Crumbs From the Corner: Adventures in Woolgathering

Sunday, November 18, 2007

A Work of Art

"Money never made a man happy yet, nor will it. The more a man has, the more he wants. Instead of filling a vacuum, it makes one."

-Benjamin Franklin

I well remember a story from last year that caused quite a stir in art circles. A sculptor discovered to his horror and amusement that a piece of his work had been misplaced- and that the base, which had somehow become separated from the actual sculpture, had been crowned as a marvelous and interesting work.

The article bemused me:
"Mr Hensel had never considered the empty plinth a work of art in itself. But the exhibition selectors evidently did. So, too, did visitors, who pronounced it beautiful.
No one seemed to notice, or mind, that the sculpture itself, a laughing head entitled One Day Closer to Paradise, was missing. "What apparently happened was that they had become separated and the selectors judged the empty base a good enough sculpture in its own right to include it in the show," said Mr Hensel."

I thought that this story was delightful, myself. It proves what I have always imagined to be true: that pretentiousness is but a thin blanket of disguise. Sooner or later one will make a slip. Sooner or later so-called 'art' will be exposed for what it is, or rather, is not.

In the art gallery, when people were gathered making obscure comments, they ought to have taken the time to look, to just look at the thing with their own eyes. They might have seen how daft the entire process actually is.

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