Pineapple art

Sometimes, art really is in the eye of the beholder. Late last month, two students at Aberdeen’s Robert Gordon University went to a month-long art festival that’s trying to use modern art “to force attendees to rethink the objects that surround them in Scottish daily life,” and they left a pineapple on an open table. They then came back a couple of days later and found the pineapple in a glass case as part of the exhibit:

Lloyd Jack and Ruairi Gray, the two students involved, spoke to Dan Bilefsky of The New York Times this weekend, and had some hilarious things to say about how this went down and how it’s been received since:

Mr. Jack said he and the other student, Ruairi Gray, also 22, had been stunned by the attention afforded the pineapple, which he said the two had put on the table in a moment of lighthearted whimsy, slanted slightly to the left to give it a bit more gravitas and flair. He said the “work” was on display for nearly a week before it was removed.

“We weren’t sure how the glass case got there, and initially assumed it was bungling curators,” he said. “We couldn’t believe our eyes, and didn’t expect our lowly little supermarket pineapple to become a global star.”

The fruit cost one pound, or about $1.30.

Nevertheless, he said, the pineapple, alone in its display case and destined to rot, was a poignant symbol of Britain in the era of “Brexit,” the nation’s decision to leave the European Union. (Unlike England, Scotland voted overwhelmingly to remain.) “The pineapple symbolizes the U.K. leaving the E.U., standing alone, attempting to survive, cut off from the outside world,” he said.

Others saw hidden meaning in the pineapple, including an art professor at the university who, Mr. Gray said, enthusiastically lauded the “purposeful way” in which the display case had pressed down on the fruit’s leaves.

Come on, man. Sometimes, a pineapple is just a pineapple, even if this one sparked quite the debate about what can be art. But the best reaction in all this came from author and commentator Peter York, who told the Times he enjoys pineapples, but not as objets d’art:

“I rank pineapples quite highly as they are quite decorative objects, sort of colonial superfruits, with leaves that look like green fountains at the top,” he said. “But you wouldn’t really want a pineapple exhibited in your home.”

Hear that, Iceland? Pineapples are colonial superfruits! And while you may not want them exhibited in your home, some of us definitely want them exhibited on pizza. Now that’s art.


About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.