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Paddy Johnson unfavorably reviews Doug Aitken's outdoor video installation at MOMA, Sleepwalkers
, today in The Reeler
. As usual she is good at exposing the fatuous reasoning behind a piece--in this case the decision by MOMA, Creative Time and the City to host it in the dead of winter so it will be a tourist draw like Christo's Gates*, a loser if ever there was one for art you aren't walking through at a brisk stride but are presumably expected to stand and watch--but I still have some questions about it. I need some more reasons to get off my ass and go (or not). Maybe she can elaborate on her blog [update: responses here
1. If the piece is supposed to be about a day in the life of ordinary New Yorkers, isn't that ruined by using celebrities such as Cat Power, Tilda Swindon, and Donald Sutherland, in the roles? If Aitken wants to flout the conventions of cinema, why use movie stars? Is Sutherland's "dancing on top of a cab" something ordinary people do, or only Michael Jackson?
2. Isn't a "non-linear narrative" the ultimate art world cliche at this point? What does this piece do to surmount that?
3. How do the moving images on sides of buildings differ from the corporate displays a few blocks over in Times Square?
*Sourced to an anonymous MOMA employee, but no one Johnson spoke to seems to have actually denied it.