During the last weekend we went to to Art Rotterdam, a large, if not the largest show/fair of contemporary art in Holland. There was a lot interesting works n display, ranging from more traditional formats like paintings or photography, to more edge things such as interactive installations or video-art (the latter were of course still a minority). I placed 100+ pictures I made to the Flickr set , a pretty random selection of the things that attracted my attention.
What stroke me, after the few hours of wandering along all the galleries booths is how little of these works are truly self-ironic. There was quite a number of works that can be described as ‘funny’ (which may go as ‘irony’, although with some stretch). But even these works were more of pose, an artificial gesture pointing on the work itself, “Look, look, how funny I am”. The majority was simply dead serious, as in ‘serious art’. I found only a few pieces where irony and playfulness were organically embedded in the nature of the work itself, like this cast that became a battlefield for am imaginary army where every solder fights with its own shadow. Or this representation of the (pseudo) editorial efforts to comb otherwise politically incorrect text.
These works were ‘art’ but one can also easily imagine them present, embedded in the everyday life, which they would of course transform into a play, a game of some sort, but gently, nearly effortlessly.