MTV’s gonna get hip again! Today, Creative Time and PS1 present the second round of MTV’s Art Breaks revival, a video series from the 80s which once featured artists like Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Richard Prince. Though you wouldn’t know it, the channel has also featured artists like Allen Ginsberg, Philip Glass, and the East Village performance icon Matthew Courtney. How the mighty have fallen.
But maybe reducing the network to pregnant teen drama was all a fifteen-year set-up for twenty-three seconds of full-throttle subversion. While none of the newer works even touch the courage of Allen Ginsberg’s 1996 political poetry video, he was beating a dead horse; you could imagine that Andrew Kuo’s altered menu-surfing video might actually surprise after an episode of The Pauly D Project.
Curators Creative Time and PS1 chose young, popular artists who’d make a good entry point for 600 million Teen Mom fans. Some, like musician-artist Cody Critcheloe, are pretty much already pop icons; others, like last-round participants Rashaad Newsome and Mickalene Thomas, are well on their way.
Others from this round’s choices started to look more clearly like art, obliging viewers to ask questions to understand. In Guido van der Verve’s video, a fountain of water shoots up next to a concert pianist, which represents the “exact volume of tears that are cried per second in the world.” Why? Art.
They’ll release all of the videos by van der Verve, Semâ Bekirovic, Divya Mehra, Cody Critcheloe, and Andrew Kuo here by the end of the day.
In the meantime, enjoy a few of the earlier Art Breaks: