Saturday, December 11, 2010
What,s on my mind---
The front page of today's art section in the New York Times had a wonderful picture of four mounted police officers in front of La Scala facing hundreds of people, unseen, who were protesting cuts to the national arts budget by Berlusconi's government. The two officers to the left of the picture are Milanese police wearing high crowned helmets and long navy blue capes and they are mounted on great white horses. To their left, two carabiniere(??), national police, wearing their Napoleanic head gear with red tipped plumes and scarlet shouldered capes mounted on slightly smaller but no less impressive black horses. I remembered walking in that very spot with Lorna on our first trip Europe as a couple. I then turned to the column to the right of the picture and found another memory from the same trip. The Turner Prize has just been announced earlier this week and as usual, it was won by a person with no connection to painting and only the most tenuous, if any, connection to art. Susan Philipsz (sic?) has collected 25,000 pounds for filling an otherwise empty room with her rendition of three variations of a Scottish folk tune played through (naturally), three speakers. Lorna and I had begun our trip with a week in London and we saw that year's Turner Prize winner, Martin Creed's work, at the Tate Modern. It was called "Work No.227" The Lights Going on and Off. ! Another empty room. Once or twice is enough to examine the limits of art or even five or six times if you have a tendentious disposition, but if art is everything, then it is nothing.