Friday, 23 May 2014

Glasgow School of Art Fire: Critics divided

From the BBC:

Initial reactions to the major blaze at the A-listed Glasgow School of Art, one of Scotland's most iconic buildings are sharply divided.

Eyewitnesses said the fire was very impressive to look at and some commented favourably on the originality of starting the blaze with an exploding projector in the basement of the Charles Rennie Mackintosh building just before 12:30.

The roof space of the art school is still well alight. It is expected that large parts have been destroyed, which will make it a lot easier for Christo to put wrapping paper round them.

Everyone in the building was said to have escaped safely to highlight the plight of the millions trapped in refugee camps around the world.
There have been no reports of any casualties, prompting Brian Sewell to write a scathing article about the performers' lack of commitment.

Final year students were said to have been preparing their excuses for not having anything ready for their end of year degree show in the building when the blaze broke out.

Reviewers from Glasgow Police were far more negative, describing the spectacle as "simply unwatchable". Matching words with actions, police then cordoned off Renfrew Street. The fire brigade's culture spokesman described the smoke drifting across the M8 as "old hat… the IRA were doing this back in the Seventies."

Large crowds of students and onlookers gathered near the scene to engage in heated debate about the validity of the whole concept, with several people in tears as they watched the events unfold.

"I wish I'd thought of it," blubbered final year graduate Nikki Hollis, 23, "Look at this crowd! Only three people came to watch my video installation and two of those were there by mistake."


A K Haart said...

"prompting Brian Sewell to write a scathing article about the performers' lack of commitment."

One has to side with Brian here. It simply wilts in comparison with the bullfight installation you reported on earlier.

Mark Wadsworth said...

AKH, exactly, that was cutting edge stuff; up there with that Suffragette throwing herself in front of The King's Horse.

Votefor said...

Never mind , you might be losing on that front but here's a cause you may wish to get right behind. Chances are you could win , Scottish independence might just leak south of the border!

Votefor said...

Comment was really directed at your last post , having now read your take on the CRM building going , I have to say that I think your view is unworthy and I think you should retract and apologise for making a joke of the loss of a significant artistic landmark. Art students can be precious but imagine a world full of economists!

Mark Wadsworth said...

VF, first comment, that is a "good idea" unworkable in that form. Having Land Value Tax instead of taxes on earnings and output will sort it out much more efficiently.

VF, second comment, it was a building! It might have been a beautiful building, in which case they can reconstruct it from photos and plans, as has happened to so more supposedly "old" buildings than you would believe.

Ian Hills said...

From a Scottish sick joke website -

"Terrible for all those art students in Glasgow seeing their work go up in smoke. Happened to an art graduate mate of mine... he set fire to the burgers in McDonalds."

Votefor said...

62 recommendations and you reduce it to an unworkable idea , do you really want change or is it only on your terms?
Nobody is saying that it is more than a building but many people have a great deal invested in it and you might show a little respect for their feelings at this time. It's not a joke ( especially as it still smoulders ) when a cultural landmark is destroyed and it can never be replaced exactly.

Mark Wadsworth said...

IH, that's the spirit!

VF, I'm not really sure what the first sentence of that comment means. As to the second, lighten up man, I didn't set fire to the place and nobody was hurt.

And my article clearly was a joke, although it can't exactly replace the BBC article on which it was based.

DBC Reed said...

Emily Davidson did not throw herself under the King's horse in the Derby: she was trying to attach Suffragette streamers to its bridle.

Mark Wadsworth said...

DBC, that is the fate of the performance artists - their works will be completely misinterpreted.

Bayard said...

DBCR, so who put it about that she threw herself under the horse (and thereby made her into a martyr)?

Mark Wadsworth said...

DBR, did she assume that she could run as fast a race horse in full gallop while carrying out this fiddly task?

Bayard said...

Mark I expect she was counting on grabbing the bridle as the horse galloped past and had no idea about the forces or momentum involved, and either she was swept off her feet to fall under the horse's hooves, or she foolishly stood in front of the horse, not to one side, and so was ridden down.