“They’re just trying to shock.” This seems to be a bogus criticism of art in the first place (can you tell its Turner season again?) – shock is an exciting reaction to have, it leads to thought and discourse more directly than most responses, why shouldn’t art try and elicit it? What bothers me is when reviewers – having pronounced that X or Y is trying to shock – then do their best to defuse the shock by minutely describing what a viewer is going to see. If the Chapman Brothers are going to try and shock me then I don’t want to know the details – the whole point of the thing is that I don’t know them. An art writer should no more describe a ‘shocking’ artwork than a film reviewer should give away a twist ending: it’s insulting to reader and artist alike.