I can’t remember how we got onto the subject, but the wife informed me that some art award had been given to an exhibit that consisted of two flashing lights in an empty room. A quick search of the BBC news web site revealed that this was (nearly) true… an exhibit consisting of two flashing lights in an empty room had been short-listed for the Turner Prize. And this merely confirms what I’ve always believed… modern art is not, in most cases, artistic – merely rubbish admired and promoted by pretentious twats.

If you need any further proof of this, there was another recent article on the BBC news site that made me cheer for the average man-in-the-street. A cleaner at the Tate Modern got into a bit of hot water because he cleared away a pile of rubbish. Isn’t that his job? Well, normally… except this pile of rubbish had been placed there by modern artist Damien Hirst – and it therefore qualified as an art exhibit. In the process the cleaner, who is probably paid less than your average art critic by several orders of magnitude, showed an enormous measure of savvy and taste – he saw the exhibit for what it really was… a big pile of crap.

Let’s face it, if I nailed six corn beef tins and a dead squirrel to a piece of chipboard, the jumped-up curators of the Tate Modern wouldn’t be falling over themselves to hang it on the wall. If Damien Hirst nailed six corn beef tins and a dead squirrel to a piece of chipboard, they’d be choosing a spot for it while writing out a big lottery-funded cheque. But I guess it serves me right for not having the foresight to stick a dead sheep in a tank of preserving fluid when I had the chance to.

An addition… the following text is taken from the Tate Britain’s web site and explains the flashing lights. Before you read this, remember that this is just basically lights going on and then going off… rather like when you go into the bathroom and use the light switch and then use it again when you come out:

“For the Turner Prize exhibition, Creed has decided to show Work # 227: The lights going on and off. Nothing is added to the space and nothing is taken away, but at intervals of five seconds the gallery is filled with light and then subsequently thrown into darkness. Realising the premise set out in Work # 232, Creed celebrates the mechanics of the everyday, and in manipulating the gallery’s existing light fittings he creates a new and unexpected effect. In the context of Tate Britain, an institution displaying a huge variety of objects, this work challenges the traditional methods of museum display and thus the encounter one would normally expect to have in a gallery. Disrupting the norm, allowing and then denying the lights their function, Creed plays with the viewer’s sense of space and time. Our negotiation of the gallery is impeded, yet we become more aware of our own visual sensitivity, the actuality of the space and our own actions within it. We are invited to re-evaluate our relationship to our immediate surroundings, to look again and to question what we are presented with. Responding to the actual condition in which he has been asked to exhibit, Creed exposes rules, conventions and opportunities that are usually overlooked, and in so doing implicates and empowers the viewer.”

Perhaps I’m a bit of a pleb, but isn’t that just a load of complete b*llocks? I’d re-evaluate my relationship to my immediate surroundings by asking for a refund.

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