I received what follows from Becky Fury yesterday.
She is not to be confused with Becky Sharp, the heroine of William Makepeace Thackeray’s novel Vanity Fair.
Becky Fury won a Malcolm Hardee Cunning Stunt Award in 2016.
Becky Sharp did not.
Becky Fury’s Award was well-deserved.
The anarchist festival at ADM platforms international anarchist artists working in any alternative medium – for example, vegan junk food boutiques raising money for anarchist solidarity causes.
My favourite and most edgy this year was the seitan (wheat gluten) wrap stand that was raising money for the solidarity campaign to support some anarchist bank robbers.
Tag line: Better rob a bank than be a thief that owns one.
There were a number of other insurrectionary installations and tongue-in-pierced-cheek institutions…
Punk hairdressers God Shave The Queen.
A fetish wear salon where the primary material for the kinky creations was recycled bike inner tubes. It was called Eco Slut. (Not to be confused with, but can be used in conjunction with, The Ethical Slut, an old anarchist handbook about the now super-trending polyamory.)
A circus without a traditional ring person but with the tag line: No Gods, No (Ring)masters.
Also more standard festival fare bands, poets and one political comic performance artist. Me.
This was the 21st and possibly last year of the ADM festival and alternative arts showcase.
The ADM is an amazing autonomous artspace near Amsterdam which hosts several sub cultural festivals a year – or did for the past 21 years.
The location is unfortunately now a prime dockside development area and ADM is threatened with eviction this year. On Christmas Day.
One may wonder who would do such a cuntish act.
My explanation is Scrooge Industries (or Industrie de Scroogen in Dutch ). One can only hope that Meester or Mrs Scroogen receives a visitation from the Ghost of Festivals Past who gives them a fat spliff of Amsterdam’s Cannabis Cup winning finest and they chill out and reconsider and join the party
Unlikely supernatural intervention aside, there is a petition on the ADM website you can sign, if that’s your sort of thing. It is against the closure of the space. Not for it. Though there is probably a petition for that elsewhere.
The sub-header for the pro ADM petition is:
“Without Subculture, There is No Culture”
Artists need space to develop interesting work without economic restriction even if its only function is to provide creative detritus to fuel the industries of mainstream culture.
As an example of this, I offer the 5 Euro For a 10 Inch Vegan Pizza stall at the festival.
Veganism and moaning about vegans has been a staple of the punk movement and squat culture for years – only recently commodified and adopted by the mainstream as part of woke capitalism and priced accordingly.
The over-priced products are voided of their revolutionary potential as they are way out of the reach of the proletariat and the vegan vanguard that lived in my squat and threw my milk in the bin after scrawling COW RAPE all over the fridge in permanent marker.
Vegans have always been known with the prefix ‘fucking’ – but I always had more affection for the ‘fucking vegans’ when their virtue signalling went beyond taking photos of their over-priced and under-seasoned lunch on Instagram. Back in the days when Insta-gram meant having your drug dealer on speed dial and the only virtue signalling done was by the Land Rover used for hunt sabotaging and transporting the vegan burger stand to festivals to fund all this ethically sourced nonsense.
Sorry not sorry if that offends any fucking vegans.
If you choose to take offence, that is your choice. This is not the Oscars. Save me your acceptance speech.
But this is John’s blog, so that is traditional and part of the idiosyncratic construct of the oeuvre.
My point is that, without free space, we end with no culture or a battery culture. Without nurturing and protecting artists, we end up with the artistic equivalent of battery hens laying mass-produced low-grade products for market.
One would hope there would be a revolution in the hen house – or should that be a coup?
One would hope the fashion for things organic and free range would extend to people but one imagines that there is a lack of imagination that will mean this is not the case.
It betrays a lack of joined-up thinking – but nowadays everyone writes on keyboards.
Anyway, I should have written this article before I left the sanctity of the artists’ utopia in Amsterdam.
I have performed at five arts festivals this year and that was by far the finest.
I have included some pictures for you to enjoy. You have seen them here first before they end up in adverts and their creators end up in the gutter.
Viva the revoloucion!
And come see my show Political when it’s next in your town or the one you’re squatting in the way that creative industry professionals do when they take over a town for their creative industrial professional ends.