Monday, August 27, 2007


On Friday night I met up with a friend to go to the opening of a new art exhibition. Three things stood out:

1. Most of the art was awful - technically mediocre and appallingly overpriced. There were a few exceptions, but most of it wasn't worth a tenth of the asking prices, and wouldn't have looked out of place in a shopping centre art show.

2. Here's the news from the emerging artists of Perth: the 80s are back, baby! Two strong themes in the exhibition were a) strong geometric shapes in bold colours and b) slutty stylised naked ladies. It was like being attacked by massed Duran Duran album covers.

3. While I was waiting at the bar for a drink, a woman put a tray of canapes down next to me and walked off. I picked one up and ate it, and discovered that it was even worse than the art. It tasted like a paste made from cigarette ash, and as it was a grey goo, it may well have been exactly that.

The thing is, at an art exhibition, you can never be quite sure whether these things are intentional. There are a number of possibilites. One, the platter may have been a wittily transgressive artwork, not meant to be actually eaten. Two, the platter may have been a cunning piece of guerilla performance art, forcing elegant gallery patrons to consume cigarette butts as if they were delicious tidbits. Three, the platter may have been saboutaged by a disgruntled waiter, sick of the aforementioned patrons and their pretentions. Or four, they may have just been really crappy canapes. Even now, three days later, I have no idea which one of these possibilities is true.

Still, wandering around with a glass of champagne making rude faces at bad paintings is almost more fun than making awed faces at good paintings, so I was happy.


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