In late June, a janitor noticed a plastic see-through bag full of garbage, which she naturally threw away. Most employers with any sort of standards expect this kind of behavior from their cleaning staff. Unfortunately, this particular janitor was working at the Tate Britain museum in London, where standards don’t apply.

It was later discovered (although just recently admitted) that the bag of trash, which was sitting next to a metal sculpture and a sheet of nylon splattered with acid, was meant to be “art.”

The refuse was part of the gallery’s “Art and the Sixties” show before its fateful trip to the trash compactor. After the bag of trash was recovered from the trash, “artist” Gustav Metzger felt that it had been too badly “damaged” to redisplay and was forced to painstakingly to find a replacement bag of trash. A museum representative noted that Metzger simply found a bag of trash somewhere and used that: “The bags are taken from where they are found and put in the space…he doesn’t manipulate what’s in the bag.”

Although it is often difficult to understand how anyone in the modern art community could possibly take themselves seriously, at least someone at the Tate Britain knows garbage when they see it. Kudos to the janitor for demonstrating once again that modern art really is rubbish.


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