Wednesday, March 18, 2015

A-temporality and pseudomorphism

It cost $25 per person to walk into the Museum of Modern Art in NYC - wonderful building & garden with great food (additional cost) right in the middle of Manhattan - belly of the beast you might say - and some godawful art. It's not a blanket criticism, I've seen some wonderful stuff there, but I've also seen a number of "special exhibits" that boggle the mind in their campy, inside-joke, banality. Asking patrons to pull out a C-note for a group of 4 to examine this crap is hilarious I'm sure to the curator and the creator alike, but there is something unethical about it to my lights. In fairness MOMA claims that each visitor actually costs them $50+ (that's 2007 dollars) and with the QE 1, 2 and 3 there's bound to be inflation so you could say $25 is a bargain - I'm sure that's what the Museum brass tell themselves when (if) they ever think about it.

Fortunately, MOMA has a website which provides the penny-wise art lover a preview of what's installed behind the walls on W. 53rd Street. On tap this month is Forever Now - Art (or rather "cultural product" as MOMA calls it) that "doesn’t represent, through style, through content, or through medium, the time from which it comes." Timeless art, in other words, that captures the spirit of the age by eliminating any of the traditional measures. Take a look:

Laura Hoptman has a lot of explaining to do

  • Organized by Laura Hoptman, Curator, with Margaret Ewing, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Painting and Sculpture.
  • Major support for the exhibition is provided by The Jill and Peter Kraus Endowed Fund for Contemporary Exhibitions.
  • Additional funding is provided by the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Foundation, The Contemporary Arts Council of The Museum of Modern Art, The Junior Associates of The Museum of Modern Art, David Shuman, Craig and Lynn Jacobson, Ronald Marks, and the MoMA Annual Exhibition Fund.
  • Special thanks to the Aishti Foundation, Beirut.
The Aïshti Foundation? A we talking about Aïshti, a word that has become synonymous with ultimate luxury in Lebanon? The Aïshti with a full-fledged spa and hair salon operating inside the Aïshti store in Downtown Beirut? The creators of the glossy, glamorous lifestyle publication, Aïshti Magazine? That Aïshti? If so, it should be Aïshti itself represented in the MOMA exhibit hall for of Aïshti it can truly be said:
"Their work represents traditional painting, in the sense that each artist engages with painting’s traditions, testing and ultimately reshaping historical strategies like appropriation and bricolage and reframing more metaphysical, high-stakes questions surrounding notions of originality, subjectivity, and spiritual transcendence."

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