I do actually really like Anthony Gormley. There are very few conceptual artists I do like. Christo and Joseph Beuys are two others. Not wanting to sound like a candidate for NNR. In the 80s I played bass in a band with 3 girls who were doing a creative arts degree. Just by mission creep I played, helped mixed the sound, built sets, danced male parts etc etc. For IPs (integrated projects). Eventually the assessors called the girls in and told them that if I was contributing so much, I would have to be assessed as a contribution to their final mark. They all got first class honours.
I have had a long term relationship until recently with one of the the most outstanding artists I have ever been around. She loved Gormley and there were many books in the house of his work.
As a conceptual artist I think Gormley is the best of the present I am aware of. No fan of Damian Heist etc.
Just to fit it in some context. I was in another college band, prior to the girls. This was the original line up for Dylan fans of the Tribute band, In Bob We Trust. At this time i was asked by ‘some people’ from Manchester to be tour and technical manager for some band who they claimed was going to be the biggest band in the world and had a £3 million record deal. I had so much on I had to decline. But Simply Red did OK without me.
After me and the girls went our own ways I did some events on my own, this resulted in me advising Greenpeace in 89 on staging live events prior to them taking on co-promotion of Glastonbury. What the BBC covered last weekend was a sharp, broadcastable event. Which was what I advised Greenpeace to do, and told them how to do it. Instead of some loose chaotic affair. For promoters I was running ahead of the 1990 Entertainments Act. So had to anticipate that and show Greenpeace how to comply with it, before it came out.
12 years later with the beautiful artist we had still born twins. The next week I was involved with setting up the new generation of climate models. We were guarded by machine gun totting anti terrorist police.
At this time DEFRA had asked me to contribute to a UN report. I was pretty cut up about the death of our babies and was angry that politicians were even contemplating dropping bombs on children and killing them in Iraq.
So I said climate change (the Earth’s ecological system) was a greater threat than terrorism. (Don’t kill children) Look to foreign policy as climate change and Africa, not terrorism.
This was a seriously high level report. But I carried into it the kudos of working on the climate models and having just being recommended by DEFRA to advise the Cabinet Office.
Just over a year later the Chief Scientist gave my climate change/ terrorism risk assessment global publicity. And the agenda of the 2005 G8 climate change and Africa was built on my foundation.
When Geldof announced Live8 I immediately applied to him to be creative director. Live 8 was based on my work and I was regarded as one of the best technical and influential event managers in the world.
Geldof didn’t even reply. The Live 8 concert was the biggest load of, insert, I have ever seen. The world was cheated. Which is why it never achieved anything.
Gormley is very very good. I am far more cutting edge. But that is why the Government, the BBC and the media ignore me. I have crossed the Rubicon. I don’t fit in with their controlled safe, don’t rock the boat.
The Government and the BBC will use my work, but I am a bit too ere, like, a bit too dangerous for them to be acknowledged.
Sorry for the rubbish Live 8, I was the daddy, but Geldof wouldn’t let me near it.
Gormley is good very very good. He knows where to draw the line to get his work the exposure it deserves.
Me I am still a biker. All or nothing. Death or glory. Rock the Status Quo. But they are a very influential in their pre 76 line up.
Give Gormley a chance. He is very good. he is not as leading edge as myself. But he knows what he can he away with. For the Government, the BBC and the media I am just a bit too ‘edgy’.