Tess's Mag prompt this week chimes with Mag 210 from a fortnight ago.
Lee Plaza Hotel, Detroit My Bed by Tracey Emin
by Bonnie Beechler,
"Ahh! There you are, Simpleforth. And what have we here? Two pictures. And one Simpleforth wearing his analyst's expression . . "
"And what exactly is bothering you about these pictures? One is, I think, a photograph, the other . . "
" . . . is also a photograph, Sir, of a artwork by Tracey Emin, titled "My Bed."
"Well, rather hers than mine, young man. Typical teenagers bedroom, I'd say."
"She isn't a teenager, Sir, she's an Artist."
"Whatever. Why have you juxtaposed the photographs? What are they telling you? How do they speak to you? What is their message? No doubt there's a Simpleforth analysis-in-waiting, if I wait a minute?"
"Well, sir. Consider the bed, and the assorted bric-a-brac around it."
"Sir, if you or I left a collection like that in a public place we'd be arrested and charged with fly-tipping. And, Sir, if we left it in an enclosed public place, such as an Art Gallery, Exhibition Hall, ladies toilet etcetera, it would also be classed a fire-risk and the Salvage would haul it away in very short order."
"We could protest that it is art, not fire prone fly-tipping, I suppose."
"But we aren't Great Artists, Sir. Once you've been styled a Great Artist you can get away with dumping rubbish in a public place . . ooops. I mean, exhibiting your unmade bed, sweetie wrappers, beer bottles and so on. Great Artists and their critics, acolytes and sycophants employ expensive libel lawyers to make sure people like us don't dump verbal crap on their artisitic cr . . erm . . creations."
"Then we'd better get off the bed before we offend Ms. Emin's sensibilities. And don't forget, Simpleforth, her bed could . . I'm not saying is . . but could . . be more artistic that your bed. Or mine. Consider, for example, the way the rumpled duvet and the discarded nightwear and the beer bottle . . suggest a night of . . of . . "
"Steady on, Sir. Take a few deep breaths. Now . . . let's see if we can draw any parallels between Emin's Bed and the trashed room in the other picture.'
"No parallels, surely?"
"As I see it, Sir, there's a fairly close parallel. Consider. If you or I left a house in that state we be charged with causing criminal damage. But if, say . . a drug-fuelled rock drummer did that to a hotel suite, as Doctor FTSE suggested recently, the drummer and his bass guitarist and his roadies and his recording company and his millions of brain-dead fans would describe it as Performance Art and nominate him for a Grammy or a BAFTA or something. That's the parallel, sir."
"What is it now, Simpleforth."
"I was just thinking, sir. An insurance loss adjuster would say the wrecked room was down to fair wear and tear and, sorry mate, but replacing old with new is out of the question . . although Ms. Emin might make artistic use of the wreckage . . "
"And Emin's Mum would say, 'Tracey! How many times have I told you! Clear up that mess at once. I don't know why I let you get away with it.' "
(A longer pause, then . . )
"Brilliant, Sir! You've put your finger on the nub of the argument."
"That's it , Sir. That's what Art is -"
"It's Whatever You Can Get Away With."