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Royal Academy Schools Premiums Show 2009

From:     the student scene
Category: Art
Date:     21 February 2009
Time:     06:51 AM


What's wrong with professionally presented well executed contemporary art works by students at the 
Royal Academy (in a style seen around the country's art schools)? Why isn't it good because it looks 
just like what you might see in a commercial art gallery? Is it the sheer lack of any overt emotion, 
expression, experiment, politics, failure, high ambition, or openness? Students put on shows and sell 
work and get galleries and are professional.  Great hey?

These students' work is ready for the big-time of a show in a commercial gallery in Vyner Street  and 
in fact this goal is the main reason that their art is what it is. Besides the fact that by the time these 
students leave the Academy there may not be the vast number of white cubes needed to house their 
and their post-grad colleagues' art work, and the whole point of making acceptable contemporary art 
with no hint of real engagement with subject, emotion, or experience (except of art) may make them 
feel they have wasted their hard-won three years at a top art school in pursuit of fleeting success.  A 
little bit of blather and bullshit and skill at very limited goals seems to be the ultimate product of our 
top MAs.

Imagine if they took their time and these shows as a chance to experiment, to succeed or fail in the 
high difficult hope of making art that does not merely look acceptable, but makes people feel and 
think. Just doing it with the criteria of making something which can have a decent press release, or 
sound vaguely conceptually  justifiable  in a crit (using the permissions of contemporary art/ relating 
referring to ideas rather than saying something true, personal, or strong about them) will leave them 
with that empty feeling without the love of the market which created them. Why make something you 
don't really feel passion for if noones buying it, and the students may feel somewhat academic as 
they contemplate their meaningless "practice".

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