Nevertheless my critical antennae were set a twitching by the latest work unveiled by 'Installation Artist' Martin Creed in the neoclassical sculpture galleries of Tate Britain.
‘Work 850’ is an ingenious piece that, as the Tate Britain website explains,
‘Centres on a simple idea: that a person will run as fast as they can every thirty seconds through the gallery. Each run is followed by an equivalent pause, like a musical rest, during which the grand Neoclassical gallery is empty’.
The website goes on to warn visitors that "For reasons of safety, we ask the public not to run or obstruct the runners."
Creed, who won the Turner Prize in 2001 with a brilliant and inspired installation which was a light bulb going on and off in an empty room, explained in a statement "I like running."
Then, obviously feeling further the need to explain the depth of meaning in his work, Creed explained that "Running is the opposite of being still. If you think about death as being completely still and movement as a sign of life, then the fastest movement possible is the biggest sign of life. So then running fast is like the exact opposite of death: it's an example of aliveness."
Not having seen the work it’s difficult to pass an objective and informed judgement and, as ever, a written description of a great work often does little justice to the creation described.
Of course this could be viewed as an utterly pointless exercise that has little to do with creative expression and has no artistic merit whatsoever.
But as the Curator and Directors of Tate Britain know much more about this kind of stuff than I do I will just have to take it on trust that if they say this work is a runner then it must be.