Finally! Today I get round to E Mailing my tutor with the outline plan for my dissertation. I’m studying Fine Art at University and typically, like all Art students, can’t string a written sentence together and resolutely leave any written work until the very, very very last minute. So, anyway I finally send the wretched thing off as an attachment to a grovelling E Mail in which I plead forgiveness for the lateness of my proposal. It is still a long way from being finished (The Plan that is) but I am pleased with my morning’s efforts and satisfied that it is just enough to keep her off my back, treat myself to a lazy lunch of fish and chips and a couple of beers.
Unable to open this
The reply from my tutor is terse.
“My dear Andrew, thank you for taking the time to send me your proposal. I read your letter” (at arm’s length holding my nose” – she might have added) “However, I was unable to open this.” Referring to the attachment. “Unless of course you actually meant to send me a line of tiny grey boxes, surrounded by the letter a.”
Bugger it! The file must have corrupted. A bit of quick thinking needed here:
“But Miss Bliss” I reply. “I am surprised you didn’t spot the fact that it was a reproduction of Ephraim J. Goodenough’s entry for the Turner Prize “Opus 32”, which is (and I quote) “A clinical, objective/ introspective examination of the Post-Modern dilemma which faces us all: Concrete or concept?”
I am beginning to warm to my theme.
“As sophisticated viewers – or consumers of visual statements: both contemporary and historical (once known as ‘Art’) Are we more likely to respond to the concrete (ie. a physical entity which exists in this world or any other, including – but not exclusively the mind of their makers) Or do statements which exist wholly and totally in the cerebellum and visual cortex of the visual entrepreneur (once known as ‘Artist’) meet our dietary aesthetic needs?”
“In short,” I gather myself triumphantly, “Are we to find visual/intellectual sustenance in the form of objects or ideas?”
And now the weather: It’s looking decidedly wintry as gales (some gusts reaching up to 70 mph) together with sleet, snow and now horseshit begin to spread across the country.
© Andy Daly 2010
(Please note the author takes no responsibility for pandering to any form of stereotype. In addition, the characters in this story bear no relation to anyone living or dead, and especially not the author) (Nor any of his Tutorial staff: University of Newcastle Upon Tyne 1979-83, University of London Goldsmiths College (1984-5) University of London Institute of Education 1995-6)
In the pre-computerised days when everything was either typed or scribed “a la main” one of the Art History tutors at that illustrious establishment said to me, in a seminar – “I couldn’t possibly comment on your endeavours as I couldn’t read your writing. What I could read, I disagreed with….I’m giving you the benefit of the doubt….” No intellectual sustenance in the form of ideas there, then.
You mean they actually spoke to you?!