Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Trash talk

How many art works have been tossed in the trash by cleaners who thought they were just that? NZ's benchmark has got to be Billy Apple's Neon Accumulation which was once swept into a carton for disposal at the Govett-Brewster. Stick ‘cleaners throw out art’ into Google and you get at least seven different incidents without having to try. Yes, along with high prices, theft and forgery, art-as-trash is a go-to media stand-by. 

The latest in this long line does make you wonder though about art in museums and museums and art in general. This time the cleaners at the Museion museum in Bolzano did their thing with the installation We Were Going to Dance Tonight by Sara Goldschmied and Eleonora Chiari a set up of discarded post-party champagne bottles and detritus. Fortunately the museum was able to swoop in to the rescue while the installation was still in rubbish bags waiting to be taken to the tip. 

And then it gets weird (given this was an installation representing the aftermath of a wild party) as the museum announced that it will 'try to put it back as it was, using photos to help us.' [italics added] It might have made more sense, and perhaps been a touch more authentic, simply to throw a party, celebrating the recovery and show the leftovers.