carrotgate and why i hate art

artist at goldsmiths rafael perez evans has dumped 29 tonnes of carrots outside the university as a ‘site-specific intervention’ exploring the visibility between the rural and the city.

i hate this with a passion

i hate it cuz it violates numerous of my own personal code of ethics and ethics i really feel the arts should be having rn

i kinda love that it is highlighting the rift that is forming in the art scene as it becomes an even bigger burning tire pile and the response that has formed to it, altho i don't wanna give it credit for inspiring owt

naturally a response to the piece was formed and has appeared as @goldsmithscarrots on instagram - a group of artists determined to salvage as many of the carrots as possible and put them to use feeding ppl n raising money for food banks

this as a response i love as to my mind it is ethically sound as an intervention whereas dumping 29 tonnes of carrots on the ground in the middle of a pandemic when food poverty is at an all time high is just fuckin awful. Like come on we have more food banks than mcdonalds in the UK now dumping a pile of food as art surely is now just out of the question.
i want to say its ignorant but i think it probably goes well beyond that at this point

i’ve seen shit like this done as a catalyst for conversation and honestly its just the dumbest shit. if ur thing is to be a cunt to then start a conversation about the cuntish behaviour that isn’t a redeeming feature here, it just makes u a cunt

its like when cis women go dipping santitary towels or tampons in red paint and glitter to make work about period poverty knowing those won't be usable again and thats a whole load of products that ppl needed wasted all to show how ~ w o m e n r s u f f e r i n g ~
and like its ok we've all done smth like that before but its just exhausting how after decades of this shit happening basic politics haven't managed to get into institutions to show ppl there is a better way or maybe it has and ppl r just ignoring it cuz they can

anyway in their statement the artist makes reference to european farmers using ‘dumping’ as a way of protesting
is this communicating some big point about farmers, especially visually? no
so is this a protest? no
is this activism? no

while the point evans is trying to make about ‘food, plant and soil blindness’ is somewhat relevant this work does it in such a way that is removed from the point its trying to make. it does the thing that i am growing to hate about contemporary art in that it tries to make a point but won’t tell u what it is cuz if u can’t guess then ur obvs not intellectual enough and not worthy of it

the piece doesn’t visually communicate this

evans also states that the work is designed as some sort of grounding exercise to connect ppl with where their food is coming from cuz obvs we’ve clearly forgotten with the way supermarkets don’t accept aesthetically pleasing veg, which would be a fine point if it had been dumped somewhere that mattered and not in a university ground. had this been dumped in front of sainsburys then it might have communicated that a bit better but it wasn’t it was dumped on university grounds (the carrots going to a farm after use here to be given to animals as food kinda defeats the point its trying to make)

jenn ellis states in an instagram video that evans work is sensitive to its context and the only context evans work is sensitive to is the one he sees at the end of his nose and no further. evans takes into context the physical space in which the work sits cuz ~ s c u l p t u r e ~ and doesn’t really take anything wider into context. it as a piece of art is way more interested in being masturbatory than it is about making a point

and this is why i hate art

i’ve seen a lot of this and the worse the world gets the worse watching this kind of art get made. not just art that wastes food but art that doesn’t take into account a wider ethical context than the artist or what the artist specifically sees without considering the impact

The first time i saw an ethical response to this kinda art fuckery was around november 2019 (last year) when the Oliver London bullshit broke amongst the uk art scene that he had very unethically been taking photos of street sex workers in the managed zone and that he and his gf at the time had been super derogatory towards them, and there were many boring conversations about it with cis men saying ‘but its interesting conversation…’ but a number of local ppl in leeds had the drive to do smth about this. so we sat down and talked about what action we could take
the decision was that ultimately no one was interested in holding oliver london to account cuz that won’t do anything, we didn’t really have resources to do much but we could put together a rough guide on how to make art about sex work in a more ethincal way that would harm sex workers less (yes the process was partly led by someone with experience of doing full service irl sex work)

this restored my hope a little but i’ve still seen too many artists and way too many institutions violate basic ethical standards in the name of art cuz all they really care about is a circle jerk that makes them look good

even if the response to evans work here, where ppl r trying to make smth more ethical and useful out of it that does take into context the wider issues of food poverty that r happening right outside the university grounds, was factored into their plan then it still makes this an awful work for thinking it could bypass doing smth good itself cuz someone else will do it
obvs ethical responses can only exist in ~response~ to unethical artwork but why is unethical artwork being venerated and not being scrutinised before it gets made?? why does an artwork like this get to take credit for all the kerfuffle it causes and the conversations around it by just being irresponsible??

this is why i hate art

being a catalyst for conversation or just a concept or theory isn’t good enough for me anymore, and i’m guessing its the same for a number of ppl or these responses wouldn’t happen

being unaware or ignoring the wider context in which ur work or the work ur curating sits in, even the context that is on the doorstep of ur own institution, shouldn’t be venerated above having a basic code of ethics.
this is why i don’t want to be an artist anymore cuz i’m so tired of seeing work that contributes to this i’m so sick of seeing work that values theory above human life and above lived experience that is sat right in front of it

i want to be part of an art scene that where artists wouldn’t make work and curators would curate shows without going thru basic ethical checks - does this harm anyone? does this show an engagement in the context of the issues it’s making a statement? why is it not involving ppl affected by these issues? does this work making a statement on an issue that is ultimately about ethics benefit anyone other than the artist in anyway?

i hate grounding by rafael perez evans for its sheer refusal to care and to mock everything but itself. but i do love that it has highlighted which artists that are not evans i could trust to not be a massive cunt

so what do i want out of this rambling shitshow i’m writing

well i know this might look like a takedown of evans but its not, he’s just the latest in a long line of ppl with shit for brains in the arts thinking they’re of so clever and i have no desire to take evans down or to give anymore attention to grounding than i have to

what i do want is to see an art scene (home and away) that actually gives a shit about things outside of itself when it is making work about that stuff
i want an art scene that has a basic moral code and the ~logic~ of that moral and ethical code to be applied all the time, not ethics being a grey area cuz ~ a r t ~

art doesn’t have to be socially engaged art to be socially engaged it can literally just be socially engaged but dint of the artist/curator/institution actually giving a shit and not being an arsehole

i want to feel like art can abide by a basic ethical code and not be seen as outside the norm, like it being relegated to queer art or Black art or as one cis het man put it to me that i was a ‘minority artist’ making ‘minority art’.

i want to be part of the art scene that while the world is burning, doesn’t clap at 29 tonnes of carrots being dumped on the floor outside a university for no reason other than cuz someone can.
i want to be a part of the art scene that cares about ppl and would use that money to do smth that would benefit ppl in our society, not just that has to form a response to shitty art cuz some arse wanted to spunk money up the wall and rather than subscribe to only fans dumped a load of carrots instead

thats the art world i want to live in