Price of everything, value of nothing?

Found this via BoingBoing – an incredibly interesting experiment done by Belgian cultural broadcaster It took an internationally-important contemporary painter called Luc Tuymans, whose works are viewed reverently in galleries and which change hands for huge sums of money.

Tuymans was set up to reproduce a painting on a wall, in the street, and the reactions of passers-by were filmed. More than 96 per cent of those who passed it, ignored it.

Now, you could draw all sorts of conclusions from this, of which one particularly depressing outcome would be the notion that people think free stuff is worthless and that this applies to cultural offerings as much as it does goods.

But the bit I found most affecting about the video, below, was the conviction held by most of the art experts that the experiment would be successful and the worth of the painting would translate. It didn’t, apparently: