The Modern Art Gallery Game

Now I don't claim to know much about art, but I know what's shite.

Jen and I visited the Tate Modern in London with Ann and Bill yesterday. Much of the stuff on display was, as you might expect, total rubbish. Between you and me, we kind of suspected that the artists in question were taking the piss. But, every now and again, we'd spot a genuine masterpiece across the room and go over for a closer look. Almost invariably, the piece in question turned out to be by some bloke named Picasso.

Don't get me wrong: I'm not a total philistine when it comes to modern art. In fact, I quite like some of it: I often pop into the Liverpool Tate during my lunch breaks, and Jen and I have Mondrian, Pollock, and Hockney prints (and four original Pickles) on our walls at home. But having an open mind when it comes to modern art doesn't mean you shouldn't dismiss bullshit as bullshit when you see it.

Performance artists
Two performance artists playing The Modern Art Gallery Game in the Tate Modern yesterday.

Anyhow, be that as it may, yesterday I came up with an idea for a new game, henceforth to be known as The Modern Art Gallery Game. It's very easy to play. All you need to do is go into a modern art gallery, find something that isn't actually an exhibit—a fire extinguisher, say, or a donation box—and stand looking admiringly at it, as if you think it's a genuine exhibit. It's even better if you can get somebody else to join in.

If anyone asks you what the hell you're doing, claim to be a performance artist, performing a piece entitled, But Is It Art?

They'll probably leave you alone after that.

Richard Carter

A fat, bearded chap with a Charles Darwin fixation.

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