Wednesday 06th August 2014Because 'Art', That's Why!
Many people, both artists and non-artists, fall into one of the following categories: those who love modern art, those who are confused by modern art, and those who are confused by modern art but pretend to play along so that other people won't think they 'just don't get it'. Sometimes, it can be hard to tell which category you fall into, and it's possible to transition fairly rapidly between groups, especially when artists seem consistently trying to one-up each other with even more bizarre and conceptually ridiculous projects. It should perhaps come as no surprise, then, that 4chan, those internet superheroes/villains (depending on who you ask, and which day it is), has recently played a vital role in what has to be one of the most ridiculous art sales of all time. Assuming, of course, that the whole thing isn't a hoax.
A 4chan member took a bad digital photograph of a computer screen displaying a post from the 4chan message board, and subsequently sold that photograph on eBay for almost $100,000. Yes, you read that right. Titled, 'Artwork by Anonymous' (anonymous being the appellation given to users of the message board who refuse to provide any other name), the piece sold for $90,900 USD on August 1st, 2014. The seller, named xhacker02, has been a member of eBay since 2007, and has generally positive feedback, and the person who bought the artwork appears not to have retracted the bid. As a sideline of the eBay system, however, it is possible that if the buyer and seller discuss the matter and for whatever reason - say, if this whole thing was a joke/hoax - decide not to go ahead with the transaction, we the lowly viewer will never know that the sale never actually happened. As if that wasn't enough, now there is a similarly styled post entitled Artwork of Artwork By Anonymous, although that has yet to receive any bids.
Does it really matter if the sale happened, however?It's important to realize that much of conceptual artwork happens within us the viewer, rather than that which is projected by the 'artist'. In that case, literally anything is art if it causes us to reflect on the world and our role in it, the role of other actors and objects and life, the universe and everything. Kudos, 4chan. Welcome to the art world.
Posted on August 06th 2014 on 05:53pm
Monday 11th October 2010Tate Modern Taken Over by.....Sunflower Seeds?
Tomorrow sees the official opening of the new installation in the Turbine Hall of Tate Modern. As part of the Unilever Series, Al Weiwei has filled the cavernous space of the Turbine Hall with sunflower seeds....or are they....
The work, which is titled "Sunflower Seeds" is actually made up of millions of small works of art; each of these little sunflower seeds are actually life-sized replicas of sunflower seeds made out of porcelain. Each seed on the floor of the Tate has been hand-crafted and painted in workshops in China and represent the hard work of hundreds of skilled craftsmen and women.
Al Weiwei is a famed conceptual artist and a larger than life social commentator who was involved in the design of the "Birds Nest" stadium for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, even so, the artist is said to have a strained relationship with the Chinese authorities.
Weiwei's "Sunflower Seeds" are rumoured to be representative of the artists generous and given nature but also linked to our views of what it means for something to have been mass produced in China. The connotations that this particular concept has in Western society and the way that we perhaps take the availability of mass produced goods for granted are captured in this artwork that allows the viewer to walk over the tiny porcelain productions.
Certainly an installation for all of the senses, Weiwei's work will remain in the Turbine Hall until May 2011. As the 11th artist to be invited to make an installation in the Turbine Hall under the Unilever Series at the Tate, Weiwei has some tough acts to follow, with the former power station having played home to works by Doris Salcedo, Louise Bourgeois and Olafur Elliason.
Posted on October 11th 2010 on 07:41pm