Art Curator May Be a Genius or a Fraud

THIS GUYI am pretty much all about letting people have a good time, and hedonism, and beauty for beauty’s sake. Because isn’t life short? It sure is! (Ask David Foster Wallace. Ask, I don’t know, your Aunt Sally.) So, it is overall a great thing that there are people who are employed to bring to our attention exciting aesthetic items and ideas of interest. Except how can you tell who is a great showperson and an entertainer and an intellect, and who is just a fraud? Reading this profile of curator Massimiliano Gioni does not clear up the issue. He is a contract worker at the New Museum (which is in transition from a “feminist-created, experiment-driven kunsthalle into a baublehaus in which wealthy collectors can stash their collections”). Basically his job is to needle the staff and management of the museum on behalf of the artist Urs Fischer. He says things like “I think we should cherish things that are obscure, that are directionless, that are useless, that are complicated beyond reasonable levels. That’s the greatness of art-even in New York, where everything has a price.” Which sort of misses the point of everything. Urs Fischer makes expensive things, that have an expensive price tag, and who is installing work in a museum that has made awkward (AT BEST) concessions to issues of expense and New York. (And Gioni is, how you say, getting paid.) I guess, on the bright side, it’s refreshing to finally hear from someone who’s realized they find Marx boring!