I went for a lovely wander around the Yorkshire sculpture park[external link to their site] today with the infamous and perhaps in many ways demonic James Piekos. There were loads of great sculptures and exhibts there, we didn't get the time to cover them all. We had to dash off but got to see most of it.
There were loads of kind of "modern art" sculptures there. Some of which were good and others which were rubbish.
In the "good" category:
-A video sculpture of Gilbert and George. Just a black and white video of the two stood there not doing anything. One of them having a little toke on his fag very occasionally. The film was slowed down a little and there was a thunder soundtrack to it. Ace. Really ace.
-Also there was a hanging armchair which was suspended above a gas fire and a sort of mocked up camp fire. The effect was that the armchair was the smoke and the campfire had been birthed by the gas fire. I'm not describing it very well but it was a great piece. Really quite clever.
In the "crap" category:
-A canvas with stones stuck on it. Including bricks.*
-A pile of socks.**
That's in no way a complete list of all the stuff we saw. There's loads of bits and bobs up there. It's just off the M1 North of Barnsley if you're one of the people who read this and live locally.
I think art gets mired by its association with academia. The fact you learn about it at school brings in a sort of compettitive element which should really be absent from such things. The classic comment being: "ah - I could do that, that's not art". What do people think they mean when they're saying that? Do they want people to turn round and applaud them? Does the fact that a little nobody like you can make it in some way mean it's worthless, like you? Silly. But hard to resist and I thought it once or twice as we went round***.
I think I always feel a little worried that I'm being conned by these things. I can't help it. However the older I get the more I'm able to relax and just enjoy it. It's fun. My memories of it being something I had to do right in order to get a grade are faded enough.
It struck me as we walked around how profoundly mad art is. It's almost like a freakshow of the mind. Artists are crazy and they entertain us with this fact. I guess it's better than just hearing voices and chopping people up. That's so last year.
So my athlete's foot, excma whatever has come back a little, just at the top. Not quite enough to make me really worry but, y'know. I should have kept up my doctor's appointments. But I didn't. I've been too busy looking at this amusing website. Even though it's a bit wrong. I bet evil James Piekos would like it. Log onto it and tell me what you think: www.stuffonmycat.com.
**Even more sh#t.
***Because I could easily pile up some socks and with a little effort stick rocks on canvas. I could you know. I'm ace me. No I'm not.