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Untitled (Chris Ashley), 2007, GIFs, HTMLNot intended for RSS readers.
At the Whitney Museum coat check, I swear my recollection is they just take your bag and give you a plastic chip. At MOMA they make you open your bag, ask you about the contents, and reject certain items! Here's how a recent visit went down:
"Sir, you have to open your bag."
"You're kidding. OK, check it out. There's a scarf in here, a music software manual, my Daytimer..."
"What's in that pouch?"
"I'll have to ask you to carry that."
"You're kidding. Say--when did you start doing this, interrogating people about their bag contents?"
"I've only worked here six months but" (eyes widening) "of course all bags have to be inspected since 9/11."
"Yeah, right, but that was six years ago!"
At this point some tourists were looking over uneasily, wondering what the "scene" was about.
Thanks, MOMA, for setting a friendly, contemplative mood at the entrance to your museum.
Memo to Gary Hill
Re: Your Show at Barbara Gladstone
The giant CGI animatronic eagle angrily flapping its wings and making power lines crack like bullwhips in multi-channel surround sound appeals on some goofy level, but the lake of crude oil you placed in front of it with the gold bullion in the center takes us into the realm of metaphor fatigue. Thanks for telling us via the press release that the piece was about the US occupation of the Middle East. The guard in the gallery barking at people when they get near the work is not too cool, though. Especially when it's a sheet of black, glassy-smooth oil in a semi-lit room that you might want to look at closely, if for no other reason than to see if it's as much like Noriyuki Haraguchi
's work as it seems.
And if you must place telescopes around the space, you might want to aim them at something besides those custom gold coins of your grimacing face "undergoing fictive scenes of torture" that are placed on spotlit sculpture stands in the same room--it seems redundant, and not in a good way. Again, it's nice to have the press release handy to tell us that your installation, "through its use of the metaphor of market exchange, distances the true act of brutality, even when the acts of surveillance bring it so close the viewer's body." We're worried about the war, too, and thankful that a festival artist such as yourself has a big gallery to get the message out.
Update: Breaking: The real reason for the guard was that gold bullion--one of the ingots was just stolen from the Fondation Cartier version of this piece. See the comments to this post--thanks, James.
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.
"Abstract Thinking (Quiet)" mp3 removed]
Some of the subtle moog-y stuff was lost in all that din.
"Abstract Thinking" [mp3 removed]
Caution: loud, we're talking Ricky Martin loud. I took a few beats from Brains
of my earlier tunes and made some of my own so this tune would bang.