Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Turner tat

They thought if they did it in Gateshead no one would notice
Last week was Turner Prize time again (sorry for the delay in commenting on this, but another artform, Playboy, seems to have got in the way). Yes, it was that annual opportunity for those who have the suspicion that much of the arts is pretentious claptrap to have a field day.

The slightly surprising discovery was that I really liked Martin Boyce's winning exhibit Do Words Have Voices. Admittedly I haven't seen it for real, but from what I've seen in photos/ on the TV it is very impressive, and certainly no pile of bricks or dirty bed.

However the arts community can't yet emerge from its bunker grinning with relief. ('I say, Brian Clegg liked it. Can you believe it? Now we can have a happy Christmas!') Because I still heard a load of posing garbage spouted about it on the TV and radio.

What particularly got me was the way the arty types were saying of various entries (including the winner) 'Of course, only those in the know will appreciate this.' Apparently you have to be one of the cognoscenti to get anything out of these 'art works' because understanding them is all about spotting subtle references. If that is true, then what we are dealing with is not art, it's an in-joke. The whole point of art is to communicate. If the art doesn't do that unless you get the in-jokes, it's crap art. End of.

Picture from Wikipedia


  1. But surely you are an "arty type" yourself?

  2. Of a sort. But the type of 'art' I do is all about communicating, it doesn't have to be interpreted by someone else.