Today is a day I’ll never get back. It started innocently enough. Caitlin and I went to the Cadbury factory in Claremont to see the end of the marathon and to visit the chocolate shop. A real non-event. Since they stopped doing factory tours (I mean, who doesn’t want to see huge vats of liquid chocolate?) there seems no point in visiting Cadbury’s. We wandered in, looked around and left. We then visited the Glenorchy Sunday Market at the showgrounds… just another market, therefore nothing special.
So we then decided we’d visit MONA, the Tasmanian Museum of Old and New Art.
Hmph. Maybe MOANa is a better name.
Its a very interesting looking building on the bank of the Derwent River just inside the Moorilla Estate Vineyards. The vineyards are gorgeous, as are the surrounds, the buildings and the views.
There was a sewery smell on the air which seemed an omen of what was to come, cause let me tell you, it was crap. Literally. One of the exhibits was a panel of monitors showing various videos on loop. One was a worm’s eye view of someone taking a big dump.
It was one of the first things we saw when we entered the catacombs of the building (“Go straight to the bottom floor and work your way up” we were told by the helpful staff who gave us an ipad to guide us through the museum.
I know why they want you to start at the bottom. So you can’t just simply walk out! I thought I’d never find my way out of there at one stage.
The other art and installations included such intriguing items as:
Pig skins with tattoos on them, accompanied by video of the tattooed pigs in their pens while still alive.
A sculpture of a man, hung upside down with what looked like his skin melting/peeling off.
An installation of a group of male mannequins who’d been castrated, hung upside down and dismembered.
Videos of all sorts of things which defy description.
A sculpture of a dead horse, hung from a rope around its middle.
My personal favourite – letterhead paper with what looked like, at first glance, kisses in lipstick, but upon closer inspection proved to be the puckered lips of an entirely different part of the human anatomy. Tasteful.
An entire room of x-rays of rats, including one crucified rat with onlookers.
Hundreds of plaster casts of womens’ genitalia. That one really gets me. Did this guy (woman?) have sex with all these women or did he actually just approach them and say ‘Hey, I’m an artist and I’d really like to take a plaster cast of your pussy’.
Seriously. This is art? There were some beautiful items in amongst all the disgusting, disturbing, gratuitously shocking crap, but for the most part it was unadulterated crap.
No, really Zefi, tell us how you really feel. Don’t hold back now!
I have a real problem with “Its art cause I call myself an artist and I say its art”….
If I’m offending people (like the artists, after all, they have feelings too), then so be it., though I doubt it. I’m sure this is the reaction they want. I just cannot understand how videos of someone stabbing himself so his guts fall out, or someone urinating and defecating can be art.
Leonardo is turning over in his grave as we speak!
This is why I have a real problem with being an ARTIST, why I will now go ahead and believe the idiot art lecturer that told me, at art school, that I would never amount to anything cause I had no ‘theory’ (ie bullshit) behind my work*. If that’s so, fine. I’d rather be someone who can produce beautiful pieces of work than someone who smears excrement on photos of vaginas and amputated penises then spews forth theories of my work and what it all means.
*The particular lecturer raved on and on about the work of a fellow student who’s bland, murky, tonal abstracts “showed the futility of living in an urban landscape and people’s struggle to come to terms with their life in the inner city, blah blah”. Then turned to me and asked what my work was about. I said “This is a leather jacket, this is noodles, this is licorice and this is a fish”. I could have given him a lot of crap about focusing in on small objects and blowing things up to the point where the object almost unrecognisable – the images were about the light and dark, shapes, curves, more like landscapes than a jacket, noodles, licorce or fish. But I didn’t. My work is what it is. Like it or lump it. I shouldn’t have to explain or justify my work. If that makes me less of an artist than the guy who put lipstick on his asshole and pressed it to letterhead, then GREAT.