Are You Culture-tastic?
For Outpost, organised by F.A.T.
Are You Culture-tastic?
If you were spending an afternoon in the Serpentine would you be looking at contemporary art rather than paddling in a boating lake? Do you think ‘Rambo’ is a mis-spelt french poet rather than a fictional American hard-man? If your answer to these questions was ‘yes’ then you might just be culture-tastic – do our exciting quiz and find out whether you’re in the aesthetic league of Kenneth Clark the art historian rather than Kenneth Clark the politician!
Just read the questions and decide which one of the four answers given most suits you. Keep a note of your answers, then read our revealling conclusions, to see if you’re a budding connoisseur, a dabbling dilatante, a fumbling philistine, or a ridiculing iconaclastic! Quiz on…
1. It’s a boring Sunday afternoon and a chum suggests you go to an art gallery. Do you:
A. get out the door in a flash before your chum changes her mind – you’d just love a trip to a temple of Culture.
B. agree to go, but you have a cup of tea and couple of chocolate biscuits first to build up your strength.
C. suddenly remember that you’ve got to do the hoovering.
D. make it clear to your chum that she is now an ex-chum – you wouldn’t be seen dead in an art gallery.
2. Do you think Michaelangelo was:
A. one of the immortals?
B. an important Renaissance artist?
C. a painter or something?
D. a turtle?
3. You’re looking at an abstract painting when someone next to you says “isn’t the expression of the turmoil of an inner world so moving?” Do you reply:
A. Oh, it touches my heart!
B. Yes, I guess you’re right.
C. What are you talking about?
D. You don’t half talk crap!
4. How do you respond to the Tate Gallery paying £10,000 for a sculpture consisting of no more than ordinary fire bricks arranged on the floor in a rectangle:
A. You can’t put a price on culture!
B. The Tate are experts so they must know what they’re doing.
C. With bafflement: you can’t make sculpture from bricks, can you?
D. What a waste of money
5. Would you define ‘Beauty’ as:
B. In the eye of the beholder.
C. Ryan Giggs’ face.
D. Ryan Giggs’ feet.
6. Do you think the Romantics were or are:
A. the height of poetic expression of sublime individual imagination.
B. morally lax weirdos who nevertheless wrote some good poetry
C. Barbara Cartland and Jilly Cooper.
D. Great at throwing a party.
7. Whilst nibbling at the pasta salad at a party, the person you’re talking to reveals they are an artist. Do you ask them:
A. from where do you get your inspiration?
B. do you do oils or watercolours?
C. How do you make any money doing that?
D. Don’t you think this salad needs a bit more salt in it?
8. Do you think Modern Art is:
A. Art’s assertion of its own autonomy, free from instrumentality.
B. Quite remarkable.
C. All a big con.
D. Elite culture: an enemy of the people.
9. Is Bond Street for you:
A. a place of culture.
B. a street in the West End.
C. Part of a set with Regents Street and Oxford Street.
D. A symbol of bourgeois decadence.
10. Would you describe the Mona Lisa as:
A. a sensitive expression of the mystery of women’s beauty.
B. probably the most famous painting in the world.
C. that woman with a grin on her face.
D. a film with Bob Hoskins, Kathy Tyson and Micael Cane; or an invitation to draw mastaches.
O.K. count up how many A’s, B’s, C’s and D’s you got and read the appropriate conclusion for you, below!
Congratulations! One is obviously something of a connoiseur already, and the art gallery is a home from home, one surmises. Furthermore, one is quite equipped to prosper in polite company with the good and the great. If one is not already the art correspondant of the Daily Telegraph it might well be worth investigating this position as regards future employment.
Let’s face it, you’re a bit of a diletante, aren’t you? You keep going to the galleries but you’re not really sure what’s going on, are you? You need to ask yourself if this is really your culture, or wouldn’t you be better off staying in and watching Coronation Street instead. If you got some A’s it might be worth pursuing your dream of culturedness, but you need to hone your aesthetic sensibilities. Try three “Hail Michaelangelo’s” before going to bed at night and practise saying things like “What a dynamic composition!” and “How sensitive his handling of paint is!” as though you mean it. But if you got more C’s than A’s then connoiseurship is really not for you – give up and enjoy being a philistine instead (see C).
No beating about the bush: you’re a complete philistine. You just haven’t got a clue what all this art business is about, have you? No need to worry, though, you have options. Just ignore art altogether and don’t give those snobs talking jibberish about it the chance to look down at you. ‘Going out for a drink is more fun anyway. Alternatively you could become an aggressive philistine and wind up the art lovers deliberately rather than by accident. “My five year old daughter could have done that!” and “it doesn’t look very much like her/him/ a violin/ a mountain/ etc.!” are tried and tested formulas in this respect, and useful for beginners. If neither of these approaches appeal you could always try to evolve into an iconaclast (see D).
You clearly like making trouble, being an iconaclast. The most amazing thing about your result is that you bothered to do this quiz at all! You may see your cynical disregard for what others hold dear as healthy scepticism, but make sure you’re not building your own ivory tower. Being right all the time can become a terrible burden, you know, and wont make you attractive at parties! You’ve a tendency to be a bit serious all the time, so try to replace a bit of that heavy irony with a lighter wit, which shouldn’t compromise your oppositional principles.