Conceptual Art: A Load of Rubbish

A new exhibition opened at the Barbican in London today by Chinese conceptual artist, Song Dong.  The art is a collection of around 10,000 household items collected over five decades by Dong’s mother and it took two containers to ship to London.  I don’t know where to begin with how insane I think this art is.

The mother claims that she kept hoarding things that reminded her of her dead husband.  Ok.  She didn’t want to throw them out as it made her feel close to him. Alright.  So 16 umbrellas, countless plastic tubs and so on remind you of your husband.  Sentimentality is one thing but is this collection of generic plastic bric-a-brac that you can find in a charity shop or car boot sale worthy of an art exhibition?

This kind of contemporary art makes me quite cross as I find it pathetic.  Song Dong’s previous work includes a mildly interesting biscuit display in Selfridges:

Apparently the display was edible but anyone who is a fan of pink wafers (like me) knows that they go soggy over night so I wouldn’t want to taste one.

Jane Alison, senior curator at the Barbican, said that Waste Not was “so personal and poetic … it helps us to understand the reality of Chinese history and culture in the 20th century in a way that newspapers can’t”.  Perhaps newspapers can’t but we really do have more methods of communication nowadays and does one woman’s clutter convey Chinese history and culture?!  If any of you manage to pop along to see it, please do leave reviews!





2 Comments to “Conceptual Art: A Load of Rubbish”

  1. Poetic? Like that woman says in When Harry Met Sally: I’ll have what she’s having!!

    What a joke.

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