Unit 1.2 Creativity and innovation.doc

Unit 1.2 Creativity and innovation.doc

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UNIT 1: CULTURE AND SOCIETY
Creativity and innovation
London houses one of the most famous art galleries in the world, Tate Modern, which opened in
2001. The job of the curators of Tate Modern is to present art from the last 100 years. It is no easy
task to span Picasso and the pop art of Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein, and initially much of the
UK's national collection of twentiethcentury modern art was kept in storage as Tate Modern went
for a 'thematic' rather than chronological approach -- sometimes criticised by art purists but
seemingly popular with a range of visitors.
Speaking at Tate Modern (a speech said by the Tate's director, Nicholas Serota, to be the longest
ever made by any prime minister on the arts) in 2007 about the role of the arts in society, Tony Blair
claimed that London had become 'the creative capital of the world', although it is unlikely that
patrons of the arts in Paris or New York would agree. The French capital has much larger exhibition
spaces, such as the Grand Palais, and more objective observers than Blair might claim that New
York's Museum of Modern Art has the capacity to outdo Tate Modern -- although not in terms of the
sort of access that free entry brings.
Nevertheless, the arts scene in London is vibrant and exciting -- a fitting rival to the best. Listeners
to Blair were no doubt reassured to hear that the arts and culture are at the heart of what is
sometimes packaged as new, modern Britain. For him, 'stimulation through books, plays, films,
works of art the delight in design, in architecture, in crafts all enlarges a country's capacity to be
reflective, interested and bold'. The vision of British arts as the envy of the world is not entirely a
figment of a politician's imagination.
Arts Prizes
The Turner
Few awards create more controversy than the annual Turner Prize, which is worth £25,000 to the
winner and open to all British visual artists under 50. The prize has existed since 1984 and is
named after J. M. W. Turner, the famous nineteenthcentury English Romantic painter whose most
famous work is shown in Tate Britain. It was originally intended to promote British art but quickly
became not only prestigious but highly controversial for its shortlist exhibits. All forms of art can be
entered but it is frequently associated with conceptual art and media. Judging is based on a wide
body of each artist's work rather than just that shown in the exhibition. Initially funded by an
investment bank, sponsorship then passed to Channel 4 but the prize's current sponsor is
Cordon's Gin.

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The four artists on the 2007 shortlist provided examples of just part of the breadth of the arts
encompassed, with the prize being judged on the artists' contribution to art over the previous year.
The annual show can attract up to 100,000 visitors and generates much public debate and
controversy about what constitutes 'art'. In many respects, a significant purpose of the Turner Prize
is to generate publicity for its sponsor, the Tate, for younger British visual artists and for
contemporary art.…read more

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The Booker prize for fiction was founded in 1968. More recently it has become the Man Booker
prize (the Man Group is involved in international finance and investment). Sponsorship enables a
prize of £50,000 to be made available for what is judged to be the best novel of the year. Entrants
must be citizens of either the Commonwealth or the Irish Republic.…read more

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Damien Hirst rose to fame in 1988 by curating the exhibition Freeze in a London Docklands
warehouse. In 1995 he won the Turner Prize. During the 1990s and until 2003, he benefited from
the support of the art patron Charles Saatchi.
Death is a central theme in Hirst's work and his first major animal installation, A Thousand Years,
featured a large glass case containing maggots and flies feeding off a rotting cow's head.…read more

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Gormley uses materials to interpret the human body and he is particularly well known for Another
Place, his 2005 installation of 100 cast iron men, made from a mould of his own body, on the tidal
beach at Crosby on Merseyside. (They have previously featured in Germany, Norway and Belgium.)
A characteristic of Gormley's work is its installation in public places. Despite some continuing local
protests and safety concerns, Sefton council reversed an earlier decision that would have sent the
statues packing.…read more

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They are financially successful for publishers, booksellers and authors.
They help people to get away from the idea that books are for a highly educated minority.
Recognition and acknowledgement of diversity in reading habits are important.
No
They have little intrinsic literary merit.
They have no lasting appeal.
They often use familiar and unadventurous formulas.
There are other ways of judging a book as well as total sales and financial success.
High sales are based more on selection for promotional campaigns by booksellers.…read more

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Compared to BBC1, BBC2 is generally seen as a minority channel. In 2004 it launched a
weekly arts programme, The Culture Show. There are increasing accusations that in order to
boost audience figures the programme has been seeking to move 'downmarket' -- in effect
putting more emphasis on popular culture with a wider appeal.…read more

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Elitist
The use of a phrase like 'dumbing down' is insulting to a great many people.
Accusations of 'dumbing down' are typical of those who would like to preserve the
arts for elite groups.
Widening access to the arts does not necessarily mean dumbing down.
Modern media and new forms of technology have enabled new art forms to emerge and
have increased the numbers who have access to and can appreciate many art forms.…read more

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Europe by extravagant promises of a new and better life. We are invited to make
moral judgements about now and then. Perhaps Cleland intended it to be a morality tale, though he
wrote his book in a debtor's prison so perhaps his intentions were more mundane. As for Fanny
herself, we were left to wonder about her exploitation, for Davies's message was not
onedimensional and we did not rush to condemn.
(5) Then there is the series Spooks.…read more

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There is a clear reference to a phrase used in the passage, so that section should be reread.
Answer D should be dismissed quickly as it is obviously wrong. B is not very likely. `Lower classes'
is not a phrase commonly used. C is more of a distracter, but there are very few things that make
no demands on an audience. By a process of deduction and elimination, A becomes the correct
answer.…read more

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