Saturday, December 15, 2001
For those of you who might have missed it, one of the great prizes for modern art was awarded earlier this week to "minimalist artist" Martin Creed. Creed's award-winning piece: "The Lights Going On and Off" is an empty, white room where the lights go on and off every five seconds. Creed was awarded $30,000 by London's Tate Gallery.
Some of Creed's earlier art work was scrunching up pieces of paper.
The judges said they "admired his audacity in presenting a single work in the exhibition and noted its strength, rigour, wit and sensitivity to the site. Coming out of the tradition of minimal and conceptual art, his work is engaging, wide-ranging and fresh."
The story of "The Emperor's New Clothes" comes to mind. There apparently is a market for this stuff.
National Review's John Derbyshire has a suggestion on what to do about the whole lot at the Tate Gallery.
What do I think about all this? Well, first I think that the directors of the Tate Gallery, which receives funding from general taxation, should be locked up in prison and made to do hard labor scraping the rust off bolts for 20 years or so with nothing to eat but cold oatmeal porridge. Then I think Mr. Creed should be stripped naked, sprayed all over with bright blue paint, and made to run round and round Piccadilly Circus until he drops from exhaustion, after which he should be killed by some not-very-humane method. Then the Tate Gallery should be reduced to rubble by aerial bombardment, the rubble carted away to be used as landfill, and the ground sown with salt. Then the fools who pay good money to look at this "art" should be packed into boxcars and tipped off the white cliffs of Dover, and their mangled corpses left to be feasted on by dogs, crows and crabs.
A few days after the winning the award...a real art critic spoke out:
LONDON (AP) - A woman threw two eggs at a work of art that won Britain's Turner Prize, but it wasn't damaged, the Tate Britain gallery said. Martin Creed's prize winner - a large, empty room with lights that turn on and off every five seconds - was closed briefly Wednesday so gallery staff could clean up the mess.
It recently won the annual prize, which is regularly derided for focusing on avant-garde art rather than more conventional forms.
The work of other Turner winners and finalists have been vandalized in recent years. Tracey Emin's installation of her unmade bed, a 1999 Turner finalist, was disturbed when two visual artists staged a pillow fight on it.
One of the 1999 finalists was an unmade bed? I never thought of tolding my mom that all those years growing up. "Matthew Thomas Hoy! Make your bed!" "Sorry, mom, I can't -- it's art."