Thursday, January 04, 2007

The Most Audacious Art

New Yorker art critic Peter Schjeldahl on the recent art fair Art Basel Miami Beach:
Not only is there no leading style; there is no noticeable friction between one style and another. These impressions might fade if you focussed on any particular work, but fairs destroy focus. Thousands of works coexisted cozily in Miami, sharing a pluralism of the salable. Talent counts; ideas are immaterial. Exactly one work drew raves from art people who still crave audacity: the New York dealer Gavin Brown left his large space almost bare but for a crumpled cigarette pack (Camels, perhaps to evoke the Middle East), which, attached by a fishing line to an apparatus high overhead, slowly and hypnotically flew above or skittered along the floor. Conceived by the Swiss artist Urs Fischer, this squandering of prime showroom real estate on the trashed container of an addictive product was a smart insult to the occasion, though an awfully mild one. (The piece sold for a hundred and sixty thousand dollars.) A decade ago, much new art was eyebrow-deep in critical theory. Now it seems as carefree as a summertime school-boy, while far better dressed.
[The emphasis is mine.] Now, as shocking as this sounds, I've actually recreated this piece of art in my own home. I put my own twist on it, opting for twine rather than fishing line. And I personalized it: The partial pack of Camels is the last I ever bought as a smoker, back in November of 1997. Thank god I'd saved it. The image you see here is of the art in action. You can see the real sense of movement the photo of it moving gives. You know what I mean?

I'm willing to part with this for a fraction of what New York art dealer Gavin Brown charged for the Urs Fischer piece. I can let this piece of art history go for $10,600. Not convinced? Look again. Here's the piece at rest:For the aspiring collectors out there, I've a special offer. For just $106 you can own a video on a hand-lettered Cd-ROM of the art in action. It's nearly five minutes long.



Blogger Screaming Annie said...

Seriously, I am wiping tears off of my cheeks.
Art is supposed to move the audience.
Consider me moved.
I can't believe that you smoked camel reds.
How could I have forgotten that?

12:59 PM  

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