Friday, July 28, 2006



Is it what our friend saw? Because if it is, than you saw three drunk young professionals engaging in heavy petting in the closet by the elevator.

Apparently First Fridays’ slutty reputation is perceived as an asset, not a liability by the MCA. If obnoxious drunk girls with whiney cigarette-raped voices and the noxious cocksure assholes who love them weren’t enough, the MCA’s First Fridays have color coded stickers to wear, so you know who to hit on. The lighting is also dim and there is plenty of thumping dance music, too. There might be art around too, but no one is sure.

First Fridays usually mark the opening of the monthly 12x12 shows, probably one of the best sort of programs around. Roughly each month a local emerging artist (there is no good way to word that) gets the opportunity to do a solo project in a small (12'x12') gallery on the main floor. But you wouldn’t know anything about that from this ad. It actually doesn’t even mention any art at all. But, dude, it is one wild club atmosphere.

Conversely, The Art Newspaper reports on Miguel Zugaza, Director of the Prado, and his complete disinterest in the public:
    Mr Zugaza is ambivalent about attracting huge numbers of visitors to the enlarged museum. “Nearly all the important American museums have had extensions built recently. However, I am convinced that in the not-so-distant future people will stop going to museums as much as they do now.”

    He criticised the trend for gigantic installations, saying: “This year I saw the Rachel Whiteread show (Embankment) in the Turbine Hall of Tate Modern in London which was a colossal sculptural installation. It made me think about museums as spectacle and the need to generate expectation. This is something that comes naturally to contemporary art museums but not to historical museums. It has produced a very commercial climate in museums, whereby an exhibition’s success is linked to the number of visitors. This will never be one of my aims.”
There must be a way to get the public interested and not completely give yourself up like a Christian virgin on prom night. Except the general public, as long as people have made it, has been extremely resistant to the appreciation of art and culture. After walking through art museums accompanied by the constant musical soundtrack of “that’s not art” and “I could do that” from people who still aren’t ready to accept Picasso, even though he died around the time they were born; it is nice to hear Zugaza being so dismissive and elitist.

Yay elitism!
Miguel Zugaza: 
hot enough to be a First Friday-goer,
elitist enough to be European.

This may seem a little hypocritical for Art or Idiocy?, your window to the art openings world. But there is an important distinction to make. Art or Idiocy? isn’t against parties and art , or even art-parties. We are just against LAME parties. We are also game from elitism now and again. Art or Idiocy? proudly supports heady art reviews, name dropping and use of complex descriptors in the discussion of art. The writing on here may not always be of the topest notch in the MFA in Art Theory & Criticism sense, but we salute those who do it that way. You see, we here at Art or Idiocy? are proponents of heady artspeak meeting conversational humor and shaking hands.
And then conversational humor reaches around and squeezes heady artspeak's butt.


Emilie said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Emilie said...

What takes the ad from shallow to just plain insulting is that they placed the MCA logo on her rack.

Right there. On her rack.

Nice MCA. Nice.

no-where-man said...

Art people are to self-conscious and worried about being associated with egads, Spectical! 2 party, Ps1 summer warm up & Deitch openings are the exception as they tend to draw there influence from a broader audiance then MFA grads and those with "images to protect sector"

elke said...

Hey, First of all, I would argue with your dismissal of Miguel's stand as "elitist". Maybe it is because I'm just a silly European elitist myself, but I don't want ALL art institutions to become mere circuses either. I feel he's only reiterating what Sol Lewitt, Lucy Lippard and other cerebral types have stated: That maybe museums owe their public more than cheap entertainment/ edification. Museums should also be about contemplation, discussion, and creation of new ideas; as well as a safe and accessible haven for ideas/ creations of the past. Still, when artists try to exploit museums and their general public to aim for these lofty goals, the result is usually less than great (see the "FREEDOM" show at the Hyde Park Art Center and you'll get my drift- (the other shows at that space aren't overtly political but are great and ironically say a heck of a lot more about freedom in the USA)).
In addition, there was an article about the "first Friday" kind of art museum parties recently in (of all places) the May issue of Scientific American. It reported on an event at the Milwaukee Art Museum, "Martinifest". People packed the museum for a martini party then "people threw up, passed out, were injured, got into altercations, and climbed onto sculptures". All of which is fine, just keep the art protected.

Mark Staff Brandl said...

I enjoyed this post --- and your "take" on the curator's comment. And I am both US American AND European. What bugs me about his statement is that we often hear such statements in Europe from curators --- nothin' new --- but then most of them go on to show rather typical, top o' the pops, spectacle type shows (such as Paul McCarthy, the latest shocker from Documenta, etc.) So what the hell is the point? The proof is in the pudding and such actions belie the words.

Your last couple of posts have been horrifying, but very amusing.

BP said...

ART!, Art is not supposed to please the masses, it is supposed to be art, an expression from an individuals perspective that can express it in material form. If commercialness is the goal then the actions are dictated by the idea to turn numbers and please an audience before you produce your ideas (the art itself). A tru artist's work reflects what is in their soul and what they see. If the attempt is to please the audience, then how could the reflection of "Art" be truly displayed? The true artist does and does from love, not for mass acceptance!