AUTHOR: Beth TITLE: DATE: 4/08/2004 02:26:00 PM ----- BODY:

Found Art

Ever hear of it? Basically it's an artistic style begun by a French guy who figured out he could make a killing as an artist if he just signed everyday objects, installed them at a gallery, and called them his "art." Wikipedia has a more forgiving definition:
Found art (French: Objet d'art) is a term used to describe art created from common objects not normally considered to be artistic. The idea behind "found art" is that the piece of art derives its significance from the context into which it is put. Found art blurs the traditional lines of what art is and questions the very nature of art itself. Marcel Duchamp's "readymades" are some famous examples of found art: for one piece, Fountain, he signed a urinal with the name "R. Mutt" and mounted it face up. Another piece, Bottle Rack, is simply that: a bottle rack signed by Duchamp.
Definitely a load of crap. Most of the time. Last night, though, I was covering a meeting in a school building in a little one-horse burg, and as I was on my way back from the bathroom to the meeting room a bulletin board caught my eye. I stopped to read it, and pretty soon I was furiously copying what was up there into my reporter's notebook, the whole time glancing over my shoulder as if someone was going to come along and point their finger at me and holler out that I was stealing children's writing, which, if you want to be all, you know, literal about it, I was. Which kind of gives me a vague sense of child-molesterish skankiness, but that is neither here nor there. Because from my extremely jaded adult perspective--under that "recontextualization" of found art, I guess--the little snippets up on this sun-faded bulletin board from the third and fourth graders about who they would elect President were simply too tragically hilarious to pass up. So, here, without further ado, is the third and fourth graders are stumping for this election season. I chose not to take their names.

"I think my Mom should be President because she can teach what's right and that is good." "I think my Uncle Jim should be President. I think he should be President because he worked hard for everything he has. He went to college and bought a golf course. His golf course was very successful. That's why I would pick my Uncle Jim." "I would pick George W. Bush. I would pick him because he's a good speaker. He also saved us in the war with Iraq and that was nice of him and he's also cool and I wish I would meet George W. Bush." "I would vote for John Kerry. I would vote for him because he has experience ruling. I would also vote for him because lots of other people are." "I think I should be President. I should be President because I want to be on a dollar bill. I also want to be better looking when my face is put on the dollar bill."

And now, the crown jewel of this collection, transcribed exactly as it was written:

"If I could vote for any one to be President it would be Bill Gates. I pick him because he is a loveing careing guy. And he give over a hurend dollers to homeless people. Most people are mean and keep there money to them selves."

Oh, you poor, sweet children.
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