For THIS they're handing out master's degrees?

Please tell me this is a joke. Yes, yes, art. Eye of the beholder, and so forth. But… a master’s thesis on FIRE HYDRANTS??? Not to mention the rather phallic thoughts that immediately spring forth from this particular fire hydrant.

I don’t think it was the fire hydrant thing that got her the Master’s, Maureen. I think she’s an artist who got her Master’s in Fine Arts, and the hydrant sculpture was part of her exhibition.

The hydrant does look pretty phallic, though.


But not just a fire hydrant. It is a fuzzy, hot pink phallic fire hydrant!

The symbolism! The craft! The…uh… aw, hell, I don’t get it either. I know that the arts tend to be a bit more…ah…lenient…than other degree fields, but at least with something like a Masters in Creative Writing, you have to have a novel length work or the equvilent. Sheesh. It looks like I could pull off that fire hydrant thingie in an afternoon with suplies from my local craft store.

I think the Masters isn’t awarded for the work itself, but rather the amount of BS that accompanies the work.

“You can major in Game Boy if you know how to bullshit.”–Droz, PCU.

It’s close enough that dogs are still going to want to urinate on it.

Dogs as art critics? Somehow that seems appropriate.
If I could do it, it ain’t art.

You know, if you don’t get modern art, you shouldn’t comment on it.

This place is about fighting ignorance, not showing it.

Why not? Art is subjective, yes? Subjectively, I think it’s freakin’ hilarious that an exhibit of fire hydrants was considered worthy of a master’s thesis. Equally hilarious to, say, the mating habits of the South American Fruit Fly.
ah, the poor misunderstood SA Fruit Fly…we must study in more depth their beautiful mating habits…

One of my professors has her MFA in photography. She’s got posters in her office from exhibitions she’s done, and her work is exquisite. I dunno what she had to do to get her degree, though.


Ah, but I’m afraid we do get it Zebra. Unfortunately for your point of view, a great many of us, when it comes to ‘modern art’ are firmly of the opinion that the Emperor has no clothes.
Oh, and here’s a hint; telling people that don’t happen to share your opinions that they’re ignorant and should keep their mouths shut isn’t a real good way to win friends and influence people.

The question is, would you have thought to do it.

Actually yes, Matt, I could take any random object and see how many different ways I could present it, but I don’t think it would take any particular talent on my part.

BTW, I just used that quote because it amuses me. I actually am a pretty decent artist, but I don’t expect to see any of my stuff in the museam’s ‘recent aquisitions’ hall any time soon, 'cause I don’t have a line of Bull to go along with it.

While obviously phallic, as are all hydrants, I wonder why she placed the front connection, typically 5 or 6 inch, higher and made it as small as the side outlets, 2½ or 3 inch.

How many of the people who have chimed in to say “That ain’t art” have done much studying of modern art? If you like your art easy and obvious, then yeah, this ain’t for you. But just because it’s not a non-threatening Collier landscape doesn’t mean the artist “just threw it together and called it art.” I used to be in that crowd too, then I did some study of what’s actually being said by (some) modern artists, and while I honestly don’t get the point of this fire hydrant thing I’m not going to dismiss it out of hand as BS.

I’m also not going to go following up on it, because I frankly don’t care that much, but to immediately dismiss it as rubbish “because it’s a fire hydrant” or “because I could do that” is just as foolish as blindly accepting it as a masterpiece “because she’s got an MFA.”

P.S. Maureen, the fact that you immediately thought of phalluses, coupled with the fact that this one isn’t actually proportioned like a real fire hydrant, probably indicate that she’s achieved some measure of her goal in making it. That’s my guess, anyway.

It’s kind of funny that this modern art argument is still around, 86 years after Marcel Duchamp signed a urinal as “R. Mutt” and entered it at an art exhibit in New York. Here, this explains some of the ideas behind works like that:

If you don’t want to read through that (even though it’s really very short), here is the most relevant passage:

You can look at Ran Young Kim as continuing in that tradition, though I’d say she’s more postmodern than Dada. But anyway, I haven’t taken art history in a while, so I’ve forgotten most of the relevant arguments for so-called “weird art.”

I will address this one point, though:

Yes, you could have done it, just like I could have written this haiku:

“Old pond…
a frog leaps in
water’s sound.”

We both could have done those things, but neither of us thought to do it. You didn’t think to sculpt a fire hydrant, and I didn’t think to put those words together in that order. The point is, art, even seemingly simple art, can be harder to create than it looks.

That haiku was by Basho, a rather famous poet in haiku.
Not all haikus follow the 5-7-5 model.

Curses, beaten by a jackelope. I agree with you about everything you said, j. Including the part with finding the sculpture a bit too inscrutable. But perhaps that was part of the artist’s intention. I also agree with the part about not bothering to follow up on this thing. This argument refuses to die, even with a stake through the heart and a decapitated head with its mouth stuffed with garlic.

Well, um…gee, Jack, my whole actual point was, as GMRyujin said, that you can pretty much get a master’s now in just about any conceivable thing. I think that’s pretty laughable and, in some small measure, sad. Whether I actually “get” modern art/sculpture is rather secondary to the fact that committees are now so terrified of offending anyone, they just say “Oh, yes, brilliant!..HERE YA GO!!” I would have laughed just as hard had it been a collection of giant fuzzy pink noses (the fire plug shown was only one of a collection).

As for my phallic obsession, well, you’re not the first one to notice it. :smiley:

I’ll admit I have no art training. And, yes, I like easy, pretty lanscapes and portraits. I also like Picasso and Escher and Monet.

I would venture a (wild) guess that the St. Louis Arch is considered modern art. And it is a beautiful, majestic, minimalist piece of great art… with great meaning behind it. But that other thing is a pink fuzzy phallic fire hydrant! Explain this “art” to me.

I think it’s not a matter of “getting” anything, as no one is going to be in agreement on what they see. It’s already been pointed out that art is subjective. Judging by the reactions here in this thread, I’d say the piece has done a fine job of eliciting some kind of response, wouldn’t you? Whether you “get” it or not, the object of the game is to make you think about what you’re seeing and develop your own opinion.

As far as this being a Master’s Thesis, trust me, the art and design community isn’t the slightest bit afraid of offending someone. So I really doubt this was just “handed out”. I’m not going to argue that anyone posting here could or couldn’t have created the same thing, but, while it’s not a terribly original piece (phallic symbols are all the rage in art these days :rolleyes: ), I guarantee that the artist developed an underlying concept which guided very deliberate moves in the piece’s creation. Art, design, and even philosophy are conceptually-based, primarly subjective, and tightly knitted to each other, yet we hear fewer arguments over an architecture student whose thesis involves the relationship of music and architecture, and the layering, connections, and paths that develop from that relationship.

Just because it isn’t concrete, or doesn’t meet the popular definition of “useful” doesn’t mean it’s not worth the intellectual pursuit of a Masters thesis.

Could this thread just be your penis envy shining bright, Mo? :stuck_out_tongue:

Aww, shucks, rocky, honey, ya caught me again!! :stuck_out_tongue: see,jack,what’d i tell ya?