Call it art if you like, but it's still porn

January 25, 2017 - 5:00pm

KAMLOOPS — The Kamloops Art Gallery has always liked to challenge us on the question of what's art, and what's not.

Among my favourite exhibits in this vein have been the one that featured hanging extension cords and another in which ball bearings were dropped from the ceiling. And there was one that consisted of a pile of logs, and another of a tangle of HVAC ducting.

All in the guise of art.

Now, though, the gallery has crossed a line into new territory -- hardcore porno. A current exhibit is called "Becoming Animal/Becoming Landscape." In the sort of lofty, inflated and meaningless blather of which only those who write blurbs about art exhibits are capable, this one claims to "propose a kind of re-enchantment with the world we live in...."

Really? If you stroll past Emily Carr and Jack Shadbolt towards the back of the gallery, you'll find a lot of renderings of genitalia.

Some of it's fairly benign but a couple of huge canvases by a fellow named Atilla Richard Lukacs will make you look around to make sure you didn't stray into an adult book store by mistake.

Let's be clear -- we aren't talking about Michelangelo's statue of David or the kind of thing you'd see on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.

No, this is about the graphic depiction of public-washroom sex and acrobatic feats of auto-fellatio.

But, you say, surely our art gallery wouldn't exhibit X-rated material! And surely, if it's art it must not be porn!

Well, yes it has, and yes it is.

Of course, we, the unsophisticated public, are supposed to be in awe of the artist's insights into the human condition and the very meaning of life as we avert our eyes from Mr. Lukacs' offerings.

And, sure, you can argue about the definition of art.

But, in the end, it's just porn.

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