This column was originally published in the January/February 2011 issue of the Visual Artists’ News Sheet. In my column for this publication a few months ago, I called for a new negativity, in the spirit of Herbert Marcuse’s claim that the proper function of art was to be a “Great Refusal”. What better answer could I get than the massive ‘NO’ painted on the grass of Parliament Square in London during one of the recent series of protests against government cuts in the UK? Only four weeks ago, this kind of negativity still seemed to be only a distant possibility in a place like the UK. When, at a conference on
March 2nd is the fast approaching date for the next set of Stormont elections. We recently wrote to all the main political parties asking about their policies for the arts. We also collated existing published information and researched new manifestos to come up with this list of party positions towards the arts in Northern Ireland. This email was sent to all the main political parties standing in the March 2nd 2017 Assembly elections.