Massive Links! Activism and Canons Edition

by Paddy Johnson on April 11, 2011 · 1 comment Massive Links

Cory Arcangel, Photoshop CS: 84 by 66 inches, 300 DPI, RGB, square pixels, default gradient “Spectrum”, mousedown y=22100 x=14050, mouseup y=19700 x=1800, 2010, from the series Photoshop Gradient Demonstrations, 2008— . Chromogenic print, 84 × 66 in. (213.4 × 167.6 cm). Collection of Scott Hoffman; courtesy Team Gallery

I gave a lecture at Detroit’s Wayne State University last week so today I play catch up. A few relevant links with the usual commentary.

  • Maureen Dowd is furious with Bob Dylan because he let the Chinese government pre-approve his set. Officials asked him not to perform some of his protest songs and according to Dowd the one-time activist is a sellout for agreeing. He’s also a sellout for not speaking out against the Chinese government for holding artists such as Ai Weiwei hostage. Lay off. If, as an artist, Dylan is no longer interested in his activist roots (and he says he’s not), that’s his prerogative. Who is Dowd to tell artists what they should and shouldn’t be doing? Anyway, apparently he’s only drawing in small- to mid-sized crowds.
  • We’ve been tweeting about Bravo’s rumored Gallery Girl reality series since early February — our own Corinna Kirsch was approached by a casting agent — but Bravo finally confirmed the rumors last week. Hyperallergic immediately reported complaints that the show rips off Mary Blakemore’s webcomic by the same name. Is the concept too similar? Bravo will follow the lives of six young, 20-something women that work in New York City's art galleries. Can they survive the business? What will their love life look like? I’d argue that the concept is common enough that theft could be hard to prove — I tabled a relatively similar idea many years ago and nobody contacted me either. Still, that the names of the comic and the show are the same doesn’t reflect well on Bravo or Magical Elves and that’s bad news for them. It’s not like everyone in the field doesn’t already think they are at least a little evil.
  • This week in link bait The Village Voice’s R.C. Baker claims Lichtenstein is the most overrated artist of the 20th century. Meh. I’d give that award to Pablo Picasso but then he wouldn’t fit the Voice’s cartoon themed issue.
  • A New York Times feature on Woody the Woodpecker tells a story of hidden Modern Art. According to Tom Klein, an animation professor at Loyola Marymount University, animator Shamus Culhane was influenced by avant garde film and fine art. I take issue with the thesis of this article — that within these cells exists “genuine art” whereas the rest of it was just animation — but it’s good to see the influences discussed regardless. “Maybe they were seeing their first glimpse of modern art.” Klein remarks in the closing of the article. Glimpse is right; the longest clip influenced by the like was only 7 seconds. That’s half as long as the average view time for the Mona Lisa.

{ 1 comment }

Santina Amato April 12, 2011 at 5:54 am

Hi Paddy,

I have been horrified by the situation with Ai Weiwei and have decided to do something about it. it may be a small gesture but I am hoping it could become huge and make a massive impact. I have created an event on Facebook asking people to change their profile picture to a picture of the artist until he is released. Here is the link;!/event.php?eid=146916148709704

Please forward this one to everyone you know and lets make this BIG! i think Ai Weiwei would approve of this as it is our way of showing we will not tolerate restrictions on expression of freedom.


Santina Amato

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