RTE1 showed "Art Lives" last night, ostensibly a look at the Irish art market. From the outset it was a travesty. It was edited by someone who believed in the MTV philosophy that people have the attention spans of gnats - bang, bang, bang. And the relentless pounding music seemed suited to the catwalk rather than a reasoned debate about the Irish art scene. And the participants, dear, oh dear, oh dear: An oleagenious Julian Charlton from the Apollo art shop (it's not a fucking gallery guys) banging on about Graham Knuttel and "Sly"; Rubicon's ice-queen Josephine Keliher talking about the importance of a friendly reception - not your forte dear; Bitch on wheels Suzanne McDougall telling people to buy what they like - very original; Big ego small talent James Hanley mouthing truisms; Some Foxrock fanny type collector with appalling taste and grandiose expectations - she is collecting for posterity, IMMA will benefit when she dies, she opines; And Anne-Marie Hourihane, who should know better, presiding over the whole debacle.
No attempt to analyse what was good or bad; No lingering look at individual paintings; No wit; No insight; No mention of the Taylor Gallery - Ireland's leading contemporary gallery. This program was obviously created by someone who knows nothing about art. And those watching would have been left none the wiser - expect perhaps to feel they should steer clear of the whole morass.