Saturday, October 18, 2008

Enough with the Found Art………

This oversubscribed genre of art finally earned my ire today. I was at the Frieze Art Fair, an annual event hosted by Frieze magazine in Regent's Park. It features around 150 contemporary art galleries from all over the world. The organization and variety of modern art is fantastic and I thought the installations below were cool.

But back to my original rant on the dilution of modern art by two subversive genres!

It was OK when Marcel Duchamp took a urinal, stood it on its head and called it art. And, even when Tracey Emin displayed her unmade bed with sweat and blood stained sheets (go figure!), one could say "metaphor for shock and awe", but a new generation of rag-tag, slacker, dumpster-diving artists is taking way too many liberties, and I protest! In the context of a staid art gallery a "found art" installation serves to stimulate and jar one's senses. In moderation, soggy rolls of toilet paper, bits of chicken wire, used bottle-caps and piles of used shoes juxtaposed against a clean-cut context and surrounded by a few post-modern masters is actually cool. But, for the first time today at Frieze, I was confronted en masse by the proliferation of found and trash art - aisles and aisles of it, which would make hobos feel at home.

A few messages for these artists:
  • Found art is so 1998 and passe
  • Bondage and kink have ceased to be art forms and are back in the porn genre
  • Collage is an admirable art form, especially if you are five
  • "Used Kleenex and Hypodermic Needles" is NOT a mixed medium
  • Yes, we are aware that we are a post-post-modern wasteful society and materialistic consumption has left us soul-less
  • And, we are generation blasé who cannot be jarred from our jaded fugue by your assortment of bodkins and candy wrappers
In short, quit your lazy art and try harder!

The other genre of art that's past its peak is "refrigerator magnet poetry art", akin to when you make stubby sentences on your fridge using a small selection of words printed on magnets. You've probably seen its artistic equivalent at a museum too - typically a large canvas washed with primary or solid colors, with random 'pop'py angst-filled words scrawled on it to form a terrible haiku-like inscription like,

"Paradoxical Rage Flagellation Yerba-Matte

Tea and Sympathy Yellow Submarine Obnoxious Ocean

Latte Kicking Screaming Gucci Little Piggy Die Corporate Bastard!"

Here is an example,

And another, which is arguably a cut-above the rest. It's an assortment of text messages that the artist had received. Enjoy!

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