I entered the Fasinex® Liver Fluke Drench Art Prize for 2013 with a piece of art that no one was allowed to see. No one, not even the judges, knew what my entry was. They didn't know if it was a painting, a sculpture, a musical composition, a dance performance, a film, an installation or whatever else it could be and I wasn't saying. The idea was that I would only reveal my piece once it had won the prize and that if something else won the prize then no one would ever see my piece and be forever unsure if the right decision had been made.
I thought this was very clever. I imagined it would throw the judges into a quandary, wondering if they were making the right decision. What if they chose another piece and mine was better? They would forever wonder if they had been fools. I imagined this would haunt whoever beat me for the prize too. I could imagine the winner sitting at home, regarding their prize and wondering if it was really deserved. I could imagine the niggling the winner would feel for the rest of their lives. Winning the coveted Fasinex® Liver Fluke Drench Art Prize would be the crowning achievement of any career. Imagine the persistent gnawing that the prize might not be rightfully yours.
My mystery piece created quite a buzz. People speculated in the press and online as to what it might be. Someone suggested that my piece might even be the prize itself, which would be very clever in a reflexive interrogation of the very process itself type of way. Others said that the excitement generated by my stunt might be the art itself and that, if this was the case, my piece deserved to win because I had really got people thinking. 'Thinking about what?' others asked. 'Nothing', they were told. Yes, I had everyone thinking about nothing and this act in itself raised important questions – What is nothing? Why are we thinking about it? Do we think about nothing in other ways? Do we think about nothing a lot? Should we be thinking about other things? What other things should we be thinking about? Is there even a point in thinking? If there is a point in thinking, what is the point in thinking and if there is a point in thinking why haven't we thought of it before?
Oh, I had sent the art world into a right cognitive whirlpool and no mistake.
But no, my art piece wasn't 'nothing' and it wasn't the prize itself. It was something else and this something else won.
The day came when, in front a celebrity audience that included the likes of Matthew Collings and Don Conroy, the esteemed President of the Irish Farmers' Association handed the Fasinex® Liver Fluke Drench Art Prize to me. I gave an acceptance speech, talking about how art has dominated my life since the day I decided to expand my investment portfolio and speaking of how my journey had brought me to this moment, receiving such a coveted prize from as venerable a man as the President of the Irish Farmers' Association. I wept a little too, I don't mind admitting. Then someone shouted up from the audience - it may have been Collings, it may have been Conroy, it might've even been Mary from Anything Goes. Whoever it was that shouted out, they got a chant going and the chant was this: 'show your art, show your art, show your art'. So I did what they demanded. After months of build up the crowd were extremely tense, all staring up in expectation, eyes wide and mouths a little open. I reached out and pulled back the curtain that obscured my piece. My art was revealed and those assembled were finally unburdened of their curiosity.
'But what was your piece?' 'What was it Mr. Fugger?' 'Tell us now for fuck's sake like!', I hear you, my readers and acolytes, insist from the other side of cyber space. Well, I'll tell you what my art piece was. I won't keep you in suspense any longer. To drag this out any more would be taking the piss and, as regular visitors to fugtheworld well know, I'm not one for piss taking. I'm not one to tease. I'll tell you what my piece was now before this gets irritating, perhaps even cruel. I'll tell you what my art was now before you get pissed off and just start speed reading to the end of this blog post to find out. So, without further ado, I will inform you what my art piece was. It was this – it was a laptop set on a plinth and on the screen of the laptop was a live webcast and the webcast was of you, yes you, you there, right now, at this very moment, sitting, reading a blog post called 'My Little Piece of Prize Winning Art'.
Nobody knew who you were or understood the significance of your being there. Everyone got a bit passionate. A bit angry. They came over all French and wine glasses were flung at the stage. I had to grab the laptop and flee but I'm safe now and I have you here with me. I'm looking at you as you read this very blog post. You, yes you, my little piece of prize winning art.
(There was a generous cash prize too but if you think I should share it with you you can piss off. You were all my idea.)