a different creed

I used to work in Millbank Tower in London and of all the city’s many galleries and museums, the one I am most familiar with is the Tate – Tate Britain as it is now. When in London, I usually try and find time to visit.

Apparently next year they are going to start to allow photography, but at the moment the only works you can take pictures of are a few sculptures at the entrance and the works displayed outside. Which includes the 1999 work by Martin Creed, currently displayed on the building façade above the Millbank entrance:

"Everything is going to be alright"

Gloss by Stephen Deucher
Creed “aims to achieve maximum impact with minimum intervention”, according to the accompanying text.

And the neon slogan certainly created an impression on me as I approached the building yesterday through flurries of snow. Mostly because of the choice of “alright” rather than “all right”.

It has to be deliberate. You can’t create a huge neon sign like that without thinking about precisely what it says and how it will appear to viewers.

So, was the intention to annoy pedants like myself? Or is it meant as a subtle paradox:

Everything will be all right except the language itself which is the foundation on which our interpretation of the world rests.

And in case you think I’m being overly pedantic, I’ll refer you to Chambers online dictionary recommendation on the subect:

Chambers recommendation all right v. alright
Chambers thinks it's not all right to write 'alright'

As for the comments I overheard inside the gallery, I was definitely reminded of this:

Fortunately, the pre-Raphaelites and classical sculptures were as comfortingly awe-inspiring as always.

Author: don't confuse the narrator

Exploring the boundary between writer and narrator through first person poetry, prose and opinion

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