A guest feature by The Sarsen Slumberer.
To coin a phrase, I’m a great fan of… archaeologist Mike Pitts, but Mike, in his The metaphorical first turf feature (highlighted below) informs us that, “…in a few days, I’ll be writing about another exhibit that’s certain to get megalith obsessives talking. I’m sworn to secrecy about it, but you can get an idea of what might be coming from this post by the Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art.”
Hmm… having an interest in pre-history (megaliths or otherwise) doesn’t make me obsessive (concerned perhaps but not obsessive) but on reading Mike’s link to Jeremy Deller: Middle Class Hero (news also in yesterday’s Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art, GI Festival 2012 ) I can see the level on my ‘concern’ barometer beginning to rise. Of course, we don’t yet know what Deller’s exhibition is all about but the fact that it’s titled ‘Sacrilege’ and that Deller is reported as saying –
…in a rather cagey moment… ‘The public can go on it, as it were. The public can interact with it. It’s a big public thing in a public place.’ He believes it will be ‘an enjoyable experience’: ‘That’s what I’m hoping for, that people enjoy it, become part of it, as it were. It’s meant to be a celebratory thing. Hopefully, people’s interaction with it will bring out the character of the place. Hopefully people will respond to it in a Glaswegian manner.’
– doesn’t bode well.
Let’s hope it’s not the sort of ‘interaction’ where people ‘go on it’ that takes place at Stonehenge every year, nor the sort of mindless vandalism characterised by Ai WeiWei and iconoclasts everywhere. The material remains of our past are finite and sacrosanct; by denying them the respect they deserve we at once relegate them to whatever is fashionable at the moment whilst denying future generations their cultural heritage.
That ain’t ‘obsessive’, that’s just common sense… and common courtesy.