Christopher Pratt (cpratt) wrote,
Christopher Pratt

Tank, check. Basketballs, check.

You'd never believe it, but not only was the Tate Modern crowded today, but much of it was inaccessible. Specifically, two workers were having a hell of a time trying to figure out how to assemble what (I think) must have been a Jeff Koons piece. They'd cordoned off an entire gallery, and off in the corner you could see an empty fish tank, three basketballs, and a metal cart with ten containers of liquid. Now, if it's formaldehyde, it's probably Damien Hirst, but if it's Koons, I don't know what it is. Grappa that's been passed by Cicciolina? New York City tap water? Whatever was in the containers, I'm sure that you had to somehow add it to the tank, and then do something with the basketballs. Now, I'm no art historian, but shouldn't most modern art come with detailed instructions for reconstruction when parts wear out? When Koons delivered his vacuum cleaners, neon tubes, and Plexiglas cases to the gallery, did he thoughtfully include spare dust filters for the vacuum cleaners? Spare neon tubes? Or did he just drop it off and say, voila, now you may deal with it? Do these people expect the eventual decay to be part of the thing itself, or do they want you to inflate the basketballs to a preordained PSI at regular intervals?

Speaking of decay, has anyone bitch-slapped Richard Serra recently? The Kroeller-Mueller Museum proudly noted that it had a Serra piece in its gardens, and lo and behold, it was yet another completely fucking ugly piece of rusting metal that had all the charm of the stench of piss in your average Greyhound station - what gives? Haven't people gotten tired of rusting pieces of metal? Has Serra ever done anything else? Sol Lewitt's tower thingy just down the path was much more interesting because I'd just spent ten minutes staring at a painting he'd done at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam just the day before... because I was so taken with the quality of his painting, I at least felt compelled to look at the shingled tower for a while, but Serra? Jesus Christ already.

If anyone would like to take on the taste of compiling a list of one-trick artists, I'd be delighted to see it. There should of course be a special section for one-trick artists who wound up being able to do other, equally impressive work later on (cf. Mike Kelly, rag dolls, and Tender Button).

  • It's July 2013.

    Remember when I wrote a lot on LiveJournal? Yeah, me neither.

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