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Friday, January 27, 2006

With Special Thanks to Me, Myself, and I

AICA LogoThe United States chapter of the International Association of Art Critics (AICA) has announced the winners of its 2005 honors. The awards ceremony will be held Feb. 2 at the Jewish Museum in New York.

I always chuckle when I see the categories for this competition. I love the fact that the organization offers awards for the best shows in New York City and the best shows nationally (i.e., not New York City). (And I couldn't help but notice that this year both first and second place winners in the "best monographic museum show nationally" appeared in New York at the Whitney. So much for the not-New York City angle.) I'm all for New York art world snobbishness, but it seems to me that institutionalizing it like this isn't exactly the most politic thing to do for an organization with national reach.

And, speaking of embarrassing political decisions, this year's list of awardees contains a huge gaffe that ought to raise eyebrows--if not call into question the whole process used for selecting the winners.

In the category of "best art-related programming in a broadcast medium," this year's winner is The Yay/Nay Show's episode from Art Basel Miami Beach. For those not familiar with it, The Yay/Nay Show is a WPS1 production co-hosted by Artforum Scene & Herd contributor Linda "Fabyab" Yablonsky and Carey Lovelace.

This little off-the-cuff piece of gossipy, ephemeral, art-world cronyism beat out all other art-related broadcast programs from the past year, including programs that were actually broadcast and not just streamed over the Internet to 60 people. That includes programs like, say, Art21's season 3 which was shown nationally on PBS, was watched by several million viewers, and which will have an extended impact in classrooms around the country thanks to DVD distribution and a series of innovative educator's guides. (In the interest of full disclosure, I have provided professional services to Art21.)

So, you agree that the award winner in this category was a bad choice and you want to make your opinion known? The best thing to do would be to voice your dissatisfaction to AICA co-president and member of the awards ceremony committee, Carey Lovelace.

Oh, yes, in case you're wondering, that's the same Carey Lovelace who is receiving the award.

I can almost hear her acceptance speech now: "I would like to thank the AICA's stellar leadership team and the hard working members of the awards committee for honoring me in this way...."

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