Never drive a metaphor while drunk, tipsy analogies will get you into strife and a few loose similes will get you into a lot of trouble as well. In fact, if you’ve just come off a two week detox diet and there’s a bottle of red wine in the cupboard don’t think you can drink and write with impunity. Just look at us and see what happens. We compared a recent show at Mori to a sampler, then to a Chinese meal (because of the way Chinese food can get all mashed together) and again to a Chinese meal because the whole group show experience fades after 20 minutes – and all in the one sentence. It was a hideously mixed metaphor, a mish-mash analogy horror and a simile graveyard. Thankfully, Art Life readers were on hand to point out or egregious errors. Phil T Luca left a comment:
“that’s such a hackneyed cliché about chinese food. It’s based on the old fried rice with the little prawns and sweet and sour pork aussie chinese food. if yer eating that in sydney yer going to the wrong chinatown. over and out.”
In our short bit on Tony Dupé show at Disc Gallery we made an even bigger blunder where we used a full stop instead of a comma.
“Going for small and intimate rather than large pics – and a larger scale might have really brought some of the works spectacularly to life – you can see that Dupe is a lot more than just a dilettante musician. Dupe has a real feel for the broken ready made and the possibilities of domestic scales.”
What we should have done is put a comma after “dilettante musician” so the next sentence was the last clause of the sentence rather than a separate statement. Read literally, you might think we meant that because Dupé works well with scale, he’s a lot more than just a dilettante musician. And that was exactly what the reader Anonymous objected to:
“On what basis is it not just the work of a dilettante musician? Because it’s small? I mean really, some analysis of IDEAS please! Oh, sorry, there aren’t any…”
As Bosco pointed out to Anonymous, it’s good to see a generosity of spirit among Art Life readers and we should have realised that a work of art has to be demonstrably about an “idea” (as opposed to the notion that making something beautiful is an “idea” in itself), but truly, it was our mistake and the person responsible for this horrific error (under the influence of alcohol) has been fired.
We’ve had to let a lot of people go from The Art Life – spelling mistakes, errors of fact, misplaced emphasis, absurd polls – and now the office is starting to look very sparse. We are looking forward to taking on a new batch of interns. If you’d like to work for us in the New Year making toasties, answering long and complicated email interview questions and spreading disinformation in the SMH’s Spike column, send your application to the usual address.