ArtForum Files Really Dull Report

by Art Fag City on June 25, 2009 · 42 comments Events

art fag city, Dakis Joannou, blood of two
Left: Collector Dakis Joannou. Right: A view of the performance for Blood of Two. (Except where noted, all photos: Linda Yablonsky) (Images via: ArtForum)

Will someone explain to me why Linda Yablonsky has to write over 2000 words of long-and-boring at ArtForum’s Scene and Herd?  This weekend Greek megacollector Dakis Joannou made virtually every art news site by hosting a four-day art event in Athens attended by virtually every A-list dealer, curator, and artist. Even with Yablonsky’s comprehensive coverage, I have yet to figure out what was so interesting about it.

Barbara Gladstone looks like she’s had a fair amount of botox, Joannou appears to have arm snot coming out his nose, and Matthew Barney now has grey hair.  We can all thank ArtForum’s comprehensive photo uploads for those observations, though we have comparatively little documentation of the supposed purpose of the event: the art.

But as Yablonsky wisely asks: what was the bigger draw, the collector or the art?  The quotes of choice indicate Joannou.  This is followed up by event exposition so tedious it gives Matthew Barney films a run for their money.  To save readers a bit of time, here’s a summary of the early morning Barney-Peyton collaborative performance:

Viewers watched a 750-pound bronze display case and small dead shark pulled from the water by 10 Greek laborers resembling pallbearers.  They pulled the vitrine on and off a boat, over some stairs, onto a cart, and into a slaughterhouse displaying some Barney and Peyton drawings.  Then they drained the water out of the vitrine and everyone looked at the drawings.

The end.

  • Sean Capone

    I love Mr. Joannou’s saggy testicle nose.

    Matthew Collings has taken Ms. Yablonsky to task several times in his columns for her art-as-gossip-page field reports.

  • rosem

    Nice post. I couldn’t agree more. The art world is soooo boring these days.

    X

  • Sean Capone

    I love Mr. Joannou’s saggy testicle nose.

    Matthew Collings has taken Ms. Yablonsky to task several times in his columns for her art-as-gossip-page field reports.

  • rosem

    Nice post. I couldn’t agree more. The art world is soooo boring these days.

    X

  • jorinde

    nice, short and sweet, that’s how we like it!
    also the arm snot shot is fabulous! :D

  • jorinde

    nice, short and sweet, that’s how we like it!
    also the arm snot shot is fabulous! :D

  • wwiiggss

    Breaking art news: Matthew Day Jackson is going to email curator Bill Arning a picture of a wolf in a submission pose next to Joseph Beuys.

  • wwiiggss

    Breaking art news: Matthew Day Jackson is going to email curator Bill Arning a picture of a wolf in a submission pose next to Joseph Beuys.

  • pedrovel

    This is so right! it was about time somebody did it..and you did Paddy..thanks

    btw (maybe he owns the mag)

  • pedrovel

    This is so right! it was about time somebody did it..and you did Paddy..thanks

    btw (maybe he owns the mag)

  • http://www.postmastersart.com magda sawon

    long story short or short story long (and I subjected myself to the 2000 words version) -it was a pretentious bloated thing that gives performance a bad name. I guess “you had to be there…” will be the line of defense.

  • http://www.postmastersart.com magda sawon

    long story short or short story long (and I subjected myself to the 2000 words version) -it was a pretentious bloated thing that gives performance a bad name. I guess “you had to be there…” will be the line of defense.

  • greg.org

    I don’t know, I thought this was kind of funny:nn”Barney looked at his watch. ‘Just about two hours,’ he said to Peyton. ‘Not bad. After all, there’s a limit to how long you can ask people to wait.’ Coming from the king of slow, this seemed even more astonishing than the event.”

  • greg.org

    I don’t know, I thought this was kind of funny:\n\n”Barney looked at his watch. ‘Just about two hours,’ he said to Peyton. ‘Not bad. After all, there’s a limit to how long you can ask people to wait.’ Coming from the king of slow, this seemed even more astonishing than the event.”

  • Brian Droitcour

    The problem with this blog, Paddy, is that you frequently don’t read/think about the subject of your post before you write. Yeah, 2000 words is long, more than twice as long as Yablonsky’s average dispatch (and I’d agree that it’s duller than her usual writing), but although the beginning and the end mention the Barney/Peyton collaboration the piece is also about the openings of the Athens Biennial and ReMap. Yablonsky is writing about three events, not one, which would explain the extra length. You, however, present it as 2000 words about a single performance. I guess you just skipped 1500 words in the middle. There’s nothing wrong with readers skimming online articles, but if you’re not going to take the time to read the whole thing, why take the time to write a post about it?

    The other baffling thing about this post is your complaint about the lack of documentation. Scene and Herd has never been about producing a visual record of artwork. It’s feuilletons with party pictures. This post actually contains more photographs of a performance than I think I’ve ever seen on S&H, but photographs are never a substitute for a performance so I don’t understand why you consider them more valuable than a verbal description, especially in a blog, a format that no one expects to fill a preservation function.

  • Brian Droitcour

    The problem with this blog, Paddy, is that you frequently don’t read/think about the subject of your post before you write. Yeah, 2000 words is long, more than twice as long as Yablonsky’s average dispatch (and I’d agree that it’s duller than her usual writing), but although the beginning and the end mention the Barney/Peyton collaboration the piece is also about the openings of the Athens Biennial and ReMap. Yablonsky is writing about three events, not one, which would explain the extra length. You, however, present it as 2000 words about a single performance. I guess you just skipped 1500 words in the middle. There’s nothing wrong with readers skimming online articles, but if you’re not going to take the time to read the whole thing, why take the time to write a post about it?\

    The other baffling thing about this post is your complaint about the lack of documentation. Scene and Herd has never been about producing a visual record of artwork. It’s feuilletons with party pictures. This post actually contains more photographs of a performance than I think I’ve ever seen on S&H, but photographs are never a substitute for a performance so I don’t understand why you consider them more valuable than a verbal description, especially in a blog, a format that no one expects to fill a preservation function.

  • http://c-monster.net/ C-Monster

    artforum dull? NEVER.

  • http://c-monster.net/ C-Monster

    artforum dull? NEVER.

  • http://www.postmastersart.com magda sawon

    To Brian: S&H is often entertaining exercise in salivating over art parties, art celebs and money throwing. Paddy read carefully enough and zoomed on the main/only art content: Athens biennial was not even discussed in the post – the party for Dakis’ collection re-hang was and two paragraphs about redmap event that merely lists few projects not enough to judge them. In departure from format Barney-Peyton “thing” was indeed described in detail allowing to imagine the proceedings and form an opinion.

  • http://www.postmastersart.com magda sawon

    To Brian: S&H is often entertaining exercise in salivating over art parties, art celebs and money throwing. Paddy read carefully enough and zoomed on the main/only art content: Athens biennial was not even discussed in the post – the party for Dakis’ collection re-hang was and two paragraphs about redmap event that merely lists few projects not enough to judge them. In departure from format Barney-Peyton “thing” was indeed described in detail allowing to imagine the proceedings and form an opinion.

  • Art Fag City

    @Brian: Please refrain from making personal attacks in the comment section of the blog. There’s no evidence in this post to suggest I did not think about what I wrote, least of all the points you present. While there may be some legitimacy in your complaint that remap was not mentioned in the post, I hardly think the two lines about the biennial constitutes the length you seem to suggest. Further, just because I didn’t mention everything in Yablonsky’s post, doesn’t mean I didn’t read it. I simply chose to focus on the event with the most detail.

    On the subject of photographs: Asking for more images in a post because the text was so dull, does not suggest that I am unaware of the typical content on S&H. It also doesn’t mean that I think all photographs are more valuable than text, or that they accurately document a performance. This is the second time you’ve lodged a complaint relating to documentation on the blog, without any grounding whatsoever. Given that both these issues came up in a post critical of a show you curated, I can’t help but think your response here is influenced by this.

  • Art Fag City

    @Brian: Please refrain from making personal attacks in the comment section of the blog. There’s no evidence in this post to suggest I did not think about what I wrote, least of all the points you present. While there may be some legitimacy in your complaint that remap was not mentioned in the post, I hardly think the two lines about the biennial constitutes the length you seem to suggest. Further, just because I didn’t mention everything in Yablonsky’s post, doesn’t mean I didn’t read it. I simply chose to focus on the event with the most detail.

    On the subject of photographs: Asking for more images in a post because the text was so dull, does not suggest that I am unaware of the typical content on S&H. It also doesn’t mean that I think all photographs are more valuable than text, or that they accurately document a performance. This is the second time you’ve lodged a complaint relating to documentation on the blog, without any grounding whatsoever. Given that both these issues came up in a post critical of a show you curated, I can’t help but think your response here is influenced by this.

  • http://www.lorenmunk.com James Kalm

    Who needs “shark in a tank” when you can get “snark in a tank”.

  • http://www.lorenmunk.com James Kalm

    Who needs “shark in a tank” when you can get “snark in a tank”.

  • Neil

    i think barney’s more interesting than ‘scene & herd’ and (definitely) yablonsky dryly describes, but all the ‘cremasters’ are better edited at quarter-length…and labor is still a content.

  • Neil

    i think barney’s more interesting than ‘scene & herd’ and (definitely) yablonsky dryly describes, but all the ‘cremasters’ are better edited at quarter-length…and labor is still a content.

  • Brian Droitcour

    Paddy, I don’t see how pointing out the sloppiness of your writing is any more personal than your criticism of Yablonsky, but if you think that sort of thing constitutes a personal attack I suggest you reconsider the double standard for the comments section. Really, you’re the one who has brought this discussion to a personal level by playing psychoanalyst and informing me that my dislike for this post stems from a grudge I unwittingly harbor against you. I’d just like to see this blog produce more thoughtful content rather than trash writers for no good reason, and I doubt that will happen if you only get feedback from yesmen.

  • Brian Droitcour

    Paddy, I don’t see how pointing out the sloppiness of your writing is any more personal than your criticism of Yablonsky, but if you think that sort of thing constitutes a personal attack I suggest you reconsider the double standard for the comments section. Really, you’re the one who has brought this discussion to a personal level by playing psychoanalyst and informing me that my dislike for this post stems from a grudge I unwittingly harbor against you. I’d just like to see this blog produce more thoughtful content rather than trash writers for no good reason, and I doubt that will happen if you only get feedback from yesmen.

  • http://www.artfagcity.com artfagcity

    @Brian Any one who reads Yablonsky’s post in full knows it to be horrible (even you noted it was dull). Given that that’s the case, I don’t understand why the fact that I chose not to go over ALL the reasons it sucked, should be seen as evidence of this blog’s sloppiness. It’s simply not the case.

    On the subject of personal attacks: Ad hominems occur when someone replies to an argument by attacking a characteristic of the person making the claim. You did just this when you described “not thinking” as characteristic of the blog. I don’t see why I should have to spell this out, but I would never describe Yablonsky as someone who didn’t think, because it’s a) inaccurate, and b) a personal attack. Describing someone’s writing as boring is just not comparable.

    As a small point of reference, you may be interested to know that all the posts on this blog that review other people’s reviews are tagged under “reviewing the reviews”. Since you obviously don’t like this type of post, I suggest you write a script that removes them from your feed. At the very least, it should curb the amount of condescending commentary you’ve been masquerading as good willed feedback from appearing on this blog.

  • http://www.artfagcity.com artfagcity

    @Brian Any one who reads Yablonsky’s post in full knows it to be horrible (even you noted it was dull). Given that that’s the case, I don’t understand why the fact that I chose not to go over ALL the reasons it sucked, should be seen as evidence of this blog’s sloppiness. It’s simply not the case.

    On the subject of personal attacks: Ad hominems occur when someone replies to an argument by attacking a characteristic of the person making the claim. You did just this when you described “not thinking” as characteristic of the blog. I don’t see why I should have to spell this out, but I would never describe Yablonsky as someone who didn’t think, because it’s a) inaccurate, and b) a personal attack. Describing someone’s writing as boring is just not comparable.

    As a small point of reference, you may be interested to know that all the posts on this blog that review other people’s reviews are tagged under “reviewing the reviews”. Since you obviously don’t like this type of post, I suggest you write a script that removes them from your feed. At the very least, it should curb the amount of condescending commentary you’ve been masquerading as good willed feedback from appearing on this blog.

  • http://tommoody.us tom moody

    “Feuilletons with party pictures” rather insults Linda Yablonsky, whose words carry the incisive shock of Weegee photographs. Again and again she brings us glimpses of the deep, twisted underworld of terrified dealers, sycophantic artists, and assorted hangers-on paying tribute to thuggish collectors who have gouged fortunes from a demoralized public. It’s possible Brian Droitcour meant to defend this sphere and Yablonsky’s undeniably complex place in it; it’s not too late to apologize for what might have been an unintentional slight to this powerful inner circle. Like them or not, they are the crew that gives us our visual culture.

  • http://tommoody.us tom moody

    “Feuilletons with party pictures” rather insults Linda Yablonsky, whose words carry the incisive shock of Weegee photographs. Again and again she brings us glimpses of the deep, twisted underworld of terrified dealers, sycophantic artists, and assorted hangers-on paying tribute to thuggish collectors who have gouged fortunes from a demoralized public. It’s possible Brian Droitcour meant to defend this sphere and Yablonsky’s undeniably complex place in it; it’s not too late to apologize for what might have been an unintentional slight to this powerful inner circle. Like them or not, they are the crew that gives us our visual culture.

  • rembrandt

    well, like a lot of things, you get out in proportion to what you put in.

    Yab: “I could wake up to this piece every day of my life and still love it,” enthused dealer Javier Peres about Wekua’s motorized wax sculpture of a half-dressed schoolboy missing its genitals.

    pretty good.

    you, on the other hand, come off as a hater, which is what makes you interesting — lots of people like to hate Artforum.

  • rembrandt

    well, like a lot of things, you get out in proportion to what you put in.

    Yab: “I could wake up to this piece every day of my life and still love it,” enthused dealer Javier Peres about Wekua’s motorized wax sculpture of a half-dressed schoolboy missing its genitals.

    pretty good.

    you, on the other hand, come off as a hater, which is what makes you interesting — lots of people like to hate Artforum.

  • Art Fag City

    @rembrandt. Yeah, that was pretty good. So was the bit the Greg.org pointed out.

  • Art Fag City

    @rembrandt. Yeah, that was pretty good. So was the bit the Greg.org pointed out.

  • eric fensler

    this project and this article in artforum are absolute garbage. what is the actual content of this piece? so barney stages yet another elaborate funeral procession (hopefully this time it signifies the death of his career). i’m so sick of barney trying so hard to be the hip, cool, death metal artist. he’s just not cool anymore. and what’s up with barbara gladstone’s face? looks like she’s had some horrifying plastic surgery done. egads! not sure which looks more dead, her smile or that shark. barney has no substance anymore as an artist and has become a sycophant to the powers that be. after cremaster he should have stopped this need for grand spectacle and done something smaller and more intimate. instead he continues to make these massive projects with nothing but dense pseudo layered meaning. its terrible. and the desperation of doing some ridiculous project with the talentless peyton is even worse. or may be its perfect. these artists and this gallery structure are collapsing under the weight of its own sense of emotionless chic and meaningless vapid art work. people who think this is art should pursue careers in fashion. this is fashion NOT art. the new york art world is in its death throes. this “project” by these two “artists” reads like parody more than it reads like art. matthew barney is the zoolander of the art world.

  • eric fensler

    this project and this article in artforum are absolute garbage. what is the actual content of this piece? so barney stages yet another elaborate funeral procession (hopefully this time it signifies the death of his career). i’m so sick of barney trying so hard to be the hip, cool, death metal artist. he’s just not cool anymore. and what’s up with barbara gladstone’s face? looks like she’s had some horrifying plastic surgery done. egads! not sure which looks more dead, her smile or that shark. barney has no substance anymore as an artist and has become a sycophant to the powers that be. after cremaster he should have stopped this need for grand spectacle and done something smaller and more intimate. instead he continues to make these massive projects with nothing but dense pseudo layered meaning. its terrible. and the desperation of doing some ridiculous project with the talentless peyton is even worse. or may be its perfect. these artists and this gallery structure are collapsing under the weight of its own sense of emotionless chic and meaningless vapid art work. people who think this is art should pursue careers in fashion. this is fashion NOT art. the new york art world is in its death throes. this “project” by these two “artists” reads like parody more than it reads like art. matthew barney is the zoolander of the art world.

  • http://tommoody.us tom moody

    Props to Eric Fensler, whose remixed GI Joes were a bright light in the post-2001 internet.

  • http://tommoody.us tom moody

    Props to Eric Fensler, whose remixed GI Joes were a bright light in the post-2001 internet.

  • http://davidmcbride.net David

    Help me, I’m a computer? Big props!

  • http://davidmcbride.net David

    Help me, I’m a computer? Big props!

Previous post:

Next post: