Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Guardian and Turner Prize

The major British media, such as The Guardian and the BBC are sensitive about political correctness. Especially The Guardian tends to make the audiences feel guilty about ecology, or the other ethical issues. Its target audiences are, I guess, basically people in the UK, and I sometimes feel as if it is saying "we are the most ethical nation in the world," especially when I read about many articles about the last year's COP 15.There may be pros and cons about this. But, I basically prefer The Guardian to The New York Times.

And I basically like those Turner Prize winners' works. They vividly show what should be questioned in our time. Though I haven't experienced Susan Philipszs' work and only seen the YouTube clip, I think I'd like it.


The Gurdian says, "Philipsz, 45, is the first person in the history of the award to have created nothing you can see or touch." Some say it is the first time that an sound artist wins. But, Philipsz does not define herself as a sound artist. And I think she is right, if being a sound artist means being an expert of sound. She simply makes a place, avoiding being an expert of anything. Her idea may not be new, but the fact that it is the first time this kind of work wins the prize might be received positively.

What I've found problematic about The Guardian's article I've linked above is the fact it cannot appreciate the work without connecting the work with the ongoing students' protest. For mainstream media, contemporary art can sell only as redemption. I feel the same about the recent John Cage's 4'33" boom. I've found the "lessness" of Philipszs' work can somehow be viewed in the relation to the current so-called Bologna process. I support the protest and believe that universities should do more than providing experts. But I think defending her work by saying, "She is not expert. She is not a virtuoso. But she is anyway politically correct." won't help in a long run.

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