Oh Hai! If you can haz an internet connection, chances are you’re familiar with the online phenomenon that is teh LOLCat. Until this week I thought everyone knew what a LOLCat was, but to my astonishment I found myself on more than one occasion explaining about cute pictures of kittehs with badly spelled captions.
Why are the captions poorly spelled? Well, have you ever tried to type without opposable thumbs?
For fans of the infamous felines, the Framers Gallery of London’s Windmill street is exhibiting artworks featuring the funny cats. Until 15th February you can catch the appropriately named LOLCAT: TEH EXHIBISHUN.
But how did such a wondrous concept come to be?
In an interview with The Independent’s Tom Peck, the curator Jenny Theolin explains “Once, I challenged my friend Francis to send me one lolcat an hour for a whole working day. He did it! Eventually I started a blog called lolcatalogue, and then via twitter I asked if anyone would want to do a physical exhibition of lolcats, and it went from there.”
One lolcat an hour for a whole working day? Call that a challenge? It’s fair to say that Peck doesn’t quite ‘get’ teh whole Lolcat ‘thing’: his scathing review more than shows his disdain for the meme. But is it really that bad? Um, no ashkully…
Despite the crowd-pulling title, what is actually on offer isn’t quite teh kittehs we all know and love, instead we are given artistic interpretation of the precocious pussies such as monorail cat reimagined as the tube map.
The cat’s were diverting enough, but the crowd the show attracted was infinitely more interesting to this Museum Adventurer. Always interested in visitor response, I kept my ears open for opinions…
“They aren’t funny,” declared one woman to her companion.
“Cute though,” replied her friend.
“But LOLcats are supposed to be funny. That’s the point of them.”
Maybe some of the humour is lost in the transition from internet meme to artwork but sometimes, as with the monorail cat, the joke is a bit less obvious than a surface reading.
In a philanthropic touch, half the money raised by the sale of the artwork is going to Battersea Dog and Cat Home.