Saturday, 3 April 2010

Not my Best Side

I know we intelligentsia (actually, I'm an art school oick) are supposed to leap to the defence of any work of contemporary art under potential attack. We guard the gate against the ignorant, retrograde, reactionary, lumpenproletariat as well as against the smug, jobsworth, petit bourgeois in the name of the cultured, the cool, and the cutting edge. We are for the challenging, the edgy, for the art that asks questions, for anything the lumpenproletariat and petit bourgeois are sure to hate.

And, actually, I am, I truly am (you don't know how desperate I am for you to believe this!) a considerable admirer of Kapoor - his sculpture rather than his reasons for it, his sheer excess of size and colour, his voluptuary sweetness and savagery... but this looks (lean closer, I must whisper it) 'a mess'.

You want a comparison? Of course you do! It's hard. Shall I say 'tangled telephone wires'? 'A stethoscope'? 'The Eiffel Tower after Godzilla has been through with it?' (Yes, I know people didn't like the Eiffel Tower at the time, those damn reactionary bourgeois! Please, please, please don't mistake me for one of those!)

Damn! You heard! I'll never live this down. Keep it to yourself. Unless, of course, I revise my opinion.

ps The clouds are pretty good, if a touch formalist. I'm also looking forward to the first man who climbs it.


Mark Granier said...

Yes, I agree. Looks like a giant stiletto shoe's afterbirth.

Kathleen Jones said...

Let me guess - this is being erected in Dubai? .......

but then, having looked at it again, there are definite similarities with the Olympic logo.....

Billy C said...

The picture makes me think of ants around a dead insect. I like the picture.

George S said...

Newcastle is Peru, said the Restoration poet, John Oldham. (But was Oldham, Bogota?)

London is Dubai?

It is about the oddest large object I have seen in terms of an objet. It does make me feel a little like an ant, Billy. Perhaps it's edible.

dana said...

It absolutely should be climb-able! Otherwise, what's the point? Isn't sculpture desiged to be touched?

Here's an artist who says, yes, please, touch and climb on and in the art.

What I like about Cassilly is that he seems to be saying, please, enjoy this however you wish, proletariat, intelligentsia, whoever you are.

George S said...

There is a viewing platform on the Kapoor, Dana. And I might come round to it. It just doesn't seem as convincing as other Kapoors.

Have you tried to touch the Venus de Milo in the Louvre? I expect there'll be Health and Safety notices surrounding the Kapoor. There will be a permitted way up to the platform. What I want is an illegal climber, up the outside. The scale looks just about feasible.

The Casilly is very nice. There is a really interesting question (in fact a number interesting questions) behind the idea of fun v. 'high seriousness'. The Tate Modern had slides a while ago.

Where do you think the Kapoor is on that scale?

dana said...

Mmmn, wouldn't Venus be lovely to touch? She's so lush.

The scale of the Kapoor seems to be non-human, putting it closer to the serious than the fun. I find it hard to get a sense of it from the pictures. Maybe it's going to be too monstrous to have the sense of squished up erector-set.

George S said...

There is always the possibility that the coil effect of all that bent metal will one day go BLOING! the whole thing snap upright, and all those people on the viewing platform be thrown right across the Thames.

Kinetic art at its most cutting edge!

But then the humans would only be ant-sized anyway. Definitely high art. in that case.