Sunday, November 28, 2004

"The vast majority of people here cross their fingers for a sudden explosion, or pray for American successes in Iraq and Afghanistan to increase the price of suppression by the theocracy in Iran."

With all due respect to Farouz Farzami (and Laura Rozen), that last sentence is just stupid.

In an hour or so I'll go out into the rain and in and out of the subway to spend a few hours helping to close down the remains of what was in fact the first gallery to move into Chelsea, so I suppose that among other reasons gives me the right to make a brief comment about Roberta Smith's absurd defense of the place, and of the NY scene in general.

The arts document the perceptions of the middle class as abetted by the money of its wealthy cousins. I understand that no more or less than Jeff Wall, T.J. Clark or Larry Gagosian. In Tehran or Kiev, or for that matter, Paris and Mexico City, the middle classes speak in order to describe and define themselves, to varying degrees out of a sense of necessity [the question of their media of choice is for another day] But what has Chelsea to say about the current state of bourgeois culture in the United States? Roberta Smith has wasted yet another opportunity to stand for something, even for style as a value or cynicism as morality. Her passivity is more corrupt than a collector's greed. It's the passivity of the fear of politics, even of the sort that defends the rights and privileges of her own kind. It's no wonder Bush is in the White House.

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