Monday, 30 June 2008

Runaround

I’m not really much of an expert on Art and Music. I know about some works and can just about do enough A Level style ‘Comparing and Contrasting’ to sneak a pass as a ‘Foundation Level dilettante’.

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."

Tate Britain director Stephen Deuchar called the work "compelling, simple and lyrical".

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.

3 comments:

William Gruff said...

ROTFFLMFARO.

Am I a Philistine? Probably but I can say truthfully that I spent four years at art college in the early/mid 1970s.

What does anyone know about 'art' that is incontrovertible? All one needs to defeat the egotists of the art world is the confidence founded on unshakable cynicism and a love of alcohol.

Call them wankers and tell them to fuck off and they'll be reaching for their cheque books.

Letters From A Tory said...

If he likes running, do you think he could start running, head for Dover and never look back?

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