Confession Soliciting art makes me feel icky

After attending a tiny smattering of events at Toronto’s Nuit Blanche, I have decided that I think confession soliciting art (not to be confused with confessional art – the stuff of folks like Tracy Emin) has got to be the cheapest form. There was a woman at the Gladstone Hotel sitting on a sofa with a jar of secrets. Her “art” was that she would read you a secret from the jar and then you must tell her one of your secrets. To me, she just looked like a busybody posing as an artist. Then we happened upon a tent on Queen street at which people were asked to write confessions on chalkboards, which were primed with starters such as “When I Let go I…” then pose for pictures. It felt hackneyed and provincial. I don’t know why, but it bothered me for a couple of days that people are passing this off as art. Could that be the point?

More of the “confession soliciting” media genre can be found at postsecret.com, a site that posts secrets sent in by anonymous strangers. The secrets are collages or decorated postcards and they are often quite mundane and I’ve never spent any time on the site — because I am not that interested in other people’s secrets. That being said, the blog is the biggest ad free blog in the world, apparently, so people must really get something positive out of it – maybe the experience of knowing that they’re not alone, which is highly valuable. Fair enough, I guess, but is it art?

That is all.

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