“It’s art,” he said, “It was created by a collective of three Quebec artists known by the initials BGL.”
So art it is.
It’s set up like a garage, with all the stuff you’d expect to find in a garage, plus a few things you wouldn’t expect to find, like the artist’s euthanized dog. If art is supposed to be evocative, I’d say he nailed it with that one. Anyone who has ever had a pet euthanized probably experiences their own personal vivid-inner-art-show upon seeing that.
There are two doorways going off the garage which we would have missed if the guard hadn’t pointed them out to us. One goes into a room with a sparkly ball travelling up and down a moving ramp. The other goes into a room with a car, and inside the car is Something Unexpected.
The whole installation is peculiar and fascinating. All those ephemeral layers of life, stuffed into leftover space. I like it.
Like much of the stuff in the Contemporary galleries, it left me wondering how stuff becomes art. Is it the deliberate creation of it by an artist that makes it art? Does calling it art somehow transform it into art? Because honestly, that same kind of accumulation just sort of happens in people’s extra spaces…if it just happens, is it not art?
And how does it end up being considered the calibre of art that belongs in the National Gallery? Who decides, and how? I have a feeling – and I’m a bit of a cynic, so I’m probably wrong – that the name of the artist plays a huge role in determining this. A well-known artist could probably create some half-assed crap and get it into the gallery, whereas a talented but unknown artist wouldn’t have a chance of getting his or her best works in there.
David Scrimshaw has a piece of art hanging in his house which he created from an old typewriter. It’s striking and original and clever and I think it’s Gallery-worthy.
This pile of shredded felt, on the other hand, is not so Gallery-worthy in my humble and artistically uneducated opinion. I’m pretty sure nobody could make their artistic debut with the shredded felt…they’d have to have already earned their place in the art world before the Gallery would consider this pile of art gallery-worthy.
But someone decided the shredded felt was Gallery-calibre art. And nobody has decided that about David’s typewriter mobile yet. (Maybe David will post a photo of it on his blog so you can all see how amazing it is and then maybe it will come to the attention of the Gallery’s acquisitions people. That’s probably how the pile of shredded felt got its start.)