Tag: nonsense

CHARLIE HEBDON’T

CAREER SUICIDE

Marines_do_pushups

Occasionally it seems there might be some kind of counter-performance art organisation, one that actively does everything it can to bring performance art into disrepute. A bit like SPECTRE from the James Bond books and films. As suggested by their acronym Special Executive for Counterintelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion, SPECTRE mainly just wants to instigate conflict and benefit from the chaos that ensues. I propose that there is a secret organisation called SPESPA (Special Executive for Shit Performance Art) and it exists solely to make the general public think all performance artists are twats.

This week’s covert SPESPA operative bent upon ruining live art’s reputation is Chinese performance artist (and “former television presenter”, which gives you some idea of his likely intellect) Ou Zihang, who has been doing push-ups in the nude at the sites of recent terrorist attacks in Paris. No surprise that he’s a fellow traveller of…

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MULTIPLE SLASHES ARE SOUGHT AFTER

MULTIPLE SLASHES ARE SOUGHT AFTER

CAREER SUICIDE

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I can’t believe they’re talking about this shit with a straight face” of the week goes to a recent article on Artsy (aforementioned) on ‘The Secrets of Art Pricing‘. If they’re meant to be secret, should you really be telling us? Never mind.

Submarkets for individual artists, and markets within different periods for those artists, require their own brand of unique pricing lore. Case in point is the oeuvre of Lucio Fontana, who began puncturing the surface of paper or canvas in the late 1940s, developing the idea over the next two decades. “At different times, different colors are more or less popular,” wrote Melanie Gerlis, Art Market Editor at The Art Newspaper, in her 2014 book Art as an Investment?, referring to Fontana. According to Fontana specialist Luigi Mazzoleni, founding director of Mazzoleni London, “regarding the slashes,” the most popular colors on the…

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WINNING THE WAR, LOSING THE BATTLES

WINNING THE WAR, LOSING THE BATTLES

CAREER SUICIDE

twisters

On Monday of this week I was thinking– with some satisfaction and serenity– that for some time I’d seen nothing but reasonable, factual press releases in plain English and artist statements that actually made sense. Perhaps the day would soon come when I would no longer have any material for Artbollocks Theatre? No. Come Wednesday morning, I see this:

There is no mediation that is lossless—an output is never the pure transmission of a source—but always as much the distance it has travelled, the things it has come in contact with or bounced with or off. She is interested in the consistency of distances that can be traced through an arbitrary sense of material precision: utilising water, viscosity, synthetic carpets, electricity, surface tension, stray socks and chewing gum. This consistency, at times imperceptible and at times palpable, is what the artist describes as “something that I find in my…

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ARTBOLLOCKS THEATRE: DOG LOVERS SPECIAL

ARTBOLLOCKS THEATRE: DOG LOVERS SPECIAL

CAREER SUICIDE

doge

Dramatic readings of the worst artist statements, gallery press releases and art criticism. All real! Oh how I wish they weren’t. In this super special edition with added PERFORMANCE ART that will make Marina admit defeat, pack her money bags and retire at last:

Q: Does your promotional material and critical text need to have any relation to or mention of what is actually in the exhibition?

A: Apparently not. Just write about looking at a dog in a sort of vaguely prose poem that reads like some stoned high school kid’s notebook scribbles. Apart from listing the names of the artists and mentioning that it’s an MA degree show, there is no mention whatsoever of what we might see, what’s interesting about it, what media the artists are working in, or why we might want to go. So it’s not just a horrible, pretentious piece of writing, it’s also…

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ARTBOLLOCKS THEATRE S3E2: INSTRUMENTALIZED

ARTBOLLOCKS THEATRE S3E2: INSTRUMENTALIZED

CAREER SUICIDE

thunderdome

Dramatic readings of the worst artist statements, gallery press releases and art criticism. All real, all serious, all horribly written. I apologise in advance for any foreign or jargon words that I accidentally pronounced correctly. This time, two artists in a Belgian “overall installation” that seems to be about interfering with virgins. You can play along with your Artbollocks Bingo card, and you can watch more Artbollocks Theatre here on the blog or on my Vimeo channel.

“From the stock of a museum, Sophie Langohr unearthed fifteen statues of the Virgin Mary in the Saint-Sulpice style, which today represent the purest form of religious knick-knack and the beginnings of a semi-industrial art. The artist confronts the outmoded faces with the ones found on the internet of the current muses that incarnate the big brands of the luxury industry.
 As diptychs, these transfigurations give us the consummate illusion of a…

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ARTBOLLOCKS THEATRE 3: SUPER COP

ARTBOLLOCKS THEATRE 3: SUPER COP

CAREER SUICIDE

ABT3_Copper

S3E1: CONTEMPLATIVE

Yes, it’s back. Even more dramatic readings of the worst artist statements, gallery press releases and art criticism, this time with a police show-on-VHS-tape twist. Watch new arty farty perps and syntax villains brought to justice every two weeks or so. In this episode, we learn how it’s possible to write four paragraphs and nearly four hundred words about a man who built some walls. But wait… he built some walls in an art gallery that already had walls. Is your mind completely blown?

You can play along with your Artbollocks Bingo card, and you can watch more Artbollocks Theatre here on the blog or on my Vimeo channel. I tried really hard to mispronounce all the foreign words and jargon, but I think I still accidentally said some of them correctly. Sorry about that.

Presented at ISE Cultural Foundation, the site-specific installation Time Would Not…

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BAD WRITING WORKSHOP

BAD WRITING WORKSHOP

CAREER SUICIDE

WITH ART-AGENDA

5050f973

Courtesy of one Nickolas Calabrese and the Art-agenda [sic] mailing list from the reliable nonsense mongers at e-flux. There appears to be little or no information available online about Mr. Calabrese, although in May 2012 he was described as an “artist and philosopher”. Please, no. By this week he was just an “artist and writer in New York.” Maybe the philosophy didn’t work out. Somebody’s intern, possibly? His oeuvre so far amounts to three reviews, but each of them is loaded with clumsy metaphors, malapropisms and other examples of what not to do in professional writing. Art-agenda apparently has editors. I feel like invoicing them for doing their job. I’m just reproducing the greatest (s)hits here; you can read the reviews in full elsewhere if you’ve nothing better to do.

ART BASEL MIAMI BEE-ACH

“The site of the apocalypse is not spatial, but temporal…

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THE PATTERN

THE PATTERN

CAREER SUICIDE

HookedAnother week, another bland generic online front end for a vaguely defined art business. This week’s example has been (ab)using Kickstarter and getting up to various monkey business with artists’ work. Sadly this is par for the course but what’s unusual here is that artist Luke Turner has not taken it lying down, which far too many people still do. He’s posted the whole saga of their request to make fifty postcards– which he granted– that somehow turned into large prints of his work being offered to their Kickstarter backers, without his knowledge or consent. He only found out some portion of the truth from a concerned third party, as is also very common. You all know I like my informants here on Career Suicide.

Be sure to read the whole email exchange between Turner and one of the “girls” [sic; their dodgy descripition of themselves, not mine] from…

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ABSURDITY: A FEATURE, NOT A BUG

ABSURDITY: A FEATURE, NOT A BUG

CAREER SUICIDE

Spam_wall

“Advertising may be described as the science of arresting human intelligence long enough to get money from it.”

Stephen Leacock, The Perfect Salesman, in The Garden of Folly (1924).

Readers who’ve been interested in some of the resistance by artists to certain vanity art businesses and finishing schools (a great analogy pointed out by Gillian McIver) and the subsequent angry push back from them may still be wondering why anybody would have anything to do with them when their publicity material is so obviously daft and amateur, when there is no credible evidence whatsoever that they benefit the artists who pay them, when the people who run them seemingly can’t say or do anything without showing themselves up as not quite the full shilling or as obvious charlatans, and when no artist or professional in any credible sector of the arts has a good word to say for…

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PARALLAX, EMPHASIS ON THE LAX

PARALLAX, EMPHASIS ON THE LAX

CAREER SUICIDE

BullshitQ: What do you get from Parallax Art Fair (sic) two months after your last request that they remove you from their mailing list and never contact you again under any circumstances because you will never be interested in what they’re offering, not to mention being implacably opposed to everything they do and stand for?

A: An almost identical email, of course! All that changed was the deadline for the submission of my all-important work samples. In their email of 12th November 2013 it was 6th December, while in the more recent email the deadline has mysteriously moved to 31st January.

Dear Alistair,

I am the director who oversees the largest artist art fair in Europe called Parallax Art Fair. I would like to know if an exhibiting opportunity at the ninth edition of the fair might interest you as an artist. I hope you don’t mind, I…

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THE ARTISTS FORMERLY KNOWN AS ARTISTS

THE ARTISTS FORMERLY KNOWN AS ARTISTS

CAREER SUICIDE

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the word “artist” has been so repeatedly gangbanged in recent years and its openings are so stretched out that it can accommodate almost anyone or anything now… and therefore it means almost nothing. A friend (who actually is an artist of the increasingly rare kind who makes art) recently received an email from a job mailing list, featuring this astounding opportunity for an artist:

Sandwich Artist Subway – Subway is now hiring for full and part time Sandwich Artists. Duties will include: Prep, making sandwich and customer service. We provide uniforms. No experience required… Salary is based on experience, we have great opportunities for advancement! Positions available immediately.

Yes, the word “artist” can now accomodate six inches of bread, generic processed mystery meats and your choice of salad. Or you can try a foot long, if you’re really a sad old…

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ARTBOLLOCKS PANORAMA

ARTBOLLOCKS PANORAMA

CAREER SUICIDE

The interest in Artbollocks Theatre has been so great– including the prospect of some live onstage thespianism later this year– that I’m making a special effort to collect more of the worst press releases and artist statements for future performances. Here are some recent acquisitions that have attracted my wrathful gaze like the angry lighthouse in the Lord of the Rings films. Meanwhile, there’ll be a new episode of Artbollocks Theatre tomorrow (27th September) at 12.30 GMT.

FILLS THE SPACE, CONTAINS THE SPACE INSIDE ITSELF

“The space of the white cube is normally used to display objects. What Senstad is showing us are different works that have the removal of the object as a theme. In Color Kinesthesia and Color Synthesthesia IV she shows us light perceived as color. Small technically [sic] modifications in the perception can alter even an empty space into a massively colored place.

In…

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FIRST THEY CAME FOR THE GIANT GREEN PHALLUSES…

FIRST THEY CAME FOR THE GIANT GREEN PHALLUSES…

CAREER SUICIDE

… and we didn’t speak out because we didn’t paint giant green phalluses. Last week there was another seizure of (very mildly) subversive art in Russia, following the Thought Police’s previous confiscation of a painting that depicted Vladimir Putin and Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. As deadpan-hilariously described by Agence France-Presse, the painting was of “Putin playing with Medvedev’s hair. He is wearing a strappy nightie, while Medvedev has cleavage bursting out of a bra and is wearing skimpy knickers.” If I could take the liberty of correcting Agence France-Presse, though, I think this description must have been written by a straight man because busty as Medvedev is, it looks to me as if Putin is doing his hair. Ugh, men. Trust a man to sexualise a painting of two Russian politicians’ heads on the bodies of scantily clad young women when they’re just trying out hairstyles.

putin_2654591bPersonally…

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DISINFORMATION CATALOGUE

DISINFORMATION CATALOGUE

CAREER SUICIDE

DC1

DO YOU LIKE EVENING CLASSES, TATLER, WILD CLAIMS, SPENDING MONEY AND BEING TREATED LIKE A BATTERY CHICKEN? IT’S YOUR LUCKY DAY

Thanks to several informants (who didn’t know about any of the other people who simultaneously tipped me off) I’ve become aware that my dear old friends, the vanity artist farmers Debut Contemporary, have been trawling for fat new wallets. Market Project is currently on hiatus and not being updated, but you can read my original article about Debut Contemporary there, plus hundreds of comments including damning– and in a few cases, somewhat heartbreaking if not harrowing– testimony from former clients of theirs. You can also read sock puppet comments from their cronies, and see documentation of failed attempts by these cronies to secretly defame me and my colleagues for criticising them.

I’ll get to Debut Con’s hilarious “information catalogue” for artists anon, but firstly here’s what was spammed…

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THE INSUBSTANTIAL IN PURSUIT OF THE INSUFFERABLE

THE INSUBSTANTIAL IN PURSUIT OF THE INSUFFERABLE

CAREER SUICIDE

MartyInterpretiveDance

Following her recent ouroboros of star-fuckery with Jay-Z at his minstrel show for New York city’s art royalty, insufferable has-been and exploiter/abuser of low paid performers at LA MOCA Marina Abramović (brilliantly and succinctly demolished by Hrag Vartanian in this article as “the art world’s version of late Elvis”) has recently engaged in another act of “Abramović Method” mirror-in-mirror narcissism with the prolifically untalented Lady Gaga. The original video is absolutely bloody ghastly and evokes every bad undergraduate performance art piece ever made, but luckily somebody jazzed it up a bit with a Yakety Sax soundtrack. Much better.

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HE’S A CELEBRITY, GET HIM OUT OF HERE

HE’S A CELEBRITY, GET HIM OUT OF HERE

CAREER SUICIDE

There’s a frequently heard complaint in contemporary art galleries: “He can’t even draw. My five year old could do better.” Usually they’re perfectly and excruciatingly wrong, but finally an exhibition has come along where it would be entirely apposite and correct to make such a comment. It’s Bob Dylan’s Face Value at the National Portrait Gallery in London! And yes, your five year old could do better. Dylan even uses school art cupboard supplies to craft his masterpieces, just like a five year old. Alas his drawings did not find their proper home, i.e. stuck to the fridge door with a magnet.

Sandy Nairne, Director of the National Portrait Gallery, London, says: ‘Bob Dylan is one of the most influential cultural figures of our time. He has always created a highly visual world either with his words or music, or in paints and pastels. I am delighted that we…

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TALKING BOLLARDS

TALKING BOLLARDS

CAREER SUICIDE

Via Artquest, who themselves wryly and slyly editorialise that it’s “a load of bollards”, another fine opportunity to work for nothing and to create a hideous public eyesore courtesy of Lambeth council:

“We are removing hundreds of metal bollards from our streets in London Borough of Lambeth as a de-cluttering exercise. In the current batch of works, the number would be close to a thousand, and we will be removing many more in near future. These will be recycled by our highways contractor, unless we find a better use for them.

‘If anyone would like to use these bollards for some public art / sculpture, they would be more than welcome to have them for free, but we would like the artwork to be installed in Lambeth. If someone can come up with an idea for their use in public furniture, such as seating, planters, etc. then it would…

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I’M SENDING A NEWSLETTER, BLAH BLAH BLAH

I’M SENDING A NEWSLETTER, BLAH BLAH BLAH

CAREER SUICIDE

MartyInterpretiveDance

… because our subscribers are so important or something. Whatever.

I just received the best newsletter ever from the Live Art Development Agency. Apart from the headlines it’s all in Lorem Ipsum copy. If you don’t know what this is already, Lorem Ipsum is pseudo-meaningful dummy text used to fill in space where the actual content is not available, or not necessary. It’s been around for hundreds of years; should you wish to send out your own totally pointless newsletter, you can find another good Lorem Ipsum generator here. All the links in ‘July News’ go to the same non-informative generic page as well.

Oh well, at least they’re being (sort of) honest about having nothing of any interest whatsoever to report. At the bottom it says “Copyright © 2013 Live Art Development Agency, All rights reserved”, so don’t rip off any of their precious non-content, OK?

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