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In which I continue to seek part time employment as the ruler of the world.

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Thursday April 29 2010

I really like this, in connection with a visit to Tate Modern, at a time they had a huge sun lighting up the place:

Thinking about it some more, I think what we may be witnessing here is the divergence along two separate paths of, on the one hand, “art” (i.e. paintings, sculptures, stupid objects), and on the other hand the process of attracting people to, and entertaining people in, what are still called “art” galleries.

This is a trend I thoroughly approve of, because on the whole I think that “art” these days is too big for its boots, and depends far more than it realises on the fact that people simply like going to art galleries, regardless of what’s in them, simply because they are nice places where you can hear what any person you go with is saying and have a nice cup of coffee and a bun and buy an amusing biro. Discos without the bloody disco music, you might say, and with less disastrous drugs.

If that’s right, and it is, it follows that there is no particular reason for “art” galleries to contain only things which Tate Czar Nicholas Serota has decided are art. Why not veteran cars, tea trolleys, old games machines, underwear, hand held weapons through the ages, CD sleeves, potato crisp packets, batteries, food magazine illustrations, shoes, stills from the movies, Christmas cards, ancient photos taken by regular people rather than just by famous photographers, letters from the front, videos of buildings being demolished, etc. etc. etc. etc.???? Who needs art, and who cares whether the stuff in the gallery is art or not?

It would be a nice irony if a temple supposedly devoted to the worship of Modern Art actually became a force for dethroning the stuff.

I like it and I wrote it, for my old and partially collapsed Culture Blog.  You (I) can still read the individual postings.  Alas, the comments have all gone.  I found it while looking, without success, for something else clever that I thought I might have said.

Something bloggers should do before they die, if they care about posterity at all, is go through their back catalog and say: obviously if your choice is between reading all of my stuff or none of it, you’ll read none of it.  But I’ve made the choice for you.  Read all or at least some of these.  I think the above might be in the frame for inclusion in my Best Bits.  But of course there may be so much brilliant stuff to choose from that it might have to be cut from the list.

Actually, thinking about it some more (see above!), I suspect that my Best Bits might actually consist of best bits from blog postings, rather than entire postings.  I recall saying of Woody Allen once that not many of his movies are Truly Great, but that the guy sure does Truly Great scenes from time time.  I think I do great paragraphs from time to time, while tangenting off from some passing triviality that wasn’t written about with any great distinction at all and often downright badly.  Blah blah blah blah, brilliant, blah blah.  That’s a typical blog posting by me.  The above bit was sliced out of a blog posting much like that.  So, I will have to rescue all those brilliant bits.  Some anyway.  If I don’t, nobody else will, that’s for damn sure.

And of course, your post was inspired by one of my posts, and when I now go back and look at what I was writing six years ago, I think it was pretty good too. I don’t seem to write this kind of stuff much any more. Perhaps I should.

Posted by Michael Jennings on 29 April 2010

The comments are all gone on my blog, too, for an entirely different reason. The internet doesn’t always do a very good job of preserving the past.

Posted by Michael Jennings on 29 April 2010

This line of thought will lead you to naturally assume that only isolated [albeit, brilliant] bits count in the final scheme of things.
But it is not so.
As witnessed by numerous books of aphorisms, one-liners and bon-mots. 1st page is entertaining, the reader admires the author, everybody happy. The 2nd - not so much (even though the condensed bits of brilliance are still the same excellent quality), the third is getting boring, on the 5th the reader starts yawning, on 10th he puts the book away.

That’s why I deeply, deeply regret transformation of certain brilliant blogger into strictly-twitterer (twitter? twitterrato?). His entries are still outstanding and sharp as before, but without a supporting context are not so memorable.

The old stage axiom: a king is made by his court.

Posted by Tatyana on 29 April 2010
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