Sunday, December 04, 2011

Art Installations… Art?

Have you been keeping track of the latest mishaps in installation art around the world?

It seems that the almighty Damien Hirst had one more twist in his on-going saga with Cartrain, a teenage collage artist. Damien had ripped a concept of incrusting a skull with diamonds from his friend John Lekay who in 1993 made a skull incrusted with crystals. Damien’s “For The Love Of God” sculpture was made in 2007. When Cartrain made a collage of the diamond encrusted skull, Mr. Hirst was able to confiscate the work by bullying the kid’s gallery owner to release the collage to him or face legal action.

The kid recently retaliated by going to Tate where an installation by Mr. Hirst called Pharmacy was on display. Part of the display was a box of HB pencils which the young Cartrain swiped and subsequently put a note of ransom for in exchange for his collage. Hirst then sent Scotland Yard after the kid and they charged him with swiping the pencils. The value of the pencils somehow became half a Million British Pounds because they were in the installation!! Yes folks I can’t make this up. The 17 year old kid was charged with swiping a box of HB pencils that somehow ballooned in price from a few dollars to half a million British Pounds. Hirst also claims that his installation was irreparably harmed by the removal of the HB pencils. Oh my! The installation is worth 10 Million British Pounds!!! I say the kid was in his right to artistically express himself in a performance art as a parody of the installation no?

Fast forward and jump a few miles east to the Ostwall Museum in Dortmund, Germany where a cleaning lady cleaned a bucket that was part of an installation art that seemingly cause £690,000 damage to the bucket. You see the bucket was supposed to be dirty. The artwork in question was a Martin Kippenberger installation entitled 'When It Starts Dripping From the Ceiling'. Again I am not making this up. I simply don’t have the imagination or the boldness to value crap at that high a price!

Now do me a favour and watch this Youtube video of a TED presentation. Interesting commentary on installation art and the state of art today eh? Tell you what, I am with the cleaning lady too. But what I most want to know is who values these installations? How do they value them? And who in God’s name is paying for this crap???

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