Nothing isn't worthless

In 2011 $10,000 was spent on nothing. Not something that wasn’t worth anything, not something that contained nothing, just nothing. The piece (in the loosest possible sense of the term) was purchased from the Museum of Non-Visible Art, an institution backed in part by the actor James Franco.

The idea behind the museum isn’t actually as aggravating as it sounds: rather than creating a piece of art to say something, they encourage the artist simply saying it to your face.

However, it would seem that the gallery lost its way slightly when it sold a piece called “Thin Air” for $10,000. The women who bought the piece said that she didn’t actually value the art at that price, and it was meant as more of a “goodwill gesture” to the gallery itself. Unfortunately, I think the cash value of that gesture may have been lost tenfold in the support of the everyday person.

As an ex-factory worker turned art writer I can confirm that this is the kind of headline-generating nonsense that gave me a poor view of conceptual art. Working as a machine operator I earned just over £12,000 ($15,000) a year and the idea that someone had spent two-thirds of my annual income on the conceptual idea of nothing would have brought me out in a rash. Art is the perfect tool for the everyman and everywoman to express our feelings, emotions, and issues with the world around us. I think it’s a great shame when headline focused nonsense such as this pushes us away.

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