Tuesday, 10 July 2012

‘Hang on a minute lads, I’ve got a great idea’

No, this isn’t a stupendously disastrous piece of parking, it’s the summer art installation at the De La Warr Pavillion: a witty and refreshingly populist statement about life on the edge (and other things) by Richard Wilson, inspired by the film, The Italian Job. Hear the artist talk about it here (after an uninteresting advert for something or other). And yes, the bus really does teeter.

I think there are three basic approaches to reacting to art like this: 

 1) You can look at it carefully from all angles, then read the notice and try to respond in the way the artist and/or gallery suggests. 

2) You can stand back and enjoy the fun and spectacle of it all, and take from the experience what you will. Eavesdropping in on the reaction of others is sometimes the best part.

3) You can get sour-faced and grumpy, and give a little speech about how it’s ‘arty-farty’ and ‘a waste of money’. Don’t forget to start off with ‘I don’t know much about art, but I know what I like’, and finish with a borrowed allusion to the Emperor’s New Clothes. For the sake of completeness, you might like to write it up afterwards and send it to your local paper. They’ll love it!

But of course there are others. My son, Max – after staring up at the bus teetering above him – said, ‘Dad, can I throw stones at it?’
I said no, but that would have been fun too, and it's on a shingle beach afterall.
The Bus is there all summer. If you’re in the Bexhill area, it’s worth a detour. But please don't throw stones at it.

1 comment:

  1. Great post. Wish I had a pebble for every time I've heard someone wax arty farty about modern art, I'd have no weeds in my garden by now.

    Art is art if it does nothing else but make you think - even if that's just to ponder slinging a stone.


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