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  • Writer's pictureMike O'Driscoll

We Will Not Be Here Yesterday

I've added the above story to the fiction pages of the site. I've long been a fan of art in general and modern art in particular. I'm fascinated by the question of what makes something a work of art, while something else is thought not to qualify. What constitutes a work of art? Aesthetic value? Then in what does such value lie? And who gets to decide? Who are the gatekeepers of art and our cultural institutions? Can they be impartial in their judgements, or is much of the contemporary art that is most highly regarded, at the same time, in its opacity and allusiveness, meant to exclude? So, just who is inside and who is outside? And why?

While "We Will Not Be Here Yesterday' is not an attempt to answer these questions, it's one of a series of stories I wrote in the late 1990s and early noughties, that try to explore different aspects of what it means to be a practitioner of art in the 21st Century. I hope it still has the power to unsettle the reader, but at the same time, as the pair of artists at the centre of the story, would remind us, it's not to be taken too seriously.

The story originally appeared online in 2004 at and was republished in my first sjort story collection, Unbecoming (Elastic Press, 2006). I hope that you'll take the time to read it and that, having done so, you'll look at some works of contemporary art in a new light.

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