Wednesday, August 10, 2005

"Our water, who is art in Devon. Haloed be thy shame."

Let’s be honest – it’s pretty easy to hate art. “Visual Art” that is.

Sure some of it is neat to look at from time to time. Fewer still possess any actual merits that resemble anything like beauty or endearing charm. Usually art evokes a feeling in me similar to that of watching dog shit drying on someone’s front lawn. Most often, they simply leave me as confused as I was when trying to work out how to wipe your ass with those three seashells from the movie Demolition Man.

More correctly however, it’s the pretentious artists themselves that I hate. They would be the first ones I’d have up against the wall when the revolution comes.

Here’s my case in point. Artist Wayne Hill is upset that his work, entitled ‘Weapons of Mass Destruction’ (hey, he must have had a team of monkeys working around the clock to come up with that catchy title), was recently stolen from a literary festival * in Devon, U.K. He valued the work at a mere pittance of 42,500 pounds ($80,000 dollars in Canadian currency).

Here’s the real kicker: Hill’s “work” of “art” was a two-litre, clear plastic bottle filled with melted ice from the Antarctic, supposedly meant to highlight global warming. WTF? Forty-two fucking gee’s just for a clear bottle of water? That’s fucking asinine!

Perhaps I could just take a shit on a paper plate, stick a flag in it, and call it “art” and that would give me the right to charge forty-two thousand for it? Sure, I could attempt to explain that the paper plate symbolizes innocence and the shit as a steaming mass of life’s corruption – but it’s still just shit on a paper plate. Sheesh!

Who the fuck would ever spend that kind of money on a bottle of water? That’s an idiot I’d love to meet just so I can smack him upside the head.

By the artists own description: “it looked like an ordinary bottle of water. But it was on a plinth, labeled, described and in the programme of the whole festival.” Sure. Clear as mud. Aside from not immediately knowing what the fuck a “plinth” was exactly, I can see how this artwork may have been misplaced. In fact, Hill’s biggest fear is that somebody took the bottle of water and drank it being as it was such a hot day at the festival ‘n all. Holy shit, that’s sure one fucking expensive thirst quencher!

Apparently, this artwork was scheduled for further exhibitions later on in the year, and it was getting around and gaining a small reputation for itself. Pardon? It’s a fucking bottle of water! You can buy those in any corner shop or from any vending machine in the free world!

Apparently, as the BBC notes about Hill’s artwork, he “created the work earlier this year after asking a friend who was visiting the Antarctic to bring back some melted ice water.” You mean he didn’t even get the fucking ice himself? All he really did then was just melt down a block of ice with a disposable Bic lighter and drip it into a container from his recycling box. And he thinks THAT gives him the right to charge 42,000 pounds?

Get fucked.

Maybe if had he done something more to actually earn the money by trudging his own lazy ass down to the Antarctic and lugging the block of ice all the way back his own-fucking-self, I may be able to easier accept the extravagant price tag. But just for melting it into a plastic bottle? No-fucking-way, Jose!

Remember when being an artist meant you have some other talent other than bullshittery?

Yean. Me neither.

* Why visual art was being showcased at a “literary festival” is beyond me anyways; but of course, these are “arteests” we’re talking about here.


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