The Art of the Fart!

The Tate Modern in the UK is defending its bold resolve to play a non-stop audio tape loop of fart noises as part of the museum’s permanent exhibition. According to the British newspaper The Times, “Martin Creed’s Work No 401 is a recording of nine minutes of the artist blowing raspberries into a microphone, which is played back on a loop. It can be heard throughout the new Material Gestures wing, which contains works by Claude Monet and Mark Rothko.”

Martin Creed’s volley of whopping, supersonic, toxic streaming trouser trumpets announces the superiority of conceptual art, and the twanging air biscuits of his postmodernist fartorama will unquestionably please the most hardcore aficionados of modern art - but it will no doubt cause others to flee as one would before a tsunami of stinky cushion creepers. Let’s give no quarter to those unadventurous conservatives who shrink from works that are innovative and forward-looking. Let’s acknowledge Mr. Creed for what he is - a genius and master fartist.

No mere peep, piffle or imperceptible pip, no squeak or meek butt belch… not for Mr. Creed - come on, we’re talking about real art here. He doesn’t fool around with the minor pocket frog or poot type of flatulence, Creed is an Art Star, and he didn’t get there for lack of technical virtuosity in the fart department - no, he’s well versed in the history of blowing one’s horn, and the elite art critics will never condemn him for laying an egg.

Don’t anyone accuse Creed of not being on the cutting edge, you can’t accuse him of selling out by offering the public scant air tulips - he doesn’t deal in feather farts, toots, guffs, or carpet slippers. Creed belongs to the let her rip, peel the paint off the wall, knicker ripper, open yer lunchbox, let Polly out of jail, rapid succession of particularly pungent ballistic match lighters, school of farting. His conceptual pyroclastic flow is the remote controlled fart machine to blow away those who think art is something old-fashioned like drawing and painting with skill and vision. Fartaholic Creed gives the big raspberry to such antiquated thinking - a Scud Missile, air blast assassination, barn burning, cheek flapping, big rip snorting rhino stopper salute to the death of art.

And then there’s the good staff at the Tate. The Director of the Tate Modern, Vicente Todoli, made a window rattling defense of Creed’s gusty Work No 401 by saying “This kind of acoustic - you hear it every day of your life.” Well indeed, we do hear great big flowery woof woof’s on a daily basis, and the fact that the average human releases anywhere from 1 to 3 pints of flatus each day, well - let’s just say that gives artists a lot of material to work with. But why stop there, we have all manner of bodily secretions to inspire the creation of great artworks. Artists could explore the possibilities of working with vomit, mucus, gastric juice and smegma - and it’s wonderful to know that an institution like the Tate would be willing to support the exhibition of such masterworks.

The permanent collections curator at the Tate Modern, Frances Morris, compared Creed’s wet willy tape to works by past masters, saying “Many of these great works of art were originally deliberately provocative and were met with utter derision.” How true, and being able to compare works created by rebellious Impressionists, Modernists or even wild-eyed Minimalists, to a tape loop of recorded gale force Cockney cheers, is apparently all you need these days to land a job at a prestigious museum. But then, what do I know… I’m just a realist painter passing gas. However, Morris does have a point about the likes of Claude Monet having to suffer the abuse heaped upon him for being a rebellious painter. If only he had known - he would have tossed away his canvases and brushes and instead struggled to become a famous balloon fart arse cruncher.

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