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This is a question Pretentious bollocks

Possibly the worst event I ever went to was an evening of turntablists in London. The lights went down, the first guy put a cymbal onto a turntable, dropped the needle on it and left it making screeching noises for ten minutes.

When the lights came up, half the audience had snuck out.

What's the most pretentious rubbish you've ever been to see in the name of art?

(, Wed 28 Sep 2005, 14:19)
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parents who spell their kids names oddly.. so henri, kati etc. ITS NOT COOL!! they'll just have to spend the rest of their life spelling thier name to people on the phone :P
(, Wed 28 Sep 2005, 17:15, Reply)
Any film by the late Rainer Fassbinder
particularly Despair, which is the most aptly-named film ever made - it felt about 19 hours long but couldn't have been more than about five. Eric Rohmer is a wanker too, if his films are anything to go by. (The Umbrellas of Cherbourg? Fuck off!)

Also, most of the exhibitions etc. raved about by the Guardian sound very much like pretentious bollocks - they are obviously meant solely for arts graduates and London media types, not for scruffy unenlightened proles like you or I. Philistine conspiracy-theorists like me believe the decline of this country's stature, economy etc. since the 1950s is at least partly due to the rise and rise of needless Arts Council grants to self-indulgent "artistic" wankers during the same time.

There's not much pretentious artistry here in West Yorkshire (apart from the odd electroclash band with 150 designer mullets[*] going on about starting revolutions or some other shit) - people trying that sort of thing in public tend to get bottled by the local scallies, particularly in Wakefield. If only the rest of the country were so vociferous....

(, Wed 28 Sep 2005, 17:05, Reply)
...every chuffing post.
(, Wed 28 Sep 2005, 16:54, Reply)
Went to see the Alarm
at the Woolwich Poly many moons ago. Great band, even if they did model themselves a bit on The Clash.
The support act - some feminist "Legs Akimbo"-like theatre group who performed this complete shite play about How All Men Are Bastards which we laughed at all the way through.
Also some play in a pub about Jim Morrison that had a transvestite/sexual in it.
What utter bollocks they both were - I want the time I spent watching this drivel back!!!!!!
Oh, and some Wim Wenders film that I apparently snored through (though "Paris, Texas" and "The American Friend" are cool).
(, Wed 28 Sep 2005, 16:40, Reply)
You forgot the word " Wanker" I added helpfully!
I went to an exhibition launch recently - lots of free wine, beer and occasional tiny bits of food wandering past on tiny trays. Anyway, one of the people I was with was talking to her slightly more pretentious friends:

"How is Tarquin*?"
"Ooh, he's got a new project coming out. It's called 'Smoking My Blood'!"
"What's it all about?" (No really, they had to ask. Stupidity recognises no irony).
"Well he cuts himself, bleeds into a bowl, dries the blood out until it's dust, then rolls it into a cigarette and films himself smoking it!"

There was an awed hush into which I felt the word "Wanker" should be helpfully inserted.

*Can't remember the guy's actual name. If you are called Tarquin and this stereotyping offends you, then I have two words for you. Deed Poll.

My sister had an exceptionally pretentious and extremely evil teacher at primary school, whose children delighted in the names Tarquin, Leander, Merrily and Gay. We made it into a song and pissed ourselves laughing for a long time on that one. Mind you my sister went to Art college ten years later and I bought a crushed velvet purple coat once, so I guess her evil work was done...
(, Wed 28 Sep 2005, 16:38, Reply)
During my student days
spent being a little less whistful than everybody else in Cambridge, I observed an art exhibition, the "main" (Artists in Cambridge do that "with fingers" quote thing alot) piece of which was a room full of cotton reels with a red fire extinguisher in the middle of it. I over heard two people having a conversation about the "significance" of the red fire extinguisher and how it created a "promenance" and in itself generated a real sense of "value" to the piece. Whilst leaving i overheard the caretaker explaining to (presumably) the owner how the "new fire extinguishers" had been delivered and how when he went back to the "main" room after his lunch he found "shit loads" of "cotton reels" everywhere, and that's "why" he'd "left" "that" "fucking" "fire" "extinguisher" "there" "you" "arty" "mincer".

ahh what a classic flourish....
(, Wed 28 Sep 2005, 16:32, Reply)
That's a tough one..
I like art quite a lot, but I'd have to say a lot of it is merely bad rather than pretentious.

To single a few examples out though:

Modern art exhibition in The Lowry a while back, featuring 'exhibits' of a piece of paper with three straight lines drawn on it. It's no Bridget Riley.. (Its other exhibitions are great)

Pretty much anything by David Blaine, Derren Brown or many things by Paul Daniels. Ditto Harry Enfield, you Pete n' Dud robbing barsteward.

Matrix 2 and 3. There's no special subplot, the background isn't consistent : it's just shit.

John Cage's 4'33". Yes, I get the point - and it's a reasonable one. The pretention is that he spent years slaving over it - oh really? 9-5 every day then?.
(, Wed 28 Sep 2005, 16:31, Reply)
Pretentious Rubbish in the name of art?
I write it every week, here...
(, Wed 28 Sep 2005, 16:28, Reply)
Pretentious wank I saw at college

1. Woman gets best friends to dress up in monkey masks, films them naked and rolling around on cardboard.

2. MA student dons a pair of wellies and thick rimmed glasses. Sits in the corridor for three days talking into a FisherPrice cassette recorder about her childhood memories!

3. An electric guitar left on the stairs with a fan blowing on the strings.

4. Girl who carefully painted over glossy magazines, I mean she just reproduced the pics and articles in oil paint!

5. Countless self-portrait, photography and body piercing ventures. Models were never actually fit.

6. A Tracy Emin lecture.

Im sure theres more, Im getting wound up just thinking about it!
(, Wed 28 Sep 2005, 16:28, Reply)
I AM pretentious art
Whilst at uni, we had to do a cross-arts thing on modern art, and the group I wasn't in managed to interview me on camera for their project. In the pub. After a few.

The next week, on a whacking great big screen, to all my lecturers, in beautiful 5.1 surround sound, my dulcet tones:

"there's a very fine line between art and complete bollocks. And most of it's bollocks"
(, Wed 28 Sep 2005, 16:24, Reply)
If you live in Norwich
You'll know of Howlbackhum, or maybe you're in Howlbackhum. Quite possibly the most pretentious waste of the soudwaves I could possibly imagine. Last week I checked out the local art centre bar, really shit music on - guess who it was!!!!

Their stuff is just above child molestation, if you ask me.
(, Wed 28 Sep 2005, 16:14, Reply)
Rock Bitch
I actually recorded Rock Bitch! Fuck they were scary and the studio stank for a good week afterwards - Nasty-putrid smell too!! One Warlock & crazy-lesbo Witches who would do absolutely anything! I was offered a blow job for my recording services, to which I declined out of fear!

Jeez...Rock bitch... darlings of the sunday sport! I last heard they're were living in a commune in Amsterdam because they all had a warrant out on them in the UK.
(, Wed 28 Sep 2005, 16:13, Reply)
Rockbitch had some good songs. If you listen to the album without knowing what they do on stage, they're pretty good.

Though now they've dropped the nakedness and sex, and call themselves MT-TV
(, Wed 28 Sep 2005, 16:13, Reply)
David Blaine
I mean, seriously. This cock-chugger sits in a perspex box for a few days. Whoopie-fucking-doo.

And look at his website for more more great big dangly pretentious bollockary.

(, Wed 28 Sep 2005, 16:12, Reply)
Rock Biatch
Just remembered, the most pretentious thing I ever saw was a "band" called RockBitch palying in Burton years ago. Live sex shows, tampon removal, golden condoms wherein the lucky catcher would be taken around the back of the stage and get to have sex with the skanky band members. The lead singer had a deep Liz Hurley posho voice and was burbling on about artistic integrity while banging the guitarist with a huge strap-on. All this and crap music too!
(, Wed 28 Sep 2005, 16:07, Reply)
Don't you talk to me about pretentious
The most pretentious thing I've ever seen is here this website that has a self important community of people who spend far too much time repeating the same jokes and catch phrases as though they're funny. And every now and again they all get a chance to show how bigoted they really are, which is nice.

teh - ha ha ha ha ha ha

p.s. Architecture in Helsinki are the ace-est
(, Wed 28 Sep 2005, 16:04, Reply)
had the misfortune to agree to chum art college mate to an existensialist (so pretentious i cant spell it)music concrete(?)show. started off a bloke writhing about the stage screaming into a microphone with someone smashing bottles on the floor. followed by man forcing microphone down throat til he vomited. nothing quite like the stereo noise of vomit.... but the finale was a strange musicy thingy box that was supposed to play very important artsy noises. the stupid bugger had obviously wired it up a bit wrong. When he turned it on it made a loud screech bang and what can only be described as a sonic WHUMP noise that travelled through everyone who was watching's body. thought i had shat myself it was such a strange noise... Not half as funny as the guy on the stage who had badly electrocuted himself.Best bit of the show and worth the 4.50 entrance fee

(its ok- he is still alive and most likely gigging at wanky art-schools up and down the country, you lucky things)
(, Wed 28 Sep 2005, 16:04, Reply)
It doesn't get any more pretentious than the "3" adverts.
If, for some odd reason, I happen to be watching television and an advert comes on that has no meaning, plot, sense or point what-so-ever than the chances are it's an advert for the mobile phone company 3.

The people who profess to liking these adverts have been fooled into thinking that they are artistic and mean something far greater than their limited intellect can comprehend.

Phone adverts in general seem to thrive on pretentiousness. One recent advert suggests that great things happen when you switch your phone off...

...well if that doesn't want to make you rush out and buy a phone, what will?
(, Wed 28 Sep 2005, 16:02, Reply)
A few years ago...
...there was a display of sexual imagery at our local rock club "The Nexus" (armpit of a place) Anyway, most of it consisted of young girls wearing skimpy leather and little else hitting each other with rubber swords. At one point, the girl who was organising it (HG Well's great great, possibly great grandaughter - who told everyone this - and how much she hated him) symbolically castrates an angel (using rubber sword and removing huge strap-on todger from the angel) and proceeds to deep throat the whole thing... all the way... balls to chin.

Not sure what the hell was going on... but it definitely wasn't art...

So there you have it. No matter how crap the performance, remember that HG Well's decendants can really suck cock.
(, Wed 28 Sep 2005, 15:58, Reply)
White / Gold / Silver people stuck to a box in Covent Garden
(, Wed 28 Sep 2005, 15:58, Reply)
American beauty
i watch it every year, in an attempt to assess what is so good about it, primarily because a *really* fit girl i used to date loved it, and can still come up with nothing.

also, eyes wide shut. its like ch5 porn, but without the storyline. why!?

finally, anyone who claims to live in hove. you know who you are *glares*
(, Wed 28 Sep 2005, 15:55, Reply)
Arty Farty
Every day I drive past the same Art College I went to 20 years ago, I used to stand around outside smoking Sobranie Cocktail cigarettes, dressed in cast-offs from The Cure and always, but always with my tatty old portfolio under my arm in an "I'm above it all" pose.
I sold my soul to the advertising devils many years ago and it makes me larf my tits off to see these Emin wanabees doing exactly the same things that me and my mates used to do, and knowing that when the advertising whore comes sniffing they'll all roll over and have their tummies tickled by her! Bitter? Me? Never!
(, Wed 28 Sep 2005, 15:50, Reply)
KIAD lecturer
Went to Kent Institute of Art & Design about 4 or 5 years ago to study 3D Design. Had to sit in with the Foundation Art Students for the first 6 weeks. Amoungst such activities as painting a picture of a completely white still life using colour (WTF?), we had a weekly 'tutorial' with the resident ponsy artist chap.

He showed us a lot of his 'work', but one particular piece caused my usual timid refrained self to spark up and comment. It was a simple lightbulb, which he had painted black, and scratched his initials into it on the glass.

My brain was struggling to comprehend this 'art' of his, so during his description of his piece, and its meaning and representation, me, being innocent and having the slightest amount of common sense, blurted out with complete distain: "How is that art? Surely it must have taken about 5 minutes to make. Anyone can do that". There was one of those tense movie-style silences, during which he just stared at me, before replying, in all seriousness: "That took me 15 years". I just shrugged me shoulders, muttered quietly "....o..kay...", and sat there sniggering for the rest of the tutorial, watching his rage increase.

If some gullable tosser bought it from him, and he made some money, then fair play tho.
(, Wed 28 Sep 2005, 15:49, Reply)
Emvee - You'll be delighted to know....
They've just released an album!
(, Wed 28 Sep 2005, 15:48, Reply)
Oh and I went to see a band called Architecture of Helsinki
...or something like that. A bunch of scruffy student-types who had bought as many crappy cheap instruments as possible and were determined to play each and every one on each and every "song". Or "tune". Or whatever, because every time it sounded like they were getting around to playing something good, 4 bars later they would stop and whip out the kazoo or something.

I had a long argument with this dude afterwards who said "They don't do choruses, or songs in the traditional sense." I concluded that therefore I wouldn't "watch or listen to them in the the traditional sense", though to be fair I don't think I've heard of them since.

Oh and anything by the fucking White Stripes. Obviously.

[edit] How could I have forgotten the Yeah Yeah Yeahs at Brixton Academy? I think the moment of realisation for me was when Karen O (or whatever the fuck her name is) was kneeling down on the stage banging two microphones together. I realised I'd actually paid money to see this stupid rich bitch bang microphones together. They played for about an hour and in all that time I think I discerned about 2 actual songs, the rest was supposedly "art". I shouted "Play something good!" and left; my slightly less couth mate shouted "At least get your tits out!"
(, Wed 28 Sep 2005, 15:46, Reply)
Pi, the film
Complete pretentious wank.
The only time I've fallen asleep watching a film.

I also dislike art students who leave their fag butts and gum outside the college nearby. They dress in odd ways thinking it gives them magical art powers and stand out from the 'norm'. But they don't. They look like each other. They look like tossers.
(, Wed 28 Sep 2005, 15:43, Reply)
On my first interview commission for a newspaper,
I had to speak to a 'live artist' (ie. performance artist, although I was curtly reprimanded for using that apparently outdated name for fucking about an stage in front of loads of people who pretend not to be freaked out/weirdos/bored). We got on alright though, and after half an hours' chat he invited me to go and see his show the following week. Which - although I'll never know quite why - I did. Alone.

Anyway, he personally greeted me when I arrived 15 minutes late - he'd delayed the start of the show to wait until I turned up, fuck knows what he'd have done if I'd decided not to come - announced me to the rest of the tiiiiiny room, sat me down front row, centre stage (people who'd actually turned up on time had to move, which was just excruciating - Alan fucking Partridge eat your heart out...), and began the show.

Over the next two hours, he layed out various bits of paper on the floor, jumping from one to the next and screaming something about lost children as he did so. Then he cried for a bit, cut his trousers off with knives, smoked 6 cigarettes in a row in absolute stony silence (that took nearly half an hour), threw some weird shapes in front of a slow motion video of a live ram being decapitated in a garage, and cried again. Then the house lights came up.

I looked around, and everyone except me, a fat guy with his hands down his pants and a sleeping woman had left. "Christ", I thought..."well, it's finished...".

Wrong. Wrong wrong wrong. For the big finale, I had to go up onstage and help him put a tourniquet on and stuff a fucking drip into his arm with a special video camera attached so that he could perform a 'live bloodletting'. When it was over, there was blood everywhere, about thirteen failed puncture wounds in his arm, the sleeping woman had woken up and left in horror, and me and the fat pocket puller were each handed a bag of this guy's blood so that we could 'feel how warm it was' while he told us a story about falling off a cliff, and cried a bit more.

In the words of Vulva in Spaced: "It's not's finished."

I went for a drink with him in the bar afterwards. I thought it seemed like the polite thing to do. He had a pint of Guiness. I had red wine, and regretted it instantly. I still had blood on my leg.

Turns out he was a dead nice bloke, and now I regularly go and watch him chew his own feet off and stuff in public. Top stuff, you cocking nutbag! :)

(, Wed 28 Sep 2005, 15:43, Reply)
My first day at the London College Of Fashion
which was on Monday. Half way through the induction speech this tall peroxide blonde boy walks in with a straw hat perched precariously on his head a la Pete Doherty and stupid tattoos that look home-made all over his arms. He stumbles to the front and proclaims that he has a hangover (no one has even asked why he is late) The course tutor says "Oh, we don't like hangovers here." to which he replies, "And you think I do!" He sat on his chair for 10 seconds before stumbling clumsily into the toilets and returning just before the end of the speech, probably shooting up heroine or snorting coke to go with his babyshambles image. The next day he arrives in the same straw hat and a French Army style jacket... a la Pete Doherty... oh and hes topless underneath, at the beginning of Autumn, in London. So pretentious.

Oh and yesterday I saw some guys in the National Portrait Gallery with a film crew and they were deciding how they could incorporate small soft-toy Fox into a serious commentary on Paintings of the Tudor family. Why I don't know? But listening to them was hilarious.
(, Wed 28 Sep 2005, 15:32, Reply)

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