Le Salon des Refusés

Our guest columnist reminds us why we’re keeping our distance.

The game is up: we see through the pyramid schemes of the temples of cultural elitism controlled by the 1%. No longer will we, the artists of the 99%, allow ourselves to be tricked into accepting a corrupt hierarchical system based on false scarcity and propaganda concerning absurd elevation of one individual genius over another human being for the monetary gain of the elitest of elite. For the past decade and more, artists and art lovers have been the victims of the intense commercialization and co-optation or art. We recognize that art is for everyone, across all classes and cultures and communities. We believe that the Occupy Wall Street Movement will awaken a consciousness that art can bring people together rather than divide them apart as the art world does in our current time…

Let’s be clear. Recently, we have witnessed the absolute equation of art with capital. The members of museum boards mount shows by living or dead artists whom they collect like bundles of packaged debt. Shows mounted by museums are meant to inflate these markets. They are playing with the fire of the art historical cannon while seeing only dancing dollar signs. The wide acceptance of cultural authority of leading museums have made these beloved institutions into corrupt ratings agencies or investment banking houses- stamping their authority and approval on flimsy corporate art and fraudulent deals.

For the last few decades, voices of dissent have been silenced by a fearful survivalist atmosphere and the hush hush of BIG money. To really critique institutions, to raise one’s voice about the disgusting excessive parties and spectacularly out of touch auctions of the art world while the rest of the country suffers and tightens its belt was widely considered to be bitter, angry, uncool. Such a critic was a sore loser. It is time to end that silence not in bitterness, but in strength and love! Because the occupation has already begun and the creativity and power of the people has awoken! The Occupywallstreet Movement will bring forth an era of new art, true experimentation outside the narrow parameters set by the market. Museums, open your mind and your heart! Art is for everyone! The people are at your door!

“Occupations” are scheduled today for MoMA, the Frick, and the New Museum.

Occupy Museums! Speaking out in front of the Cannons [Paddy Johnson]

“The “Occupy Albuquerque” movement has changed its name to “(Un)occupy Albuquerque,” after concerns were raised about the negative connotations of the word ‘occupy’ in a city with a large Native American population.

“The Daily Lobo reports that protesters voted Sunday on the name change at its University of New Mexico general assembly meeting. ”

/eye roll


@JNOV: Your boyfriend’s band has a new record and single(s) out.


Oh, hey! Isn’t the rapture tomorrow?

ADD: Yeah, I think it is. Harold Camping’s third rapture prediction. But you know the third time’s the charlatan’s charm.

@redmanlaw: Iffin I click on that, and I see old dumbass Dave Mustaine, Imma yell at you. I’m digging on Peter Gabriel covering Arcade Fire right now. Don’t fuck that up. Clicking…

I forgot about that. On that note, I noticed that there hasn’t been any hoopla about the rapture in the MSM unlike the last time. Once burned twice shy?

I dunno about “revolutionary”, but I’ve found Kickstarter to be an awesome place to find art (and cool tech stuff in general). The lead times are a bit of a pain – I just started getting the rewards from stuff I backed 3-4 months ago – but even that’s actually pretty nice, as now every day I wonder, “What weird thing might be waiting in my mailbox TODAY?”

I went to the Smithsonian recently to see some smallish paintings by George Ault, a Woodstocker, misanthrope, drunk, and all-around good guy. Fell in the Mill Stream on his way back from the bar and drowned. 1942. He made a series of paintings, most by night, of a particular crossroads just above the hamlet that he would have walked past on his way home from the boozer. And they were pretty marvelous. And one painting of a snow covered barn by moonlight was spectacular. And they all looked sad being in a museum instead of a room where people live where paintings belong. So I could get behind having more everyday art in our lives. Worked pretty well for the WPA. The country was better for it then and would be so again.

Anthrax has a new zombie-themed song, “Fight ‘Em ‘Til You Can’t” on their new album. It’s doing well on the metal charts. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UzLG4gqAzkA&feature=related

@Benedick: Yes, but art manifestos are a dime a dozen. Unless you’re ready to celebrate the cultural democracy of American Idol, you’re just as elitist as the institutions you criticize. The People don’t give a shit about what’s going down at MoMA.

@ManchuCandidate: Last spring’s hoopla was driven by Camping’s promotional push, followed by everybody having fun online. The conversation has since moved on, but there will be – ahem – due notice taken in some corners tomorrow. Especially those corners who immediately added it to their brand-new iOS5 notifications. Without Siri’s help, mind you.

Ca ira, baby. That is some sans culottes shit right there… let it all burn down! Power to the 99!
@Benedick: If they did a WPA style funding of the arts, think I could quit my job and work on that? How cool would that be?

@ManchuCandidate: Right?!

Oh, I’ve never been turned away from a museum cuz I was broke. I’d be like, “I’m broke — will you take a donation?” Doesn’t work for traveling exhibits, but seems to work otherwise.

@Benedick: Wait. Whoa. I replied to you about the Barnes and stuff and it disappeared. I put it on the wrong thread like a dumbass.

@redmanlaw: And besides, Occupy Alcatraz has already been done.

The Dan wrote MooMar’s soundtrack for the final scene a while back: “I got a case of dynamite, I can hold out here all night . . . don’t take me alive.”

I think Dodger’s klezmer band with DB himself on a ES 335 are backing Fagan on this.


/on to google maps and google earth to look at some possible hunting spots . . .

@nojo: American Idol is cultural fascism. Ambition coupled with hunger presented as spectacle. It has none of the human warmth of art. It moves product.

I don’t give a shit much about what’s going on at MOMA, Much less MassMOCA. But I’ll never forget seeing The Boating Party Luncheon at the Phillips in DC hanging in a smallish room above a fireplace. Just about fell over. If people could have paintings in their homes they’d feel different. Ault’s victim wife wrote a memoir of her life with him in which she tells the story of a young man going off to fight in France whose family wanted, before he left, to buy him something that would be waiting at home for him. He chose a painting, and then he chose one of Ault’s who was having a small exhibit at Albany. All they could scrounge together was $60, being farming people, and the painting was listed at the princely sum of $150. It came back to the painter but he couldn’t not sell it to the young man so he did. Months of work. But the painting was much loved, the young man came back from the war, and there it was in the Smithsonian. I was pleased to see that it’s still in private hands. Art has become things we buy and sell. I say bring back the WPA. The hiking trails in the Catskills were made then and some of them still have beautiful staircases made from giant boulders fitted together. We should spend money on things that have no obvious utility apart from weaponry, we’d all be happier. And artists’ have always made manifestoes: hello Fauvism.

@redmanlaw: always my favorite steely dan song. way to work

@jwmcsame: I like the chord changes and guitar solo on Boddhisattva.

@Benedick: Walked through the snow to see the Phillips last January, went to JNOV’s Barnes when my kid was in school in Philly. Makes up for a lot of crap in life.

@Dodgerblue: Yes, yes it does. And yes to Boddhisattva — great song for running.

@Benedick: If people could have paintings in their homes they’d feel different.

Velvet Elvis.

I don’t disagree with anything you say — my beef is couching it in terms of “elitist” museums, when the only people who care about that are “artists” who can’t get in. The 99 Percent watch American Idol and Jersey Shore, and if they have paintings on the wall, they’re ocean waves or some such.

Me, I like WPA a lot — there’s a Thirties mural at the downtown Eugene post office — but nobody would miss it if it wasn’t there. (Except the usual Concerned Citizens, of course.) If you’re gonna be an Art Populist, there are some ugly truths you’ll have to address.

I just about died when Bo Bartlett left Chadds Ford and Andrew Wyeth died. You could go get a cup of coffee and chat with them if so moved. I suppose I could see what Jamie is up to, but the Brandywine School only goes so far.

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