I was asked to conjure up some picks on ArtSlant. “Oh boy, this will be fun!” I thought. I proceeded to think of what I was going to "pick" all week. Then was sitting with my computer at my friend’s house waiting for the Labor Day party to start. “Son of a bitch, I don't even know what to say. Do I even need to say why I picked stuff? Just go see this shit. Well, I have to write something. Why does everyone always do 'picks' anyway? What's the compulsion to make lists? God dammit, why did I pick all these things?” Not surprisingly, I sound like an idiot. Even though I completely stand behind my selections, I sound like an idiot. Well, I guess mainly just right here:
“The MCA has strong holdings of Minimalism, up through Post-Minimal, conceptual and all the way up to the contemporary. Carl Andre, Richard Serra, Vito Acconci, Chris Burden, Bruce Nauman, Gabriel Orozco, Liam Gillick and Aernout Mik among others. Organized on the theme of work that confronts and relies on its audience.”Of course it has all that shit, it’s a contemporary art museum! Those last two things aren't even technically sentences. I was trying to explain the fact that I find it impressive that the MCA has such a strong collection of seriously boring art. I love seriously boring art. It’s the basis of almost all contemporary art that isn’t based on Pop Art (which gets your attention very quickly but then becomes very boring) or based on blindly carrying on as though the last 50 years didn’t happen. 60 years now that it’s 2010. Or as those motherfuckers that want to sound futuristic and olde-timey at the same time say, "twenty-ten."
I think my brain just gave up. You can only read so many press releases that explain what the art is going to do to you when you see it. Or what kind of questions the artist is asking. All you can think is, “No! Art can’t do that! How the fuck does it do that? You’re just telling me it’s doing that. This artist isn’t challenging shit!” That’s why I like Liam Gillick so much. There was no better moment than seeing his colorful metallic cages–“screens” they’re called–in the MCA with wall texts saying they were about some South American university’s research into the production of cars in Northern Europe. “Are you serious? It’s a brightly colored playpen. What does this have to do with that stuff you’re talking about on the wall? Oh, shit. Now I’m thinking. No one said anything about me having to compare and contrast.” But that was point. Or for me it was.
Seriously boring art is the best kind of art, it makes you think about stuff in ways you don’t want to, but probably should. And if you give it time, it ends up being the best kind of stuff to think about. Ideally, you can’t help yourself. It nags you; I guess that makes it seriously irritating art.
But this isn’t something you want to think about at an art opening. Certainly not on the big opening night of the season. Which is really just like Halloween for a very specific segment of the population. If you aren’t there to buy or sell the art, which most people aren’t, you certainly aren’t there to wonder aloud, “Do you think that ideas are like viruses that enter our brains only for us to spread them to more brains and that this is really the only true mode of production in this day and age?” No, you’re there to drink and smoke and fuck. At least I am. It’s a battle of the wills. I actually have been thinking about ideas in that way, mainly because of a book that I can’t decide if I agree with. But I also know its Friday night and that everyone else, fucking “normal” people, just go out to be social and have fun. And going out to meet people and have a good time sure beats thinking about stuff.
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