Not The Arts Council of Northern Ireland

Thursday, March 16, 2006


AN EXPERT REPLIES: Professor M. Monroe responds to yesterday's 'discovery' of a new form of mathematics.

I was horrified to read the erroneous report which incorrectly identified Not The Arts Council's statistical rebuttal as the Principle of Denial. As any good scholar will confirm, the ability to arrive at different decisions after reading applications of equal merit is a clear example of Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle. What we have witnessed with Not The Arts Council is a near perfect representation of this Principle. When a group of decision makers meets behind closed doors, what is the sound they make? Is it the sound of cheques being issued, or the sound of knives being sharpened? It is this fundamental Principle of Uncertainty, which keeps artists and organisations quiet in case they tip the balance the wrong way.

This leads me to consider another question I am often asked. How is it that in the face of massive discriminatory practices from Not The Arts Council and from Not the Government of Northern Ireland, how is it that there is not a massive outcry throughout the artistic community? The answer I always give is that it is the inevitable result of the Reductive Vortex. What happens is that initial outrage of each artist and organisation is focussed on one issue. This issue forms the outer perimeter of the Vortex. With the gravity (of the situation) the outer perimeter inevitably reduces as individuals focus in on something even more personal and specific. Eventually, the issue is lost in a vacuum at the heart of the vortex. My advice used to be for everybody to look at the big picture. However, since the closure of the Ormeau Baths Gallery, there are no longer any big pictures to look at in Northern Ireland. Perhaps now we should all move to London to look at the big pictures in the Tate Modern.

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