Buzz Magazine has just posted this good piece on the opening of Cardiff Arts Institute.
It’s a fair review that picks up on the Institute’s kitsch and tongue-in-cheek approach while picking apart some of the venue’s features, such as the manifesto and the ‘Nothing Special’ wallpaper – which have already received a tiny amount of attention already – calling them “mildly masturbatory touches that didn’t quite hit the mark”.
Personally I like the manifesto – it expresses the participatory ambition of CAI. And it’s in direct contradiction of something that Buzz picks up on, that Cardiff Arts Institute is “seen by many as a rival to Buffalo and 10 Feet Tall”. I would argue that in fact CAI compliments those two venues – and Clwb Ifor Bach and Toucan Club. Many of the people behind the Institute and promoting there work or have worked in the past with all these venues. Competition is always healthy, but far from setting up as a rival CAI has simply added one more excellent choice to a city that the recent Swn festival has proved is far more interesting when there’s a multitude of good venues baying for your attention.
Update 09.11.09 20:44: In reply to the Buzz review ‘Eclectktic Mick’ has pointed out the ‘Nothing Special’ piece was “designed in the late 80’s by Mark D’amico and offered for free to the CAI in support of those lovely Milgi girls who loved it when they saw it in his studio as children. They could not get their heads around it at the time and it seems things have not changed in 30 years.” There you go…