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Dead animals elephant dung unmade beds and rice all seem like everyday objects but should we be calling them art When we were growing up we were taught that art was a beautiful painting - like Van Goghs Sunflowers or a perfect sculpture of a human - like Michelangelos David but we were never really taught that conceptual and contemporary art were proper forms of art even though it was established in the sixties It made us think and challenge our own assumptions of what art should really look like People didnt understand the idea of cows cut in half Damien Hirst wire mesh lockers Mona Hatoum rubble Richard Long or rubbish Tomoko Takahashi being called art unless you could frame it nicely on your living room wall The fact that this type of art didnt fit neatly into peoples ideas of what art should be was the reason it was called conceptual Conceptual and contemporary art got a huge reaction out of people because they felt conned and marginally embarrassed when for example they looked at Martin Creeds light going on and off and didnt get it They didnt like the fact that they couldnt work out the true meaning of what the artist was trying to get across It also got a reaction for another reason which was the simplicity of some of the art Im sure that when all the people who were working long hours every week looked at the well-paid artist Tracey Emins unmade bed they were desperately screaming to themselves BUT I COULD DO THAT and thinking whether conceptual art is even worth looking at Maybe some of us are completely missing the point they are trying to get across Maybe instead of drowning in the depression of how easy and perhaps pointless the art is we should be fresh-eyed and open minded and celebrate the fact that these ideas and possibilites have been opened
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