Here in Reading, Banksy’s been quite the person of the moment over the last few weeks: an image appeared, was ‘vandalised’, partly reproduced and changed again; all eminently ‘grammable and everyone’s had something to say about it.
It’s had me thinking about art and perceptions. It’s a bit like the tree falling in the woods scenario: does it being ‘declared’ a Banksy make the art more socially acceptable or would a hidden, unclaimed Banksy be just as worthwhile? Is it brilliant because it’s a Banksy or would it be brilliant anyway?
I’ve also been thinking about this in the context of runners and their running over the last 12 months. Yes, there have been some races here in the UK, but they’ve been distanced time-trials with spectators discouraged, or ‘virtual’ events on routes near home. Is a personal best just as valid under these conditions? Can a runner celebrate their best ever time if there’s no one there to see it? Does it even count as a pb?
What if your brilliant, the best you can do, doesn’t match with others’ ideas of brilliant? Is it still just as good?
To my mind, we’re all trying our best and, even if my brilliant isn’t quite as good as yours, it’s still the best that I can manage on this day, at this time, in these circumstances.