Monday 17 September 2012

Nothing to see here.

As ever with the perceptions surrounding art, there will be as many opinions as there are people. One man's graffiti is another man's art. Hence Banksy is a graffiti artist. His "street art" is done using a stencil. These artistic works have been painted on many walls and bridges. 

Luckily though, there will always be a few naysayers like me who see graffiti for what it is - graffiti. If the "art" is unsolicited then its graffiti. Spray paint using a stencil is as artistic as finger painting by numbers.

Now CART has jumped on to the "art" bandwagon. By planting trees in a narrowboat and by writing poetry on lock gates. When I read this I found it difficult to contain my complete indifference. Until I found the cost to be not un-adjacent to £50,000. You will have to hurry as the exhibition, four years in the making, is doing the rounds for a grand total of six weeks.

Then I thought to myself. Many of the lock walls and gates are covered in free growing weeds which help to accelerate the deterioration. How many old BW boats are there on the inland waterways with weeds and trees already growing out of them. Maybe that was the source for the concept?

Some Twonk at CART believes art can help to attract new supporters and friends to the waterways. Some people also believe in the dog poo fairy who cleans up the canal towpath.

Have CART not heard of Haywards gallery who recently featured artworks including Gianni Motti's invisible ink drawings. (how about invisible words carved onto lock gates

A second exhibit was a blank piece of paper that an artist stared at for 1,000 hours over a period of five years. (I imagine that could be an ivory towers window that was stared out of at busy times for much more than five years)

Also a movie that was shot without film in the camera. (remember the old anecdote used to describe some of BW's best bits - they are taking pictures but there's no film in the camera)

Hayward Gallery's director Ralph Rugoff said "It is not a joke, this is the best exhibition you'll never see." Rugoff also drew comparisons with John Cage's silent music piece 4'33" 

The exhibition which was inspired by Robert Rauschenberg spending a month erasing an artwork by Willem de Kooning. "This idea of maybe by unmaking something you can make something is one of the paradoxes of invisible art." said Rugoff.

It was at this point that I had a moment of lucid thought about "CART art!" I realised that the Board of British Waterways were all artists of a different kind. Their work was conceptual - by doing Sweet FA about the state of the inland waterways they were just being artistic.

Now I begin to understand all those imagined numbers of conceptual visitors to the Inland Waterways - which are in reality a concept of invisible art.

CART want us and the conceptual friends of the canal (who must be signing up by the conceptual millions) to be inspired to put our hands in our pockets by their new found "arty farty, the Arts Council meets the CART Council" ways.

Then whilst humming a tune to myself made popular many years ago by Lonnie Donnigan. I thought maybe the exhibition could be named "The Council CART" for that is surely where its all heading.

Then I began to think how incredibly passé the invisible arts are nowadays. It's all just extremely dull, boring and old school. It's not exploring art concepts so much as presenting nothing, flim-flam and sham. I had another moment of revelation. I thought maybe I should become a friend of CART using invisible money. Simples.

Then I had a strong feeling of Déjà vu.  The phenomenon of having a strong sensation that an event or experience currently being experienced has been experienced in the past. - I was right, I have been here before!

It was almost two years ago, in December of 2010. When I wrote at the time about the artist Agnieszka Kurant and Palimpsest. I wrote "Now you might be wondering what has this got to do with canals and boats. However, back in the real world, British Waterways are already running with this invisible, un-existing objects concept. Which includes invisible dredging, invisible bank erosion and  invisible lock leaks. I say this because BW are obviously unable to see the full extent of the much needed infrastructure repairs." 

Maybe someone in Ivory towers is reading my blog for inspiration! Is there any chance of CART coming up with something new, bright and vibrant. Something that's conceptually original one of these days - if they read my blog for inspiration, apparently not!

To put it all in conceptual context. Hans Freeberling had an art exhibition claiming to have "installed nothing." The people in attendance came unprepared for the artist's literal interpretation of the show's subject matter and responded correspondingly.

Basically, this joker fills a gallery with nothing and puts on a German accent! Then the leading "Art Critics" who all believe him to be real, dissect it. Very funny.

You cant see the
wood for trees

Well I must get on - I have another dozen or so invisible art masterpieces to knock up before lunch. Here is a thumb print of my latest piece. It is entitled "You cant see the wood for trees."

It is a conceptual piece on toilet paper, capturing the embodiment of the thousands of friends of CART and the throngs of visitors to the waterways.

Reprints are available for £50 each and any number of originals are available for £5000 each. All originals and reprints are signed by the artist in invisible ink. Framing is extra as is postage and packaging. Please state your preference for portrait or landscape layout.

CART embracing ART seems to be clutching at straws. The real funny bit is - in artistic circles a piece of work referred to as being "cart" is in reality crap art!

You can't make it up!


1 comment:

  1. CLA = TLA for Crying Laughing Alot

    Dear Mr Meerkat,

    If it weren't for my extremely efficient reactonary skills just then, tha'dve been getting a bill for a new laptop.

    Sat here, computabob on knee, cup of tea in one hand, scratting my foot with the other. Extreme CLA occourred while reading this post.

    Consequently I fell one way, the teacup went the other & the computabob begin to slide... Oopsy, t'was a close call that.

    However I'd like to buy one of your Crap ART masterpieces. If you could make an exception to blank. I'd like to see a characature of Mr R Evans face covered in graffiti.

    Most appropriate, & etched on toilet paper fits the bill nicely - no hours of effort required.

    Comrade H


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