A Chat With Régine Debatty (We-Make-Money-Not-Art)

Ahead of next Thursday’s Blogging the City festival in Amsterdam, we publish short interviews with some of the speakers. Today: Régine Debatty, blogger, curator and critic based in London and Turin. Her provocatively named and internationally acclaimed blog we-make-money-not-art, which features art, science, culture and society in general, was one of the first in its field.

1. What puts your city on the map?
“It’s a relief to finally be able to say that it’s not the Olympics anymore. So what puts London on the map? In no particular order and not necessarily for a good reason: free art galleries, greed, best food in Europe, fine examples of brutalist architecture, bankers, Kate Moss (she’s so pretty, isn’t she?), fashion, Jack the Ripper, a mayor with a preposterous haircut, equally preposterous rents and increasingly unaffordable public transport, being the setting of the TV series Sherlock. But what really puts London on the map is that it’s the most exciting place on this planet.”

2. A topic that really needs to be more discussed in the European urban world is “…”, because “…”?
“Public art because local governments might have stopped plonking bronze warriors and knights riding horses in the middle of our public squares but that doesn’t mean that they have a clue about what passersby want to look at when they walk down the streets. To be honest, I think reducing social inequalities or ensuring access to good education and public services are far more important than public art. But the only area where I might have a small voice is contemporary art so that’s what I’m banging on about.”

3. As a blogger, how does Amsterdam inspire you?
“It’s the people. I’m always amazed at how curious, dynamic, bold and open to new ideas people are in Amsterdam.”

4. Some people paint the town red. What would you paint?
“Well, you’ve obviously got no idea about my total lack of painting skills.”

5. What’s the deal with the name of your blog? For real!
“I’ve answered this question so often that i’ve started to forge explanations for the name. This situation has been going on for years now and in the process I’ve forgotten what the ‘for real’ answer was. Still, even I can sometimes find it hard to believe that I have a blog with a name like that.”