July 29, 2011
You know what? I’m sick of pretending. I went to art school, wrote a dissertation called “The Elevation of Art Through Commerce: An Analysis of Charles Saatchi’s Approach to the Machinery of Art Production Using Pierre Bourdieu’s Theories of Distinction”, have attended art openings at least once a month for the last five years, even fucking purchased pieces of it, but the other night, after attending the opening of the new Tracey Emin retrospective at the Hayward Gallery, I’m finally ready to come out and say it: I just don’t think I “get” art. [Although, after this article was written, I did try to get an art student to explain it to me.]
I’m like, 99% sure that nobody’s ACTUALLY into art and it’s just some exclusive club you can only join if you’ve got more money than interesting things to communicate to the rest of the human species. Just as nobody wanted to be the first one to go up to the Emperor and say “dude, I can see your arsehole”, nobody wants to be the one to go up to the lady in the above photograph and say “you are at least 50 years old. What the fuck are you doing?”
Look at these fucking guys! Just to be clear: They are in the process of spending three minutes looking at a photograph of a woman they don’t know sitting on a chair. Can you imagine how quickly they’d be skipping over this photo if it was in their mum’s holiday snaps?
This video, for the minute that I watched, was literally just what you see in this picture. Tracey riding a fucking horse. What you can’t see from this picture is the room full of people staring at this with one hand on their chins and super serious expressions. One girl was even taking notes! Sometimes I wish I possessed the requisite attention span to absorb endless amounts of totally pointless bullshit.
If that film isn’t ridiculous enough for you in its current format, how about watching it while hunched over on a teeny-tiny chair so you look like a complete twat while you’re doing it?
Are you fucking kidding me? Just in case you can’t tell from the picture, this is a photo of Tracey rubbing money against her vagina. Which people are going to pay money to look at. That’s like a Zoolander joke that the writers rejected for being “a bit transparent”.
This piece deals with themes of “making kids who have been dragged to the exhibition even more pissed off than they already were by presenting them with something that would be fucking awesome to play on, but that they’re not allowed to touch”.
According to the exhibition guide, this piece is one of a number of small pieces that “can easily be missed or walked past – but you have to read them, give them time.” I think perhaps I need a little more time to read this one.
After saying “fuck everything about this place”, I started to head towards the exit, where I ran into noted Brummie horsewoman Janet Street Porter. After reading Janet’s fantastic and thought-provoking piece in the Daily Mail recently about what a travesty it is that the English language has gone from the beauty of Shakespeare to a series of senseless emoticons and hashtags, I was surprised to see her looking at such unskilled art. She must have been researching a piece about the devolution of art from this: