“When I hear people like W.A.G.E. group wanting [artists] to get paid, I’m like, ‘Oh, that’s nice. But what planet do you live on?’”
Those were some of the contentious words artist and MLK visiting professor at MIT Coco Fusco chose to introduce her hour-long talk at Momenta Art earlier this month. The talk, “Creative Extraction: Why are Art Schools at the Vanguard of Unreasonable Debt Burdens?”, was part of a program offered by Occupy Museums that relates to their exhibition and upcoming conference on The Artist as Debtor. It centered around the idea that higher education is a debt trap. Rather than trying to fix the current labor situation, like W.A.G.E., Fusco believes in addressing the root of the problem: art schools and high MFA costs.
“Every day is International AIDS Day,” AA Bronson tweeted during a recent week of AIDS-related memorial and art events. Depending on the reader, the tweet could be interpreted as a show of solidarity, or a dig at the nature of tragedy memorials. Typically these things do less to “remind” us of the event, than they do bend into a shape prescribed by an organization.
Free from the burdens of art history and its criticisms, the sculptures show at a base level what artmaking fills for a person. What’s life like without irony or calculation? For an art critic, that’s a mystery, one that makes this body of work a crucial point of reference.
What do you get when you apply the pastoral idealism of the early 20th century illustration to the ugly post-atomic consumerist reality of the last four decades? You’ll find the answer at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts, where the first retrospective of Jamie Wyeth combines Renaissance drawing techniques, druggy seventies icons, personal backstory, and idealized New England seasides– all adding up to a jumbly, at times incoherent, show.
For those of us who chased fairies in our backyards and played with make-believe friends, there’s Samara Golden’s two-story trompe l’oeil installation—it’s one for the dreamers. More specifically, it’s for those who fantasize about a world beyond.