Thursday, May 25, 2006

Oak Tree

While I was supposed to be writing my paper due tomorrow, I was thinking about a work of art that hangs in the Tate Modern in London. I saw it years ago, and it crosses my mind every once in a while. It's called "Oak Tree" by Michael Craig-Martin. It cheered me up today, so I thought I'd share with everyone.

It looks like this

It's simply a glass of water on a glass shelf, accompanied by a scripted "interview" which hangs below and to the left. This is the text of the interview.

The interview isn't meant to explain the piece, it is part of the piece. I find it hilarious.

9 comments:

  1. Thanks! That's brilliant. This is my favorite bit:

    "Q. It seems to me that you are claiming to have worked a miracle. Isn't that the case?

    A. I'm flattered that you think so.

    Q. But aren't you the only person who can do something like this?

    A. How could I know? "

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  2. Nice play on transubstantiation, Some defender of consubtantiation no doubt . . . :)

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  3. Mike, funny you should say that, because I was thinking the same thing as I read through the piece. But i wonder if that's what the "artist" (I'm stingy with that word) was getting at. Read the 2nd to last exchange:

    Q. Did the particular oak tree exist somewhere else before it took the form of a glass of water?

    A. No. This particular oak tree did not exist previously. I should also point out that it does not and will not ever have any other form than that of a glass of water.

    Definitely not transubstantiation, in which the host becomes the actual flesh of Jesus (albeit while bearing the accidents of the bread).

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  4. This just might be my absolute favourite work of art. I am so impressed by the interview, and overwhelmed by what might be a subtle critique of certain sorts of epistemologies and accounts of facts.

    I will try to reproduce this art work in my apartment or office, and will print out the interview. I do not know if I will succeed at actually converting the glass of water into an oak tree that looks exactly like a glass of water, but it seems worth a shot.

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  5. I'm also thinking about this oak tree from time to time.
    I was at London in the 2003 and still can't forget the feeling.
    I'm sorry to be an anonymous user, but I do not have a blog on this server.
    Lisa

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  6. This was probably one of the best pieces of artwork i have ever seen. I recommend going to the Tate and checking it out, it is AMAZING. the Tate also holds some other great pieces of art

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  7. More like changing a glass of water into a pile of cash.
    Come on this is rubbish art and should be titled 'Bullsh*t'.

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  8. im sorry but i do not see how this could be classed as art my 5 year old brother could produce better.

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  9. i am writting about this piece, i find it boring at uninteresting, in fact the only good thing about is the interview and i hate so to say this but writting isn't really art surely it is classed and litreture. I am finding it hard to relate in any way to this piece other than the interview and just can not grasp the idea of this and would appreciate any help please!

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