are they not after money in the "chrysler" museum? i   “Click” when I had the Terracotta soldier in my sights! Bit of an eejit really... coz I wasn’t too sure what I was at, but it wouldn’t be long before I found out. I was in the Guggenheim in Bilbao, and the young watchman was over to me quicker than a dog growling and wanting to know “what I was doing... I mean, how dare you take photographs!”

“Christ” I says to myself... what on earth was I thinking of when I brought this camera in here with me. I hadn’t looked at the signs at the entrance. I hadn’t spared a thought for the poor people in Guggenheim who need to sell postcards and posters. All this universal culture, and they were milking the Terracotta soldier for all the merchandising they could get.

“Money is not what it’s really about” was the editorial used by W J Hennessey, the director of the Chrysler Art Museum in Norfolk, in the spring of 2005:
"In the last few years, a certain image has taken hold of the art community: what really matters to the corporations and government agencies that offer sponsorship is the economic impact.
What does theory lead us to believe: when the donators see these incredible statistics, they quickly realise that art is a good investment so they are quick to move ahead and bring along the badly-needed financial subsidies.
Should art organisations not underline to people the improvement we bring to their standard of living? That’s what we are here for at the Chrysler Museum, a place for family and friends to come together; a place where you can discover yourself and the world around you.”

That’s a private museum with a five million dollar budget. Someone who’s loaded can come up with those kind of reflections. But the article caught my eye. Why? Because it’s from none other than one of the American super corporation’s “social work” funds. I can picture the bend to incorporate these ‘ultraliberal’ trends from “those so far ahead of us, forty years ahead of us” in our world of culture. That said, there are those who in Yankee land have proclaimed that all that glitters is not gold. Does that mean that those who are saying this are going backwards?

If we build a road or a reservoir, a certain percentage of the budget has to be dedicated to art by law. Sometimes you’ll see a statue on the dam or like little trees in the middle of roundabouts. Sorted.

I’m sure that above all, our capital cities treasure that “economic impact”, each one with its own new pretty little contemporary art centre that will be used for who knows what in the future... or that people will profit from without a care. Many of those trees will probably just wither away... there was no formula for taking part in this ‘incomparable’ building, not for local artists or not for your average Joe Soaps who gaze at these objects with more terrified respect that they would at a spaceship.

By the way, I have the Terracotta soldier photograph at home somewhere. I will swear in front of the Chinese Embassy, in Guggenheim Bilbao. Or before the Biscayan Treasury... the SPRI... or any other public industrial development agency: I will not use this photograph for any personal financial gain.