For the past five or so years I’ve been making regular visits to Goldsmiths, walking past both the shiny new Art block and the Victorian Baths converted for use as a Fine Art gallery, but with no idea of what was going on behind those walls. So it was interesting to view the recent ‘Goldsmiths – but is it art?‘ BBC2 programme in order to get a glimpse inside.
In case you missed it, this review provides an excellent account of the programme:
As so often happens, the programme did little to present contemporary art in a favourable light, and even less to convince us that what the world needs now is more MA Fine Art students. TV by its nature demands a story, controversy, photogenic personalities, and that meant that the focus was on the three or four students most likely to stir up and confirm our suspicions that art, and art students, are a complete waste of time and space. Which is a pity, because I suspect that there were many other students on the course producing work of quality, and whose intellectual capacity and professionalism had more clearly been developed during their time at Goldsmiths. But of course they would not have produced enough post-broadcast reviews and commentary to produce the requisite subsequent ‘water-cooler’ moment, which, I have to say, on my visit to Goldsmiths during the week, it certainly did.