Tuesday, December 17, 2013

LAOKOON, ANTI-LAOKOON and ANTI-KOONS

'The time has come,' the walrus said, 'to talk of many things: 
of shoes and ships - and sealing wax - of cabbages and kings.'

The times of manning the barricades have long since past for me. I no longer hold my breath waiting for change. Hoping, against all hope, perhaps, but I have no illusion that pissing against the wind will change the course of the Titanic. 
From time to time, articles such as "Successor states to an empire in free fall" appear that would promise a glimmer of hope:
"I believe that something different really is happening in today's cultural jungle. Something is stirring that hasn't been seen for 30 years. New theories are emerging with strange and wonderful names that aim to describe in detail a culture and society they say are found on the far side of postmodernism." - Alan Kirby -
but alas, the triumphant proclamation:
Postmodernism is dead. Wail and rend your clothes. Postmodernism is dead. The tyrant is vanquished! 
was probably a little premature. Like I said, don't hold your breath! From time to time, I might indulge in the occasional rant, such as in my post About "Modern Art" and its excesses or I may also pass on some observations such as I'm sick of pretending: I don't get Art - but.... refer to my Titanic quote above.

However, I cannot help throwing the occasional firecracker, little barbs that I am well aware of won't change the course of history one iota, but doing so is catharsis - it makes me feel better (hopefully, it makes you feel better also, that's the whole point).   Jeff Koons could probably care less about what I write, nor would he even know who the hell I am or why he should even care. But I do want to say right here that I find him to be a very engaging and likable individual, and I enjoyed the way he talked about his art.

Lets get to the point, after all this preliminary banter:

 LAOKOON, ANTI-LAOKOON and ANTI-KOONS

Nothing on the conceptual art scene today really surprises me: during my student days (77-82) I was involved with our student newspaper. I wrote critiques, also for our local newspaper and a few times for a national art magazine. Hence my signature "Self-portrait with the Critical Eye" from that period where I tried, tongue in cheek, to show the conflict between being an artist and a critic at the same time.


When I say nothing surprises me: I contributed on several occasions conceptual ideas to our spin-off paper that came out irregularly during carnival and at April Fools Day. It was called "The McLiarist". A few of these conceptual head-slappers I now recognize in contemporary con-art - could it be that somehow they read yellowed copies of this rather obscure (fake) student paper from way back when? Or was I simply clairvoyant?

Laocoön and His Sons
Ernst Fuchs - The Anti-Laokoon, 1965


So now, in the same spirit I hereby conceptualize the following (no need to actually make the object): As in the sixties the Vienna School had reacted to Lessing's Laokoon and particularly Ernst Fuchs had created his monumental work "The Anti-Laokoon" (from his period 1960 to 1970); the first artwork that Jeff Koons sold to a collector (for $ 3.000.-) was a basketball in a fish tank.

Three Ball Total Equilibrium Tank by Jeff Koons, 1985

I therefore propose the 
"Anti-Koons
being  imaginary basketballs turned inside-out and filling the space of an otherwise empty gallery.

Open Cube Group Show at White Cube Mason's Yard

But unlike the space above, which is derived (or better said: "derivative") of Brian O'Doherty's "Inside the White Cube", this gallery space is not empty, but filled to the brim with imaginary inverted basket balls.

Now if I could just get an interested collector to buy this for hmmmm, let's say 48 Million Dollars 



There are many that say they have a problem with contemporary art: they don't understand it.
I also have a problem with contemporary art: I do understand it.
That makes it so much more painful.

About "artspeak" and the new "tribal jargon" of the artworld:
International Art English

recommended - test "artspeak" text here:
BlaBla Meter - Bullshit Detection Tool




Last, but not least, I would like to share a bit of humor:

How to Succeed in Contemporary Art Without Really Trying
(Note: the above link does not work anymore - Vocativ.com must have deleted it. But after some diligent search, I found a smart blogger who did not link, but copied the whole thing for posterity - here it is, in the blog of   
http://orwellwasright.co.uk/2014/01/02/how-to-succeed-in-contemporary-art-without-really-trying/

Grab a big armload of shit out of a Goodwill donation dumpster and paper-mache it all together like a disturbed child. If you can’t find a pink sweatshirt, just toss in a dirty rag or whatever junk is closest, like a fast-food wrapper. But not your beret—you’re going to need that. You’re an artist now. 
I laughed so hard, tears were streaming down my cheeks. Then I really cried ............


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