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tom moody

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Trite Image of the Day

Cai Guo-Qiang

This page respectfully dissents from Regine's and Paddy's granting of Image of the Day status to the above jpeg, and The Telegraph's original designation of it as an "image of the week." That is, assuming those titles carry with them some honorary weight and don't mean "sensational but trite image of the week."

Here's how the Telegraph describes it: "Visitors walk under 'Head On' by Chinese artist Cai Guo-Qiang at the Deutsche Guggenheim in Berlin. The installation consists of a pack of 99 life-sized wolves, fabricated from painted sheepskins and stuffed with hay and metal wires, barreling in a continous stream towards--and into--a glass wall." Regine helpfully adds: "Only the first ones crash into it, but the pack chases after the leader."

The above photo is to art what Steven Spielberg's cinematography is to movies: visually dramatic, epic in scale, pompous, obvious. Actually that's not fair to Spielberg, who's greatest sin is indulging in razzle-dazzle imagemaking that has nothing to do with his plots. For example, why have a long bike chase if ET could levitate the bicycle all along? Because chases are so...cinematic. But the bicycle flying in front of the moon is kind of striking. One or the other--you can't have both. Cai Guo-Qiang faced no such choice. He has created a singular story, the theme of which is "Think for yourself, dude; following others can, like, lead to tragedy." As if that wasn't bad enough, he has his wolves flying through the air like Santa and his eight tiny reindeer. Why? Because it looks dramatic in the gallery. Please.

- tom moody 9-01-2006 8:13 pm [link] [18 comments]