Thank you Mary. The delightful irony of the “glasses on the floor” is of course that conceptual art has long endured hostility from the general public, so for an object to be so readily (mis-) taken as art seems like a enormous shift.
You’re quite right, of course: the fluidity by which art occurs is a natural process. And yet I can’t help but feel that conceptual art has always contained a necessary element of the counter-cultural. That is, the questioning of what we are allowed to call art (by history, art institutions, market places) has itself become an artistic statement with some provocative agency behind it, from Duchamp’s urinal to Martin Creed’s An Oak Tree. If art can be said to have “occurred” merely in any circumstances then the role of the artist is surely diminished…?

Art historian and art critic, writer, artist. Author of “How to Read Paintings”. Website:

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