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Monday, 19 March, 2001, 15:37 GMT
Imaginary art show opens
Art gallery at the Custard Factory
Spot the exhibit: This art show relies on imagination
A new art show called The Exhibition To Be Constructed In Your Head is relying on the power of the imagination to create its artworks.

The 2,500 sq ft gallery in Birmingham's Custard Factory houses 60 imaginary exhibits, says the art group Proto-Mu.

Proto-Mu's Stuart Tait says visitors to the week-long show will be faced with whitewashed walls and asked to conjure up images from written descriptions.

Exhibit from Custard Factory
Questioning what art is

"There is a history of producing artworks that are purely descriptive - it's a questioning of what art is all about," said Mr Tait.

"It has been suggested that we are chancers and it doesn't mean a thing, but a lot of thought has gone into it."

Desperation

David Lee, editor of art journal The Jackdaw, disagrees.

"It's the reductio ad absurdum of contemporary art," he told BBC News Online, "a kind of monument to the lack of flair and imagination in modern art and an indictment of the desperation of curators to get attention.

"That said, it's no more of a con trick than most of the enormities that take place in the name of contemporary art.

"At least it's the kind of exhibition you don't have to see to comment on."

Proto-Mu, a self-funded West Midlands-based art group, says that the bare walls house 60 pieces by 28 artists, although three of the works are mounted on plinths.

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