Although Janis Joplin... (Idiot Board)

1997

Smith, Bob and Roberta
This 'Idiot Board' references the cue cards used to help actors remember their lines. It spins a misleading yarn about the rock star, Janis Joplin, who died at the age of 27 following a heroin overdose. The board claims that Joplin enjoyed a long life, and that she penned songs that had actually been written by the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and Frank Sinatra. The artist, who works under the pseudonym 'Bob & Roberta Smith', has explained how the content of the board is 'obscure and meaningless and in the main untrue. I enjoy the way it is grand, didactic but also empty and not very useful.' This work is one of five 'Idiot Boards' originally made for Bob & Roberta Smith's 1997 exhibition, 'Don't Hate Sculpt', at the Chisenhale Gallery in London. The artist is noted for his interest in folk art, and these boards reveal his application of traditional sign writing techniques. Brightly coloured and large in scale, the boards also refer to advertising billboards and hoardings. Natalie Rudd
  • Artwork Details: 4 parts, total, 243.8 x 487.7cm
  • Edition: 1 of 5
  • Material description: paint on board
  • Credit line: © the artist
  • Theme: Undefined
  • Medium: Painting
  • Accession number: ACC69/1997

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The Arts Council Collection is the UK's most widely seen collection of modern and contemporary art.

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