Friday, May 19, 2006

Stuff That Makes Me Laugh

I know, I'm supposed to be shocked, simply shocked, at what happened to these poor art students, but I just find it funny. Here's the short version: students at an art college mounted an exhibition in a war memorial. Some of the artwork was deemed offensive, and the head of the Parks Department closed the exhibit on Thursday. On Monday, the artwork was moved out of the memorial, damaging much of it.

What happened between Thursday and Monday, you might ask? Basically, the college decided to move the exhibit, and the students threw a fit. They demanded that the exhibit be reopened where it was (or in a better location, though I'm pretty sure any alternative other than, say, Grand Central Station would have been pooh-poohed), threatening lawsuits and crying that their First Amendment rights were being breached. Instead of admitting that yeah, some of the art was in bad taste and not perhaps appropriate for display in a public park war memorial, instead of looking for a compromise that would allow them to move their precious penis sculptures and piles of pins-and-foam in a way that would keep them in one piece, they refused to budge and learned a hard lesson.

Which is: Art does not trump all. There is a growing attitude, especially among young people, that the purpose of art is to confront, to oppose, to shock. If it doesn't offend anybody, the idea goes, it ain't art. But when somebody's helping you out by giving you free exhibition space, you don't piss in their house and then pitch a fit when they clean it up.Your rights to free expression don't trump my right to visit a war memorial without having penises shoved in my face.

And the best part, the very best part, the part which made me laugh out freaking loud when I read it, was this:

Marni Kotak could not find over 10 original drawings, the video documentation of her live performance at the show opening, and most of the elements of her 10’ x 20’ site-specific installation. She found two chalkboard drawings irreparably destroyed. Tamas Veszi could not find his entire site-specific installation, and could only find two damaged paintings and three destroyed sculptures. Neither Fucile, Kotak nor Veszi were allowed to adequately document their site-specific works prior to their demolition.

Do you see? I added some bold emphasis to highlight the part that caught my eye. Do you see why I'm laughing here? She did the drawings on chalkboards. They were meant to be erased. Now, granted, part of the reason was to fit the "school" theme of her entire piece, but even the entire piece was "site-specific." Which means what?

Which means it was meant to be torn down when the exhibition ended. It was all a big meta-statement about the transitory nature of art, or some such such drivel. And what is her big complaint? That she couldn't "properly document" it. Which means what?

Which means that she couldn't take pictures to have a permanent record of her "transitory" artwork. She got bit by her own artistic statement. She tried to circumvent it, and karma kicked her in the ass. You can't make this stuff up.

In other news, I'm still way behind on word count on the novel, but Lost kicked ass on Wednesday and I'm officially in ketosis due to the low-carb thing. Which means what?

Which means it's working. Bad breath, pissing like a racehorse, down 5 pounds since last week. Yeah, a lot of it is water weight, but I don't feel nearly as bloated as I used to and my clothes are starting to fit better. And I'm eating more vegetables now than I was before, so net-net, my diet is healthier. Yeah, in three months or so, I'll be back to eating pizza and french fries and my weight will bounce back up, but over the summer, I'll look good.

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