May 23, 2007

Artistic Folly

Have you ever found yourself staring at a piece of modern art, and thinking, quietly, "really? this is really worth a howevermany million bucks?". Are you of the school of thought that your kid could have done it?

I'm not. Usually. I got angry when this whole head-up-its-butt town I live in killed off the idea of a Keith Haring piece of sculpture because (cue the whining) "that's not art! I don't get it!". I have little patience for people that refuse to do a little research before opening their yaps. Or their minds. If you're not going to like something, at least show a little imagination and enterprise in learning something about it before you slam it. How are your kids ever going to grow beyond you if you don't?

I digress, as usual. There is an artist thoroughly yanking a gallery's chain in Massachusetts. A Swiss guy, Christoph Buchel (there are supposed to be two little do-hickeys over the 'u'), creates these massive installations, and this gallery, the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art is one of the few places big enough to display it. It contains vehicles, houses, a cinema - here's the link - and takes months to complete. The artist has upped the requirements at every turn, and exhausted their budget. They're suing him to open the exhibit without him, finally getting peeved when he added yet another request - a burned out fuselage of a 747. They should have called the set of Lost.

Some are wondering if this refusal to display isn't just another part of the artist's 'vision'. Oi, vey. This is not helping the cause much. But the museum going ahead and displaying the installation with huge tarps over everything, as they're proposing, is a pretty goofy statement in itself.

When I read about stuff like this, I want to slap the artist upside the head, and the bureaucrats who started a car with no brakes, and remind them of that old adage about a tree falling in the unpopulated woods.

Isn't the whole point to get the thing to the people?


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