Conceptual art,as well as installation art, can be confusing for some people. Heck, even I find it confusing sometimes. This is one of the reasons why I find this youtube video both hilarious and thought provoking:
The idea of adding false labels to everyday objects within a museum setting makes me smile, but it also encourages me to think about what exactly is being presented to us? Is the intent of the false labelling to encourage us to reflect on what we believe conceptual art is to be? Is it making a mockery of conceptual art? Or is it presenting an idea of guerilla art, the idea of putting false art into a museum to see if people believe and accept it a credible work, solely based on the presence of a label? Evidently the artists here see this as a project, not a prank, and they carry out this work at more than one museum worldwide. The work is credited to an artist or a group of artists called Tiny Arrow. I searched on the Internet for more information about their work but couldn’t find any. However, the video in itself does a pretty good job on its own. In a sense, this installation or alteration or addition of existing work was also a performance. We see the artists intervening with the surroundings in order to place the false labels, we see the reactions of people around them.It is also largely based on conceptual art, so beginning with the MoMA seems natural to me.
The first piece at the MoMA is a drinking fountain. This appealed to me especially because I visited the MoMA this past November. While we were there, a student from the Mount Allison group broke a sink. The first thing I asked my classmate who delivered this bit of gossip to me?
“Wait, so was the sink a display or in the bathroom?”
And of course, because it’s the MoMA, the sink had been on display in part of an installation about Tupperware and the American kitchen.