Monday, 22 October 2012

Signs of the times - hypocrisy but not 'democracy?'

News reports over the week end have cast doubt over the BBC 's role in the unfolding Jimmy Savile scandal. This comment seemed to ring more than a few alarm bells - "emails obtained by the programme appear to add further weight to suspicions that some of the BBC's most senior executives decided that the Savile investigation should be dropped to spare the corporation embarrassment." [here]
In view of the Corporation's at times extremely contentious reporting of an appalling scandal in another organisation, I can't suppress the thought that it probably deserves all that is coming to it.
The BBC is rightly considered a treasured national institution with an justly deserved international reputation for integrity and excellence. It seems determined to destroy that, first by its increasing disregard for cultural, intellectual and political balance and now this..


Inevitably, public or civic art in every civilisation is largely - probably entirely - determined by the cultural or religious establishment of the time. Despite our current predilection for talking a great deal about 'democracy,' our own society is proving true to historical type. In place of the symbols of Christian faith, statesmen, monarchs, or the heroes of foreign wars, we now have  imposed upon us the rather brutalist symbols of  the post-modern elite. 
Damien Hirst's huge figure of a pregnant woman, sword in hand and with her baby visible in the womb, which now dominates Ifracombe's harbour (below) may not be to everyone's taste (too reminiscent of some of the detail of Rembrandt's Anatomy Lesson, or even Ridley Scott's 'Alien' films for my liking) but what exactly is this piece of 'public art' meant to be celebrating? Does no-one see the ironies - and there are many - of the installation of this particular statue  in this particular culture?

1 comment:

  1. In the sixties and seventies of the last century Mrs Mary Whitehouse postulated that the BBC was a cesspool of vice, the upcoming liberal elite, including many clergy were outraged at her comments. They, and their cohorts embraced the new life affirming freedoms demonstrated in the fresh and zany life styles of the DJ's, the swinging music groups and the challenging assertions of playwrights and commentators.
    Cast your bread upon the waters.


Anonymous comments will not be published