Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Your grand total is 30,000 pounds, paper or plastic?

I'm going to have to take a trip to Londontown soon and visit the Tate because they are burning up the Art news circuits recently.....this time for one of their recent acquisitions for 30,000 pounds, which happens to be a 70 pound total grocery store receipt. I'm not joking. Welcome to the world of modern art.

The receipt, or should I say work of art, entitled Monochrome Till Receipt (White), is by artist Ceal Floyer. It consists of a receipt for 49 items purchased by the artist herself at Morrisons (a British grocery store) for a total of £70.32. All of the items on the receipt are white: including sugar, eggs and rice. Monochrome is on display at London's Tate Britain in a new exhibition, Tate's Classified: Contemporary Art exhibition, a collection of the museum's recent acquisitions.

Floyer describes the work as a modern still life where objects are imagined rather than shown and invites to try and conjure up what they will look like. Floyer now lives in Germany, but didn't leave the country without giving specific intructions, such as a list of instructions from the artist, stating that a new receipt must be used every time it is shown. Tate references Monochrome by saying the work is a reference "to the tradition and supposed purity of modernist monochromatic painting. A shopping receipt is a visually unimpressive record of a transaction. Displayed on a wall, we are invited to view it in different ways, beyond the act of shopping itself." The Tate will not disclose how much it paid for the work until the publication of its annual report in September, but three years ago the receipt was estimated to be worth £30,000.

I just really don't have much of a comment on this one. Art appreciation is a complex matter isn't it?

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