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Anorak | Is It Art?

Is It Art?

by | 19th, May 2004

‘IF anyone asks you why your teeth are covered in Tippex, tell them it’s been done in the name of art.

Chris Ofili’s reaction to this year’s poo-free shortlist

The Government will then happily give you a grant and you’ll be shortlisted for the Turner Prize.

Clearly this is a cynic’s view of the prestigious modern art award, and only a philistine would ever question the validity of an award that has featured Chris Ofili’s studies in elephant poo and Tracy Emin’s wallow in her filthy bed.

A sophisticated dilettante would look at this year’s contestants for the £40,000 first prize, hold their chin, narrow their eyes and say something like, ‘Mmmm, it’s amazing what they can do with cheese slices these days.’

But there are no cheese slices, cheese triangles or blocks of cheese in this year’s contest – instead, says the Independent, there are such things as an interactive digital model called The House Of Osama Bin Laden, a sculpture entitled Scramble For Africa and an unnarrated film called Memory Bucket.

They are indeed all worthy candidates, and there is a distinct lack of what former arts minister Kim Howells called ‘conceptual bullshit’.

This year’s contest is, in the words of the Guardian, ‘startlingly sensible’.

Although with no vomit, blood, gore, skid marks and pickled fish, the question remains: Is it art..?’



Posted: 19th, May 2004 | In: Broadsheets Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink