Some years ago, I fell in love with poetry. Not long after, I sadly realised many people do not share this love for poetry. It was even more startling, discovering that a lot of such people were already avid readers. Poetry to them, is often like a restaurant menu item — the one you wrinkle your nose at and skip with your finger as you run it across the page.
Soon, I found a very simple reason for this ‘hatred’ of poetry. These people often find it ostentatious, intimidating, boring, and obscure. This rings truer especially when they struggle to understand or enjoy what is conventionally considered as brilliant poetry.
In 2015, visual artists; Sara Goldschmied and Eleonora Chiari had an exhibition at the Meseion in Bolzano, Italy. It was called ‘Where Shall We Go Dancing Tonight?’. The exhibition later became news. After the event, the museum cleaners went in and got rid of the entire ‘work of art’— but considering the context, I’m sure most people wouldn’t blame the cleaners for throwing the installation away.
What’s the average person’s first, second or even tenth impression, on sighting scattered empty wine bottles and strewn party decorations after an event? It isn’t “Oh! What a beautiful art installation; a recreation of a party aftermath”. Yet, this was expected of the unassuming cleaners.
It wasn’t the first time a cleaner in an art gallery had honestly concluded an installation was rubbish, literally. In 2001, Damien Hirst’s ‘art installation’; a full ash tray, used coffee cup, and empty bottles in a West London gallery was thrown away. Sara and Eleonora weren’t the first to have their art identified as rubbish. They won’t be the last.