Absurd Delight at the Armory Show

I had fun strolling the booths of The Armory Show yesterday. It was the last day, so I saw fewer of the flamboyant gallery set than I was hoping to (they are absurd-delight incarnate sometimes).

Instead of glam shots, here’s a tiny assortment of the whimsical art, clever but utterly useless “statements,” and downright genius that caught my eye. Apologies for the camera on my google phone.

My favorite … mainly because I can imagine it in some corporate campus flanking a pristine lawn that nobody walks on.

[Daybed by Mona Hatoun. At the White Cube Gallery]


[Studio Wall (White) by Roe Ethridge, 2008. At the Andrew Kreps Gallery]

This groundbreaking work of exertion and imagination is a classic consciousness expander. See how putting a frame around an ordinary object turns it into art? In this case a “Studio Wall (White)” is now fodder for our most focused meditations.

Mind you the white studio wall is not art, nor is the frame, but the act of seeing them differently is the art, or of showing them, or …hmm?

So anyway … by taking a photo of this studio wall and including the “Armory Booth Wall” as well and posting it here, I have created: “Studio Wall inside Gallery Wall (both White-ish).”

Art? Contact me for signed prints.

[Le Sacre de Christophe Columb, and Portrait d’Anne by KOLKOZ 2008]

Taking the same frame-makes-art logic to a more industrious level, this clever duo adds actual beauty to self-referential “statement.”

Clearly these are artists of the visionary prankster variety (my favorite kind). Why else would they have named these too seemingly similar pieces such discordantly regal, yet divergent titles?

I’d actually put these on my wall. Not kidding. Except that the prices were $32,000 and $10,500. Also not kidding. So instead, I’m going to AC Moore with my little cousin’s piggy bank change and I’m making replicas. Maybe I’ll send KOLKOZ a royalty check.  Is there protocol I need to follow here?

This next piece was cute, mainly because it takes the common quip, “a kid could make that at home,” to a new level.

But! … But! I ask you this: would a kid have $900 to waste on conceptual art? No siree! So this crosses into the joyous territory of conspicuos consumption I will certainly post about later.

[Swarm by Tom Malloy, 2006 Gallerie Guy Bartschi]

Here’s a better look. A study if you will.

How much do you think 900 creased dollar bills should cost? What’s the value added of folding them into airplanes and sticking them in a wall?

Now what do all these have in common? At least one theme here is that all of these disorient us a little tiny bit … either by perplexing us at the sheer uselessness of an otherwise apparently functional object, or by defying our natural expectations (that a frame goes around art, and money is for spending not sticking in holes in a temporary wall).  And once we’ve been disoriented even a wee little bit, we get a second chance to calibrate our compass. So when we shake our heads and start to re-orient our perception, maybe we can point a tad closer to true north. Or … they’re just dumb objects used by hucksters to trade status and wealth and I spew as much hooey as the gallerists on 50% commission. You decide.

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2 Responses to “Absurd Delight at the Armory Show”

  1. […] of all you can take these sweet babies home for just $6,000! Compare that to the $32,000 for the framed picture frames at The Armory Show. And that wasn’t even anywhere near a beach! "Imag_ne" by Emma […]

  2. just do it sir, and send us back a photo 😉
    bejamin/kolkoz

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