Monday, May 9, 2016

Brain Smoothie – The Fall, Lemonade, NADA NY, Visibility



Soooo, it was just #FriezeWeek and my-oh-my did I doozy myself way through it. I didn’t go to Frieze as I was literally too busy to but ya, I’m sure it was fine. Even though I didn’t go I was still in its vortex of friends in town, things to ‘have to go to’ and a general heightened thrumming of Dyonisic revelry aka chickens with our heads off. Needless to say I’m knackered but I have also had time/had to make time to decompress and after doing exercise and taking a decadently long shower I feel revived. Below are some chops and bits of things that are blending in my brain from this past week that perhaps makes no sense at all but as I am in detox mode it’ll have to do. Clean the body, clear the mind.

The Fall – This is a TV show that Netflix produced and it stars Gillian Anderson and Jamie Dornan (that guy from Fifty Shades of Grey). I used this as a means to totally check out the last few days as I just couldn’t bare one more drink or one more art opening. I watched its two seasons (6 episodes each) in around 48 hours. Yikes. But anyways, this sort of binge watching made me think about the nature of these types of TV shows and this ‘golden age’ of television that everyone keeps going on about. Binge watching these types of shows are an enticing distraction because there is an almost qualified feeling that this is okay to do. I’m doing cultural research when doing it. I’m analyzing the medium of the moment. I’m gathering information in which I can then be a better linguistic participant. But really, after binge watching like a visual content glutton I feel obese and greasy. It was a decent show to watch, all that psycho-drama and English/Irish accents make you feel all smarty pants and wow Anderson is sucha babe and her outfits, adore, but to be honest the show was just a show and it was indulgent to every degree and a bit annoying. The annoyance comes from the characters and plots. All those pretty Lynchian girls getting choked to death. All that sex-less sex assaulting. The idea of an older, childless, hyper successful women being a cold eyed siren and the killer being an alpha male with a dark past and deadly good looks. Reformulating clichés does not make something better it makes it obtuse and a bit dumb. I watched it all, greedily, but it was because it ticked a little button in my brain that pushed my intelligence both on and off. Now it’s over and thank god because thinking back, it was a complete waste of time but that makes me feel even more annoyed with myself because that is exactly what I was looking for.

Lemonade – Beyonce’s video album came out a week or so ago and I watched it with distracted focus and I had thoughts about it but I also haven’t been able to see it again so my thoughts have been truncated. It was weird, bad, provocative, obvious, dull, sexy, complicating. There is much talk about the politics of it. There is much talk about the art aspects and the culled imagery that is heavy throughout but I’m not sure what type of conversation there really is to be had on it. In essence, did Jay-Z cheat on Beyonce? Does that matter? No, but we can’t seem to stop caring and although it’s really none of our business Beyonce makes it ours cause she is Beyonce. I’ll have to watch it again to do any real justice to it but part of me is dreading doing that because it seems to be sucking you into something you just don’t want to be a part of.

NADA NY – I went there for about an hour or so on Friday, the day when it is dead, and it was okay. I was shocked/appalled that they were charging entry for this. I wasn’t in the US last year so not sure if this is new but regardless for shame! Everyone knows that the collectors/VIPS all get in for free so why not let the plebes do the same?! I didn’t pay, if I had to I wouldn’t have gone but still! For shame! It was nice to see friends in their booths and there were a few little gems, I especially liked Minerva from Sydney’s booth, but there was a general sense of tan and malaise throughout the show. I happened to be there when there was a presentation/video of sorts and that seemed a bit interesting but it felt all a bit slapped dashed as the audio permeated through the entire space. Is that bad? I don’t know but I always think acoustics at fairs are a make or break of the psychological and visual cleanliness of things. I hope the friends that were showing or had booths made money, that’s whey they are there in the first place but ya, another fair, another year, it all felt so same-same. Is there a way to change it? Probably not, but I have a gut feeling that the sense of malaise is not just my regular eye-rolling disenchantment and you can see this in alternatives popping up. There has been an uptick of galleries coming together to do their own offsite things and during this week Off Vendome did such a thing by inviting galleries to share in their Chelsea space. It was one of those to-cool-for-school vibes but that’s what makes it a possible alternative. The ‘you can’t sit with us’ mentality is bread and butter for the art world and I guess that is a bit better then the art fair model because at least it’s being upfront about everything.

Visibility – So I had a very weird interaction the other night where I was with a friend from out of town and we went to a bar and someone came up to me and literally said my full name and asked if that was who I was. They said they read this blog (so if you are reading this you know who you are) and that really embarrassed me because wow, I really hope no one reads this thing, but it also made me a bit gahhhhh in my head because then I realized people might actually read this thing. I’ve been doing this stupid, oppressive, indulgent, boring, lazy, scattered blog for way too long (5 years plus) and I genuinely don’t know why I keep doing it because most Mondays when I sit to write this I literally want to just disappear and sink into the ground but ya, still at it, aka masochist. Anyways, this made me think about the idea of visibility and the way that we control or author it. With the internet and all that stuff attached, there is so much more exposure but also so much more control on how one sculpts their visibility. It is a skill and for some, it is a career where they make bigs bucks directly or indirectly. For me, visibility is a mixture of the personal and the projected and although that produces miles of ego and dejection in turn, it is a tool in understanding yourself through the conception of others. I could/should go on about this in more intelligent, thought out and discursive ways as it is chock full of theoretical and psychological content but for now I just want to throw it out there and poke it. Why do we do this or that thing to reveal ourselves? How does this effect our perception of self and others? How is this altered, manicured and edited and how do those actions produce or negate actual, intended and constructed self? All these and more are pinging in my head almost all the time but for now all I am really trying to say that is if you read my blog, please don’t tell me about it.