We can listen to Gary Glitter again folks

Eric Gill: can we separate the artist from the abuser?
Eric Gill was one of the great British artists of the 20th century – and a sexual abuser of his own daughters. A new exhibition at Ditchling asks: how far should an artist’s life affect our judgment of their work?

The answer seems to be aware of it and yet still admire and enjoy the art.

That’s good then, wanna be in my gang?

44 comments on “We can listen to Gary Glitter again folks

  1. Eric Gill: can we separate the artist from the abuser?

    See also Michael Jackson….allegedly.

  2. Paul Gadd gets royalties when his songs are played, hence I won’t be listening. I loved Lost Prophets, but I won’t play them either until Ian Watkins is dead 🙁

  3. “…a sheet we were given on arrival informed us, for instance, that some organisations working in this field believe it is better to use the terminology “a person who has experienced violence” than the words “victim” or “survivor”…”

    *rolls eyes*

  4. That’s all very well, but what the fuck are we supposed to do with all the extensions Fred West built?

  5. The fact that Eric Gill is dead and therefore doesn’t get either gratification or cash from people buying his stuff is an important aspect here, I think. Similarly, I’ll be much more comfortable watching Polanski films once he isn’t around to take the money or credit. If I had any interest in listening to Glitter’s music, the same would apply.

  6. @johnb78: That all seems a bit ‘hair shirt’, doesn’t it? If art/film/music is good, it’s good. Doesn’t matter what the proclivities of the person making it.

  7. What about a so called perfect man who has sex with a 9 year old, can we say that he is not perfect and criticize his followers.

  8. And then there was the woman to my right with the striking haircut. She seemed less timid than everyone else. …. “This is a very potent object,” she announced, running a fingertip slowly over the doll’s head. “It looks to me just like a penis.”

    Don’t we just recognise the type? I wonder how long it will take her sons to come to the attention of the Social?

    What is interesting about Gill is that the evidence came from his diary. Not from his daughters complaining. What does that mean I wonder? How long will it be before we have to reconsider Gill not as a paedophile (or rather an ephebophile or whatever the preferred term around here is) but someone who was ahead of his time?

    Although the dog is, of course, unforgivable.

  9. I presume Gill was on the left to get a pass like Polanski.

    I don’t know about Gadd’s politics but has he hasn’t been given a pass I presume he’s not on the acceptable left.

  10. @BiW

    ‘Check under them’

    No – logically, if we can introduce logic into this, you’d have to demolish them. Can’t have people living in a kitchen built by a monster.

    (It was joke, mind you.)

  11. “.. how far should an artist’s life affect our judgment of their work?”

    It all depends on whether they adhere to left or right-wing politics.

  12. Probably depends how much money has been invested in their works, and who’s set to lose the value…

  13. This is the new morality, folks. Humans apparently can’t survive without some kind of morality, and having ditched the ‘religious’ one, we’ve now got a secular one which is far less tolerant.

  14. @BenS
    “Probably depends how much money has been invested in their works, and who’s set to lose the value…”

    Well, Gill tricked out much of Broadcasting House…. Don’t believe he was recommended by Jimmy Savile, but you never know.

  15. I presume Gill was on the left to get a pass like Polanski.

    His work adorns the main entrance to Broadcasting House. No wonder he gets a Polanski Pass.

    If I had more (ie, any) free time, I’d be trying to goad the Daily Mail into starting a campaign to get the BBC to destroy it and apologise for promoting paedos.

    (It was joke, mind you.)

    Likewise!

  16. I was going to post what john and Rupert F did.

    But in answer to Julia: “That all seems a bit ‘hair shirt’, doesn’t it? If art/film/music is good, it’s good. Doesn’t matter what the proclivities of the person making it.”.

    There is a worthwhile distinction to be drawn between critical/aesthetic value of a work’s quality in its own right, and whether personal enjoyment of the work is tainted – particularly if the artist/abuser stands to benefit financially from consumption of their work. (This may apply more e.g. to music or video streaming than it would to playing a DVD/CD you bought years before their abuse came to light, mind.)

  17. @MBE

    “There is a worthwhile distinction to be drawn between critical/aesthetic value of a work’s quality in its own right, and whether personal enjoyment of the work is tainted”

    Damn straight; work can be great irrespective of the person who produced it. If you get a funny taste in your mouth as a result of knowing more about the person, that’s a personal issue.

    It’s “never meet your heroes” just on a societal scale.

    If I met (eg) John Lydon and found him to be an arsehole, it might crimp my enjoyment of Metal Box a bit, but it wouldn’t diminish the work as a piece of art.

    I may be less likely to buy his latest though- but what’s the issue there? Everyone is always calling for boycotts anyway: ultimately we all buy from folks we like/businesses we don’t hate etc.

  18. Or, to answer the headline:

    “Eric Gill: can we separate the artist from the abuser?”

    ‘Yes, unless we are a fucking idiot/a Guardian journalist’

  19. What is interesting about Gill is that the evidence came from his diary. Not from his daughters complaining. What does that mean I wonder?

    Eric Gill brainwashed his daughters with exactly the sort of liberal hogwash that is prevalent in the outpourings of PIE and NAMBLA. The fact that even in her 90’s, Gill’s daughter said the experience did not leave her scarred or affect her marriage shows a level of delusion that takes some beating.

    How long will it be before we have to reconsider Gill not as a paedophile (or rather an ephebophile or whatever the preferred term around here is) but someone who was ahead of his time?

    Surely a more accurate term would be incestuous pederast or to use the vernacular a nonce.

    I am sure that others who wish to fuck children (whether their own or others is irrelevant) will advance similar propaganda, but all it does is illustrate their own moral degeneracy.

    In earlier times those caught practicing such monstrosities would have been lucky to be caught by the police and jailed, since a more common approach was to be bagged, gagged, castrated and then buried at night in unconsecrated ground.

    Just because “we don’t do that sort of thing anymore” should not be a reason to allow such hogwash to go unanswered. We should be both clear and vocal against those who would promote tolerance of either incest or child rape.

    If the BBC had any decency (and they do not), then the carvings would have been chiselled out and replaced back in the 1980’s when the truth of Gill’s degeneracy became known.

    That they do not tells you everything you need to know about the BBC and its management.

  20. anon
    April 10, 2017 at 8:35 am
    What about a so called perfect man who has sex with a 9 year old, can we say that he is not perfect and criticize his followers.

    Who thinks Stuart Hall is a perfect man?

  21. @JGault

    Fair enough- but where do you draw the line? Should we also give Led Zep the swerve? Pagey liked ’em young, IIRC.

    I think one of the deliniators between art and non-art is that art can stand separate from the biography of its creator.

    Ditching all works from morally dubious persons would bin off most of our cultural heritage.

  22. John Galt – “Gill’s daughter said the experience did not leave her scarred or affect her marriage shows a level of delusion that takes some beating.”

    I would think that Gill’s daughters were much better judges of their psyche and marriages than anyone else. What do you think?

    “Surely a more accurate term would be incestuous pederast or to use the vernacular a nonce.”

    Late teenagers. Not really a paederast.

    “I am sure that others who wish to fuck children (whether their own or others is irrelevant) will advance similar propaganda, but all it does is illustrate their own moral degeneracy.”

    Indeed. The Greens used to put it in their various manifestos across the world.

    “In earlier times those caught practicing such monstrosities would have been lucky to be caught by the police and jailed, since a more common approach was to be bagged, gagged, castrated and then buried at night in unconsecrated ground.”

    Would they? A brief look at Victorian porn would suggest otherwise.

    “We should be both clear and vocal against those who would promote tolerance of either incest or child rape.”

    Tilda Swinton’s ex-whatever has claimed that he is a product of a long running affair between his mother and his mother’s father. Not sure he is promoting it but I doubt his fatther/grandfather was buried at a cross roads with a stake through his heart either.

    “If the BBC had any decency (and they do not), then the carvings would have been chiselled out and replaced back in the 1980’s when the truth of Gill’s degeneracy became known.”

    Like Rhodes’ statue in Oxford? There are two cases to be made against that. One is that Rhodes was not a monster. Perhaps Gill was not either. It is mainly just his diary that is evidence against him. Diaries are not written under oath. The other is that History is History and we should not let the SJWs to re-write it. That applies to Gill as much as Rhodes. I like his BBC work. The BBBamyans perhaps we could call them.

    “That they do not tells you everything you need to know about the BBC and its management.”

    It is one of the few good things to say about the BBC

  23. jgh – “Am I allowed to listen to Rolf’s Two Little Boys?”

    As long as you don’t jiggle your wobble board.

  24. Am I allowed to listen to Rolf’s Two Little Boys?

    If not then you are also not allowed to listen to Stairway to Heaven or Life on Mars for pretty much the same reason if Lori Maddox is to be believed.

  25. @John Galt: “The fact that even in her 90’s, Gill’s daughter said the experience did not leave her scarred or affect her marriage shows a level of delusion that takes some beating.”

    What a strange thing to say! Are you suggesting that she’s to be denied any agency over this, that her opinion doesn’t count?

  26. Late teenagers. Not really a paederast.

    Which is where it all starts isn’t it…with the dissembling…with the excuses…the because.

    That’s why the actions of Roman Polanski weren’t “Rape Rape” according to Whoopi Goldberg, whatever the fuck that means.

    As soon as you give these bastards and inch they take a mile, so my viewpoint is to give them none.

    My viewpoint is coloured by having a “Late teenage” age daughter whose virginity I would prefer remained unviolated during her adolescence.

    Your mileage may differ, obviously.

  27. @JuliaM

    Yeah but yeah but, she’s so horribly maimed by Gill her understanding is all skewed and stuff. Only the left can truly state the case.

    (I’m not actually defending Gill- he was a nutter, but it’s strange how the victim’s word is all, until the victim disagrees with the orthodoxy. His family life generally was so odd, though, I’m kind of unsurprised she said what she said. For her, there was not really any baseline of normality to compare her experiences at her dads hands against)

  28. John Galt – “Which is where it all starts isn’t it…with the dissembling…with the excuses…the because.”

    Sure. But we still need to be clear what we are talking about. And there is a difference between assaulting your eight year old daughter and your 16 year old.

    “My viewpoint is coloured by having a “Late teenage” age daughter whose virginity I would prefer remained unviolated during her adolescence.”

    I am totally in agreement with you there. But realistically there is little chance of that. Still, incest should be punished by death. This one got away with it. But his work is (or not) beautiful regardless.

  29. @galt

    Nah- Polanski raped that girl. She was perhaps naive enough not to realise what was likely to happen, but it’s still rape and all that.

    And yes- the left’s defence of the man is disgusting.

    The thing is- Rosemary’s Baby is still a great film, Gill Sans is still a beautiful typeface and Good Times, Bad Times still rocks.

    I think that separating someone’s work from how they live their life is important. Otherwise it’s all just another form of ad hominem: and that kind of argument isn’t to do with art

  30. I think that separating someone’s work from how they live their life is important. Otherwise it’s all just another form of ad hominem: and that kind of argument isn’t to do with art

    There is a line to be drawn though.

    If you have two pieces of art depicting the same building in slightly different styles, but without reference to the artist, you may critique the artistry, the technique (line, shape, tone, color, pattern, texture, form, etc.), but it cannot be appreciated artistically, because such appreciation requires an understanding of the idea behind the creation and the idea cannot be separated from the man / woman.

    You may admire a the technical precision of the painting of “The Courtyard of the Old Residency in Munich” or the simple beauty of the artists “Mother Mary with the Holy Child Jesus Christ”, but when you are made aware that these are the paintings of Adolf Hitler your viewpoint is likely to be discoloured.

    Does the fact that the artist created these paintings decades before killing millions remove the stain on them?

    Does the stain become invisible because they are works of art, not because they are the works of a homicidal dictator?

    Why should we treat Gill’s works any differently because he only committed incest with his “Late teenage” daughters?

    If there is a saving grace it is that Gill is dead and thus can no longer profit from his works, but the BBC still profits from them.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/historyofthebbc/collections/art/prospero

    The cost of a family ticket tour of BBC Broadcasting House was £43.50 until they were terminated in 2016 due to security concerns.

    Must have made a nice profit there.

  31. Galt, if late teenage girls I’ve met are any indication, she doesnt give your opinion about what her sex life should be any mind at all.

  32. Galt, if late teenage girls I’ve met are any indication, she doesnt give your opinion about what her sex life should be any mind at all.

    The point of being a parent is neither to micromanage your child, nor to let them do whatever the hell they please, but rather to act in their best interests even when it is contrary to their expressed desires.

    Do I care what my daughter thinks? Of course I do, but equally I would explain why she can’t do whatever she wants and if she persisted I would actively prevent her doing things which would bring her to harm.

    My house, my kid, my rules. When she is 18 she is free to setup her own house and live in it by her own rules.

    In so doing I hope to teach her decency and respect, aided by her being a buddhist and her mother being of Chinese lineage (Kuomintang rather than the Communist variety)

    How you choose to raise your kids is your affair.

  33. “If the BBC had any decency (and they do not), then the carvings would have been chiselled out and replaced back in the 1980’s when the truth of Gill’s degeneracy became known.”

    And does that go for the Stations of the Cross at Westminster Cathedral as well?

    And for any text set in Gill Sans, one of the best of 20th-century fonts?

  34. @JGalt

    You make two points in yours of 12:51:

    First: that an appreciation of art requires an understanding of the mindset of the artist.

    Second: that a line must be drawn somewhere

    On that second point- I humbly suggest that it creates a difficulty far greater than any other we’ve discussed- you are essentially setting up some form of moral arbitration court for the appreciation of art. How bad would someone have to be before they fell foul of the rules? “Ah, he was a great poet, but he just wouldn’t stop fucking goats. One we could forgive, two at a push- especially if the goats were pretty. But seven?! No way, even if he was head of the RA”.

    On the first point- I thought the whole point of art was to capture someone’s perspective and make it appreciable by whoever saw it? Surely you don’t need to know anything about Gill to appreciate the quality of his work? Equally- Hitler’s terrible art is in no way changed by knowing he was also a genocidal maniac. It’s still shit.

    If Hitler wanted us to understand the full breadth of his thoughts on other subjects, he should have downed his paintbrush, and written a book, or gotten into politics.

  35. The art has no connection with the moral turpitude of its creator.

    What the hell difference does it make if a painting is by Hitler. So long as it is being judged on its artistic merits rather than being sold at a massive price because of the notoriety of the painter.

    Fred West was a small-time builder. His house was demolished because of the awful crimes he committed there and to ensure morbid freaks could not buy it.Suppose he had been a builder on the Barratt scale? Should all of the housing estates he might have built be compulsorily purchased by the state and knocked down?.

    There are two points re the paedo mania.

    One is to protect children. Well–given the activities of our dear culture-enriching imported friends we certainly aren’t protecting kids properly. And even less so over the Channel.

    What we are doing is pandering to the second area that needs attention. The use by marxian feminism of paedo-hysteria (esp against elderly white males) as weapon against men in particular and Western society in general. Here we are all but stooges of the lying left.

    This Gillies character–or Glitter for that matter — I cannot say specifically as I haven’t yet studied the evidence available in those cases. But I can say that the claims against Rolf Harris, Stuart Hall and Jimmy Saville are pure bullshit. In 25 years all 3 will be exonerated just as the “Satanic Panic” of 1989/90+ has now been proved and officially accepted as utter shite.

  36. Gill was a disgusting man – he buggered his own daughter, for Heaven’s sake. I lived in Ditchling for a while and found it a very odd place. Frank Brangwyin also lived there, whose work I much preferred…

  37. I think it was only recently in the news that those ISIS chaps went round destroying artworks because the ancient civilisations that carved them were polytheist idolators, which they consider to be the worst sin imaginable. And from a Western point of view, they were also slave-owning conquering aggressors who didn’t respect human rights and equality of people in the countries they invaded.

    Should we therefore demolish all ancient buildings as morally tainted? Or can we separate the art from the artists when it’s the Romans, Egyptians, Persians, etc.?

    Or is it only OK because they’re all dead?

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