Nancy and I were walking downtown, approaching 4th and Pine when I spotted a guy with a camcorder in his hand. He wasn’t looking through the viewfinder, but he had it balanced and perfectly pointed across Pine to the opposite side. I couldn’t see anything across the street worth filming. That’s when I noticed that there was a guy across the street with another camera pointed at the first camera. He was trying to be nonchalant about it, but they were obviously together. Both were unshaven, white men in their early 20’s.
I pointed it out to Nancy. We assumed someone was going to either do a skateboard trick or a jackass-like stunt. We crossed 4th to watch. On the way across the street we spotted a guy with a large duffel bag. There was a hole in the duffle bag, a third camera, at least its lens, was visible through the hole.
The camera in the duffel bag made us a bit nervous. Obviously more thought and planning had gone into this than we had assumed. We looked over at the fourth corner and quickly spotted another camera. The guy with the duffel bag noticed us noticing him.
Nancy and I gave one another quizzical looks and waited. My heart was racing a bit in anticipation of what was happening. The guy with the duffle shifted the lens away from us, hoping that we hadn’t noticed. Nancy pointed at the side of the bag, it said, “Art Institute of Seattle.”
“Oh,” I said, “It’s only art.”
Both Nancy and I immediately lost all interest at that point. It wasn’t real, it was some kind of artificially constructed situation students were creating. It was probably for someone’s crappy video installation piece.
I used to be more interested if something was for art’s sake, but now, it has to be brilliant or enjoyable for me to bother to look at it.
Has anyone else started to feel this way? It’s only art...
I thought of it again last night when eliciam described how disappointed her English teacher was when she disliked a poet. He said someothing like, “I thought you were the kind of person who would appreciate someone being creative.”
As if the attempt to create art somehow elevated the final product beyond judgement. In my mind, calling something art means it should be held to a higher standard.
It’s only art. Maybe I’m just getting old