How to Fake an Appreciation of Art


(Video Link)


A wry look at art appreciation from Howcast, taking the form of a step-by-step guide on how to bluff your way through an art gallery conversation. Run time: 2 minutes.

Via Juxtapoz

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JamesM,

When I first read your description of the fan tethered to the ceiling and flailing about, I was thinking of an actual fan of the arts, as in fan-club aficionado. Now that would have been art. Or at least funny.
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"matt
June 9th, 2009 at 8:22 am

james - did you like anything by him (Eliasson)?"

While I found some of the setups to be incredibly elementary, the tunnel of polarized shards of glass (One Way Colour Tunnel) was nice. Two other pieces that you'll find on the MCA Chicago website look better photographed than they did in person. (Beauty (a fine mist sprinkler hanging from the ceiling with a light aimed at it) and Color Space Embracer (more polarized glass with a light aimed at it))...

If the photgraphs were printed and hung, I probably would have been more impressed with what I saw. The shots were very well composed and framed. It was funny in that way. So I tend to stand by the statement that Art is the Experience on top of what is done. But seeing the caged fan dangling from the ceiling was just so dumb that I couldn't justify it at all.

One of the other bits in the exhibit was called Mirror Doors. 4 spot lamps aimed at the floor or wall with a mirror completing the shape if you looked at it from a certain angle. One was just simply aimed at the floor.

Considering I've worked in the arts, both theater and institutions... I found a lot of the installations to be so pedestrian and insulting. Aiming a light at the floor? Come on.

Eliasson certainly, for myself, carries the distinction to have among the most "extreme" works in a single installation that I have seen: Some -really- nice setups (The Photographic series, very nice) and the most DUMB things I've ever seen (mentioned above)... So yeah. Certainly hit both ends of the scale for me.

Mind you, I'm a fan of Duchamp and his readymade works. I thought tipping a urinal over and calling it Fountain is hysterical... (Especially when you notice it's also sacrilegious, the vague shape of the Virgin Mary), but there's so much more to say about things like that and a bicycle wheel mounted to a stool than there could have been said about...

A caged fan hung from the ceiling or a spotlight aimed at the floor.
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I tend to have better results by outright saying what I think of any specific piece. Rather than faking an appreciation, pandering to someone who doesn't share your feelings about something... Well, it's a waste of time.

Case in point. MCA in Chicago. The current exhibition on the main floor has one room where a fan is tethered by a cable to the ceiling. Like an upright caged standing fan, except it has no base and hangs from a cord. It is powered on and swoops and flutters about while anchored to the ceiling.

I took a long look at it, people walking around me. Some others curiously standing in the room and pondering.

I just blurted out. "This is the stupidest fucking thing I have ever seen called art."

Two people looked upset at me, everyone else clapped.

Unfortunately... there were worse examples in the other rooms. So that ceiling fan is no longer _the_ stupidest, but among the most stupid things I've ever seen installed and called art.
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