The excellent exhibition art articles by Berlin artist Konstantin Bayer coincided with another thematically related project in Exeter, the Museum of Contemporary Commodities (MoCC) by artist Paula Crutchlow and cultural geographer Prof Ian Cook. The two had curated an accompanying programme of artist residencies, talks and workshops with high calibre artists and academics.
Between TOPOS, the University of Exeter and MoCC, this was great complementary programming. Enthusiastic visitors to both exhibitions concluded that they had seen both coherent programming and work of international standard.
So what’s the deal with Brexit?
Art articles was done on a tremendously swift turnaround and on a shoe string budget. Together with other great work brought into Exeter by the Phoenix and the organisers of Art Week Exeter the city was truly alive with an outstanding quality and density of contemporary, engaged and engaging work.
It is hard to see how such such moves will be possible after Brexit. The arts are a knowledge economy that relies heavily on lively exchanges, particularly when they happen away from the big venues. Not much good is to be expected from the likely restrictions of movement and services in an industry that essentially performs a public service, delivering exceptional value on next to nothing. This is where culture happens, throw a spanner in the works of a shoe string industry and it will collapse in no time. It won’t be cool, Britannia.