"Ah hah! By Jove! That's the ticket!" they shouted (or whatever Brits exclaim when the lightbulb goes on above their heads). "Invisible art! Come on, let's put on a show!"
So they set out to scour the world for 50 works of art that no one could see. Surprisingly, their quest proved not too hard to achieve, because over the past 70 years, painters and sculptors and other "artistes" had apparently been making lots of invisible art!
Next, they wrangled a Claes Oldenburg piece titled "Proposed Underground Memorial and Tomb for President John F. Kennedy" that was not constructed in 1965. It would have been a hollow bronze casting the size of the Statue of Liberty, buried upside down. Through an opening "about the size of a golf ball," a spectator could have viewed the interior by kneeling or lying down, eyeball to the hole.
I'm guessing it wasn't just Gitanes.
"Just look at this," one said. "Our visitors will wear digital headphones that vibrate whenever they knock into one of the invisible walls of the maze!"
"Oh, won't it be hysterical?" replied the other. "Watching them make complete and utter fools of themselves traipsing around an empty room, bumping into things that aren't there?!"
"It's exquisite! But what media did you use?" they asked.
"Stare on paper," he replied.
"Let's go home," said one. "49 pieces of invisible art are enough."
"Wait! I've found the 50th!" shouted the other. "We can't possibly not include this one. It's a photo of the artist showing a blank canvas to a white horse."
"Oh, now that is either deep..."
"Or a pile of horsesh--t!"
They were truly ROFLMFAO by now. They chortled and guffawed as they hauled all the invisible art back to the gallery and hung it on the walls and arranged it on white pedestals and plinths. They tediously printed all the exhibit labels in a SERIOUS font and attached them neatly next to the works. They labored over a fine catalog to accompany the exhibit, printed on luxurious, real paper that you could actually see, touch and smell.
At long last, they proclaimed to the world that their exhibit was open. And people came from far and wide to pay real money to oooh and aaah over the empty galleries, blank canvases and barren sculptural plinths.
"Hmm, I don't know. What do you think?"
"Let me just stare a minute whilst I ponder."
"Alright then, I'll stare as well."
"Could be an incredibly prescient exploration of the power of the imagination."
"Could be the apotheosis of conceptual art nonsense."
"A big joke."
The small child ran from room to room, searching for something to see. He tugged at his mother's stylish black tunic. His voice was a rather loud whine, an assault to the ears in the hushed gallery.
"But Mummie, you said we were going to see some art. And there is nothing here!"
If you don't believe me, you can check it out at The Hayward Gallery: Invisible: Art About the Unseen 1957-2012.
It's all a bit too much for me. Call me a material girl, but I like my art to be, well, material.