A kitchen floor becomes a piece of art simply because the artist says it is…
That statement may not sound right (particularly if you think modern artists are shysters, as I do), but it is an absolute fact! Not because of the skill involved in laying the kitchen floor; not because of any great craft involved, but because labeling the otherwise mundane as art forces you to think about everyday objects in different, more challenging ways, whether it be a brick or that UFO you have been watching for several nights with your eyes shut.
Even if modern artists are talking crap and creating crap, it doesn’t matter because they are still making you consider familiar objects in fresh ways. They force you to discuss and consider, and raise your passions both for and against and therein lays their skill.
Once tagged as art, you cannot help but examine more closely the workaday materials used in that kitchen floor (with or without the dog piss), perhaps noticing things about them that you had not seen before, even though you still don’t agree that the thing created from them is, in fact, a genuine piece of art.
Art which is not art, therefore, still becomes art because it affects your thoughts and perceptions – which art is indeed meant to do. It questions and challenges and causes debate and disagreement and wakes you to other ways of seeing and thinking.
Thus, anything can be art – intentional, unintentional, fake, pretentious, or derided as rubbish – because it creates combinations of thoughts and ideas in your mind that are entirely new and original, even when the artist isn’t worthy of the name and has little talent.
Art is thought and thought is art. Concepts are art as much as Van Gough’s “sunflowers” are art, because they make you experience and feel and think and imagine and question your perceptions of all that is usually accepted as the norm.
So art can as easily be an unmade bed, as an unmade bed can be art. Not only that, but… Excuse me a moment…
…Sorry? How much did you say Saatchi paid for that drunk, foul-mouthed Emin’s messy bed, two crisp packets, a mouldy cup and a couple of pairs of stinky knickers?
How fucking much!
…You are fucking shitting me? And she got fifty grand for a burned camping tent with some names written on it as well? No, fuck off, you’re yanking my chain…
…Then Saatchi married that horny fat bird who cooks a lot!
…Well the world’s a fucking fair place isn’t it?
…Of course it isn’t you prick! That’s what I meant.
…Are you actually listening?
…I give up. No point having talent. Can you go to the chemist and get my repeat prescription filled? I’ve got a terrible headache now.
…And the voices are back
…Who do I have to kill this time.
…Someone’s outside my window. They’re looking at me funny.
…What? My battery’s going…
…Did you say kill them all?
…Ok. I’m on it.
…Yes, yes, Saatchi and Emin first. I do know what I’m paid for.
…Is there anyone there?
Don’t look at me like that.
Yes, you outside my window whatever you are…