party in meltdown it’s hard to see a happy ending. Let me not live in interesting times, as Confucius (possibly) said.


  18. C4 News had Jon Snow interviewing a Times Journalist, Kirsty Allsopp and poet Lemn Sissay about Brexit last night.

    The Times journalist ( whose name escapes me ) was measured and to the point, Allsopp seemed to imagine that only London journalists voted to remain and Sissay went on about molecules.

    Who said surrealism is dead?

    Sue is on the board of the local Art Centre and one of the women connected to an outreach project was physically threatened and told to go home in the town where she was born and where she has lived all her life. She was with her young son at the time.

    Seat-belts on I think.


  19. The journo was Hugo Rifkind, son of our former Foreign Sec and frequent guest on the News Quiz. Sissay was fairly bonkers and I stuck my fingers in my ears for Allsop. That racist stuff is worrying, not that you would notice it here, since 90% of Islanders are of that persuasion.

    I noticed your comment on HLM on the wasteland which is potw. I have the impression that he revealed he had had a heart attack or something similar a while ago. One must hope for the best.


  20. A click on his user-name reveals that he still occasionally posts comments. but sadly the poetic muse isn’t apparent on the Guardian web-site. His parody of Windhover called Windcheater still makes me laugh.


  21. Yes, I have seen lots of stories of racist remarks and worse. Hard to be sure whether they are part of a rise in such incidents, and, if so, to what extent Brexit is responsible for it, but some people to appear to have been emboldened by it. Very worrying.

    Sad to read that HLM has not been well; I hope he is restored to good health soon.


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