No, that’s not a photo from Londonist’s last pub crawl. It’s a scene from Jeremy Deller and Mike Figgis’s “Battle of Orgreave”, just one of several film and video works commissioned and produced by Artangel over the past two decades set to be added to a new collection of moving image artwork.
To mark its 20th anniversary, the London-based Artangel has furthered its commitment to “commission and produce exceptional projects by outstanding contemporary artists” by donating nine existing bodies of work to Tate. These nine flicks join seven other Artangel‐commissioned works already in Tate’s collection of film and video work to form The Artangel Collection at Tate.
Nicholas Serota, Director of Tate, says he’s “delighted” by this “most generous and imaginative gesture” which he reckons should ensure similar works of art can be enjoyed by generations to come. Featuring titles by the conceptual likes of Tony Oursler and Steve McQueen (the art world dandy not the film star), Artangel plans to develop with Tate a wider network of galleries and museums based outside London to which works from the collection would be loaned.
Is the new Artangel Collection a bold art venture in an otherwise desperate economic climate, a necessary retrenching or just another nod to the 0.000001% of people who can afford the moneyed luxury of getting their heads around such artsy fartsy stuff? Whatever the case, a commitment to more free art (supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England and The Esmée Fairbairn Foundation) for any and all to see throughout the UK and beyond can’t be a bad thing; can it?