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The cod often casts an eye on our behaviour with our propensity to take paths that lead to misery, both politically and aesthetically. So, in this instance, I feel that it’s my duty to let the cod speak directly.
“To put it bluntly, how is it that you haven’t sorted out the idea of your so-called postmodern period; that all started way back in the 1960’s. Also, there is this rather annoying element of the ‘enlightenment’ as a way of thinking, that pervaded the modern movement, that, as Baudelaire put it, ‘Modernity is to develop objective science, universal morality and autonomous art according to their inner logic’. That kind of thinking was in the 19th century, a move towards the emancipation and the enrichment of life. In art you called it progress through the meta-narrative. All that appears to have been ditched. You’re floundering in a mess of pastiche and kitsch in the arts in this present day.
It’s time you saw that time and space have altered through compression of both. Space and time in art have become something different to the modern idea. You humans have not risen to the challenge completely. If the modern was drawn to the idea of reason through the enlightenment, where did it leave the freedom of the artist? Globalization, too, has to question the idea of freedom of the artist. What is freedom? Is it possible? If I come back again to look at what you humans are doing to resolve these important issues and you have not countered them intelligently I will have to do some more thinking.”
I have to listen to my dear old friend or the seas will get even more turbulent. So, my next move, just in case Cod of Codswallop might break the silence, is to set up a collaboration connecting Codswallop with Falmouth University. This event is a performance of dancers, performance artists, a musician, two narrators and two surveillance cameras with projections, with drawings on the ground. The artists will examine postmodern ideas in relationship with the enlightenment and the state of the arts today. They will form a microcosm of the world as it is. Trapped as we are in a cash flow of corrupted economics, cultural mimicry and a circulatory set of ideas brought about by the stench of reason and commerce.
I don’t want to be here. The title of the performance signifies the desperation of the artist and their protest. I don’t want to be here trapped in networks of control where values have no meaning except in whirling systems of profit and loss, greed, and exploitation. But as the performance indicates, we fight. We fight ideas of cause and effect, we fight for chaos and imagination against reason. We fight the border guards and heed the voices of the narration as they voice the adventure of not knowing. Not knowing where action will take us, or what kind of reality we will create, is our condition. We explore the realities of culture today to arrive at the ‘Reality of the Trap’. We are sleepwalking into an abyss of our own making. What the Cod in Codswallop is saying is that artists have a duty and a responsibility to actively present the predicament not only of the cultural environment but also of our minds. The media slides like worms into innate values of human vitality. My material is in paint and performance, nevertheless I need to speak because I don’t want to be here. The trap as a real place, the border guards are real, the surveillance cameras are real. We fight in the name of art through art. Time and space is still the province of the artist. Today the compression of both point to confusion. The need is to challenge the idea of a single and objective sense of time and space against which we can measure the diversity of human conceptions and perceptions.

Ken Turner

Volume 32 no 6 July/August 2018 p 5

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David Ben

I think we have another Codswallop here. In the Wan Chai area of Hong Kong, Sotheby’s auctioned off Xu Zhen’s s Supermarket for approximately $200,000 for the right to be built wherever the buyer desires. The supermarket contains everything a normal minimart contains, just that there’s nothing inside any of the packaging – no contents. The man who bought it said, “…is it a bargain or have I played into the hands of someone eager to show how gullible art collectors are?” I am in agreement on what Ken Turner wrote, as though in answer to what Xu Zhen is… Read more »

Mortimer Petitt

“We fight in the name of art through art.” It’s just what Banksy is doing through his art, what the cod in codswallop is doing through Ken Turner’s performances, brave artists that they are. Banksy has had over 8,000,000 views to his Instagram account, with that number rising vertiginously every minute. These numbers are an indication of not only curiosity, but of a generalized sense of dissatisfaction with what’s going on in the art world.


Claude Rousseau

With nearly 12 million views to Banksy’s Instagram account so far, I wonder who is behind this elusive artist. Is it dissatisfaction, or is it just someone who is having fun at the expense of the “important” buyers? I cannot imagine that Banksy is alone; there is most probably an organization behind him/her.

Danny Cork

A bank? He sounds like a good investment.

John Preston

Hi Mortimer, Lambert Zuidervaart wrote “Autonomous art both affirms and criticizes the society to which it belongs. This combination of affirmation and criticism is inextricable from its autonomy.” (from The Social Significance of Autonomous Art: Adorno and Bürger – jstor) Banksy criticized the bourgeois society which was attending Sotheby’s auction by shredding his so-called art work in public. Sotheby’s in some way must have led the woman from Europe, who had bid on the painting, to believe that the “artwork” she was purchasing was now part of art history, thus affirming the work’s value today. (Never lose a sale if… Read more »

Antony Kimura

What about dissatisfaction in general? Is Banksy about to become a new word in the dictionary, verb and noun, as synonym for to shred or for a shredder? Here Filippo Monteforte gives us a priceless Banksy (also very artistic) on how he thinks Italians view leaving the EU.

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Cod Spawn

Notice the similarity between Banksy and Ken Turner?

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Cod Lady

Hi Ken,
Did you have anything to do with the Banksy painting self-destructing at Sotheby’s Friday evening in London? Brilliant piece of work Codswallop, just after it had been sold for over $1m!!

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From Banksy’s Instagram post:
“The urge to destroy is also a creative urge”
– Picasso”



” Laugh now, but one day we’ll be in charge”

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Bingwen Liu

Yes, just like the monkey driving a bus in Karnataka, India.

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Michael Tang

And also be the only artists who are truly creative and free from cultural or economic bondage
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Cod Lady

The latest Banksy update: “The transformed work has been given a new title, Love Is in the Bin, and has been granted a certificate by Pest Control, Banksy’s authentication body. The buyer, a female European collector and a longstanding client of Sotheby’s, confirmed on Thursday that she would proceed with the £1.04m deal. “When the hammer came down last week and the work was shredded, I was at first shocked, but gradually I began to realise that I would end up with my own piece of art history,” she said. …… Sotheby’s plans to show the new artwork at its… Read more »

Alessandro Puccini

Maestro Turner,
Where does all this leave freedom of the artist?
We fight in the name of art through art with space still the province of the artist.

Matt Brothers

Is there a date for the performance in Falmouth? A place?

Cod Lady

Hi Ken,
Did you send over a cod to inspire this woman’s masterful performance in NYC?


While Natasha highlights the foolishness of men, she protests an archaic dating system and barriers put up by society. Nor does she want “to be here trapped in networks of control where values have no meaning”. Though somewhat comical, she does get her message across with her very well orchestrated and artistic performance.

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