As far as this particular work is concerned (which I haven't seen), I think the only way of finding out about it is by giving it the benefit of the doubt in the first instance (and maybe a second and a third instance too) and see what kind of experience it offers. (It doesn't sound like the kind of experience I'd be interested in myself, so I probably wouldn't be willing to make the necessary effort to find out.)
In my view, anything can qualify as "art", if at a given moment one perceives it as such. Meaning that I don't believe in the technique anymore, but in the idea. There are works of art which are so simple to construct, there is no special or difficult technique in them, but still, they are important.
Take Marcel Duchamp for instance: he displayed a toilet seat in an exhibition. How can you judge its technique? It doesn't have any: you're simply looking at the idea itself. It's pure content. I like it very much, but I think that whoever would pay 15.000 dollars for it would simply be an idiot.
I hope you get my meaning.
I think that the main point Andante is making is that this "rubish art" (sic) - where he presumably meant "rubbish art" - had no direct artistic involement by its creator, who merely wrote to the art gallery staff instructing them to collect the discarded wrapping of other entries and tip it on the floor.
This pile of rubbish won a prize of NZ $15,000 NZ, but it could have taken any shape or form resulting from the manner in which the constituent parts were collected, shuffled, and dumped.
Ignore for the moment whether or not the end result happened to be better "art" than that of the other competitors in the opinion of the judges. The real question is whether or not the winning "art" can be called art in the first place if it has no clear artist but was the result of random processes in which the artist played no creative part except one of an extremely tenuous nature.
It would rather like a "poet" instructing the organisers of a poetry competition to take the first two words of the next 100 threads on T-C, jumble them up, and stick them down on paper and call that his entry. I reckon there would a lot of "well" s in there (which might be difficult to handle) but no matter, it illustrates my point that it's hardly worth calling poetry.
Is it relevant whether it can be called art in the first place? What is art?
Can it not just be an idea realized creatively?
Competitions regarding art are silly in how they tend towards being so subjective as regards the judges opinion. A masterpiece in someone elses' eyes could come last in such a competition. So these competitions are meaningless? Maybe it is politics as to who gets to win.
Price tags on new art are only a commodity for the market like stocks and can bare no relation whatsoever to objective 'artistic value'. I don't think they are meant to.
We live in an age of doubt as regards religion, traditional beliefs and so forth so why not doubt in art too. Maybe doubting art is just another expression of the times.
It's precisely because those two disciplines have largely vanished, subverted by the Enlightenment, that some people get so upset and angry about modern art. They long to be told what to think by a priest or a king.
It's so hard having to make up your own mind. Falling back on a subjective hedonism - 'It's art because it gives me pleasure' - doesn't really cut the mustard.
'If it is not a beautiful it is not art.' That is another one that I find really curious.
I thought art was allowed to honestly reflect the world??
All we like sheep have gone astray gone astray into unsound sounds
I really don't care about defining art. I've given up on that one years ago.
Just a general comment, really. It's always possible - indeed, has always been possible, for the history of art is littered with examples - to stand 'outside' a work of art and dismiss it as nonsense, rubbish, or what-have-you. Literally anything can be made to seem ridiculous in such a way, and indeed almost everything has been. Rembrandt was trashed by Ruskin (usually one of the most sensitive of critics), Cezanne was trashed by almost everybody for many years. People still trash poetry if they don't 'understand' it straight away; people still trash even the greatest abstract paintings on the grounds that they think 'anyone can do that'.
Music is no different. As long as we remain 'outside' it, we can't know whether it's any good, ourselves; all we can do is listen to what others say (if we're really interested), or just pass by. I know lots of people whose opinions I greatly respect, who spend a great deal of time listening to music that sounds like cacophony to me. If they're spending large chunks of their time listening to it, it seems likely that they're getting something of value from the experience, however much I fail to see what it is. And those composers and musicians who are making this experience possible are succeeding, not failing. That's the point. What I might think about it isn't important. I'm not 'in the know'.
Another great example of art that was rubbished is Beethoven's late quartets which many thought were not only unplayable but a sign of madness, now where would music history be without these treasures?
In my view, anything can qualify as "art", if at a given moment one perceives it as such. Meaning that I don't believe in the technique anymore, but in the idea.
This was a concept put forth by a great many artistic theorists during the last century and seized upon by artists. The idea is quite popular because coming up with an idea is easy. We all have ideas. Ideas are not art. The art involves giving the idea a concrete form. What many ignore is that what is denigrated as mere technique or craft involves as much or far more "thinking" than the first initial impetus.
Take Marcel Duchamp for instance: he displayed a toilet seat in an exhibition. How can you judge its technique? It doesn't have any: you're simply looking at the idea itself. It's pure content.
The problem with using Duchamp's urinal (or Fountain, as the work is properly titled) is that most people... even a vast majority of art historians and critics have misguided notions of how this work came about. Duchamp was fairly well-known as a result of the exhibition of his painting, Nude Descending a Staircase at the Armory Show in New York. He was asked a couple years later to act as a part of the committee overseeing an independent exhibition in New York. It was announced that this exhibition would accept all artistic entrees... there would be no censorship... nothing would be rejected.
Duchamp was knowledgeable of the French tradition of the "studio joke". One example dating back to the 19th century was that of a blank canvas entered into the yearly salon. To be hung along side of this canvas was a placard in which the artist noted that he did not wish to impose his vision and so limit the audience participation. He thus invited them to imagine their own ideal imagery. Building upon this tradition of studio jokes, Duchamp decided to test just whether "nothing would be rejected" from the show at hand. He entered a common porcelain urinal which he had signed with the made up name, R. Mutt. When the piece was summarily rejected, Duchamp protested. The curators all argued that the work was NOT ART. Duchamp asked whether or not something becomes art if an artist makes it and calls it art. He then resigned in mock disgust and then proceeded to write several articles about the event and letters to the editors... again, all under pseudonyms.
Duchamp's intention was to once again ask the eternal question "What is Art?" At the same time... he himself was never of the mind that "everything is art or can be art" and he recognized that any exhibition which declared itself to be without standards... where everything would be admitted... was open to criticism... and open to some smart-ass who would test just how open things really are. Comically, Duchamp's urinal was never intended as a work of art... it was merely a prop for the performance (his pretended outrage, resignation, and letters of protest). It was these, if anything, that were the ART... although they are better described as part of a brilliant artistic hoax and a marvelous bit of artistic criticism. Many other works were unquestionably Art in spite of challenging traditional Art media (The Large Glass or The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even). To think of the urinal as an art object misinterprets the intention almost to the point as if one mistook a costume show used in the performance of Hamlet as the art work... and not the play.
If it is not a beautiful it is not art.' That is another one that I find really curious.
I personally agree with the sentiment. Certainly art may confront and portray ugliness and horror or even just the mundane... but if it is not transformed into something of aesthetic merit... something which exudes a certain "beauty" (although that may not be of the sort of common beauty we associate with terms like "pretty" and "cute")... to me it fails as art. Cormac McCarthy's novel, Blood Meridian is one of the most violent and harrowing novels of the 20th century. Spielberg's film, Schindler's List can only be described in the same terms... as might Penderecki's Threnody... but they all are also magnificently "beautiful" in their way. All use art to transform real life experience.