Thursday, June 30, 2011

Cultural Decay: TONY Edition #9

We gave the benighted bohemians of Brooklyn a much-needed respite last week, and in return we are now tormented by the Must-See Museums edition of Time Out New York (TONY).  Clearly, no good deed goes unpunished, as the good people of the editorial staff have once again committed crimes of taste, lack-of-discernment and muddled reportage. 

This being TONY, the Museum Must-Sees article highlights the artistic detritus that can only be found in the Whitney Museum of American Art.  (I am sure it’s no surprise that the Whitney is listed below the Museum of Sex, or, perhaps they were purposely grouped by type?)  The Whiney is currently showcasing work by Cory Arcangel, which are essentially video game images projected on the wall.  Or, as TONY writes, “you’ll be bombarded by seven bowling video games, dating between the late ‘70s and the early 2000s.  The backgrounds are projected onto the wall in a row, like the lanes in any alley.  Two cool things to note: The artist hacked each game and programmed it to bowl only gutter balls; and you get to see some awesomely retro consoles, including ‘80s and ‘90s Nintendos and an Atari 2600 from 1977.”  In other words, your garage sale is now big-ticket art.

The Whitney is also displaying No Title by Eva Hesse, “considered one of the Whitney’s treasures” TONY obligingly tells us.  No Title is, of course, that bit of plastic-covered netting hanging from the ceiling.  Or, as curator Donna De Salvo writes, “it’s a paradigm shifting work … [that] captures that whole moment that was going on after Minimalism, moving beyond rigid objects defined by solid borders.”  Well, that’s what Ms. De Salvo wrote, and we can only imagine that her check cleared.

Page 26, the Shopping & Style section, profiles Rob Ordonez.  Mr. Ordonez is a rather beefy young man with a blue Mohawk haircut and a ring through his nose.  But, let’s have Mr. Ordonez explain himself:  “I’m inspired by freaks, skins and people that don’t fit in with regular society … I have six piercings, and I brought my diamond hoop earring to cheer myself up after a bad breakup.”  One shudders to think of what would happen if he were truly heart-broken.

Finally, TONY again demonstrates that it is incapable of admiration for truly distinguished work on page 88, when Looking Forward describes 1968 film great Planet of the Apes as a “campy we-are-the-chimp-ions classic.”  Campy?  Meaning … it’s intended to be good?  Sigh.  Once again, TONY shoots from the Hip.

More next week!

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