[ This provoked by a diamond geezer post today ]
Critics, in my view, play a valuable role because they create a standpoint on a topic. Rather like the opposing sides in a debate. By staking out a viewpoint you are engaging others to have some response – even if that’s to say ‘what a load of old b******s’. I quite like being ‘told what to think’ sometimes because it provokes me to think about something to which I would otherwise have remained indifferent. When it comes to Art in particular I’ve personally found it rather helpful to have people of insight articulate in a detailed way the concepts and meanings of a piece as they perceive it. It gives me a handle and ‘way in’ that I might not otherwise have. The careful use of language to describe visual concepts is something to be accepted for what it is – an attempt to convey subtleties of meaning as they are understood by the viewer. The language used by critics is often criticised for sounding pretentious or impenetrable. On the one hand I’m all for simplification and inclusion. On the other, I think that some visual ideas are difficult to render in text and that’s where things can get out of hand. I’ve written several posts which use what might be considered high falutin terminology about art and design. I’m unashamed because I was genuinely trying to convey meaning. I don’t know if it’s always possible to write about art without someone thinking, ‘pretentious twaddle’. Matter of fact language isn’t always enough.
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Archive for September, 2004
I thought I’d write to let you know how things were going – it’s a long time since we had a good chat.
I’m the bloke who lives near you that you sometimes pass in the street and scowl at for no apparent reason. Even after I’ve smiled and said, ‘Hello’. Difficult I know, to return a greeting when you’ve got so much going on in your life. I mean, that vintage car of yours must take up a lot of your time – what with the rust promotion treatments. Those beaded seat covers a quite rare now too – must be worth a lot. [ to a scrap merchant ] I don’t really mind when you rev the engine for 2 hours from 7am on a Saturday – helps me to wake up nice n early – cheers.
That bin liner installation in your front garden is coming on a treat isn’t it? I noticed that council bloke taking photographs the other day – was he from the art gallery? Those arty types always dress weirdly don’t they? I bet he’s got a whole wardrobe full of rubber suits and respirators.
I see young Lance is growing up fast and Kirsty is not far behind him. Nice to hear you all screaming at each other in the street on Sunday at 6am – very jolly and gave us a good laugh. We wondered if it was about the dog. He’s always been a handful I know – I’ve often seen you whipping him to make him run faster in the park – he must be very reassuring to have around. All that snarling he does would scare anyone off eh? He he. Well, I must be going – I have to be up early for work in the morning – pay all those taxes to subsidise
you the layabouts long term unemployed. You know how it is. I wonder if I could ask you a favour? Any chance you could pull your bedroom curtains when you and the wife are both naked of an evening – it scares the budgie – you know how it is.
There are 3 weather related singles in this week’s top 20.
This is only fitting for a nation obsessed with the weather. The tracks are:
Breeze On By – by Donny Osmond. Sample – this is Dozza’s first top ten hit in 30 years. Ex Take That porker, Gazza Barlow has co-written a nice n easy track perfect for tearing around in your [ insert name of hairdressers car here ] with your mullet blowing in the wind.
[ In at no 8 this week ].
Sunshine – by Twista. Sample – nice n easy track borrowing heavily from the 1977 classic ‘Lovely Day‘ by Bill Withers. Perfect for tearing around in your [ insert name of hairdressers car here ] with your skunk stripes blowing in the wind.
[ Down 1 at no 9 this week ].
Butterflies and Hurricanes – by Muse. Sample – cacophonous dirge borrowing heavily from Friday night traffic at the Dartford Tunnel – perfect for tearing around in your [ insert name of boy racermobile here ] with your Burberry baseball cap on, windows open and fag buts being chucked at passers by.
[ In at no 14 this week ].
Meanwhile, the weather here in Bignjuicyville has been stunning, prompting me to purchase large quantities of plants at the garden centre and install them in the grounds for the enjoyment of yours truly, passing cats and the wider neighbourhood. I’m particularly pleased with some bargain Phormiums [ New Zealand Flax ] – ‘bronze baby‘ – which have added a new dynamism to the Bignjuicy window box as well as nearly taking my eye out.
Winter flowering pansies are always a favourite. This year I’ve gone all classic with rich purple – almost royal velvet in appearance – deep saturated colour – very spesh. This offset with masses of white pansies too. It’s all looking rather gorgeous – if I say so myself.
Prince Harry wants to continue his mother’s legacy. [Sick bags at the ready.]
David Frost will no longer be oozing forth on Sunday mornings.[ Thankyou God ]
The Blair Brown feud is known in Westminster variably as “10/11″ and the “TBGBs”.
Kushi’s in Drummond Street Edinburgh is good for a curry.
I feel physically ill when trees are cut down in my immediate vicinity.
The Libeskind V&A spiral will not be built.[ Very very bad news ]
Anthony Worral Thompson supports public smoking – woop de doo.
This morning they arrived.
Majestic bows arching out – over the road. Great canopy shading the hot cars on the road below. Green hands in the sky – for a hundred years.
This morning they came, with their oily metal screaming demons. Teeth grinding to dust lifetimes of journeys. Teeth ripping to shreds a thousand homes.
Defenceless it stood as they clambered on every branch, shouting as they cut. When lunchtime came. It was no more. Green hands on the road, crushed by passing wheels. Sweet sap – the scent of death, heavy in the breeze. Brown lustrous fruits months in the making scattered, splintered, destroyed. Tomorrow the cars will pass and the beautiful tree will be gone.
The men laugh – a job well done.
1. Science of small things.
2. Diminutive Scottish comedian.
3. Pointy hatted garden dweller.
4. Dysentry causing single cell.
5. Ronnie Lane’s lot.
6. Basic building block of matter.
7. Positive nuclear particle.
9. Tray planted.
10. Fiscal arachnid.
11. Picture element.
12. Mexican pooch.
13. Creepy Scottish boy like woman.
14. Lord Nuffield’s 1948 jalopy.
15. Homebush bum waggler – Dancing Queen.
16. Incontinent Belgian boy.
17. Defunct wren coin.
18. Sir Alec’s 1959 wheels.
19. Prison room.
20. Symbolic 5′2″ 1999 etc.
Max two answers each please until Sunday – when you may return to hoover up the remainder. Points will be awarded and updated then. Good luck.
I succumbed to temptation and purchased some Easyjet flights in their recent bargain sale. I’m going to Glasgow for the day in a few weeks, I’m also going to Edinburgh for the day a little while after. The flights cost me about 1p – you can’t complain can you? I’m burning a personal hole in the stratosphere all in the interests of frippery but we need to keep moving as a species right?
I’m excited. Love Glasgow – home to my hero – so hoping to indulge whilst there. However, more to Glasgow than Toshie. Never ever been to Edinburgh. So much to see, so little time to see it in. Help me plan my itinerary? What to see and do in both cities with only a day? This could be the first blogalog [ in the vein if a travelog - so to speak ]. Scots and scotiaphiles – speak now!
Alive o – am I – but only just.
I seem to have been running around more than a Man in Tights the last few days. Still, it’s not all been stress and strife.
There was the incident with the lemon and poppyseed muffin in the town centre which almost lead to an appearance on Crimewatch. Then there was the two hour meeting at which it was my job to take copious notes – only nobody told me that the lights would be switched off throughout for a Powerpoint frenzy. [ Are there any graphologists out there? ] Then there was the Removal of Masonry Nails from a Granite Wall exercise in which your intrepid blogger discovered the fragility of his digital blood vessels when dealing with the Arthurian forces necessary to dislodge those buggers. There was the whiteout experience in which 25 thousand gallons of white paint were applied to endless surfaces leading to Duluxitis of the Retina. Followed swiftly by the attempt at driving home in the dark and seeing imaginary animals on the hard shoulder. Later that day there was the Champagne by the Thames moment sweetie. Followed by last night’s reversing over a pile of doggy doos thus releasing it’s hidden aromatic treasure into the immediate neighbourhood – thanks Fido.
Postscript: Fell asleep on the sofa awaking at 1.45am and having to get up for work at 6. Feeling very special today.