A PERSONAL ANECDOTE by Jarvis Cocker
Have you ever seen “Threads” by Barry Hines? (writer of the book that was made into “Kes” – if you haven’t seen “Kes” I give up on you btw). “Threads” shows life in South Yorkshire after a nuclear holocaust. Rare scary. It was shown on BBC2 in September 1984. Probably on YouTube now. The film production company advertised for local youths to be extras in scenes shot on location in & around Sheffield. You can imagine the excitement. Lots of us signed up because not only did you get to be on telly, you also got paid £10 a day! But don’t bother looking for me in the background in the finished film. Why? Well: the call-time on the first day’s shoot was 6:30am & it was raining & dark, so….. I stayed in bed & sacked it off. Went for the soft option. Closed my eyes & sank back into oblivion. Same with most of my mates, actually. Shameful.
That was 34 years ago. Peter Kennard has been producing his politically radical photo montages for 50 years. CND have been trying to avert nuclear catastrophe for 60 years. Isn’t it about time we opened our eyes? This exhibition is a timely opportunity to do just that - & to show them both some respect. Because we need people who carry on fighting the good fight. People who keep their focus despite the changing cultural & political landscape.
Truth is not a fashion.
Justice is not a fashion.
The message is consistent – the message is clear – the message is true.
This art is uncompromising, brutal & hard-hitting – but also very beautiful. It’s beautiful because it wants to keep us alive. All of us. (Even the lazy ones). It’s a jolt of electricity. A shot in the arm. A kick up the backside. You know what? It’s a wake-up call.
& this time I’m not pressing the “snooze” button & going back to bed – how about you?