It’s an understatement so massive as to defy analogy when I say that I’m not a fan of Frieze’s corporate brand and their self-appointed role as corrupt policeman of “proper” contemporary art’s boundaries. I deal in my book with the magazine’s generally quite vile ethos, which I experienced first hand at Venice Biennale. I also discuss in the book my feelings about Frieze Art Fair; these feelings are not particularly warm and fuzzy either. I won’t repeat them here. Read the book. I’m reliably informed that Frieze’s senior bigwigs take violent exception to being criticised as well, one of the true hallmarks of a whacked-out despot. Naturally this makes any criticism one engages in much more enjoyable: Matthew Slotover as Kim Jong-Il via Team America, so ronery and ranting impotently about which uncooperative artists or gallerists he’s going to have “disappeared” from critical discourse…
However, a somewhat old (early 2009) but very interesting article by Dan Fox was dug up from Frieze’s archives by somebody on Metafilter yesterday. It’s a relatively long read, but it still manages to cover quite efficiently the art world’s various overt and covert interfaces with money and prestige, and to do some serious analysis of the art world’s and many artists’ enduring, perverse love affair with obfuscatory, artbollocks language.
Other highlights include:
Fox using Sally O’Reilly as a human shield to put a round in the forehead of Sarah Thornton’s glossy, Grazia-esque, drooling, “… and of course Damien was attracted to me…” starfucker book about contemporary artists, Seven Days in the Art World. O’Reilly: “To take [Takashi] Murakami as the subject of the studio visit chapter is rather like offering Turkish Delight as a typical foodstuff.” Nice one.
Some good advice to artists from Gilbert and George, of all people.
Reference to philosopher Nina Power’s view of what she calls “Nu-Language” to create illusory gravitas, complexity and engagement with ideas where none of these things truly exist; very much along the lines of my own views on that subject, and of George Orwell’s (discussed on this blog a while ago.)
Fox’s discussion of the art world’s uncanny ability to assimilate, neutralise and monetise resistance… and the romanticism of some artists themselves in imagining how effective their resistance is, or not as is more usually the case.
… and so on. No comments or discussion are allowed on the article itself of course: THIS! IS! FRIEEEEEEZE! <Kicks unimportant civilian art lover and their worthless pauper opinions into the pit.>
Intelligent comments and discussion beyond the clutch of Frieze’s cold, dead hand at Metafilter, though.
A Serious Business by Dan Fox, at Frieze: