Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

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!

18 Comments / Post A Comment

Hamilton (#122)

I have an Aunt Sally, she's 92.

saythatscool (#101)

My aunt Sally is a whore.

She is a dirty, lying whore.

Oh dear.

The initial statement of this individual probably has value (i think it does!).

And i am sure at least the artist did not start out making scads of cash. Or maybe he did! Male privilege is truly something to behold in the art world.

Anyhow! At some point, someone, maybe even me, wants to get some money for their absurd creations.

The vacuity of the market (some might even call it mindlessness) is the problem and curators the willing participants i guess? If it helps their careers?

At any rate, artists are usually the ones getting fucked in the deal.

But what do i know? I am just an arm chair socialist artist living off what the government's granted, somewhere much more socialisty.

Ps. I am too lazy to read another curator wannabe star windbag go on about himself. I am just responding to the pull quote. Which could have been said by anyone less problematic. You are probably right.

But then again, who doesn't want money??

Bless this "Cole Louison" character for writing about that DFW vid. But Jeebs! Particularly when one writes about DFW: can't you read through the 6 or so measly sentences just once to make sure they make sense and are, you know, accurate?

barnhouse (#1,326)

Or a dickwad, he could also be.

Ps. I am not defending Urs Fischer, whom requires no defense from me. Rather, i defend artists as a class who maybe want money too.

Pps. I think his work kind of sucks.

Ppps. More art content at TheAwl please. I like anonymous commenting on art that bothers me to the core.

garge (#736)

2nded, heartily.

HiredGoons (#603)

Yeah, I can dig a fucking hole.

flossy (#1,402)

Hey, you want a shiny new building on the Bowery? Well then bend over and let Jeff Koons "curate" you a selection of the art that Dakis Joannou want to unload in the near future. Hanging that stuff in the showrooms at Christie's? So gauche! When those works go to auction they need to have that New Museum Smell (TM).

Also, I've never met Fischer but I thought Calvin Tomkins made him sound like an entitled brat in that New Yorker profile and I expect that show will be failtacular.

sailor (#396)

Gioni: What an ass. As ass-ey as an Italian with pseudo-artistic pretensions can be.

And @Dorothy Mantooth. Forgive my early morning density, but I fail to detect the cause for your complaint about Cole Louison's description of DFW video.

1. "…and answering a wonky off camera voice's about grammar."
Missing a noun! "Questions," perhaps?

2. "…explaining the Latin inconsistencies of the debate between 'subsequent to' and 'before'…"
The "Latin inconsistencies" DFW describes are between "subsequent to" and "posterior to." (And really? Dude's positing that there might be a "debate" between a word & phrase THAT MEAN OPPOSITE THINGS?)

You're welcome!

sailor (#396)

As are you.

gregorg (#30)

a contract employee? is that typical? Or just typical when there are so many different hats to wear?

I'm torn! On the one hand I believe that art should be able to dream big dream big, that it should be allowed to be huge and impractical and unfettered by mundane concerns, and that anything should be possible for the artist. On the other hand I can't help thinking of all the brilliant struggling artists who haven't received this kind of recognition, whose work doesn't make these demands, who would flourish with just a tiny fraction of this kind of institutional supportâ€"

But what's really important is that this morning, somebody at the New Criterion woke up, read this article, and then shat himself.

iplaudius (#1,066)

His words leave an oily stain, but his eyebrows are earnest.

hockeymom (#143)

"People say no because they're bored."

No, Gioni, they say NO because it's a stupid idea.


Matt (#26)

Hey you know what that thing on the Rock Critical List yesterday made me realize? David Foster Wallace is so totally going to be the Lester Bangs/Robert Christgau of this generation. (LOL, whatever 'generation' means. The greatest?)

ACH! Nothing enrages me more (NOTHING, not hate crimes, poverty, algebra) than the belief that things that exist outside of popular taste are inherently valuable because they are unpopular. The same rule could be applied the other way: something is popular because it is good. Silly. THIS IS SILLY!

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