Muriel Belcher, owner of the bohemian Colony Room Club, a favourite haunt of: Francis Bacon, Lucien Freud, Dylan Thomas, Christopher Isherwood, Henri Cartier-Bresson and many other creative luminaries, would only allow membership to certain people.
All races, sexes, sexual orientations, ages and classes were welcome, but there was one crucial criterion for membership. In Muriel’s words, the only criterion was “Just don’t be fucking dull and boring – that’s the golden rule.”
If we can apply Muriel’s criterion to human beings, we can also do so to works of art.
Why not? After all, artists produce work that embodies their own values, experiences and personalities. You are your art and your art is you.
So, if you think of works of art, not as inanimate objects, but as human beings, how many would you consider interesting, or boring? Would you bother with most of them?
Unlike the Stuckists, we don’t care what medium you use, be it painting, sculpture, video, sound, pottery, performance, installation, or whatever “ism” you’re into. OK, so, on this basis, what is our manifesto?
Don’t create work that is: characterless, colourless, commonplace, drab, derivative, flat, grey, humdrum, ho-hum, insipid, interminable, insipid, irksome, lifeless, monotonous, mundane, obvious, ordinary, plagiarist, platitudinous, pointless, prosaic, puerile, repetitive, routine, stereotypical, stale, stodgy, stuffy, stupid, superficial, tedious, tiresome, trite, trivial, unchallenging, unexciting, uninteresting, uninspiring, unoriginal, unvaried, and vapid.
Yep, that’s it. Keep it simple. It’s not too prescriptive, or too vague.