Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Beck's Futures No More?

London's Evening Standard, published this article regarding the recent news that one of the largest art prizes is about to be squashed. Why? Now read this quote clearly,

"There was a general fear that the prize wasn't very cool any more. What's the point of hosting a modern art prize that is no longer fashionable?"
Now I have several issues with this line of thinking. Why must art be "cool"? Why not "good" or "engaging"? This type of thinking makes me question their intent in the first place. What does it mean for art to be "cool"? Secondly, art certainly has not become less fashionable over the years (I'd actually say that it has become more so) and money has never gone out of fashion. So I would have to wager that the problem is not with art or the prize but their concept of what the prize is and what it should mean.

The new board members want to make the award for music. While that is not necessarily a bad idea but throw in the fact that they want the prize to be "cool" and let the public have a voice on the matter, equals, American Idol. Oh, those TV watching fools just love the American Idol, it is so cool. Do we seriously think that any of the past contestants will have a real mark on the history of music or contribute something new to their craft? Me, I seriously doubt it. Wanting the general public to decide on what kind of art is best is like having the public choose their favorite TV doctor to do an operation on you. Let the arts professionals choose art on merit and try and explain the merit to the public. Teach the public that something that they may have to work at to understand can be "cool". While art is often subjective, who and what is cool is merely a popularity contest.

I would rather have something of merit and substance over something that is empty and popular.

1 Responses to “Beck's Futures No More?”

Anonymous said...
February 12, 2007 at 9:01 AM

this award was an elaborate advertising campaign, so of course its coolness was the whole point.

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