Yes, darling, but is it ART? (A discussion)

For some reason lately, conceptual art has been everywhere. One friend linked on Facebook to this rather hilarious piece from some site called Vice, which pretty much sums up my thoughts on the matter.

“God, people that don’t get why this shelf full of car boot sale crap is meaningful are so crass and uncultured.” Imagine having to explain this exhibition to an alien or a medieval time traveler. Bet you can’t.

I might as well come right out and say it: I don’t think that conceptual art qualifies as art at all. I call bulls***. It’s total b*llocks. I pretty much came to that conclusion when I went on a school trip to the Tate and I saw what looked like a pencil stuck to a board on the wall. I realised that this was what was wrong with the world today: that you could nail a pencil to the wall and call it art. (In that instance, I then realised that it was a photorealistic painting of a pencil so real that I had to touch it to believe it wasn’t real, and was then awestruck by it, but if it had been a pencil nailed to the wall, well, that’s just b*llocks.) Continue reading

Why Everett True is wrong

Written for Collapse Board

“Mostly only art created by women has any validity. The male experience has been created and recreated so often” – Everett True, 1992

That is such bulls***. It’s like saying that only Tuvan throat singing/rock hybrids have any validity because you don’t get much of that, either. (And, f***, it’s good stuff.)  I don’t flip the sleeve over to check the gender before I’ll listen to the record, any more than I’d think too much about whether they were, say, Turkish. And, yes, a Turkish act does bring a certain flavour to the mix that you rarely get with non-Turkish acts. It’s informed and shaped by its Turkishness but not wholly defined by it because it’s more than that and to reduce it to that is to insult it.

Take Aylin Aslim, for example. I don’t know who she is, but I love her. I don’t have the slightest clue what she’s singing about (though Google translate tells me it’s called “ghoul”). There’s definitely a Turkishness to what she does, but I don’t set out to listen to Turkish folk. I just like this one – her – because she has such a don’t-give-a-f*** attitude and playful energy that makes her an absolute joy to listen to.

Continue reading

Interviews and overshares

Frances Bean, Courtney Love and Kurt Cobain

One of the interesting things about the fallout from this hacking scandal is that it’s made a lot of people re-examine issues of integrity in the press.

Over the past couple of weeks, the Guardian has (rightly) accused the other papers of being crass about Amy Winehouse, The Times‘s readers reacted with outrage after it published the Facebook updates of the as-yet-uncharged suspect in the hospital poisonings case, and in another post the paper complained about the giant amount of bulls*** that goes into the interview process. Overall, what people want is fairness and honesty. Continue reading