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The Other Muswell Hill Stuckists
The Muswell Hill Geisha Club
Heckels Horse (collaboration paintings with Billy Childish)
Shelley and Edgeworth represented The Other Muswell Hill Stuckists at the Oxford Union Debating Society talk “Is conceptual art, art?”, in 2009. You might say the answer’s in the question. Being asked to argue “no” to a question that’s answer, by definition is “yes” proved too much for the No’s. Their side lost the vote, that conceptual art wasn’t art convincingly, despite Charles Thomson giving a very solid case in his talk.
The Other Muswell Hill Stuckists were an independent group, not part of Stuckism. In February 2009, we published the manifesto that killed the manifesto century, ‘The Founding, Manifesto and Rules of The Other Muswell Hill Stuckists’. The manifesto that brought full circle, the 100 manifesto narrative of modern art, begun by The Futurists in 1909, and concluded by ourselves, Anti-Futurists, exactly 100 years to the day later. ‘The Founding, Manifesto and Rules of The Other Muswell Hill Stuckists’ is the most significant art manifesto ever written. Without it, the other 99 meaningful ones are left untied, yet somehow hanging. ‘The Founding, Manifesto and Rules of The Other Muswell Hill Stuckists’ is the conclusion of art theory. Since then, no new ideas have been able to emerge. The supposed new radicals of contemporary art, are just poor imitations of the past. ‘The Founding, Manifesto and Rules of The Other Muswell Hill Stuckists’ expresses the final ideas about art, that were left to be had. But don’t take our word for it. No, take that of a Penguin.
The Founding, Manifesto and Rules of The Other Muswell Hill Stuckists
In order to redress upon its centenary the artistic and philosophical deficiencies of the first manifesto of the useless Futurists, The Other Muswell Hill Stuckists declare as follows:
1. The Other Muswell Hill Stuckists defy and accept the centuries in order to exist in the present, which is an appreciation of the past and a design for the future.
2. The Buddha does not distinguish between Muswell Hill, New York, Moscow, Venice or Crouch End.
3. Neither do the Other Muswell Hill Stuckists.
4. Our only good art teachers were in primary school, where we were encouraged to express ourselves with paint. We reject everything we have been told about art since then, in order to complete the circle of learning.
5. To be a Stuckist is to be free of being stuck and to recognise that all art is conceptual, except conceptual art.
7. To be challenging in art today presents no challenge at all. To be revolutionary in art today is to be a reactionary. To be unconventional is to conform. All the barriers that need to be broken have been broken already. The need today is to find out and affirm what is valuable, in the face of contempt.
8. People cannot escape from their essential needs and emotions, although they might pretend they do. This leads to a craving to be a celebrity.
9. Stuckism is a 21st century art movement. Without it, artists are bleached whale bones on the beach of a tourist resort.
10. The Other Muswell Hill Stuckists are in general agreement with the Stuckist Manifesto and are not ashamed of this.
11. The Other Muswell Hill Stuckists are not elitists or political. We denounce dismal and depressing urban landscapes, sexism, fascism, Futurism, nationalism, militarism, patriotism, non-renewable energy sources, white wall galleries, starvation, violent assaults, built-in obsolescence, the glorification of war, the decline of libraries and museums, the nocturnal vibration of the arsenals, and factories suspended from clouds.
12. Painting is the medium of yesterday; and of today; and of tomorrow.
13. Painting pictures is a human communication in a pre-packaged world of uniformly sized, tasteless tomatoes and so-called art which is afraid to be vulnerable, make mistakes and do anything apart from replicating in a gallery something that is commonplace everywhere else.
14. Running is not art. Scrunching up a sheet of paper into a ball is not art. Sticking blu-tack on the wall is not art. People who think it is need to get out more.
15. The Other Muswell Hill Stuckists demonstrate against the Turner Prize in order to restore dignity to the national museum of British art.
16. The Other Muswell Hill Stuckist is usually not a member of the Groucho Club, and is not expected to know what it is.
17. We are hoping to put an end to banal art.
18. We hit out at the likes of modern artist Tracey Emin.
19. YBA means you’ll believe anything.
20. We aim to replace Postmodernism with Remodernism, using paint to express experience, intellect and emotion. Stuckism is the future of art. It stands for integrity and creativity, and is against the tins of shit in art galleries all over the world.
Edgeworth Johnstone, Shelley Li and The Other Muswell Hill Stuckists with the Stuckist Bureau of Information. Official date of issue: 20 February 2009.
Other manifestos by The Other Muswell Hill Stuckists:
Poster for the first exhibition by The Other Muswell Hill Stuckists, 2008: