Friday, 30 September 2016

Really Good?

There is a new sculpture on the 4th plinth of Trafalgar Square. As ever it is dividing opinion. This time however it seems to be dividing opinion between people who clearly either aren't getting any, or enough or are possibly man haters and those who just think it's a not very good sculpture of a hand.

The piece itself is called Really Good. I don't think it is supposed to have a question mark after it, but it ought to. Then we would know that the artist in question was being ironic. Or possibly taking the piss. Because we all know that it isn't, even those who think it looks like a big penis. Which it doesn't. Perhaps it looks like a big vibrator. I cannot claim any expertise on this.

The artist himself, David Shrigley, has given conflicting explanations for what his work is about. But at best it is perhaps being sardonic about the modern world and our habit of saying things are really good. And yet this is a very limited phenomenon. Yes we may like stuff on Facebook, but we also think a lot of things are really bad. The state of the world for instance. The state of English football. The state of democracy. The state of modern art.

So maybe the sardonic explanation is the best one. How best to respond to a world in which Chauncey is leader of the Labour Party and promising/threatening to nationalise everything in order to make life really good and Donald Trump is currently complaining about how unfair his treatment was on Monday because he was once vicious to a beauty queen who had gained weight. Actually there's an idea for a sculpture the next time around. Just put Donny Little Hands on the plinth. Now that really would look like a big prick.

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