Invisible Stranger

Invisible Stranger

Collecting Crises on Old Compton Street and Beyond

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Tuesday, October 28, 2003
Here Comes The Sun
Most acclaimed "modern" art, as far as I'm concerned, is crap. There. I've gone and said it now. Now, how many of you wish you'd've said it first? Right. Thought so.

Yes, it makes money. Yes, it creates headlines. But most of it, if you're asking me, is a pile of self-referential, media-aware, masturbatory pooh. So there.

I've studied this, my dears, really I have. I used to be a member of London's über-trendy ICA. (To be honest, most of us were members, not because of our appreciation of late-twentieth-century "art", but because it gave us an increased chance of a pseudo-intellectual shag with someone else who also wore a black polo-neck.)

And, after the shag, our duvets had more tales to tell than Tracy's, and Dawn and Jennifer ended up being far more interesting than Gilbert and George. And as for Damien Hirst,well he should be pickled along with his cows. Can't even run a decent bar, can our Damien. Shock Content does not Modern Art make, my dears, at least not in this Stranger's book.

And then today, I saw my latest piece of "Modern Art". One of these ever-so-trendy interactive "Installations", you know. In the grand, soul-less, and mist-enshrouded turbine hall of London's Tate Modern, I saw Olaf Eliassons's "weather installation", a huge, artificial Sun, powered by a thousand orange light-bulbs, hovering above a couple of hundred twenty-first-century spectators, their wide-open eyes, fixed and fascinated inexorably on a blazing, sacred orb, just as their ancestors' eyes were, sixty generations ago. Suddenly we were all pagans again, suddenly we were all flung three thousand years back in time, every single one of us a sun-worshipper again, our civilisation rendered puny in the light of the all-conquering sun. Absolutely breath-taking.

The best, and most evocative, review I've read - across the entire print and internet media - is here. And, if you have the chance, I recommend you see it (it's free as well).

The Sun, as someone once said, is God.

(And he wasn't such a bad painter either.)