Thursday, May 01, 2014

Channel 5 sold and Art in the West End..

The  sale of the UK's newest of the five TV PSBs   has been gong on for some time now  but the deal has now been announced that US media giant Viacom will become the owner of UK TV's Channel 5, the sale is thought to be for the sum of  £450 million somewhat less than the £700m the owner Desmond had set as the price (rather optimistically).

Viacom which is the owner of TV brands such as  MTV and Nickelodeon  will be the first non-European company to control what is loosely termed   a public service broadcaster in Britain.

The sale makes sense to some media commentators and there is a logic in the vertical integration that has  put together a channel that relies on 'buy-ins' with a company that has a vast library of content.
It's all sold now

If you're expecting a sudden change in the style or appearance of the Channel you might be disappointed (or pleased) as any changes are likely to be a gradual as contracts and style changes evolve over time.
It will be interesting to see if the loss of Channel 5 cross promotional opportunities affects Desmond's other media interests and how he  utilises the profits for other acquisitions.

Yesterdays Art Visits

 Despite the London Transport dispute our Art Class went ahead yesterday and we visited 3 (small)  galleries in Eastcastle Street W1

The first was the gallery  Scream which is associated with Ronnie Wood, it has a fairly mainstream brief and is currently showing Chinese artist  Liu Bolin's 'The Heroic Apparition' for me the work was very engaging and playful although it might be that the message behind it which the artist has in mind is somewhat heavier than the realisation.
Chinese art is currently vibrant and exciting with its own history and aesthetic mode, it is important to realise that the only Chinese artist is not Ai Weiwei although he is of course a major figure in the cultural landscape as seen from the 'West'.
The Schtick of the work on show (Bolin is also a sculptor and performance artist) is that Liu camouflaged, becomes lost in the subject matter of the photograph - it's almost like a post modern Where's Wally.
Here he explains the idea he is exploring

After  Bolin we stayed in the East and vsitied the nearby Kashya Hilderbrand showing work by Japanese Artist  Nobuhiro Nakanishi -  Nobuhiro's work is about space and time the most powerful work in the gallery shows layers  of a Tokyo Skyline spaced by timed exposures, with the clouds drifting in space (and time) creating a sense of extraction and isolation - for me the absence of human form denied it the emotional pull it needed.

Finally to Art First and a show by the somewhat unsung Modern Artist Wilhelmina Barns-Graham (because she is dead)  who was a part of the West Country Artist scene in the UK - not exciting or challenging (for me) but  the works were worth a look.

Wilhelmina made a great charitable bequest on her death and there's a nice story about it from  her nephew here..

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