Now I am actually signed on as a contributor (just took a bit of time) this was from the Exhibition Discussion for January 23rd (to be found in Comments previously). I look forward to doing another in  couple of weeks time and engaging in more of the fascinating discussion that this Richard Grayson exhibition seems to generate. 

“The Exhibition Discussion this afternoon started with the big questions – Is this art? What is art? A small group but big questions! Leading the way was a 13 – 14 year old boy who was grappling with these issues and the adults with him keen also to explore the ideas. 

People were happier with Ways The World End as art than, for example Colliders, or the video installations (Messiah could be – and was – described as ‘ideas with music’, but, people wanted to know, does that make it art? 

The aesthetic qualities of the former made people want to engage, were pleasing in their own right. With Colliders people just felt the work “looked boring” so didn’t make the effort to engage and find the art in it. This raised all sorts of discussion about whether the artist has a responsibility to engage the viewer, or whether the role is simply to create the work and trust that people attending a gallery will make the effort to look for what lies beneath the superficially banal. 

This is interesting because it ties in with the belief systems being explored and exposed within the exhibition as a whole. In our individual belief systems perhaps we all have a belief of what art is or should be, and people react to that being challenged in the same way as they react to other beliefs being challenged, often with quite intense reactions.”

Posted by Ryan Coleman on Tuesday 2 February 2010