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Is The Turner Prize Just Shite Or Is Talking Bollocks Really Art?


Everyone knows modern art is a load of bollocks so nobody is surprised when the Turner Prize, the premier prize for modern art goes to some con artists who walks round an empty building dressed in a bear costume. But who is stupid, him or the art critics who give him the prize money?

If You Dont Think The Turner Prize Is Shite...
by Ian R Thorpe
2007-10-23
CREATIVE COMMONS: Attribute, non commercial, no derivs.
KEYWORDS: food, ancient, history, celtic, bog, iron age, humour, humor

Amid claims that class distinctions are what define British Society, an intriguing theory was put forward at the weekend. In view of the fact most of us are not in the class we think we are because we have no idea what makes anybody working class or middle class anymore, one writer thought our individual opinion of The Turner Prize contenders would reveal our true class.

If we think the shortlisted entries are witty, ironic and thought provoking, the theory goes, then we are middle class. If on the other hand we think the entries are shite (literally sometimes) we are either working class or aristocrats.

This does not work for me and I'm sure Daily Mail Readers will be up in arms. But if we leave the gutter press out of it and look through a critics eye at two leading entries, it becomes clear that though the theory might be onto something, its conclusions must be re-evaluated.

Two of the top contenders this year are a 150 minute video of a man walking around a big, empty room while dressed in a dodgy bear suit and another big empty room with a plank on the floor.

Now the bloke in the bear suit could be a witty and ironic post-modern statement about how modern man, detached by the social structures of the post-industrial world and divorced from the shamanic origins of his spirituality feels alone and alien in a life he no longer has control over. Or he could jusdt be some poor, mad fucker who likes to pretend he's a bear. I mean, he might as well walk around start bollock naded with a dead rabbit hanging from his dick for all that he is doin is art.

Or he entry could simply be a statement telling us the fancy dress hire shop had run out of pirate, Superman and gorilla suits.

A third, even more ironically radical possibility is that the installation reminds us the linear nature of time is a human delusion, the bear has entered 2007 from the 1970s through a timewarp and is looking for a can of Hofmeister.

The plank is even more fascinating, its title, threshold suggests we may see it as a boundary we cross at our peril, a threshold we must cross in order to achieve a higher state of being or as the symbolic doorstep we trip over as we look around the installation for some nice impressionist landscapes. Only people who trip over it as they look for the impressionist landscapes are going to give a fuck.

These works then show us that the discerning eye sees modern art not as painting and sculpture, works which use line, texture and form interacting with light to communicate ideas, but as ideas themselves. It is not the bear suit or the plank that express the idea but the artists ability to talk bollocks about it in order to get money. Once again the Bullshit Factor defines civilisation. The more ready a civilisation is to believe the most imbecilic arse dribble the more advanced it it, the afficionadoes of modern art might say. Others might reply, "Anyone who pretends to like modern art is a cunt."

So the case is resolved. Our attitude to The Turner Prize does indicate our class status, if you think this stuff is shite but you pretend to understand it so people will not think you are common then you are clearly upper middle class, if you hate it because you don't understand it but think it is done by socialist homosexual drug addicts you are lower middle class, but if you appreciate the art of talking bollocks to get money from thick, pretentious, upper middle class cunts who are so far up their own arses they can scratch their heads from the inside, then you are working class. Talking bollocks to get money is a skill the working class perfected twenty years ago, after Thatchers government abolished proper jobs.

If you are too busy snorting coke, driving Bugatti's while drunk, drinking vintage champagne, shagging the Filipina staff, goats, old Public School chums and high class hookers to give a fuck about art, the middle class or anything, you are an aristocrat. Just carry on, your job is to set a bad example to the working class and give the middle class something to secretly aspire to.

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