Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Fucking Idiot Critiques Hurricane,
Gives it Good Review

HURRICANE KATRINA


Artforum, whose contributors frequently include fucking idiots, has released its “Best of 2005” issue. The art world ad section has asked “leading critics and curators to remember ten high points of the year.” John Kelsey named Hurricane Katrina as number one. Kelsey has this to say:
    HURRICANE KATRINA Ask Stockhausen. As if timed for the opening of the Whitney's Robert Smithson retrospective, this was arguably less a natural disaster than a case of Land art gone horribly wrong. An environmental and political tragedy of Spielbergian proportions, Katrina produced images of the sort of "naked life" we'd previously only identified with non-sites like Iraq. The drowned ghetto, the shooting of homeless looters, the police suicides, the forced evacuations, the superdomes filled with refugees–these are visions we can only try to erase. For some reason it was impossible not to imagine the hurricane as a terrorist act. And I guess it was–Made in USA.

He added that Katrina is right up there with the architectural deconstruction of 9/11 and the social sculpture of the Holocaust.

Katrina Victim
One of those lucky enough to experience the hurricane that was "less a natural disaster than a case of Land art gone horribly wrong" first hand.


FEMA has asked Kelsey to deliver a lecture on his theories to the people of New Orleans entitled, “I Am A Fucking Idiot, and I Have No Respect For Human Suffering: You Aren’t People to Me, You Are Just Pieces of an Imaginary Artwork.” As a lead in to his talk, Kelsey plans to play Led Zeppelin’s “When the Levy Breaks.”

3 comments:

laura said...

HOLY FUCK.

It's gotta be weird to only see things that way.

Dan said...

That certainly is quite knowingly provocative (right from the word go).

While it's difficult to tell based on just one of his entries, I do wonder if the references to 'the disaster as art' aren't meant as a bit of anti-art satire. The reference to Iraq as a "non-site" seems rather tongue-in-cheek to me.

Given Kelsey's involvement in the Bernadette Corporation (whose profile seems a pretty good fit with your standard anti-corporate/anti-globo, culture-jamming art collaborative) I'm willing to entertain the thought. Masked satire and dry burlesque are kinda those types' stock in trade.

Nonetheless, political anti-art posturing always seems an awkward fit with a writing gig in Artforum.

Dan said...

For what it's worth, the rest of Kelsey's list:

2) Riot the Bar, by Ei Arakawa ("A sort of antimonument to the Stonewall riots of 1969...")

3) Poor Theater

4) The Readymade Artist, by Paris collective Claire Fontaine ("...Overexposed, inflated, instrumentalized beyond recognition, imposters in our own styles, miraculously outlasting our own purpose, as readymade artists we can begin to surpass our shared incompetence only by confronting the fact that contemporary art is no longer destined to act directly on reality.")

5) My Life In Cia: A Chronicle Of 1973

6) Galerie Meerrettich

7) Jacqueline Humphries, Black Light Paintings

8) The Accident of Art ("...Virilio claims that if contemporary art continues to deny the missing ground beneath its feet it will soon be past the point of producing anything worthwhile. Lotringer believes the crash has already happened, saying that art's proliferating market is nothing but camouflage for is own postmortem condition...")

9) War of the Worlds ("9/11 revisisted as multimilliondollar B movie, embodied by unstoppable acting-machine Tom Cruise.")

10) Cocaine Kate ("Destroy your favorite celebrity with a cell phone.")

(I would imagine #9 seals the deal for you.)