Sunday, July 17, 2011

MoMA: But Is It Art?

Dateline: Museum of Modern Art, New York, Saturday... Art is, of course, arguable. This is that rare instance where I actually know to keep my mouth shut about the merits of what popular culture has defined as artistic accomplishment... versus a moment of daft inspiration deemed "art" only because it somehow found its way onto the walls of an auspicious museum.

Some of the exhibits I witnessed Saturday at MoMA—compliments of members Leonard & Valerie—are certainly meritorious. Others... seriously? I'll let you decide for yourself: Is it art?A crystal chandelier methodically disassembled and laid out in pieces directly on the floor.  Chandelier from the former ballroom of the Hotel Majestic, Paris. By Danh Vo."One Year," George Maciunas... All products consumed in his home over the course of a year."A brilliant yellow Madonna, a set of skeleton feet, a grey giant leaning obdurately on his club, a green and boyish-looking St. Michael slaying the dragon, a pitch-black snake" make up Figurengruppe (Group of Figures) by German contemporary artist Katharina Fritsch.And now.... The answer: But is it art? Most perplexing was this exhibition of hard candies, which brought us pause. How could this installation be an accurate portrayal of the artist's original vision when they are stacked loosely in a corner—and were installed at the MoMA after his death?

What's to keep random pieces from being sucked up by a vacuum cleaner late at night or pushed out of place by a broom? And there was our answer: Downstairs, one level below, we found a random bright red piece of candy on the floor. A deliberate satellite exhibition of "Untitled," or evidence of just how random "art" truly is? Aha!!