Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Art or trash?

I've written in the past about the difficulty in telling whether a given assemblage of stuff in a museum is art or just a pile of trash waiting for the janitor.  I was delighted to see a quiz on Joanne Mattera's blog regarding 25 such assemblages observed at last week's Miami art extravaganza, Art Basel Miami Beach and related fairs.  She will post the answers on Friday but meanwhile you might want to test your own critical eye.

Here's Joanne's #16, which I think is trash.

(A couple of people who have already posted comments suggested that they're all trash.  I found 14 that seemed to be art but am prepared to be roundly humiliated when the answers show up.)


  1. For my Research Methods course in grad school a few years ago, I had to read and write about a PhD dissertation.From the list supplied by the professor, I chose a sociology dissertation that examined the question of "is it art?"
    At the time, I was trying to convince a local art museum curator to host Quilt National, so I thought there might be some useful arguments in the dissertation.
    I should have known better than to expect anything useful from sociology. . .after many boring, wordy pages, the author reached this conclusion (much easier to understand in my words than hers):
    If you put it in a museum, label it and shine a light on it, it is art.

  2. In my opinion, they are all trash. If I really wanted to stretch it, I could see #12, #14, and #17 as some form of weird art by a lazy person.

  3. Thanks for the link! I voted for the 12 I thought might be trash. There were even a couple I really liked. LOL