Friday, May 25, 2007

Kriston writes a really nice review of Ian and Jan in today's City Paper.

Read it

And I've got a review of Not only A, but also B at
Transformer in that very same issue.

Read that one

I got a message from Tyler Magill--an old friend from college--yesterday. He referred to Ian and Jan as a "media prank," and associated it with our tenure together at the Yellow Journal, UVA's now-defunct humor magazine.

"I guess you can take the boy out of the YJ, but not the YJ out of the boy," he wrote. "You've pretty much done what all of us wanted to do: high-concept piss taking."

Which is strange, because while I've been thinking a lot about the use of humor in the arts over the course of this project, I haven't been thinking at all about plain ol' humor.

And I think Meg and I always assumed that this show was too inside-y, too much of an art world involution for mass consumption, anyway.

When Meg showed the video to
Laurie Anderson, she was entertained, but she thought it was too narrow--great for making curators and critics feel clever, but unable to speak to a broader audience.

Of course, I think of Ms. Anderson as something of an art world pop star, so maybe her idea of a "broader audience" is different from mine.

Anyway, I'm glad that my non-art-world friends get the jokes, too.


Blogger Smilin Tyler said...

Allow me to explain a little bit further. All I know about your Body Project piece is what I have read in the Post. I have a passing familiarity of the Color School (friend of mine took art lessons from one of em, I think), but I certainly didn't know it was such a sacred cow.

I don't think that what you have done is just a media prank, although it certainly has elements of that. I think you have created an independent work that has elements of parody. Is it funny? I think so, and I don't even get half the joke.

That having been said, I can't see how ANYONE would NOT get the joke, even not knowing of the Color School. I mean, 10 years ago I came up with a "conceptual art" piece called "Lifestyle". It was my couch, which by then was very lived in, puked on, nodded out around indeed. Bidding was going to start at 20,000.

The concept of concept as art is a rich vein for parody, exactly BECAUSE it's at once ridiculous and vital.

And shit, I thought Laurie Anderson was more populist than that. I mean, SHE compared herself to Daffy Duck.


11:46 AM  
Blogger jhcudlin said...

As far as not getting the joke: There were folks at the opening who thought the show was for real. Actual overheard questions: "Are they still married?"

"Where was their studio?"

"Why don't I remember this performance? I'd think I would've heard about it."

The work by itself isn't any more outlandish than actual body art from the era...and there are real art historical precedents for a lot of the if you didn't read the text too closely, or listen to all of the interviews--and, okay, maybe if you'd received a glancing blow to the head on the way in--it was possible to take it all at face value.

Was that couch at the Valley Research Center? Are you referring to a couch, or to the fetid futon? I always pitied anyone who had the misfortune of passing out on it.

12:53 PM  

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