Nothing to get excited about? Yes there is!

I’m handing over to my regular guest blogger again today… Enjoy!
Well, I suppose it had to happen – an art exhibition about “invisibility”. I couldn’t see the point really but at the moment there is a gallery in London which has an exhibition on called – Invisible: Art about the Unseen 1957 – 2012. (£8 entry fee!)
One of our national newspapers, the Daily Telegraph, reported that the gallery “will gather together 50 ”invisible” works by leading figures such as Andy Warhol, Yves Klein and Yoko Ono for its display of works you cannot actually see.” Now just read those last 7 words again. Yep that’s right you can’t actually see them. It is thought to be the first such exhibition staged at a major institution in the UK. At this point I’m struggling with the concept of “display”. The gallery director says that “….art is not about material objects but about setting our imaginations alight…..” Oh well that’s ok then. As well as empty plinth on which Andy Warhol once stood, Yoko Ono will be contributing a series of typed instructions encouraging visitors “to conjure up an artwork in their minds”. Are you getting the idea now?
Check out the picture below and ask yourself can you believe this? Someone who has paid £8 to look at nothing!


A woman at the gallery looks at Tom Friedman’s ‘Untitled (A Curse)’, 1992
The Daily Telegraph also conducted a survey using the following question:
Can an empty plinth and a blank piece of paper be classed as art? The two possible answers were:
1. Yes – art is about the concept or
2. No – there is nothing there.
The results are surprising – “No” has got 2,714 votes (86.3%) & “Yes” has got 431 (13.7%). Now it’s not surprising that the “No” vote is winning but it is surprising that 431 people thought looking at nothing could be classed as art.
Some of the comments about the gallery & the exhibits are quite interesting:
Dbarry said this: “Tried to pay the entrance fee with invisible money. Needless to say it didn’t work.

Maria Sol said, “Am I studying History of Art for this kind of nonsense?? I’d rather be unemployed, than an advocate for this snobbish “idea” of what art is. JMW Turner, please, COME BACK!!!!”

Ajikan said, “Since it’s all in the mind, there can be no point in going to the trouble of making the trip to the Hayward Gallery and forking out the admission charge to ‘see’ a load of formless ideas. Since there’s nothing to see in the first place, why not just publish the catalogue of exhibits and be done with it? After all, the logical conclusion of all this is an exhibition that doesn’t happen at all and occurs only in the mind.”

Don’t know about you but I can’t disagree with any of those.

But hang on a mo’. It’s given me an idea – what about having my own exhibition? Here are the first three exhibits. On a recent visit to a couple of memorable sites in Liverpool I was able to get the following pics.

See No.1 below. What – nothing on the pavement? Of course there is! All I want you to do is imagine you can see Paul McCartney, stepping on these two old paving slabs and then walking in through the front gate of his home at 20 Forthlin Rd in Liverpool. These are the two actual paving stones he would have walked on to get to his house. (The newer white ones, to the left of the picture, would not have been there when he was there.) I’ve added a view of the front door and the sign in the hedge outside just in case you thought I’d taken a picture of just any old paving stones. Now you’ve got it haven’t you?

1. Paul McCartney – “Coming Home”

Front Door of 20 Forthlin Road

National Trust Sign outside the house

The second site was the school John Lennon attended (1952-57). Nothing on that piece of ground? Of course there is! All I want you to do is imagine you can see John Lennon walking across that piece of ground into the school. (I included the bottom of the gates in the pic so you could see, in the second pic, that they are they actual gates to Quarry Bank School -its name was changed to Calderstones some years ago following a tri-school merger.

2. John Lennon “Going To School”

Front Gates to Quarry Bank School


Now for the third exhibit. I don’t normally allow people to see my private art collection but in the context of today’s blog I think it would be helpful. Here, on the lounge wall, is my picture – Polar Bear in a Snowstorm (by the artist Ian V. Zeeble). It’s unique – the artist told me there are no copies or prints so it may well accumulate value in the years to come! It’s there just to the left of the plant. Can you see it?

3. Polar Bear in a Snowstorm

A friend was visiting a couple of days ago and suggested it really needed framing. (He has a similar picture called: 3 Skiers Buried By An Avalanche by the same artist.) I hunted round and eventually decided I would buy a wood finish picture frame. Here’s the result of the framing:

I’m not sure about you but I feel this does not really add to the aesthetics and in fact may prove a distraction to people as they look at the main picture. Think I’ll probably leave it unframed but I’m definitely getting into this invisible art thing. Wow factor? Off the scale!

So there you have it. Probably a new experience for you but quite exciting eh? At least it should have “set your imaginations alight” as the director of that gallery said. Well it has, hasn’t it?

In the spirit of the blog, I was going to paint my reaction to the exhibition in London but I think Edvard Munch has done a rather better job than I could do. Here’s his effort (sold in May 2012 for $119.2 million!)

Nothing to get excited about? There sure is.

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13 responses to this post.

  1. I’ve got an invisible sculpture by Salvador Dali, somewhere.

    Great thing about it is that, while I might never be able to find it, I can be safe in the knowledge that it will never get broken.

    Reply

    • Wow! Good point I never thought of insurance (in case of accidents). Can’t write any more, just off to see the man from the “Pru”.

      Reply

      • Just back from the insurance offices. Had a meeting with their guy who deals with this kind of thing. I was shown into his office and there seemed to be no-one there so I imagined the conversation and settled the rates there and then. Was also able to cover my invisible (Henry Moore) sculpture on same policy. You should think of covering your Dali. Thanks again for the heads up on this one Dave – it is Dave isn’t it?

  2. Are you kidding me?! Invisible art? My snark-o-meter is melting down just trying to come up with something sarcastically witty to say about this!

    Reply

    • My guest blogger would like me to pass on the following message to you – Ah, I see you’re not getting the hang of the conceptualising bit of this new form of art. There’s nothing to worry about. A number of people are in in the same boat. I’ll be running a course shortly. There will be a charge but I do have one place left. Let me know.

      Reply

  3. You won me over as soon as I saw Paul and John’s names in your post…….lol

    Reply

  4. […] a quick note from me before handing over the guest blogger. Does everyone remember the post about invisible art? Well, as I wandered around London yesterday enjoying my day off, I happened upon the exhibition […]

    Reply

  5. […] things to see in Woolton. However we’ll start the walk with somewhere we’ve been before (invisible blog 4.7.12): a house at 20 Forthlin […]

    Reply

  6. Perhaps, I have more talent than I thought!
    I feel certain I should be able to come up with a suitable print for
    “Black Cube in Dark Yard at Midnight”. Oh yes, I can.
    Scott

    Reply

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