Friday, March 31, 2006
Topics of the Week
Two topics have been driving discussion around the blogosphere this week: the premier of Matthew Barney's new thing, Drawing Restraint 9, and Marc Spiegler's piece in New York Magazine on the coming collapse of the art market. Some blogger blather of note:
- AFC on Barney: "Barney's latest movie which premiered yesterday at MoMA, is by far the worst film he has ever made."
- Grammar.police on Barney: "without having even seen DR9 I know I can emphatically agree with AFC's Johnson that Barney should employ neither CGI nor Björk."
- MAO on Spiegler: "While I agree there may be some froth in the modern and contemporary art market, I disagree a crash is coming anytime soon."
- The OC Art Blog on MAO on Spiegler: "MAO is probably a great financial whiz but I think he's wrong on this one. The market is going to crash. I thought it would happen sooner but what do I know....other than it is going to happen. How many more spaces can open in Culver City??"
- And In Search gracefully brings the two threads together: "In discussing the paparazzo cage and photo-op line at last night's screening of Drawing Restraint 9 at MoMA, I mentioned to an office colleague that I occasionally hear that the last time the contemporary art world was covered this extensively by general-interest magazines was right before the early-'90s market crash."
- I'm already on record as believing that an art market correction will occur. It's not a matter of "if" but "when." So I'm predisposed to agree with several of the things that Spiegler writes. With apologies to regular readers in Greenwich (and especially those at SAC Capital Advisors--because everyone loves Damien's shark and can't wait to see it at MoMA), I took special delight at the line that Spiegler says is making the rounds among art consultants today: "The hedge-fund guys are the new Japanese."
- Will future art historians look back and see Matthew Barney as the Julian Schnabel of the late 1990s--grand ambition, work based on spectacle, but not much that actually continues to engage viewers once the initial impression begins to age? I wouldn't be surprised. Over the last week I've been dipping into Doug Aitken's new book Broken Screen: Expanding the Image, Breaking the Narrative. The text collects interviews Aitken has conducted with 26 artists (including Barney) who are creating in a non-narrative manner. The discussions are interesting to follow, but I don't completely buy the concept. Why not? It's a long story. Maybe I'll save it for a post next week. Or maybe not. I'm afraid that if I start spouting theory here I'll bore all the new Japanese.