Monday, June 18, 2018

The Impotence of Make-Believe Art

Well, sort of. We’d like to call this art project borderline idiotic, but we’d hate to offend anyone who may actually like it. However, this project does make us think we should add a “Make Believe” category to this blog.

The paper of record has an article today about an artist who “steals” other artists’ works and then exhibits the stolen items as a group show. Interesting? That’s up to you to decide. Here’s what kills it for us. The show would be interesting had the artist, Adam Parker Smith, actually stolen the items and not taken them with the intent to obtain exhibition consent from his “marks.”

Ultimately, this is why projects like this — that attempt to address law — fail. It’s the old, “I want to be an outlaw but I want the law to protect me when I’m caught.” Rather than addressing the role of representation in art, projects like this (and which every undergrad art major has thought of) only serve to reify the notion that art can only serve to reflect the “world at large” rather than engage it as any other cultural or socio-political act would.

We’re also very tired of hearing the creativity lament and lame descriptions of art projects, like this one, “The fact that this project also raises messy art world questions about aesthetic ownership and influence, the division between curator and artist, and the value of nontraditional and repurposed work. And it reveals something about how artists generate ideas.” One expects more from a NY Times writer. Too bad.


Comments: 1

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  • Becky

    God! That project and the fawning, twee approach or the article makes me want to barf! Not an original or interesting idea in the least. For example, see Eva and Franco Mattes “Stolen Pieces” (not that I loved that one either.)

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