Wednesday, March 30, 2011

More on trends...

From the comments here and on Facebook, I’ve collected additions to my list of art trends on which there should be an enforced moratorium (see the post below):

"Hey, I am a junkie, and here is my art about that"

Piles of laundry on the floor' in the middle of galleries…and these little abodes in the middle of galleries and museum rooms as some sort of installation.

Objects and/or bodily fluids in canning jars.

And for the “scatter art” category: Karen Kilimnik at 303 gallery…oh dear, do we have to wander through your pile of artfully crushed plexi mirrors, record covers and scarves while listening to a horribly skipping recording of madonna's like a virgin??!

Another reader writes: it's a challenge to go to a Brown U. or RISD exhibit these days that does not involve black curtains and headphones accompanying virtually every object. And the self-indulgent navel-gazing art ("wow, that navel lint would make a great art piece if I collected it for a year and put it on a shallow ledge in the gallery.")

I want to make it clear that I’m not against video in galleries, just cheesy, thoughtless, installations of same….although I will admit I discovered Christian Marclay in a museum in Zurich and Omer Fast at the Whitechapel, both on plain old monitors—but with no headphones or curtains, at least. Video can be cool when it takes over the whole gallery, as Marclay did with The Clock and Video Quartet, or is shown in an area that's artfully constructed, like the Alfredo Jaar at Galerie Lelong a couple of years ago.

But I never want to put on a pair of headphones again. Why would I want to be tethered to an artwork? And aren’t they’re unhygienic?

Despite the above, I was holding to my belief that everything can still be done if it's done well (except maybe for sequins) until I got this message from James Elkins on Facebook yesterday:

My latest FB "friend" is an artist who makes abstract, Fautrier-style paintings using oil mixed with the ashes of departed family members. You supply the ashes, the information, and a 40% down payment. The artist is totally sincere. That sort of thing is why FB can only be "social" and not actually social!

And why “art” is only sometimes art.


Giovanni said...

Please add this one to the list: artists doing real world things, such as setting up a store, or a bakery, or a bar, etc., and presenting it as art. It's a favorite at art fairs and biennials, and IT'S DRIVING ME INSANE! And yes, Rirkrit Tiravanija fits squarely into this genre, and I don't care how much Jerry Saltz loves his cooking.

K.I.A. said...

Anything related to consumerism, especially luxury objects... I don't want to see any more depictions of diamonds, chandeliers, fancy wallpapered rooms, etc.

@Giovanni - I agree, & just had that same conversation

Carol Diehl said...

I'm with you both. I think we're on a roll, here.

Chad Wooters said...

Incomprehensible manifestos that include references to Derrida and post-structuralism.

Those who paint their houses purple, wear a silly wild hats and call themselves “outsider artists.”

Mocking religion, Republicans, and suburban consumer culture.

Joanne Mattera said...

Re Tiravanija: My Italian aunts, Raffaelina and Antonina, did an insane amount of cooking in their livetimes. They should have been in the Whitney.

Can you imagine the installation of hand-rolled lasagna at Thanksgiving, hand stuffed ravioli at Christmas, always served with stuffed artichokes and a chicken soup that had tiny meatballs in it? Assembled on a long table covered with a hand-embroidered linen tablecloth? With dessert platters of tissue-thin fried dough dusted with powdered sugar--or a dessert raviolo with a mixture of chocolate and concord grape jam (which they put up themselves from the grapes growing on the vine in their backyard). Served with Medaglia d'Oro, of course.

Then, as part of the installation, they handwashed every plate, platter, fork and spoon,and laundered the linens.

Or you could show some broken china and a pile of dirty laundry and call it "post-gustatory minimalism."

Carol Diehl said...

Tell your aunts that if they ever want to reincarnate, they can do an art installation at my house any time!

Joanne Mattera said...

Oh, Carol, I wish. They've both been gone a long time.