Good coverage of the MomArt fire of a few months back from the Guardian here: MomArt don’t come out of this terribly well.

There’s the text of an interview with Michael Craig-Martin, in which he comes off as being a reasonable sort of fellow. I like it when he says:

“There’s an idea that the only thing in the arts is masterpieces. Very little art is masterpieces. Most of arts isn’t, and most of contemporary art isn’t, and the things that may come to be seen as masterpieces may not be entirely visible to be so different from other things at the time when they’re being made; it’s not that they’re not valuable, but they may not be thought of as the greatest things of the period. That’s something that may happen historically but the fabric of a culture is to do with lots of people making lots of things and that’s the culture. Culture is really about the richness of that fabric, and it seems to me that in this fire enough was lost, certainly by certain people, that the fabric of that record, of that continuity, is lost.”

He’s ignoring the fact that any era’s ‘masterpieces’ from any other era must come from that section of ‘the culture’ which is actually selected for retention/curation, so it’s not quite as simple an equation as he makes out. And my model of culture would encompass a lot more than objects. But I know what he means.

Nonetheless, given that quotation, it’s a shame the Guardian didn’t mention more of the stuff destroyed which wasn’t High Art (see Mark’s Brown Wedge post from the time and maybe the ILE discussion, which you’ll have to ferret out yourself I’m afraid), but now I’m carping about a decent piece which tells an interesting story.

(NB if you really want to hear me carp, buy me two pints and ask about the Guardian Blog.)