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October 29, 2007

still alive

When I was still young and foolish and at Art College in Liverpool, they would have exhibitions, in the college, by Major International Artists, something you don’t often find these days sadly.

One such exhibition consisted of a series of framed postcards, that had been posted to a gallery curator. All the postcards bore the same inscription:

This puzzled me. Was there some anonymous conceptual artist [for it was almost certainly conceptual art I was dealing with here] who was currently struggling to eke out an existence on a remote island called Kawara? Or what? That’s the problem with conceptual art, you usually need to be told what’s going on.

Lying in bed, in the early hours this morning, as the mill creaked and banged and wheezed its way grumbling into the morning shift, I was pondering eternity, and fractional divisions thereof, when I remembered some paintings in MUMOK, Vienna, by On Kawara.



And I thought “How did this occur?” I mean how come small, almost A4, canvases, painted with a flat colour, usually black, and a date painted on then, usually white, get to be in all the major art galleries of the world?

Leaving aside the wellanyonecouldhavedoneitbutitjusthappenedhedid argument, how do you get into the position whereby you can convince the leading curators of the day that a canvas with a date on it is worthy of inclusion in their collection?

[Perhaps, unknown to us, the dates are the birthdays of the curator's children, ha ha ha.]

Posted by john at October 29, 2007 09:46 AM