Friday, 16 February 2018

Dim and Dimmer

 Looking towards Twyford village

I love the light you get in England in February (and, to be fair, in November, which is February run in reverse): it's like someone is playing around with the solar dimmer switch. One minute, it's so dim you can barely see; then, wham, it's so bright you can barely see; then suddenly the cloud and sun action has moved on, and you get extraordinary combinations of different weather sets happening simultaneously across the landscape. Blimey, look, is that a hailstorm coming our way? Put the hat back on!

 Looking towards Twyford Down

Of course, you need to be somewhere sufficiently open to both weather and sky to get the full effect, and the Itchen water-meadows are perfect for this. When we there on Sunday the sky was giving us the full Martin Creed treatment [1], although the resident cattle had clearly seen it all before, and had more important things on their minds.

Looking towards the M3 motorway

Perhaps everyone has a fondness for the meteorological trappings of their birthday month? I think us February folk can't help feeling a little bit special, though, with our uniquely cranky month – shorter than the rest but standing tall(er) every four years – mixing up the seasons with its tricksterish weather. We might yet wake up to a covering of snow. Or blazing sunshine. Or driving rain. Or all three in one morning. So glad I ain't a cattle.

1. Martin Creed's infamous Turner Prize entry, "Work No. 227: The Lights Going On and Off", solemnly and hilariously described here if you've never come across it.


amolitor said...

I had never heard of Work #227 before, and I have a certain admiration for the artist!

Having just finished up a little work of satire, I can assure you that even carelessly tossed out nonsense is much harder than it looks. To generate an idea for a piece of Art that is legitimately trivial to execute strikes me as something of a tour de force. I spent hours and hours on a photobook in which the pictures were literally bashed out in minutes, and the accompanying text was literally typed at random as I tossed the pictures, again at random, into the book.

Essays, overdesign, editing, good god it's exhausting.

And this one certainly is. "Oi, so you gets a timer, see, and you make the loits go off and on every 5 seconds, see?" and you're literally done. It's up to museum staff to "install" the artwork, surely.

Maybe I should focus on Keith Smith's conceptual books. "Oi, so you gets some flat rocks, see, and you stands them up side by side on edge, see. And they you say 'look it's book you stupid bastards'".


Mike C. said...

I think it is probably impossible to parody conceptual art. Wherever you might try to go to get an amusing stance on it, whatever "reductio ad absurdum" you might attempt, someone has already been there, and won a prize for it. I suspect that may be the entire point!