Failing to Succeed

Fail to succeed, Photo by Angie Butler

We gave a short ‘motivational’ talk at this years Small Publishers Fair in London, entitled “Fail to Succeed”. The talk developed from our book The Rebel(s), which is based on Tony Hancock’s 1961 film The Rebel, which explores what it’s like to be an artist.



Here’s an excerpt from the talk

And here are the remarks we made in summing up the ‘Fail to Succeed’ philosophy:

WE FAIL TO SUCCEED by carrying on making things even though nobody wants them
….by making work which is based on visual experience, beauty, emotion, empirical study and formal rigour… working in old media, like painting, printmaking sculpture and, anything else which is object based.

Our metrics of success are now based on how little people notice the work and how few people are willing to buy it. 

It is worth pointing out that our failure is not (generally) a strategy in same way as say, Martin Kippenberger celebrated failure, or the way failure is conceptually structured in the work of Bas Jan Ader. 

It is really more of a case of getting things wrong, being out of step, and of not being able and/or willing to adapt.