Wednesday 30 December 2009

Piece of Art - or Piece of...?

Last week, I went to the Neue Kunstmuseum in Stuttgart:

The building is a glass cube with a restaurant on the top floor and the exhibition / gallery rooms on three or four floors. I had been inside once before, but only to go to the top and have a look at Königstraße (our version of Kings Road) from a different perspective.
(Which reminds me - there is another blog entry brewing in my mind about different perspectives)

My approach to modern art is a cautious one; I can be quite conservative when it comes to modern paintings, music, sculptures, ballet or theatre productions.

I was pleasantly surprised to find the Neue Kunstmuseum shows quite a variety of paintings and sculptures, some of which are (at least in Germany) really famous, like the paintings by Otto Dix.
On their website, they state that they have, with 250 works, the most important collection of Dix paintings world wide.
And that room with the Elger Esser pictures of the Sea and waves and rocks was truly overwhelming! You could almost feel the cold foam of the Atlantic on your skin, hear the crashing sound of the waves throwing themselves against the rocks, smell the salty air and hear the seagulls above!

But I digress.

Downstairs, they show a collection of... objects. One of them is a crumpled up ball of white paper.
Exactly what my cat loves to play with when I throw it around for her in the flat.
The crumpled up paper is supposed to be art.

I am sorry and probably this is entirely due to a severe lack of sophistication on my part - but to me, it is not art.
To me, it is a piss-take.

I do not mean any offence to the artist... but it does not take an artist to crumple up a piece of paper. Even my cat can do that. Maybe I should start make her earn her food and shelter and clean toilet by selling her art.

Do you really see art in everything that is officially declared as such?
Can we still call it art if it has to be explained to us that it is art?

I would quite like to start off a controversial discussion here, so don't be afraid to voice your opinion :-)

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