-A window ajar is a prelude in building to the joy of being limitless! That uneasiness of being familiar somehow, sometime, somewhere.......

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Tired Turner Talk...

When S told me it was Simon Starling, I couldn’t find any feeling within my reaction. May be that bland detachment is typical after one is forced to go through countless turner conversations of no significance in the past few weeks. I tried remembering what I felt when I stood before the shed (or the boat?); it barely evoked anything, and looking back now, perhaps the only reason It didn’t make me terminally sick was because it lay within the sanctum of Tate. And both Adrian Searle and Tom Lubbock, ages ago, had subtly pointed that the installation wasnt impressive, the story including.

But art is not about perceptions, so individual impressions, unless it is something overwhelming, don’t account much. But what is that idea?(or is it a joke?) about the installation being a form of conceptual art? As a fan of conceptual art, I can say with conviction it’s hardly that. When I think of conceptual art, I think of arrogance, I think of being grabbed ruthlessly and made to take stock. But Simon’s frail installation has barely any perspective in terms of concept.The only concept, if it is considered one, would be the emphasis on the worth of space and time, a subtle counter voice on its own -but that again is meaningless without the benefit of context.To me, It is no better than a personal statement and the content of the statement itself is debatable.

That naturally leads to the question would it then qualify as art? Frankly, in this postmodern age, it’s very hard to answer that without disregarding a perceptive disagreement . And with the knowledge of Simon’s heroic stories it becomes more of a way of life. May be, in that sorts, it is art. Or may be not.

In art, even the worst rubbish can be forgiven if it makes up for the worth. But is the best young British art a piece of dull uninspiring lumberjack’s DIY, anomic protest against the frenzy? The answer, naturally, doesn’t have to be spelt out. Anyone who has walked the sidewalks and the corridors of even the obscure galleries of this country would know. Besides, even amongst the other contestants, except the kitschy, in your face works of Jim Lambie, the other two were far ahead both in terms of beauty and meaning. Gillian Carnegie, the traditional of the lot, was perhaps singularly linear in her imagination but her works were undoubtedly enchanting. Darren Almond, my personal favourite- was more anecdotal and evocative in dealing the same subject he shared with Simon: time , but he flirted dangerously close to being sentimental.

The jury, which picked Simon’s over others, is noted to have stated

‘for his unique ability to create poetic narratives which draw together a wide range of cultural, political and historical reference’.
I’m not sure what that means in the context of the award or the work. And I’m also sure nobody, including the judges themselves have a clue what it actually means. And then of course Simon himself quite humbly has admitted that he himself isn’t sure about the aesthetic and intellectual engagement of his installation. So to be fair on all its reasonable to conclude that in the end what this turner lacked in controversy, it has made up in confusion.

Of course awards are never the measure of art, but the opposite. If at all, this result has achieved anything, it is to ensure that the dying debate stays alive through all the Christmas dos. For those reasons alone, the jury must be righfully blamed for the lack of imagination than Simon who so naively describes his art as a 'Physical manifestation of thought process'.

Its time that someone actually told him, that art or not, the manifestation of the middle finger is not quite far from his artistic essence. The process, if you ponder a bit, remains the same. The missive would point out the romance in the story as a process, but it is meaningless if it is a story of just only a process. The value of both adventure and romance duly noted.

When I asked R, what he thought of it, He replied '' loaada crap'' He enjoys being forthright. Obviously it wasnt his crap that was worth twenty five grand.

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