VOLTA PRESENTS: Pizza City!

by Art Fag City on June 17, 2009 · 14 comments Events

art fag city, contemporary, art, pizza
Bruce High Quality Foundation, Pizzatopia, CueTo Project, NY, VOLTA

Brought to you by the same kids who chased after the Robert Smithson floating island with a minature copy of Jean-Claude and Christo’s gates, this giant Pizzatopia provides a surface critique of commerce, public space, and art.  Given that we’re looking at a cityscape on top of a pizza, it’s probably not too much of a stretch to interpret the sculpture as an intentional mocking of the commercial market through sheer awfulness.  But whatever critical punch it had gets lost in the context of an art fair.  Past being virtually indistinguishable from other earnestly conceived work, the group’s celebrating-the-fall-of-the-art-market seems a little disingenuous while it attempts to profit from a major spoke in its wheel.  But in the face of a good joke, perhaps some of that is forgivable.  After all, by the looks of it, Pizzatopia can be sold as a pie or by the slice.  I’m still pretty sure it’s not a great piece, but at least it provides a little viewer entertainment.


Bruce High Quality Foundation, Pizzatopia (detail), CueTo Project, NY, VOLTA

Related: James Wagner on BHQF

  • http://www.thebrucehighqualityfoundation.com The Bruce High Quality Foundat

    Dear Art Fag City,

    We at The Bruce High Quality Foundation have to take issue with a few of your remarks here.

    Firstly, your statement “whatever critical punch it had gets lost in the context of an art fair” doesn’t make any sense. As we examined in our 2007 film “L’eau de Vie” (shot on location during Art Basel Miami Beach), it’s well worth the effort taking the criticism where it may in fact be relevant.

    Secondly, your accusation that we are acting disingenuously assumes that we must share the intentions of the fair in order to participate.While it is true that we are being complicit with the fair’s commercial interest by exhibiting, that is not our purpose. Our purpose has been only to make the work we feel needs making, and to show it where we think it does its job. When we have sold work, all the money has gone toward making more work. We’re not blowing it on whores and coke, or to go to Basel to take pictures for our blog.

  • http://www.thebrucehighqualityfoundation.com The Bruce High Quality Foundation

    Dear Art Fag City,

    We at The Bruce High Quality Foundation have to take issue with a few of your remarks here.

    Firstly, your statement “whatever critical punch it had gets lost in the context of an art fair” doesn’t make any sense. As we examined in our 2007 film “L’eau de Vie” (shot on location during Art Basel Miami Beach), it’s well worth the effort taking the criticism where it may in fact be relevant.

    Secondly, your accusation that we are acting disingenuously assumes that we must share the intentions of the fair in order to participate.While it is true that we are being complicit with the fair’s commercial interest by exhibiting, that is not our purpose. Our purpose has been only to make the work we feel needs making, and to show it where we think it does its job. When we have sold work, all the money has gone toward making more work. We’re not blowing it on whores and coke, or to go to Basel to take pictures for our blog.

  • Joe

    bruhquafou, I really wish you had vehemently disagreed. taking issue? amateur.

  • Joe

    bruhquafou, I really wish you had vehemently disagreed. taking issue? amateur.

  • Art Fag City

    Hey guys,

    I think your work is great, but I will remind viewers that pizzatopia was placed directly across from a hanging bread basket/knife and spoon piece, a sculpture with red enameled Buddha wearing a head set, and a pink baby head. A fair simply doesn’t provide enough context for the viewer to get the piece’s critical edge. Not only do I not believe I’m wrong on this point, but I don’t see why you would want to argue otherwise.

    As for acting disingenuously, while what gets done with the sale proceeds is not evident, you make a good point. Duly noted.

  • Art Fag City

    Hey guys,

    I think your work is great, but I will remind viewers that pizzatopia was placed directly across from a hanging bread basket/knife and spoon piece, a sculpture with red enameled Buddha wearing a head set, and a pink baby head. A fair simply doesn’t provide enough context for the viewer to get the piece’s critical edge. Not only do I not believe I’m wrong on this point, but I don’t see why you would want to argue otherwise.

    As for acting disingenuously, while what gets done with the sale proceeds is not evident, you make a good point. Duly noted.

  • Art Fag City

    Hey guys,

    I think your work is great, but I will remind viewers that pizzatopia was placed directly across from a hanging bread basket/knife and spoon piece, a sculpture with red enameled Buddha wearing a head set, and a pink baby head. A fair simply doesn’t provide enough context for the viewer to get the piece’s critical edge. Not only do I not believe I’m wrong on this point, but I don’t see why you would want to argue otherwise.

    As for acting disingenuously, while what gets done with the sale proceeds is not evident, you make a good point. Duly noted.

  • http://www.thebrucehighqualityfoundation.com The Bruce High Quality Foundat

    In simpler, happier times, people referred to group shows as mass graves. Fairs have certainly managed to up the ante on poor exhibition practice. That much we completely agree with. And we also don’t mind you calling out what you feel to be a less than successful showing of our work (It’s actually much appreciated because it helps us clarify our concerns). What we were disagreeing with (vehemently, we suppose) was your generalization that market critical work can’t function in a fair. We believe it can, and that it’s a goal worth striving for. That’s not to say pizzatopia was doing itself justice in the fair. It probably wasn’t. It’s just to say that we should not accept that the fair’s context eliminates the possibility of criticality. If that were the case, jokes would never work, and we’d have nothing to do down in the pit.

  • http://www.thebrucehighqualityfoundation.com The Bruce High Quality Foundation

    In simpler, happier times, people referred to group shows as mass graves. Fairs have certainly managed to up the ante on poor exhibition practice. That much we completely agree with. And we also don’t mind you calling out what you feel to be a less than successful showing of our work (It’s actually much appreciated because it helps us clarify our concerns). What we were disagreeing with (vehemently, we suppose) was your generalization that market critical work can’t function in a fair. We believe it can, and that it’s a goal worth striving for. That’s not to say pizzatopia was doing itself justice in the fair. It probably wasn’t. It’s just to say that we should not accept that the fair’s context eliminates the possibility of criticality. If that were the case, jokes would never work, and we’d have nothing to do down in the pit.

  • RJOGA

    I guess it would also depend on what the depth of your concept of critical function is. Within the discursive vacuum of an art shopping mall what is the function of a joke? Especially a joke with a price tag? But it seems it was duly noted that the fair was probably not the best place for the work. What would be a better setting for it? Whose laugh would matter more? How does one criticize commerce with satirical symbols? Its clear that appeals to the irrational are no way out either. An art strike rather than the imaging of a “rent strike”? Who knows? But I would think that true criticism might actually lie in the creation of new concepts. A happy refusal to play.

  • RJOGA

    I guess it would also depend on what the depth of your concept of critical function is. Within the discursive vacuum of an art shopping mall what is the function of a joke? Especially a joke with a price tag? But it seems it was duly noted that the fair was probably not the best place for the work. What would be a better setting for it? Whose laugh would matter more? How does one criticize commerce with satirical symbols? Its clear that appeals to the irrational are no way out either. An art strike rather than the imaging of a “rent strike”? Who knows? But I would think that true criticism might actually lie in the creation of new concepts. A happy refusal to play.

  • Diane

    Whose laugh would matter more? I think what they are driving at with all the “grave” talk is that “we’re all in this together,” bound up by our inhumanity. To be critical can simply mean to be frought – to be in crisis. The suggestion that refusing to create art is somehow a solution to anything is bogus posturing born of a tired modernist obsession with endgames and the avant-garde.

  • Diane

    Whose laugh would matter more? I think what they are driving at with all the “grave” talk is that “we’re all in this together,” bound up by our inhumanity. To be critical can simply mean to be frought – to be in crisis. The suggestion that refusing to create art is somehow a solution to anything is bogus posturing born of a tired modernist obsession with endgames and the avant-garde.

  • Diane

    Whose laugh would matter more? I think what they are driving at with all the “grave” talk is that “we’re all in this together,” bound up by our inhumanity. To be critical can simply mean to be frought – to be in crisis. The suggestion that refusing to create art is somehow a solution to anything is bogus posturing born of a tired modernist obsession with endgames and the avant-garde.

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