Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Demien Hirst Jumps The Shark

My first response to the Yale student that turned "self insemination and abortion" into art was shock and disgust. This morning, I'm taking a step back. I can't remember the last time "art" illicited a hostile reaction and a sense of outrage from me. Maybe never the way this "piece" did.

I think about moments in history, like the screening of "Un chien andalou" by Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dalí, in which the audiece threw bottles of ink at the projection screen, and wonder why art doesn't have that kind of power anymore. Could this be our moment? Is this where we are?

Demien Hirst like to talk about how all art is about death but one of his latest peices, a skull covered in diamonds, is so decorative and trite within the context of the contempory cultural landscape. Skulls are the new happy face, I seem them on dog sweaters on the upper east side of Manhattan and "Bling" is such a tediously middle-class cliche.

Demien Hirst has jumped the Shark and, like it or not, this twisted chick from Yale is the new bleeding edge.


Anonymous said...

Chick from Yale being bleeding edge ... now that's funny (as I'm sure she was).

As for Demien's piece ... I think it makes for a fine piece of jewelry (if you live in the hood).

kathleen said...

If this is art, then what next? Katie Couric's colonoscopy?

And, it's not cutting edge. The body and art have been intricately connected as long as humans have been able to damage themselves and others. Vesalius ( intended to document medical discoveries, but decided to draw the bodies in allegorical poses, which made them "unintentional" art. Frida Kahlo dealt with her frequent operations and chronic pain in her paintings.

I have a ten year old+ news clipping of a guy who gave himself paint enemas and excreted the paint back onto a canvas because he wanted to prove that he could paint better than Jackson Pollack with his asshole. It's art, if for no other reason than it's a comment on art itself. Googling paint enemas (yes, Tom, I did) shows it's not cutting edge anymore, and not usually done as art, per se.

Aliza Shvarts hasn't made a statement or shown any sort of opinion (other than that we know she doesn't seem to care one way or the other). Women bleed every month, and it's a form of abortion - I might be wrong, but I'm pretty sure it's not art. What would make it art? Mere display? Intent? POV?

The most interesting detail of the whole story IMO is that her project director, college dean and department director all ok'd the proposal for the project. So many questions, so many choices. Also, I don't see any comments from her parents.