Tuesday, November 04, 2003

The Turner Prize – what’s it all about then?

OK, here we are at the Tate Britain Gallery, waiting, gagging, and hyperventilating with anticipation at the prospect of gazing in adoration at the collective genius that is the infinitely infantile BritArt School. Within these walls, there lies a gloriously clichéd mix of emperor’s new clothes cutting edge dross.

I’m sure the genius that was Joseph Mallord William Turner, landscaping master of light, tone and shade would fully endorse some of the previous groundbreaking entries. Efforts such as Tracy Emmin’s detritus-strewn ‘Unmade Bed’, Damien Hirst’s ‘nice bit of fillet’ in formaldehyde - and the saddo that produced a light bulb going on and off in a concrete box.... Yeah, I'm sure he would.....

Anyway, that was then – and this is now, so let’s start and get the objective appraisal up and running. Just check I’ve got everything… Catalogue check, Dickie Bow check, Sick Bag (lots of them) check.

Objective Appraisal:
We’re in – and the overwhelming feeling is of horror and nausea. It’s not unlike the feeling I have when I’m clearing out our cat’s litter tray. The Turner entrant’s brief seems to be to SHOCK at all costs. These things aren’t even witty, or skilful or thought provoking. They are banal, twee, self centred, bought from B&Q, gathered out of a skip, picked from the artist’s belly button or made from the residue of the local bunion trimming centre.

Then some bi-focalled pseudo-intellectually challenged inadequate sallies forth with a paper-thin justification for a six-foot copy of a latex-clad, suspended in stockings jelly baby. "It’s Man’s angst. Does he eat the jelly baby and devour all its sugary goodness, or does he make mad passionate love to it and be consumed by its sweet sex-crazed depravity?"…… (Bloody Hell, not a bad idea that – a sure fire winner for next year… Hmmm, latex-clad, six foot jelly baby).

Every year, it’s the same ‘subtle as a brick in the bread basket’ treatment. Never mind Nobs, Flies, Rotting Flesh and Festering Piles of Pink Putrefying Pustules…..
How about a nice landscape or a nice bit of greenery and maybe a flock of birds in a meadow? Some bambi-like cute looking deer with big puppy dog eyes would be nice ….. Come to think of it, I can’t remember seeing that ‘Pierot’ clown geezer with the teardrop on his cheek in any Turner exhibition. And why hasn’t the green Chinese lady or the Gypsy dancer made an appearance? Now that really would be shocking….

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