Yes No Other Options (Part One)

Yes? No? Other Options
Art Sheffield 08
Yes No Other Options

We paid a visit to the Millenium Galleries today. A large section of the gallery is hosting part of “Art Sheffield 08 Yes No Other Options”, a citywide contemporary art event.

So what is it all about? describes it like this:“Taking as its foundation a specially commissioned essay by art critic Jan Verwoert, this city-wide exhibition addresses the fact that in a post-industrial condition, one particularly pertinent to Sheffield, we have entered into a service culture where we no longer just work, we perform in a perpetual mode of ‘I Can’. …

Verwoert asks, “…What would it mean to resist the need to perform?” He suggests that certain means of resisting are in themselves creative … art has also used the ‘ I Can’t’, by creating moments where the flow of action is interrupted, established meanings are suspended and alternative ways to act become imaginable. He suggests that as well as yes and no, there may be other options.”

All clear?
Yes: Well done, you are doing better than I am. I understand the idea of living in a service culture and being driven to perform, but I’m still a bit hazy about exactly what is on offer here, especially since the pieces we saw before we got to the main exhibition space don’t have any obvious relevance to performance, or the lack of it
No: Me neither
Other Options: Lets go and look at some of the actual art.

Want to actually see some art?
Yes: Here are two of the pieces on display ouside the main exhibition area. Both are created from neon lights and are by Sheffield based artist Tim Etchells. Aren’t they brilliant?

Wait Here

Please Come Back

No: I’ll describe some for you. There was a third piece by Tim Etchells inside the main exhibition space (where I wasn’t allowed to photograph) that read “Lets pretend that none of this ever happened”
Other Options: We could find out how these pieces fit into the overall event. Apparently “… by displaying phrases that make you feel you should act but make no immediate sense, Etchells shows and dismantles the power of words to make us perform.”

Are you getting the hang of this Yes/No/Other Options thing yet?
Yes: Excellent, perhaps you could explain it to me
No: Me neither
Other Options: Just enjoy the art, I did.

There was some great art on display, some was thought provoking, some was funny, some was just plain incomprehensible (at least it was to me). I enjoyed what I saw, although I still don’t think I’ve got my head round how much of it fitted with the “theme” (if I may use such a mundane term in reference to some rather conceptual art).

But do you know what? I don’t care, I don’t think it matters whether I “see” what the artist or the organisers want me to. What does matter is that I enjoyed myself, what I saw made me think, and it’s made me want to check out some of the other sites. If you are interested, you have until 30th March to go and see for yourself.

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