22 Aug

I’ve mentioned Christian Marclay’s overrated, beloved-of-the-bourgeoisie art gallery video collage The Clock before, but another YouTube supercut has surfaced recently that grants us another new perspective on the slavering art world enthusiasm for Marclay’s massive and extremely lucrative (as in bought for the permanent collections of several art museums) act of intellectual property violation, the kind of thing that gets lesser mortals sued or at the very least kicked from YouTube. If you’ve seen The Clock, I invite you to compare it to Dondrapersayswhat (NB: probably a pseudonym) and his or her mining of the same corpus of Hollywood films to stitch together a rendition of Sir-Mix-A-Lot’s already hilarious 90s hit, Baby Got Back.

… and now, bearing in mind that the research, craft and almost autistic attention to detail in Baby Got Back are easily equal to Marclay’s celebrated work (albeit in the service of silly laughs rather than a high concept), I invite you to contemplate whether this video would be art merely as a result of being put into a gallery context, or because its maker has an art world track record. Not everything an artist does is automatically art just because it’s been made by an artist, and some things not claimed as art by their makers actually are art. If it’s not art, is it not art because it’s funny or silly or accessible? Couldn’t contemporary art be these things sometimes, even if it doesn’t involve Sir Mix-A-Lot?


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