“My art has been commended as being strongly vaginal, which bothers some men. The word itself makes some men uncomfortable. Vagina. Yes, they don’t like hearing it and find it difficult to say, whereas without batting an eye a man will refer to his dick or his rod or his ‘Johnson’.” Maude Lebowski
You don’t need me to tell you that the Coen Brothers’ film The Big Lebowski is a classic; just ask the internet. It’s also remarkable for having two painfully accurate satires of contemporary artists in it. The art talk and Julianne Moore’s mid-Atlantic Sylvia Plath drawl, geometric hair and snotty attitude are all perfectly observed, and hilarious. In fact there’s three painfully accurate satires of contemporary artists if you count The Dude’s landlord Marty and his almost entirely unattended vanity premiere of a self-devised interpretative dance/performance art piece to Mussorgsky in a “nude” bodystocking and plastic vines. I’m sure many of us art lovers have been to those shows and regretted it.
Maudie’s friend with the cleft asshole Knox Harrington, the video artist, does (by his own admission) “nothing much” except spend all afternoon giggling girlishly at magazines and reluctantly answering the phone to Sandro from the Biennale:
Meanwhile Maude Lebowski makes her commendably vaginal work by being hoisted naked on a zip line and flinging paint as she passes the canvas. She also, of course, mutilates old mannequins– some can be seen in the picture at the top and in the one above with Knox Harrington, the video artist. And she has two decorative assistants of uncertain purpose.
“It’s a male myth about feminists. That we hate sex. It can be a natural, zesty enterprise.” Maude Lebowski
Unfortunately the only clues we hear about Maude’s involvement with the Biennale is her hysterical tittering before she replies to Sandro with “Che ridiculo!”, and she’s not even a real person, but I’m sure that as always a number of artists showing at Venice this summer will be doing everything they can to keep the spirit of her practice and her artistic philosophy alive. I think henceforth we should call them the Maude Lebowski School. Let’s give Maude herself the final word.