Sunshine and Farts / by Chris Hall

Martin Creed,  Work No. 203:  Everything is Going to be Alright , 1999

Martin Creed, Work No. 203:  Everything is Going to be Alright, 1999

To Hell with “Everything is Gonna Be Alright,” trite, “Don't Worry Be Happy” Bobby McFerrin Bullshit, and Fuck You and your Artwork made from Sunshine and Farts.  I tire of seeing Glitter-Dolphins, Rainbows, Kittens, Cupcakes, and Hearts.  Blind, naïve, sugar sweet optimism, without any kind of criticality, is hard for me to swallow.  It is softball art, and it is sickening to me.  As much as I usually dislike Martin Creed's work, his Work No. 203:  Everything is Going to be Alright might actually be a success to me.  Creed's work usually oozes pessimism.  He is an expert a taking what may a simple phrase or gesture and turning it into something complex, and Work No. 203:  Everything is Going to be Alright is no different.  Despite the obvious message found in the text, the use of a cold neon sign above a rich institution makes me question the sincerity of his sentiment.  Now the simple message becomes complex and questions are raised.  Are the words meant to be coming out of the institutions of power?  Is it a reassuring lie, meant to put us asleep?  Can we trust them?  Is Creed being ironic?  Is he being sincere?  If being sincere, how did he arrive at that thought, when he is generally known for his pessimism?  The complexity of interpretation available to us is what makes this work interesting to me.