Martin Creed’s Runners + Clever Marketing

ArtReview has put together a video (below) on Martin Creed’s latest creation at the Tate Britain. Creed is the artist that won the Turner prize in 2001 for his “lights going on and off” work where an empty room periodically had the lights turned on and off, which reminds of a Simpsons episode where Homer keeps turning the light switch on and off; lights go on, lights go off, lights go on…

Anyway, the new work which is called “Work No. 850″ or “The Duveen Galleries Commission 2008″ by Martin Creed is described by the Tate like this.. “Work No. 850 centers on a simple idea: that a person will run as fast as they can every thirty seconds through the gallery. Each run is followed by an equivalent pause, like a musical rest, during which the grand Neoclassical gallery is empty.
This work celebrates physicality and the human spirit. Creed has instructed the runners to sprint as if their lives depended on it.”

You can also apply to participate in Work no. 850 as a runner AND earn £9.35 per hour for your effort. There’s more information at the Running Project website here. I wonder if my fast waddle would allow me to qualify as a runner.

Here’s the ArtReview video report on the running man exhibition..

And here’s a clever response to the ArtReview report. You would hardly know it was a Puma advertisement if it wasn’t for the Puma shoe close-ups and the Puma logo at the end of the video.

The artist Martin Creed also has a useful online presence which is both refreshing and surprising. Firstly I was surprised that he actually had a website (I still haven’t figured out why a lot of famous artists don’t have one) and secondly that it functioned in a logical and easy to understand manner. I expected to be tricked or confused by it, but it all made a lot of sense.

About Dion

Australian artist and observer of things.. all kinds of things. I like a wide variety of art, from the weird and wonderful to the bold and beautiful.. and everything in between.


  1. I am amazing that Puma had the marketing sense to tie art and athletics together. Someone should get an award!

  2. Donald Frazell says:

    That wasnt art, shows how American comedy writing is our best feature now. Brits seem to have lost all sense of humore, besides putting on dresses and now taking their drag queens seriously a s a comentary on life. This was hilarious! Show how reidiculous art is, and how artist will actually find some “meaning” in it. I loved it! The wife is standing here laughing too, as I unfortunately woke her up playing it. Told you sports is far superior to art in drama, and comedy, now.

  3. Lisa Donna Martin says:

    Bloody brilliant! I hope Martin Creed laughed as much as me kids did! I went to the Tate to see this work a few weeks back and I was less than impressed. Thanks for putting such a good spin on it. Wish I was there for the real thing – I would have cheered you on :-)

  4. Anyone know who they young actor is? I could really use a skinny male for my life drawing class. Suggestions please?

  5. P.S. I am based out of Washington D.C.

  6. carl lucas says:

    Hi George – I know a few boys that might fit the bill.

    Not sure about the age thing though cos the ones I know are far younger than the man in the vid. Honestly (as an art teacher) it could be hard to find someone past the age of 18 who is so thin. Is it for a starvation piece? Message me on FB if you want details.

  7. Donald Frazell says:

    You are not in LA then where scrawny metrosexual boys and anorexic princesses run around art communities in their Prius’ all day long. And unfortunately, for me, show up at life drawing sessions. Give me some meat, as in athlete, anyday. Last two men were FINALLY great, one looking like Tupacs taller, younger brother was nice and riped, not big, but had some muscles for a change. Had some decent women, but photographing my wife for poses now, she cant hold one to save her life. Perfect model though.

    But that is a great commercial, wonder if it was staged, great job by the guards looking ticked off. Told you, marketing the American genius, can even use trash like this to sell a product. Cant wait to see it on TV.

  8. Just don’t start trading young guys on Art News Blog, or I’ll start to feel like a pimp. All this talk of skinny boys is already making me feel uncomfortable about peoples intentions.

    And the branding, advertising and marketing skills of a lot of American companies both amaze and disgust me Donald.. kind of like big cities (in any country), I find them beautiful and ugly at the same time.

    It’s really like shooting fish in a barrel when you look at how weak and malleable the average human mind is.

    I was thinking the security guard and gallery would have known about it before they shot it too.

  9. Donald Frazell says:

    Teenagers are especially easy to manipulate, they are so peer group sensitive, simply making it SEEM like others want your goods makes it an easy sell. Having raised a bunch of boys, this I know.

    Horrible products like Axe, a stinky soap smelling deodorant, body odor covering, which other real body scents are now making fun of, was all the rage in different colored kid friendly cans. Even my wife yelled at the kids when they attempted to spray me with it, and they looked completely confused as it is advertised as ATTRACTING hot looking women, not repelling them. Adolescents are an easy mark, and as most people never truly grow up and mature(artistes), that makes for billions of potential customers.

    America, aint it great?

  10. I’ve been told that some artists don’t have websites with contact information because the galleries that represent them want to control press about them. As in they want to regulate who interviews them by being the source of contact. Not sure if that is true or not, but I will say that I’ve been refused interview requests by gallery staff in the past only to end up having the interview after contacting the same artist directly with the help of a friend. That has happened a few times. Maybe some galleries do try to control who their artists speak with?

  11. That sounds about right Balhatain. I’ve had similar experiences.

    Traditional galleries should be afraid of the internet as more and more artists are finding that art galleries aren’t as ALL POWERFUL as they say they are.

    If I was a traditional art gallery owner I would be trying to scare all my artists away from the evil internet!

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