Art(h)ist\’ry

the ARTistry of ARThistory occasionally done ARTfully

A Pig in a Petticoat: Artists Paint Baghdad’s Blast Walls

Posted by gninja on August 13, 2007

With combined financing from the American military, the Iraqi Government, and aid organizations, artists have been commissioned to paint murals over the concrete blast walls that have carved up the topography of Baghdad.

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(Above image from the NY Times. The BBC also has a slideshow of some photographs here.)

It happens that, in searching for some images for this post, I stumbled upon a blog that shares my point of view on these blast walls. Right down to the last paragraph on Banksy, I would just have been parroting this guy, so instead, I’ll direct traffic over to his post.

For the quick and dirty version, though, I’ll paraphrase my reaction: while art has been known to have a restorative effect on people, especially in war-torn environments and devastated areas, this beautification project has an entirely different effect and intention. It is a project sanctioned by an occupying force, aimed at mitigating the devastating impact of a hideous concrete wall running through a city. It prettifies the divisive nature of the wall with images OKed by those in charge. Those who want nothing more than a pacified and complacent populace.

For me, the most telling line in the NY Time’s article mentioned the origins of this project:

The idea grew out of a few informal daubings that appeared on barricades on the east bank of the river. It was picked up by American soldiers working with Iraqi neighborhood councils, and the program gained momentum.

Read: street artists who were using the wall for self expression had their own work usurped and reappropriated by the authorities.

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(A blast wall with graffiti. Via PBS.)

What was once a forum for dissent is now an arena for compliance. Major Anthony Judge, quoted in the Time’s article sums it up best:

We decided that they needed to be painted so that the area didn’t look like a military base with all that concrete,” he said. “We wanted it to be something that people felt comfortable with, and proud of.”

No one should ever have to be comfortable with a concrete blast wall.

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Posted in art, politics, street art, urban space | Leave a Comment »

The Intel Ad That Was Recently Pulled: From an Art Historian’s Perspective

Posted by gninja on August 11, 2007

In the words of art historian Albert Boime: art “helps shape ideas, define social attitudes, and fix stereotypes”; “images…serve as instruments of persuasion and control.”

It’s with these words in mind that I approach the Intel advertisement that was recently pulled:

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The superficial idea the ad-men were attempting to communicate through this image is that the khaki-clad man is the employee or manager, and the sprinting men (actually, a single man replicated) represents the speed of the new intel core 2 duo processor. Smug, knowing employee, proud of his new computer. And a “processor” crouched and ready to zip away at the speed of lightning.

The ad was promptly pulled “after racial backlash“.

(As an aside, what the hell is a “racial backlash” anyway? Very strange choice of words.)

Trawling through some online chatter about the removal, I was disappointed to find the same kind of response over and over and over again.

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The first response above was the most common kind I saw– accusing people of oversensitivity and rampant political correctness (a phrase which makes me want to gouge out my own eyes– since the 1990s, it’s been a key rhetorical tool of the Conservative Right, who fling the term at someone in order to halt any kind of reasonable debate. It sucker-punches a conversation about one issue into an immature squabble over semantics.)

The second response, though, was alo quite common in the forums. Contrary to what “VolleyJeff” intended with this remark, though, it brilliantly proves how accustomed Americans now are to image of superior whites and the subordinate Other. It has become utterly naturalized. And when I use the term “naturalized” I’m pointedly referring to its meaning in semiotics, or, as Daniel Chandler paraphrases from Roland Barthe’s essays in Image Music Text:

From such a perspective denotation can be seen as no more of a ‘natural’ meaning than is connotation but rather as a process of naturalization. Such a process leads to the powerful illusion that denotation is a purely literal and universal meaning which is not at all ideological, and indeed that those connotations which seem most obvious to individual interpreters are just as ‘natural’.

Getting back to VolleyJeff’s response, then. Yes, absolutely, seeing such an image with the races of its characters reversed would raise questions and perhaps eyebrows. But not because the image as it is represents the natural order of things, but rather because we have become increasingly conditioned over the years to seeing whites in a position of superiority and blacks in a position of subordination. Images have played an important role in reinforcing this notion of racial disparity.

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( Thomas Nast, “Slaves Being Emancipated”, 1863).

Note the white man in the center and the former slaves surrounding him. The white man in the foreground is the hero of the image, with the former slaves bowing their thanks to him.

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Eyre Crowe, Slaves Waiting for Sale, 1861.

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A Confederate $10 note, 1861.

(I could go on with the images, but I think these suffice.)

No, the Intel ad is not inherently racist. But it absolutely becomes racist after centuries of images insisting upon the black man’s rightful place at the feet of the white man until it’s become so naturalized that we think those images represent a natural condition.

Posted in advertising, art, barthes, semiotics | 2 Comments »

Guardian Art Critic Only Wants Confirmed Masterpieces on Show When He’s in Town

Posted by gninja on August 9, 2007

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(The museum ideal for some.)

I just can’t get away from Rudolf Stingel lately.

Writing for the Guardian UK’s arts and architecture blog, Guy Dammann expresses his scorn for the Whitney’s use of too much gallery space devoted to new exhibitions. He complains that,

When at home, it tends to be temporary exhibitions that draw me through museum gates. In foreign cities, though, where the sense of novelty is more pervasive – and the words “new” or “just-opened” consequently lose their purchase – I prefer to stick with a museum’s permanent collection

Speaking of New York’s Whitney Museum, devoted to American art:

The shame, then, is all the greater when the museum gives over so much of its space to temporary exhibitions. Covering two of the five floors, the current exhibition on 60s psychedelia – The Summer of Love – is in itself at least well worth the ticket price. But further squeezing the permanent collection onto a single floor, the enormous space wasted on Rudolf Stingel is difficult to stomach.

So, in short, Dammann wants museums 1) to cater to tourists and 2) to afford only a sliver of space to new artists while reinforcing the already prominent reputations of the old (and new) masters.

Even his final concession is a bit strange:

Of course, the changes aren’t permanent, but the imbalance betrays some seriously skewed priorities. And there are ways round the issue, as the Guggenheim, just a few blocks a way, shows. As you explore its headline exhibition, The Shapes of Space which unfolds up Frank Lloyd Wright’s glorious, but amusingly canvas-unfriendly spiral ramp, you soon realise most of the works are drawn from its permanent collection.

He knows full well that the temporary exhibitions will soon pack up and leave town and that other pieces from the permanent collection will be back on the Whitney’s walls. Which leads me to believe Dammann just wants the Hoppers, de Koonings, and Pollocks out for his spin ’round New York, then once he’s gone we NYers are welcome to have all the temporary exhibitions we like. Lovely. What an adventurous art critic.

Moreover, the comparison made between the Guggenheim’s use of a temporary exhibition that works symbiotically with the permanent collection is a fatuous one, considering that the Shapes of Space is comprised of works from the permanent collection. This kind of exhibition– a thematic one that uses material already in the possession of the museum– is entirely different from the kind of exhibition which assembles works from exterior sources. Dammann’s analogy is made even worse by the fact that not only is the Guggenheim’s show about the artists’ conception of space but about their notion of the gallery space as well. The works presented are, by and large, dependent upon their presence among other works.

Ultimately, I’m not entirely unsympathetic to his complaint. If I were in Florence, I’d like to see the holdings from the Uffizi’s permanent collection. But I’m also aware that the summer season is the season for new exhibitions. Especially here in New York. As a professional arts writer, I’d be taking my summer vacation to see these new exhibitions and to write up reviews of them. I appreciate that Dammann did not respond well to Stingel’s show. But he would have done a lot better to review the show (poorly or otherwise) than to complain that it, for the period of a few months, impedes him from getting to see some Pollocks.

Posted in art, exhibitions, exhibits, galleries, museums | Leave a Comment »

Making Sense of Marcel Duchamp

Posted by gninja on August 8, 2007

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Very neat website devoted to the works of Duchamp. It’s a great illusration of the ways in which layout and flash animations have the potential to surpass textbooks as conveyers of information. At the very least, websites like this one are well suited to the study of art history.

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New York’s Subways as (Forum for) Artvertising

Posted by gninja on August 4, 2007

I’m so sorry for the title of this post.  I can’t help myself.

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(The Shuttle train from Grand Central to Times Square, recently done up by the Westin Hotel.)

At the New York Transit Museum right now  is an exhibition on “Squire Vickers and the Subway’s Modern Age“.  I’ve not yet been to the exhibition, but it’s nevertheless a good opportunity to talk about art and the subways again— especially since husband recommended we take the S to Times Square yesterday to see its new duds.  Very, very cool.

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Not exactly the sort of work Vickers might have commissioned, or done himself:

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Throughout the 103-year history of NYC’s subway system, though, there’s been a constant effort to beautify what gets millions of us from point A to B.  Whether its come from subway designers and architects themselves, like Vickers, or from street artists, as in the ’70s and ’80s, or from advertisers, as in this case, people don’t seem to want to have to stare at blankness for their commutes.  The embellishment certainly helps us avert our eyes from others, an unlimited source of tension on these streets.

Nevertheless, though, I still felt bad about taking so well to the Westin’s ad campaign.  I thoroughly enjoyed riding in a subway carriage all dressed up as an Alpine Scene, but knowing that it was just another tactic to sell me something made me feel bad about it.  And yet, it’s not that far from Rudolf Stingel’s ‘Plan B‘, an installation of carpeting in Grand Central’s main terminal, in 2004:

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Both the ad campaign and Stingel’s art have the same effect of alienating the daily commute from its natural character, either through domesticating it (imagine yourself walking through Grand Central with carpeted floors– just the absence of clicking heels alone would be eerie) or through likening it to a form of tourism or vacationing.

And yet, and yet the whole thing is changed when I know one of those installations’ primary purpose is to sell me something.

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Not Van Gogh at the National Gallery of Victoria: Autograph, Allograph, Again

Posted by gninja on August 3, 2007

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(No longer part of the Van Gogh oeuvre. Head of a Man at the National Gallery of Victoria, in Australia.)

The NGV announced today that they would accept the findings of the Van Gogh Museum in the Netherlands and no longer ascribe Head of a Man to Vincent Van Gogh.

I do find it amusing that the newspaper went with the headline, “NGV’s ‘Van Gogh’ a Fake”, as if the artist, a contemporary of Van Gogh, had been a forger intent on deceiving audiences and buyers. Of course, we have no idea whether such was the case. We certainly have no confession from a 19th century Robert Thwaites, so it isn’t exactly fair play to call Head of a Man a ‘fake.’

Regardless, the article brought me back to thinking about Nelson Goodman (as I had been doing in my previous post) and, in general, art history’s relationship to attribution and forgeries. Possibly needless to say, art historians have always been fixated on attribution, whether such-and-such an artist created such-and-such a work. If nothing else, it lent (lends?) the discipline the scientific appearance it strove to attain from its institutionalized beginning in 1870s Germany. As, most notably, with Morelli and others, art historians collected data and ‘evidence’, compiling lists of traits and styles so as to categorize the history of the world’s art into neat and tidy schools and periods.

So, of course, in this Linnaean system getting it ‘right’ and being able to pin works to individuals and specific dates was vital to the establishment of an accepted and credible discipline.

By the 1970s and 1980s, when art history was going through a lot of changes (very energizing to the field), this kind of connoisseurship and even antiquarianism came into question. Or, at the very least, art historians no longer took for granted the importance of a work’s originality and endeavored to locate the reasons for, in a word, caring.

Nelson Goodman’s book Languages of Art tackled the question of the allograph and the autograph, which led to a series of debates on the differing values (monetary and otherwise) of an original and a forgery which cannot be told apart by the naked eye. Goodman argues that, even if we cannot tell the difference between the two, the knowledge that one is a forgery and one is an original produces an aesthetic difference which then alters our perception of the works.

I love the response of Thomas Kulka to this argument, in his article, “The Artistic and Aesthetic Status of Forgeries” (Leonardo, 1982). He calls Goodman a snob. Heh. However, beyond that, Kulka makes the insightful point that works may be judged on the basis of art-historical value and aesthetic value. While the former judges a piece of art based on its production during a precise moment in time and its effect on later history (and relationship to prior history) the latter bases its judgment purely on the aesthetic quality of the work. So, while the original and forgery may have equal aesthetic values, their art-historical values are vastly different. This argument is clear enough and by no means hard to arrive at. For my part, I think it’s a pretty good case: some works are good because of their artistic value, and other works are good because they extended beyond their frames and contemporary contexts to affect people and history.

Yet Kulka met with criticism. Goodman didn’t respond too well (Leonardo, 1982), nor did Jacques Mandelbrojt (Leonardo, 1983). Their responses insisted on the importance of authenticity, which must be discerned in the aesthetic quality of the piece.

It’s an old guard view because at risk in this argument is the reputation of the field and its foundation in the sciences. Art historians, by and large, cannot stand being told that there is no way to ‘prove’ their arguments. So they have to revert to science and scientific method. It’s all silly and has a rather immature attachment to historical positivism.

Anyway.

Returning to the NGV and their not-Van-Gogh. I’m happy that they’re still going to display the painting– it’s a confident move that declares the directors are not exclusively concerned with headlining names but also with the works themselves. But, as with my final statement in my post about Robert Thwaites, the work itself now gains currency and importance just from the debates its sparked regarding forgeries, originals, and attribution. All of which should be included somehow in the presentation of the piece. Let the audience know what they’re viewing, the recent debates about it, and push them to form their own opinions about the significance of authenticity. That’d make for a great exhibition.

Posted in art, exhibitions, exhibits, galleries, museums, portrait, semiotics | 1 Comment »

The Autograph and the Allograph: Forgeries and Re-enactments

Posted by gninja on July 30, 2007

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(Going to the Masked Ball, John Anster Fitzgerald [or a forgery by Robert Thwaites].)

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(Max Bunzel reenacting Paul Potter’s 1965 antiwar speech in Washington.)

Two unrelated items in the news today caught my eye.

The NY Time’s Art Section reports on the Port Huron Project as Giving New Life to Protests of Yore:

Mark Tribe, an artist and assistant professor of modern culture and media studies at Brown University, has organized a series of such re-enactments at sites where important speeches of the New Left originally took place, and he says his intention was precisely to create such a strange cultural and political straddle. The goal was to use the speeches not just as historical ready-mades or conceptual-art explorations of context, he said, but also maybe as a genuine form of protest, to point out with the help of art how much has changed, yet how much remains the same.

(As an aside, I’m pretty regretful that, as an undergrad, I stayed at least 10 feet away at all times from the MCM department. What a fool I was not to take advantage of that opportunity.)

From the Guardian, we read today that the notorious art forger, Robert Thwaites, is back to work, but on legitimate pieces this time:

After exposure and conviction, Thwaites, 55, went down in disgrace although even the judge hailed his “remarkably talented” work. Released on licence but under strict supervision, he is painting once more in the style of Fitzgerald. But, older, thinner and greyer, he said he now hoped to use his skills and the additional notoriety to create a legitimate career.

While the first instance is allowed the title of a work of art because it proclaims its source (which is where its status as a work of art derives– in its very repetition and recontextualization); the second incident is a crime. And rightly so, considering Thwaites willingly deceived others by passing off his own work as that of another (dead) artist. Obvious enough.

But the two unrelated items intersect at Nelson Goodman‘s distinction between the allograph and the autograph (online sources on this seem to be scare, but if you follow this link and scroll down to the highlighted bits, you’ll find a brief discussion of the allograph and the autograph). While one “piece” is allographic– that is, the piece itself can be replicated and doesn’t lose any aspect of its ‘identity’ through repetition. Goodman’s example is a piece of sheet music– Beethoven’s 9th does not require its author to play it for it to still be Beethoven’s 9th. On the other hand, painted works are autographic, valued for their uniqueness and for being the production of a particular individual (or individuals) from a distinct moment in time. Repetition (or forgeries in the case of Thwaites) negates the value of the work, no matter how utterly indistinguishable it is from the original.

Juxtaposing these two “pieces” is a neat demonstration is this distinction, but more than that I think it demonstrates how little we actually mind repetition. In fact, and I’m sure we learned this long ago from Warhol, pointed (and frank) repetition actually imbues the original with value– heaping meaning onto the piece both to serve the interests of the present as well as retroactively.

It just makes me think how much money Thwaits can make now creating”forgeries” that proclaim themselves as such.

Posted in art, semiotics | 1 Comment »

Sanitizing Our News(Racks)

Posted by gninja on July 27, 2007

(This is not a photo of a street in NY, but I like the photo):

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Over at Gothamist, they’re reporting a new competition organized to ameliorate a supposed blight on the city’s landscape. The competition is being held by the Municipal Art Society of New York, a society about which I’m rather ambivalent.

According to their website:

The streets of New York City are littered with filthy, poorly maintained and decrepit newsracks that are both eyesores and potentially hazardous to New Yorkers.

Paris, London, Berlin and Amsterdam don’t tolerate this scourge on their streets, and Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami Beach, Houston and San Francisco have cracked down on the newsrack blight too. But New York City continues to tolerate it, and we think this is outrageous!

Ridding our streets of these nasty newsracks is a dirty job, but somebody has to do it, and the Municipal Art Society needs your help. Submit your best photographs of the dirtiest, most unkempt, most repulsive newsracks in New York City to our OUTRAGE! contest and help persuade elected officials that filthy newsracks are rotting the Big Apple and that they must commit to regulating them.

I’d say you can learn a lot about this organization from the tone of this snippet alone. “Outrage”? I can think of far more outrageous things occurring on city streets. But I’ll leave the rest of the snippet-dissecting to you.

So what is this Municipal Art Society anyway? In their own words:

The Municipal Art Society of New York is a private, non-profit membership organization whose mission is to promote a more livable city. Since 1893, the MAS has worked to enrich the culture, neighborhoods and physical design of New York City. It advocates for excellence in urban design and planning, contemporary architecture, historic preservation and public art.

Their chairman is a lawyer, and their president, Kent L. Barwick, sounds more like a glorified realtor. It has its roots in the late 19th century as a group of architects and aesthetes championing the City Beautiful movement here in NY, but whose concerns broadened to include urban planning and historical preservation. (You can read a brief review of Gregory Gilmartin’s book about the MAS, Shaping the City, here.)

But for all their good works and good intentions, this current project/competition is an outright imposition of an elitist civic ideal upon the city’s topography, as well as a threat to free speech. For one, they seem to be targeting the free mags whose stand alone newsracks provide reading material and information at no cost to pedestrians. According to the contest rules:

Photos of newsrack eyesores that are also illegally placed (within 15 feet of a fire-hydrant, in a bus-stop, within 5 feet of a corner area, etc., will be given special consideration!)

I doubt any pay-per-read NY Times or NY Post racks fall under this purview.

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(This photo, by the way, comes directly from the MAS site entry for the photo competition.)

Furthermore, the city has already made repeated attempts to rid the streets of such stand-alone newsracks, or at least regulate them so stringently that they are all but prohibited from remaining. Frankly, I think the lack of prudent prioritizing here is best summed up by The Villager:

Exacerbating the problem, are the ever-vigilant community group members, marching through the tony Uptown neighborhoods, clipboards in hand, documenting the offending news racks, creating lists of complaints to send to DOT. Their mission is to save New York by removing news racks from the sidewalks. Council members who could and should focus valuable time and resources on crumbling schools, lead paint, the homeless population, and the dismal Downtown economy, are instead, working feverishly on a mission to remove the horrible blight on the landscape created by news racks.
Which brings me back to the MAS and what this all has to do with art. By categorizing this mission under the rubric of “municipal art” this society is ironically giving a nod to the valuable aesthetic presence of New York’s news boxes. For a society so concerned with the image of our streets–including, primarily, landmarked buildings and neighborhoods designated as ‘historic’- their attention to the newsracks communicates to me that these racks are contributing to the aesthetic quality, the image of New York’s streets.

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It’s just that they don’t like the image that they’re seeing.

But not only are these free mags providing an alternative view (generally) from the MSM, they’re adding color to our sidewalks, in addition to a forum for street artists.  The Village Voice news box even has a design which emulates graffiti.  These racks are just as valuable to the image of the NYC street as our bodegas, corner delis, and kiosks:

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Posted in art, graffiti, new york, newspapers, street art, urban space | Leave a Comment »

Rudolf Stingel and Having to Be There: Participation

Posted by gninja on July 26, 2007

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At the Whitney right now is an exhibition of works by Rudolf Stingel. (I have to admit–and I’m chalking this up to my being a medievalist–I’d never heard of Stingel before. But apparently, he [an import to the NY art scene from Italy] made a hit debut in 1991 with a great big orange carpet, and has been, as far as I can gather, a darling to the critics ever since.)

You can find reviews of his current Whitney exhibition here and here. In short, it’s the best exhibition I’ve been to in a long, long while. It epitomized for me why I go to a museum because it gave me what cannot be replicated elsewhere or in any other format.

From the Whitney website:

Employing such materials as rubber, carpet, painted aluminum, Styrofoam, and paint, Rudolf Stingel’s work questions and disrupts the viewer’s understanding and experience of an art object. Although Stingel’s work does not always involve paint on canvas, it continually reflects upon some of the fundamental questions concerning painting today, including authenticity, hierarchy, meaning, and context. While Stingel, who was shown in the 2006 Whitney Biennial, has created major installations for the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago and numerous other institutions, this is his first solo museum exhibition in the United States, surveying his career to date and including a new site-specific work.

Despite how much I was enamored of this show–and the experience of experiencing it– it has some shortcomings that are not so much a product of the exhibition as the result of its seductions.

The show includes several large rooms, each one devoted to between one and three works. But because of the relationship between the works and the gallery space, each room has the feeling of an installation, or I might even venture, a performance. The first room (pictured above) elicited some variation on “ooh” and “ah” from every person entering the room. It’s simply a large room with walls covered from floor to ceiling in aluminum foil panels, illuminated by a massive, somewhat low-hung chandelier glowing with soft warm light. Like entering the Tin Man’s ballroom. Unfortunately, I had approached from the stairwell, but I can imagine the effect of entering the room unaware of what would be in there would have been all the more exciting had I taken the elevator. Very theatrical.

I soon learned that the aluminum foil was actually a medium on which the museum-goers were invited to draw, place stickers and buttons or whatever else they had on hand. Some of the panels were transports from the same exhibition at the MCA, thus retaining a local flavor outside of its locale. It was a bit strange to see some shout-outs to Chicago in a museum in NY.

Clearly, this DIY aspect of the show went down well with the critics, though I thought it was the weakest part of the exhibition. Aside from the obvious criticism–that the invitation for musuem-goers to participate is gimicky– it detracted from what would otherwise have been an overwhelming experience of dislocation. Not only was the opulent and sumptuous effect of the room unexpected in the context of the Whitney museum, but it was also achieved through the use of an everyday item (aluminum foil) juxtaposed with a luxuriant lighting piece (the chandelier). The marks made by visitors, while fun, lessened the extravagant impression created by the use of these two strikingly different materials.

At the same time, Profiling, the other current exhibition at the Whitney which I discussed in a previous post reveals the shortcomings of the use of audience participation in Stingel’s show. Whereas the pieces in Profiling required the participation of museum-goers in order to communicate a very pointed and topical message (the simultaneous allurement and threat of omnipresent surveillance), the participation requested in Stingel’s exhibition lacked any sort of direction or, to be blunt about it, point. It seemed more an appeal to the increasing self-absorption of us these days, due to which it’s presumed we lack the attention span for anything not directly related to us. And rightly so. For chrissakes, each of the three headlining exhibitions at the Whitney now allow some form of participation (the Summer of Love one includes a kind of carpeted love cave in which people are allowed to cavort; picture the adult version of waiting in line for a carnival moon walk / bouncy castle, and you’ve got the right idea).

In any case, sometimes participation works and sometimes it doesn’t. In the case of Stingel’s aluminum walls, I’d say it merely amounts to a questioning of the author of a work of art.  Something which is neither new nor underdiscussed (if you’ve got access to JSTOR, just search in the art history journals for collaborative art or audience participation and art, and you’ll see what I mean).

Posted in art, exhibitions, exhibits, galleries, graffiti, museums, new york, photography, portrait | 1 Comment »

Photo Op: White House Unveils New Press Room

Posted by gninja on July 11, 2007

I realize this is more of a BAGnewsNotes kind of post, but I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to get my NY Times rant on.  This was their web page over-the-fold image for the unveiling of the new press room (polishing brass on the Titanic, aren’t they over there at the White House, eh?):

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The photo selected by a NY Times staffer is of some lady vacuuming, while an aide (or whatever kind of be-suited guy looks on, latte in hand).  I can’t decide whether this is sheer brilliance or just stupid.  If it’s the former, it portrays the current administration as a wealthy white man’s club, where African-American ladies keep things tidy.  Fair’s fair: since W wants to liken himself to our founding fathers, then this is an apt image for the role he so wants to play.  It also begs the question: where is the guy (or Snow) anyway?  Is there now, along with the new door that obstructs reporters’ view of people coming into the room, a policy against photographs while Bush is present?  I don’t know.

In any case, I’m not so sure that the individual who chose to put up this photo had these things in mind.  Or if s/he did whether the messages I think it conveys would be read by most people checking in over at the website.  People rarely linger too much over news photos, much less pick out things they communicate.  Which is why I think every kid should be taught art history in school.  Shame there’re no multiple choice tests for it, otherwise No Child Left Behind would definitely make sure it was standard curriculum material.

Did I mention BAGnewsNotes?  Go see BAGnewsNotes.

Posted in journalism, photography, politics | 1 Comment »