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Thursday, 16 June 2011

Random Conversations #11 - Blind Prejudice

F: You don't like it do you?

Me: No, I don't.

F: Is it because you don't like the pictures or you don't like the fact that she's married to Gwyneth Paltrow's brother and is obviously minted.

Me: It's both, but I have to say that the fact that the opening was attended by all these celebrities, and they were celebrities, and that lent a veneer of glamour that helped with the publicity didn't help. Nor does the fact that she looks absolutely minted. I used to have a babysitter whose daughter went out with Rankin...

F: I know, you've said.

Me: ...well the only thing she could remember was that he was minted. Maybe the daughter remembers more. She went out with Jude Law as well. He was very nice apparently. But he wasn't called Jude back then.

F: Wasn't it Dave?

Me: Yeah, Celebrity Dave is what the paparazzi used to call him. Perhaps they still do.

F: So what about the Taryn Simon thing?

Me: I don't know, I haven't seen them. I saw some of the other ones, the Unfamiliar ones. They were very good.

F: But...

Me: They left me cold.

F: Why?

Me: They didn't say anything to me. I always felt they were fitting the world into a particular way of seeing and expressing oneself that is alien to me. And I think the same is happening with the Tate pictures. It's Taryn Simon expressing herself in a particular way and it feels kind of oppressive. It doesn't fit with the people or the things she photographs. And I hate the whole ideas of blood lines and the neatness with which she orders things into little boxes and squares - things that shouldn't be ordered, that isn't linear or square..

F: But what if that way of thinking fits Tate Modern and the London and New York art worlds.

Me: What if it does? Is that what matters?

F: I think so. Isn't that good practice. Aren't you always moaning about stuff that hasn't been researched, that just lets the pictures do the talking...

Me: ...where a little bit of information could add so much. Yes, it happens again and again. So Simon's done her research and from what I can see, it's all laid out beautifully.

L: Go on, tell me it's probably very good. Say something nice.

Me: It probably is very good. I haven't seen it.


One week later

Me: So what did you think of the Taryn Simon show?

Y: I felt that I should like it But I don't like it.

Me: Me too. It's very good isn't it?

Y: Wonderfully researched. But I don't like it.

Me: But you should like it.

Y: But I don't.

Me: Me neither.

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