Monday, January 16, 2012

Ai Weiwei and Philippe Starck

In re: discussion of Damien Hirst at Art Market Monitor. My comment there and below. [years later all comments are gone] 
“Art World Hates Hirst’s Spots, Everyone Else Loves Them”
Show me the market model that describes where this leads? He makes objects, not movies. How many t-shirts and coffee mugs can he sell? He’s at the economic center of franchised one ring circus, but he’s not Prince or even Lady Gaga. Warhol’s work has always taken precedence over his persona: Warholism is a sideshow. Ai Weiwei’s model is Philippe Starck, What’s next for Hirst?

The shows are a brilliant move, and the prizes for those who see all of them top it nicely, but he’s the leader of a party game at a party for a tiny number of people, a few of whom at least think they’re part of something historically “important”. He’ll die rich, and he’ll last; whether his artwork will is another question.
He'll last as showmen do: as a character.

Roberta Smith in The Times.
While acknowledging the focus on spectacle, she tries to turn the discussion and the work back towards something she's more comfortable with, but in trying to defend formalism and the Modern tradition she's left with nothing more than the various levels of craftsmanship of the assistants, and design.

LA Times
Asghar Farhadi's domestic drama 'A Separation' won the best foreign language film award at the 69th Golden Globes on Sunday.
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association [now but still up at PBS and Juan Cole]
"Statement signed by scholars, academicians, journalists, and activists condemning murder of Iranian Technical and Scientific Experts"
...These types of killings have to stop, not only because they harm a nation's scientific community and its civilians, but also because they build a deep psychological scar on the nation's public mind prompting it to ask for revenge in kind. We hope we are living in a better world than that. Killing innocent or even allegedly guilty people without consideration for their human rights and due process, by any force or government anywhere and anytime, is an outrageous act to be protested by all. If covert targeted assassinations of opponents become the order of the day, no one will be safe in this world.

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