Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Why are we so nice about furniture?

‘Why are we so nice about furniture?’ a colleague recently asked. Where is the cut and thrust of analytical criticism amongst us?

Could it be that, culturally, furniture doesn’t actually matter so much? So we are complimentary about other peoples’ creations much as we might be about a meal they served us – it would be pointlessly bad form to be otherwise. John Makepeace recently claimed that furniture was the most important art form in our society today, but I think it would require some rigorous argument to carry that case.

However it might be, I think we are nice because we lack the conviction of our own tastes and creative preoccupations to be meaningfully critical (or nasty) of other work.