Martin Creed: Blasting a Hole in the Ramparts of Art

THE DAILY PIC: At the Park Ave. Armory, Creed opens a door onto New York's passing scene.

THE DAILY PIC (#1592): As a rule, I’m a big fan of good art videos. But although there are a number of those on display in Martin Creed’s exhibition called “The Back Door”, now filling the vast spaces of the Park Avenue Armory in New York, they weren’t what touched me most. What really got my attention was the show’s titular work, although that was closer to being a non-piece: Creed has programmed a garage door at the back of the cavernous Drill Hall to open onto the street for a minute or two during the projection of his videos. (Click on my image to see a video of that moment.)

There was something wonderfully generous about opening up the hermetic space of art to the passing scene outside. All the sudden, Creed’s rather arcane videos had to give way to the sight of a passing taxi or delivery van. Despite being a hoary cliché, it still gives a tiny thrill to discover that the everyday really can compete with the best of man-made artifice. Or rather, to discover that, once properly framed by an artist – but only then – everyday esthetics can command our attention. (Photo by James Ewing, Courtesy Park Avenue Armory)

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