There is an age old debate raging over the usefulness of art in society. It is one of those timeless and endless questions.
Some people propose that art is absolutely integral to a community and that a society without art quickly grows stagnant. There are a great many practitioners who have proved the importance of art in the fields of politics, religion and human expression. Others however, believe that art is completely useless offering nothing but frivolous time wasting. More people still believe that art’s use extends no further than giving a moments joy or interest, and that to interrogate it further is against the spirit of art.
I can’t even begin to answer this question and I wouldn’t ever want to try. I do however have something which may (or may not) add to the argument.
What I have done, is created a perfectly useless piece of art, which I am rather proud of.
I present to you; the ‘Uselesquare’.
Now, I don’t know where inspiration for this came from. Perhaps from my sleep addled mind, perhaps though boredom or perhaps it was divine inspiration. But whatever the reason I have been tasked with presenting this piece of crap to the world.
The Uselesquare is made out of approximately 1.5 inches of gaffa tape ripped into 4 shreds and stuck into the exact configuration which ensures it is without any possible use.
Firstly, the Uselesquare is not ingenious, beautiful or even skilfully crafted. In fact, it is so unremarkable that anyone who is not the artist will forget about it almost instantly. The artist however, becomes completely obsessed with trying to find some sort of use or justification for its existence.
Two sides of the square are sticky on one side, the other two are sticky on the reverse. This means that the Uselesquare cannot be displayed easily, if at all. It can’t be stuck to a wall as only one half of it is sticky. It cannot be hung up in a space as the sticky sides will only collect dust. In fact, the idea of displaying the Uselesquare is simply inconvenient. The only way I can see to display it would be to frame it on both sides with glass, or inside a glass box and suspended it from the ceiling, but this is so much work and is so time consuming that it is not at all worth doing for this piece of shit.
Even transporting the Uselesquare from Poland (where I made it) back to England was far more hassle than it was worth. I had to use probably 4 times as much gaffa tape than it took to make it in the first place, so that I could protect the sticky sides of the square from getting stuck to anything else.
By creating the Uselesquare I think I have opened a great many questions for myself, but true to the Uselesquare, none of these can be answered.
Interestingly, I made this last week whilst I was in Poland taking part in a theatre festival in Gardzienice. For anyone who doesn’t know, Gardzienice is a small village in the south of Poland which hosts the largest centre for theatre arts in Europe. It’s basically a whole village of theatre and art. So, I wonder if the fact that such a useless, lazy, crappy creation which really shouldn’t be called art came out of such a creative environment carries any significance?
I’d like to say that with this piece I was making a comment on the uselessness of art, but firstly, I don’t believe that art is useless myself, and secondly, because the damn thing is impossible to display no one will ever see it meaning it even fails at this.
Simply there is just nothing good about this thing no matter how hard I try. Yet for some inexplicable reason I love it. I am simultaneously ashamed and proud of the Uselesquare and I just don’t know why…
In fact, now I don’t even know why I’m writing this post…what I’m trying to say with it…in fact I wish I had never begun.
And perhaps that in itself is the genius of the Uselesquare . The fact that…
you know what…