Monday, 15 October 2007

A case of art threatening life

Art's a funny thing. Some of it is striking and obviously took great talent. Other art is like something you came up with as a joke and couldn't believe someone paid $600,000 for it. That's what they've got at the Tate Modern in London -- a new piece of "beautiful" post-modern art that will leave an impression -- especially if you trip over it. It's a crack on the floor. As the Daily Mail reported:

Three women have been hurt by falling into Tate Modern's latest installation - a crack in the floor.

At 548 feet long, up to three feet deep and 10inches wide, it zigzags the length of the Turbine Hall and has been described as a highly original work of art.

But visitors have already paid the price for failing to heed warning signs. And a builder said if he had been responsible for the crack he would be sued for health and safety breaches.

One young woman had to be dragged out by friends after falling into the crack in the floor but was otherwise unharmed.

A few minutes later, another visitor to the gallery, who thought the crack was painted, also fell in - this time injuring her wrist.

One observer said: "Instead of art imitating life, here it's threatening life."

Colombian artist Doris Salcedo's work Shibboleth, nick-named Doris's crack, is the latest controversial installation in the Tate's massive Turbine Hall.

What a racket. Maybe next they'll cover the floor with broken glass and spikes, just to separate the true art lovers from the wimps who'd rather stay home where everything is safe and lacking in deeper, barely conceivable meaning.

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