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Sunday, 12 December 2010

Call this modern art, you limp dicks? You're years behind the times

The Tate Modern is decades behind the times, dithering weakly as they skirt the shores of true modernity. It is time they dived in.

My dismay is provoked by learning that the top prize - The Turner - at the Tate's latest annual exercise in the ludicrous is some sounds played in an empty room by Susan Philipsz. (Lurv the "z", Sue. So creative.)

This is conceptual art, invented as far as I can see by Marcel Duchamp who stuck - allegedly as a joke - the urinal illustrated as "ready-made art" in an exhibition back in 1917 just to show you could find anything you like, sign it and claim it was art, and idiots would agree.

Sure enough an idiot critic called Tomkins said "It does not take much stretching of the imagination to see in the upside-down urinal's gently flowing curves the veiled head of a classic Renaissance Madonna or a seated Buddha".

The original urinal has been lost - what a tragedy - but a number of replicas have been "created." A couple of years back two Chinese artists entered into the spirit of the concept by trying to piss all over one of them on the entirely reasonable grounds that it constituted "an invitation."

I'm sorry, but the room with sounds bespeaks a lamentable lack of imagination. Last week, 40 musicians with fuck all to do went to a London studio and did not play their instruments in a performance of John Cage’s famous silent composition, "4’33’’" - which he came up with in 1952. (How sad that "troubled" - i.e. witless - Babyshambles "star" Pete Doherty didn't turn up.)

It is high time The Tate Modern got minimal, emptied their galley and had a show of nothing. You can be sure some pretentious twat would acclaim it as a great exhibition. I would be happy to be paid a few grand to "curate" it. My brilliant new career beckons.

By the way, the best and funniest writing on this subject is an essay by Tom Wolfe called "The Painted Word".

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