duckrabbit would like to introduce and welcome Joni Karanka to the blog. Joni is one of the founding members of the wonderful 3rd Floor Gallery. I was lucky enough to hang with Joni at Arles. Top, top bloke.
Hi there! I was thinking to introduce myself into duckrabbit with something that is not the usual ranting I end up in. But then I went to London for the weekend.
I saw two photography exhibitions. The first, Eyewitness at the Royal Academy, was a magnificent collection of Hungarian photography from Brassai to Capa with plenty of Kertesz in between. Luckily enough a friend had got me a ticket, because they have to be booked in advance and they cost a bit. First you pay £10, then you have a £1.50 booking fee and you can choose to donate another £1. £11.50 or £12.50, which apparently includes a £2.50 leaflet. For seeing four small rooms of great photographs. The next day I went to see the Thomas Struth at The Whitechapel. This time the price of the ticket was £8.50, and this included a £1 donation. I was thinking that I would opt out of the donation but after waiting at the queue for ten minutes for a ticket. Then I realised that I felt a bit like a twat being the only person that instead of asking for a ticket would ask for a ticket without the donation please and ended not kicking a fuzz about it.
This time the rooms were larger and the gigantic prints more spaced out. But £8.50 with a sneaky donation by an institution that receives over £1 million in Arts Council funding and who are going to go up to £1.5 million next year? What justifies charging such a hefty amount? After all large charities and museums have a commitment to provide a public benefit and encourage everybody to get in to see some art. How much do you get off if you’re unemployed or a student? Well, you save a quid, which is not a lot if you’re on JSA (but you have a great free afternoon at the British Museum or the National Museum of Wales).
I’m still wondering if I should have gone instead to see Conan the Barbarian in Cineworld Cardiff (£6.60 or £5.30 concession), which instead of 45 minutes of culture promises 112 minutes of fun.