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Nothing at all

August 9, 2012

The first time me and my friend ever went into an art exhibition we pissed ourselves laughing at why anyone would pay £65 (1970s pound notes) for a bent nail. We laughed even more, when we noticed on the floor the picture (a rather nicely drawn bottle of Coke) that had been hanging on the nail. It was a pity that discovering the picture ruined our story of art lovers being daft enough to want £65 for a nail. In 1911 the Mona Lisa was stolen from the Louvre. Attendance rose as people queued up to see empty wall where the painting had been.

In the Musee d’Orsay, I joined visitors inspecting the screws which once held a Renoir, now out on loan. Galleries have little to do with pictures and somewhat more to do with context. The white cube style of gallery (which to be fair the Musee d’Orsay is not), use emptiness to bestow value and significance on what hangs on their walls.

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