Conceptual Art: Ideas & Language

Conceptual Art.
29th January 2014.

Found this lecture really interesting as I’ve never really understood conceptual art, and would probably not consider it to be art in most cases (in my opinion). Although I didn’t really understand some of the pieces shown, I like the concept behind conceptual art, thats it the idea of playing with the mind and trying to please it rather than the beauty of the art. This makes conceptual art sound very planned out, almost structured, with thought out ways as to how to please and exercise the brain in the most unusual way, but it’s all about the randomness. This random and spontaneous art no longer has to be the “norm” of painting and sculptures but instead artists could do as they please, creating performance/environmental/land and even using the whole of the human body as a paintbrush to create the art.

A favourite quote about conceptual art was “art is the definition of art”. I think it was meant that art was more than it ever had been, artists were trying to create art beyond the sensory appeal, more than what you saw or could smell. To me, this also means that really anything could be art and could it really be defined, and yet, it is the definition of itself.

Some examples of modern conceptual art were the likes of Damien Hurst and Grayson Perry. Although I like the ideas behind Hurst’s work (the idea of love and hate – feels like theres nothing in between), I don’t think I like his work. For example, arguably one of his most famous pieces, the shark in a tank. I don’t agree with this because he went out and caught a shark, and for what? So he could sell it for millions. Rumour has it that when the original shark was sold, the method of preserving it didn’t work, and the shark started to rot, so he had to go and fish another one for the owner.

All in all, I still don’t get conceptual art, I don’t think something like a blank canvas can be called art because it was intentionally left blank for the viewer to see what they liked. Although it was good to see the other side of it and have a different opinion, I think it’s just strengthened my thoughts on it. Dare I say, I don’t see the point?


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