Readers' reactions

July 2, 1999

Recently in The THES... Is this art? we asked about The Degree Show, an installation by 14 Leeds students that essentially comprised work by long-established artists

David Rodway Lecturer in art and philosophy, Kensington and Chelsea College

The question Soapbox asked (THES, June 11) should not have been: "Is The Leeds 13 piece art?" but "is it good art?"

One core criticism of this work is its facile literalism of using and simulating the very thing - the art exhibition - it questions, parodies and disagrees with.

As with photo-realist painting, you cannot tell the difference between the depiction and the object depicted. It lacks the creative and potentially enlightening transformations by symbol, metaphor and other tropes to say what it wants.

Is this, then, good art, or something else - A-level sociology, perhaps?

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