Journal #106 - Liam Gillick - Imagine a Country That Hated Art
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Journal #106
February 2020
Journal #106 - February 2020

Imagine a Country That Hated Art

We are already the laughing stock of the world for the stupidity of the way this country is run. This is a good way to let the whole world see this is a country with even lower values in its ideas of art and will reveal to the whole world we are a country with out any taste. This is trash disguised as Art. Believe me, we KNOW what we are talking about! But the Art LUVVIES love it! Can a fart and call it art! What a bag of shit! Do people actually pay to see this rubbish? Actually it’s the taxpayer who pays for this so called art and then we get to see it for free, maybe time for the government to stop buying art as it’s RUBBISH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Artists are a symptom of the high regard that is placed on absolute trash these days. It’s the people who encourage and sanction the exhibiting of this garbage that we blame. We wouldn’t let them whitewash the outhouse. This and similar art represents all that is bad and is nothing more than The Emperors New Clothes. Historians say art reflects the culture of its people. This so called ‘art’ to our mind is totally despairing to any advancement and enlightenment of the human race. If this is a reflection of our present day culture, we really are in trouble. We spent a considerable amount of time and effort trying to ‘understand’ art. It was quite a miserable experience, because we felt really thick and stupid; because we couldn’t for the life of us see what was good about any of it. Then one day it just struck us that absolutely all modern art is simply worthless. Personally we wouldn’t walk to the end of the street to look at this trash.

Because some critic with a bow tie and flash accent says it’s good, are we supposed to fall about and shed tears of delight at such artistic talent? We think not. It’s like The Emperor’s New Clothes. There must be a certain amount of rich crackpots out there buying this rubbish. We would put the lot on the bonfire and drink a toast to keep the fire going. Disgusting! That is not art and it is vile! It’s also one big rip off and more fool the idiots who pay for it or pay to see it. Having a laugh making a fortune out of the gullible well heeled toffee nosed arty farty types who convince themselves and each other that this is some sort of genius. Sick more like. If anyone needed to display how people accept complete mediocrity as a substitute for excellence, then a contemporary art exhibition would seem the best way to do it. The ‘art-collectors’ buying these works are not interested in art at all, but are buying and selling as if trading in stocks. This is why Art is so dismal these days, it has become a commodity. The luvvies will love it! HA! HA! HA! Art for the pretentious, no artistic merit whatsoever. In layman terms CRAP. No we don’t like it, looks like someone picking their nose.

Art is such a loose term these days. Anyone can make a stack of tin cans and get instant fame! Art?? Shouldn’t it be spelt with a ‘t’? Art means creating something having aesthetic value. Not everybody can do it. Installation is not about beauty. It does not need talent. It is about making some statement which can equally be expressed in words. But presented as art, it is clearly rubbish. The problem is when people, when told that this is art accept it blindly. If they saw, for example, rotten food with flies, they would perceive it as such. Shown in a museum it would count as art. With a real piece of art one recognizes its artistic value irrespective of whether it is displayed in a museum or similar venue. It’s so sad what is considered to be ‘art’ in this modern and cutting edge world in which we live.

There is no merit within the art world today unless you produce rubbish. This is not talent, it is just commercial rubbish. Rubbish, even if you give it another name will always be rubbish! It begs the question ... WHY??????? Amazing what get mislabeled as art these days. Saddening to see that the only art that makes news these days is stuff that is wacky or ridiculous. A pile of objects with a pretentious title and no other artistic merits. Yep, that’s modern ‘art’! THAT is NOT ART!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Art! what a joke it is these days. All the teachers care about these days is abstract, 3D, layering, using strange materials. And in the end, all the kids produce pieces that only they understand (or pretend to) and we don’t, and on the whole look hideous. What happened to teaching them the skills of good drawing, painting, photography, and ceramic work?

Moments of inspiration ... seconds of perspiration ... minutes of execution ... I’m underwhelmed. We think it is a load of rubbish. Kids could do better. We wish we could paint like that. Unfortunately we lost that ability when we turned eight. Just scrawls really and this stuff sells for millions. It isn’t a question of how good the work is but who has painted it! We painted similar things when we were four. Totally unimpressed with this stuff. Who do we complain to? Who are the Muppets, the arty-farty types that select this rubbish? They should hold an online vote to select the next artwork. Then you’d find out what people really like and this is immature rubbish, claimed to be art by the arty-farty rubbish artists. And why shouldn’t we the public have a say in what’s selected. It’s us that has to put up with the rubbish art that’s on display, the art is there for our benefit! The vote would be hijacked by the arty farty types. It’s how this country works now. The majority are ignored! They are having a laugh. we hope taxpayers money isn’t paying for this rubbish.

The modernist P.C. crap brigade is ‘offended’ by our historical past, why else would such little effort be applied to displaying it in an art gallery. Find your own ruddy place to display your beliefs. There seems to be a concerted effort to turn the country into an international laughing stock! Just one more dumbing down of the country. We must be the laughing stock nation of the world. We wish they’d find something proper to put on show instead of all the junk paraded as art for the past decade. It looks like something rescued from a 1970’s house clearance. Gifted? Looks like someone was trying to get away with not paying the city to remove their rubbish more like. Doesn’t sound like giving anything away when you receive a 124k tax reduction, sounds more like they just off loaded 3 pieces nobody wanted to buy onto the tax payer. Junk. Modern art requires no talent. Our dog could do a better job. We give up. What is it about modern art that we do not understand? Most of it looks like our grand-daughters sketches that adorn the fridge door and cost nothing but love. More hype than talent. Artist? Yes, a con artist. Very unimpressive.

Pointless and silly total waste of money. Mind you, you should see what they have erected in our town. Commendable waste of time and money. Life goes on in the art world. As always, this confirms their complete detachment from the real world. Ah well! Rule of thumb. IF we can do it, it is NOT art. Another so called artist to put the con in conceptual art. The art critics must be playing The Emperor’s New Clothes ... As the saying goes, a fool and his money etc. etc. What a waste of money! Good luck to anyone who says this is a real piece of art, and even better luck to anyone who believes them, and BUYS it! A fool and his money ... Yuk! What absolute tripe you wouldn’t hang this up in a toilet. Better hide it up permanently, we have seen better in our local Chinese shop. Our granddaughter aged 3 painted similar on our recently decorated living room wall yesterday, little bastard. Ours drew all around the room in purple wax crayon whilst Granddad was ‘in charge’. He was a piss artist, but that should be glossed over! We wouldn’t give tuppence for it! There is zero merit in this work other than they achieved fame by being totally Talentless. And being promoted by alleged critics who will talk up any old crap if there is few quid and drink in it.

That’s an expensive piece of crap. Personally we think it is hideous. Emperor’s new clothes. Our grand daughter can paint better than that, it’s a disgrace what so called paintings sell for these days with so much inequality about. Millions for absolute rubbish. If that’s worth more than ten pounds then our cocks are kippers. We would not pay £5 for one. If a so-called expert has to explain why a so-called work of art is not just a daub, then it’s a daub. Let’s be truthful. It’s rubbish really. Absolutely grotesque. Who would want that hanging on their wall. Our cat could have done better. Was he drunk when he painted it or sniffing paint? I’m not sure who’s more deluded, the artist or the person that wrote those catalogue notes. Apologies to all you pretentious art snobs out there but it’s rubbish! Every single art dealer can always find work in Wall Street. The perfect speculators. Just shows that money doesn’t buy taste. Tragic there are so many rich idiots who have this sort of money to throw around. We have a better idea—how about building clean water facilities in the Third World instead of this self indulgent, over priced, art college claptrap? Ok, seriously?

Call it art and people will buy. We wouldn’t pay more than the value of the blank canvas for this. You can’t be serious. Art reflects its times. We live in an age ... when people will hear the words of a celebrity—even a pitifully minor one like an art critic—and take them as Gospel, even if they’re saying that a collection of brightly colored turds represent the epic struggle of life to emerge from the sea, and are the best piece of art produced in the world this year. Clichés. Art is lazy and following in the advertisers footprints, except the advertiser has a point and the artist has forgotten what theirs is. Maybe that is a sign of the times but nothing that moves the times forward or criticizes the times. Not many risks taken.

Flabby versions of modern art adorn walls and we are meant to give them meaning when most have none. Modern art got stuck with it’s ego inflating. It began from the primitives and there is plenty of meaning in their art. We wouldn’t say that all conceptual art is a waste of time. It is just that in many cases the artist has extremely little to say and that is the real issue. Because it’s pish. It’s the pish receiving all the attention of the self-appointed art world authority that really pisses us off. These pseuds hold court over modern art and default to the most pretentious meaningless shite simply to set themselves apart from people who ‘just don’t get it’ ... all to the detriment of the good stuff. Modern Art is art critics and rich types fan-wanking over some esoteric display to look sophisticated as members of some club not for the hoi-polloi. Don’t tell the viewer how to interpret the work; have both the decency and the courage to allow the viewer to bring personal experience to the equation. Mealy-mouthed art speak ‘statements’ designed both to obfuscate and to lay claim to deep, soul-wrenching significance deserve nothing but contempt. Bingo. The answer to ‘Why does contemporary art look so simple?’ is because churning this guff out is easy and pays well. Nailed it. The art doesn’t have to be good, it just had to appreciate in value. The whole scene is controlled by a cabal of upper class critics and collectors who decide which artist gets to be important. Once the artist realizes they are in they are free to knock out any old shit. All that glitters, is not gold—but it can be a good investment none the less.

The Emperors New Clothes were simple too ... What often passes for ‘contemporary art’ and raved over by our moronic, allegedly educated liberal lefty luvvies types is because this so-called ‘ART’ is just intellectual bullshit. Modern art has managed to completely alienate the average person by ignoring the fundamental notion that art should be both intelligent AND aesthetic. Now it’s just a circle-jerk between critics, artists, art students, and faux intellectuals, and art collectors. In five hundred years people won’t give a damn about it, but I’m certain people will still find Michelangelo’s David fascinating, just as the people of Florence found it masterful 500 years ago. Public opinion matters, only elitists fail to understand that.

That paintings, secretly drawn by elephants but presented as works of art have captivated so called critics and experts is proof to us that most modern art is of load pretentious nonsense. We once had a temp job at an art gallery. Our job was to create a database of up-and-coming artists that might be interested in showing their work there. We came across an online artists’ forum that would’ve been a goldmine of email addresses and contact details; only trouble was, you had to be an artist (and submit ‘professional photos’ of your artworks) in order to be allowed to join the forum. We spent half an hour creating a few stick-men paintings using MS Paint, added a textual explanation of how they represented the stripped-down nature of the human self in an age of labor alienation and social media, and hey presto! They admitted to us onto the artists’ forum. There is no such thing as contemporary art, art is art.

All of it is just shit art. Not all art is good. Most of the people making this shit art get away with it because they get praised by shite journalists who write for shit newspapers. ‘“Art” has been flirting with nihilism for at least a century now.’ Flirting? The whole thing is so self-involved, the word ‘art’ basically means wanking yourself to death in public. However, the fact is that contemporary art is little more than a marketing scam that has got out of hand. The complete and utter bullshit that is used to describe this art is juvenile pap of the highest order. We like to regard it as a tax on pretentiousness. Most of the contemporary art movements are a complete sham.

The whole idea that we need an ‘Institute of art and Ideas’ with it’s ‘comfy sofas’ to produce new dynamic art is false and is only perpetuated by a class of people (not practicing artists themselves) who see an opportunity for a good living to be made out of the over funded arty-farty Institutions that are springing up all around us. The great thing about running these glorified coffee bars is that none of the management have to produce any work themselves ... all they have to do is provide the space for others to do the work. To justify their existence, and obtain government and European funding. Why don’t you just write ‘a seven-year-old could do it’ and get it over with, then go and buy a print of a nice photo of New York from Ikea. The art world is full of so called ‘thinkers’ and not of people who, you know, actually make art. And the art world wonders why most people sneer at the pompousness of it all. Very easy to come up with some bullshit statements and pseudo philosophy, much harder to produce a work of art that touches, interests, or intrigues an audience.

Art speak, bullshit, and economics have corrupted absolutely. Another art piece with a thick manual. Why don’t these people just write books? Art is just so dry and humorless despite attempts to the contrary. Middle-class rubbish. Art must serve the people, and not the pretentious fantasies of political poseurs. Oh! Art, what shit is performed and produced in thy name! It’s not art, it’s dire. The whole of the Art world has been bought up by philistine advertising billionaires and their ignorant mates. Emperor’s clothes? And how. Academia is killing art. Stifling it, wrapping it in health and safety and caging it within the expected, predictable norms of the past. I’d say it’s either postmodernism or just plain laziness. We’ve been puzzled about much contemporary art for a long time and now we understand that it literally has ‘nothing’ to say, and we were not wrong in thinking it was a case of The Emperor’s New Clothes. We feel sorry for art critics they just don’t enjoy art for fear of looking stupid if they like something you’re not supposed too. Instead of destroying art, the Philistines are now squatting in the art world husk. We came here for Art and we get ... this.

This is art in the way that bubble gum is food. And it’s aimed at filthy rich people who want to be seen to be hip, who fly around in their private jets. ‘Raising awareness’ is always the excuse made for doing something pointless while attention seeking. We’ve done our bit by not buying any of their over priced ‘art’. The ‘climate crisis’ is essential for any artist to embrace. Wouldn’t get a show otherwise. Wasting space with this greedy meaningless superficial already over-hyped so-called art event. The modern art world is nothing but a money laundering scam for oligarchs, who probably don’t care too much about the climate crisis. If you’re looking at those clowns for a state of the nation commentary it’s best you speak to their managers at Goldman Sachs. It all looks a bit ‘over privileged’ to us. What, actually, is a ‘brilliant artist’? Are there commonly accepted criteria, or is it in the eye of the beholder?

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Liam Gillick is an artist. He is the author of Industry and Intelligence: Contemporary Art Since 1820 (Columbia University Press, 2016).

© 2020 e-flux and the author
Journal # 106
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