OUR COLUMNIST BAMBALL SAYS THAT THE WAY TO COUNTERBALANCE THE BANALITY OF THE CONTEMPORARY ART WORLD MIGHT NEED TO COME FROM A COMEDIC POINT OF VIEW:
‘He said ArtNet “has been approached by financial organisations regarding arts investment despite the majority of the art funds collapsing back in 2009.
“The credit crunch seems to have made little impact and the auctions that suffered in the two years post-credit crunch are not feeling the comparative ill effects now.”
It’s like the art world speaks with an investment banker’s vocabulary, and all these well-pedigreed curators and gallerists are so caught up in that world, that is more important now to have an MBA than an MFA, and even more importantly, the answer to “what is Beauty?” is “market share, of course, you infidel. What are you, some kind of hippie artist to even ask such a question?”
“Beauty” is always a charged word in these conceptualist days, but at least it’s about a value that isn’t as much about status as it is about aesthetics. I say it’s time for a new anarchic absurdist movement, like Dada, something to literally make fools out of these folks. Some sort of insurgent art movement to rise from below, that will drive donkey carts past these cuff-linked fools in their Maseratis, sitting at the side of the road with their empty gas tanks. Get some underground studio to mass produce plastic knockoffs of the top sellers, and arrange for flea markets across continents to sell them. Mass produce paint by numbers and Do-It-Yourself kits and how-to books on creating your own Jeff Koons masterpieces. Figure out absurdist ways to mock these purveyors of contemporary culture that when they see, well, frankly they won’t get it, but hopefully more important people will, people who are truly looking for art and art’s true ability to inspire and inform- not investment potential. The market would get so loaded with crap so the highest snootiest gallery would look worse than your local KMart, or the toy aisle at Tesco. Stand outside the museum’s and galleries hawking well built papier mache replicas of the works inside. Write books rewriting the history of western art and civilization, with “AD” now referring to “After Damien”, clearly mocking the contemporary state of this mess. Mock them and make them truly part of the mass-produced consumer culture they love to anti-emulate in their anti-artist anti-statements. If they are forced to become the culture instead of just standing above and saying they are conceptually representing the culture, then–they will lose their power.
This rant makes me want to mix up some wheat paste. I feel a new manifesto emerging’