And among the usual gobbledegook from local councils, legislation, disclaimers and legal fine print, this choice bit of journalism from our good friend, Germaine Greer received a gong:
'The first attribute of the art object is that it creates a discontinuity between itself and the unsynthesised manifold.'
This quote came out of an art crit piece that she wrote for the London newspaper, The Guardian. To be honest, it was an arts review, so I'm inclined to let her have some room to stretch her monumental ego here, if purely for that.
The Guardian, incidentally, won an award for 'crystal-clear' reporting - an award for excellence, in other words. Quite unlike Greer's award.
But Greer herself was most unimpressed by this award, and devoted valuable column space to defending herself. In a nutshell, as she so well put it, '...on the rare occasions when I've been shortlisted for anything, I've been obliged to play the gallant loser. This time I've been granted an award outright...' which naturally seems to give her the right to play a phenomenally ungracious winner.
You just have to read her defence. It's seriously like watching a car crash in slow motion.
She frames it initially as a right of response. But from there, it goes rapidly downhill, as she, at various stages;
- foolishly criticises the campaign for not using the honorific Doctor or Professor to which she is entitled;
- explains that her original article constituted valid criticism for readers of The Guardian;
- justifies her theft of the offending phrase from Immanuel Kant;
- berates the campaign for their use of the word 'somewhat';
- shifts the duty of explaining her own words back on to readers with access to the internet; and
- snobbishly derides anyone who hasn't studied classical philosophy.
It's also irrelevant - Greer resorted to quoting someone else's nonsensical jargon in order to illustrate a point that she could not, or would not do.
It smacks of elitism, plagiarism, sour grapes, laziness and (maybe) incompetence and the gall she displays in this article is flabbergasting.
She has the temerity to complete her penultimate paragraph with this sentence:
'It was Kant who explained that the art object exists only as the concept of itself, all its other sensory qualities being associated with pleasure or desire and therefore ulterior.'
Oh really, Germaine? Then why bother painting the sodding things in the first place? The campaign was quite right to call bullshit on you, "Professor" Greer.
Out of 5 stars, I give Greer's response a single 'up yours'.