"I am so depressed by the number of novelists who think that being sincere is enough" - so said Tom Sutcliffe yesterday on Radio 4, in reference to some excruciating novel whose title I don't remember.
Case in point: an interview in the paper today with Turner prize-winning artist Martin Creed, who suggested that "People aren't stupid. They know what's fake and what's not. They respond to things. Art is just things in the world, usually an arrangement of colour and shapes. It's people who have the feelings and reactions."
The second part of this statement is an interesting reduction, and vague enough to make any sort of counterargument conveniently difficult. As for the first part: are people really not stupid? Do they really know what's fake and what's not? I'm not so sure about that one. I'd even go so far as to say that the entire industry relies on people being gullible and rarely capable of forming their own opinion, whilst desperate to make an impression.
But at the same time, if sincerity isn't enough (and can't even be accurately quantified), where is its value as a tool of judgment? It seems to be a rather outdated, Romantic notion that's no longer relevant. To further question Creed's 'creeds': I think we're now less and less able to "respond to things". There's proof of this everywhere you look. But should I care that the man is full of shit? I have enjoyed some of his work afterall.
Big questions. Script to read. I might chose to continue this later.