How is this Art?

Friday, July 04, 2008
Works of "art" are running amok through museums in London. And I, once again, don't get it. I've always admitted that there isn't much about "modern" art that I understand or enjoy (with some exceptions). If you read my review on the documentary My Kid Could Paint That, you'll know what I'm talking about. Now, we have someone sending runners up and down the hallways of a museum and calling it art. The same artist is responsible for other works focusing on such bodily functions as puking, pooing, and bumping uglies. Martin Creed won the Turner Prize in 2001 for turning lights on and off. Yep, that's brilliant. When event he curator of the museum admits that "There is something inherently absurd" about the project, you have to shake your head and wonder.

Speaking of running, the Esks ran away with a win last night over the Stamps thanks to a hail-mary pass by quarterback Ricky Ray. Eat that cowtown! Am I excited? No, whatever gave you that idea? Fingers crossed, I might be getting my hands on a couple of tickets for the game against the Argonauts next week...


Milla said...

I don't 'get' modern art either. Nor the so called 'post modern'. I mean, how can something be 'post' modern if we are modern NOW?

SME said...

I gotta agree; a lot of today's art is ridiculous with a big fat capital R. Kids really could paint some of the stuff. I swear there are artists who go out of their way to be silly, disgusting, or edgy just to get that extra smidgeon of attention that the real, hardworking artists don't seem to get.

mister anchovy said...

Just for the record, Modern refers to a wide array of thought (art, architecture, literature, psychology and so on) from the early to mid 20th Century. Modern thinking typically attempted to free itself from the tyranny of the past and celebrated the new. Post-modern refers to ideas generated after and in response to Modernism. These are two terms that attempt to catagorize a whack-load of Western thought, and there are plenty of arguments around definition, so I'm not going to go there. My point is just that in the language typically used to discuss the arts in history, Modern is old school. There were a lot of radical thoughts floating about as the 19th turned into the 20th Century. Neitsche had declared, "God is dead and we have killed him". Freud told us about dreamlife. Einstein introduced relativity. Picasso had introduced cubism. Meanwhile, thousands and thousands of people perished in the First World War. Should we be surprised Duchamp and his cronies came up with Dada. What a legacy, this Modernism!

Today it seems everyone is an artist. The term itself has been so deftly appropriated by the entertainment industry, hasn't it? There was some "boy band" in town the other day and on the news I saw crowds of young girls screaming and crying, trying to catch of glimpse of these artists. It doesn't matter if they can play instruments or sing on pitch or write songs or create orchestrations or harmonize or anything. The only thing that matters is the marketing. Here in Toronto, even our news broadcasts have segments devoted to gossip about celebrities, who are without fail called artists.

Those darn artists,always up to their tricks.

Personally, I love all kinds of art, including Modern painting. In my experience, by the way, it is really rare to see children paint like Modern painters. When I talk to kids about painting, they always tell me what the images they make represent. It's my house; it's my mommy and daddy; it's my dog and my sister and my brother. I've never heard a child talk about concepts like abstraction in painting. I have heard children get excited about paintings they've seen though. Too bad we're so quick to teach them that's a bad idea.

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