It reeks of tired group halls full of the bingo playing near dead, bad murals by neutered ex-graffiti artists who have swapped credibility and self respect for a rainbow on the wall with ‘diversity’ written across it, and of sickly orange Reef and the juices of bored teenage girls letting themselves be fingered at the Youth Club just to feel something in the graveyard of banality that is any community centre.
The word only exists and given the credence it has because not all the hippies had the good grace to OD, sell out, or go mad. Some made it through and got into power.
Any time I hear the word ‘community’ used it is being dismissed in the same sentence, wars are fought by units, gangs, packs. Communities hold fucking jumble sales and block planning permission for renewable energy because they cast shadows they don’t like.
‘Care in the community’ was a balls up, a forerunner to the Coalition doomed deformed baby ‘Big Society’. It relied on the notion of community to take care of potentially dangerous mental patients. We asked a ghost to care for our most vulnerable and ended up with another reason not to trust anyone lest they try and plait your hair against your will and molest your pets.
Community art projects are mostly hateful dull grey pieces of nothing decided by a collection of average that take the most banal, least offensive idea and squeeze the joy out of it until it becomes an art looking thing – a product. The most interesting of these projects are normally done involve an artist who, deciding they like eating food, knows a way of actually getting paid to make art is to say the magic ‘C’ word to a council, spend six weeks pretending to record and give a good god damn about a particular groups history, desire and opinions ignore it and make the thing they were always going to make anyway.
Art can not happen by committee because group think trends toward bland, consensus means compromise and compromise is mediocre. The Community Flag in the Creative War is a the herald of surrender that nobody will care about and will hopefully mean that a pack of Art Bastards in hob nail boots will find you and stomp fuck you out of your misery.
By Danny Smith
For more from Danny Smith, take a look at – http://edgetrinkets.com