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Published:July 2nd, 2008 18:17 EST
What is art?

What is art?

By Robert Paul Reyes


"A runner will sprint through a gallery every 30 seconds for the next four months in the latest art installation by artist Martin Creed.

The installation, called "Work No. 850", is sponsored by Sotheby`s and goes on show on Tuesday in the 86-metre neoclassical sculpture galleries of Tate Britain."

Quotations from Reuters

A sketch, a painting, a sculpture: These are universally recognized as works of art. But is art a concept so malleable that it can include a runner sprinting through a gallery every 30 seconds?

An artist thinks outside the box, and I challenge anyone who thinks that my Microsoft Paint creations are not works of art. But we must not stretch the definition of art until it can mean anything. A man sprinting inside a museum is not a work of art, he is a moron who is distracting art patrons from enjoying the masterpieces hanging on the wall.

If some fool running inside an art museum is a work of art, then if I trip him it should not be interpreted as a crime but as my unique type of art criticism.

A cathedral is a holy place that inspires awe and a hushed reverence as we imagine the divine; and an art museum is a sacred place that inspires awe as we consider the great works of man. A sprinter inside a museum violates and desecrates that spirit of quiet contemplation.

Martin Creed, the artist, explains his sprinter exhibition:

"Running is the opposite of being still. If you think about death as being completely still and movement as a sign of life, then the fastest movement possible is the biggest sign of life. So then running fast is like the exact opposite of death: it`s an example of aliveness."

Quotation from Reuters

I strongly disagree with Creed, running is not the opposite of death. Too many people have this mindset, they run all day taking care of personal and business errands, and they are too busy to enjoy life.

Running is not the opposite of death, a writer staring into space trying to conjure an essay or a short story is the opposite of death. A young man lost in his lover`s eyes is the opposite of death. A child mesmerized by the moon is the opposite of death.

According to the Reuters article Creed won the coveted Turner Prize in 2001 with an installation that was a light bulb going on and off in an empty room.

Where the hell is my Turner Prize for my Microsoft Paint masterpieces?