Proving art by anti-art

So the art has literally consumed itself. On Wednesday a warehouse fire destroyed more than 100 artworks from Charles Saatchi’s famous collection. Works such as Tracy Emin’s tent and works by Damien Hirst and Sarah Lucas were also destroyed.

Of course any piece of creative work destroyed is always distressing, yet when work of this particular ilk is lost , I can’t but help thinking that it is somewhat ironic. Much of this style of work thrives on the conceptual basis of anti-art, takes its lead from our throw-away culture and planned obscelescense. It is in its own admission somewhat of a fraud, placing much less emphasis on the importance of the object and much more on the concept. So does it really matter that the actual work has been destroyed? Does it in any way enhance the work?


“Operational negativity, of all those scenarios of deterrence which, like Watergate, try to regenerate a moribund principle by simulated scandal, phantasm, murder-a sort of hormonal treatment by negativity and crisis. It is always a question of proving the real by the imaginary, proving truth by scandal, proving the law by transgression, proving work by the strike, proving the system by crisis and capital by revolution.”

If anything if you could salvage any charred, melted, fused works could they not in fact increase in value due the works pre-disposal to scandal and self-destruction? A kind of mega-art (that finally has some narrative). I look forward to the first show – ‘Inferno’.

Of course the artists are very upset by the destruction, understandably, but are the tears for the work simply for the lack of control? Could it be that the destruction of art, the negating of the concepts of traditional art needs to be controlled just as much by Tracey Emin as Michael Angelo controlled the brush.

“Everything is metamorphosed into its inverse in order to be perpetuated in its purged form. Every form of power, every situation speaks of itself by denial, in order to attempt to escape, by simulation of death, its real agony.”

Again Baudrillard babbling away. But interesting point, simulation of death, not actual death (or burnt to a crisp). The simulacrum has been distorted by real world events, and bought crashing down to earth. The works power seemed to be in the simulation of death, or more accurately, the ‘I could have done that’ concept so often cited by the public at these works.

So what now for art, will this have an effect? Will people move away from the self-destruction of art, or move ever more closely to hyper-reality to avoid such an event again?

Essentially its all a load of tosh. Burn’t tosh

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