Tag Archives: Miami


15 Mar

“Young collectors cocktails”

At PULSE (sic… they always style it like that) Miami Beach 2016 this December, there will be a “private preview brunch”, followed later that day by “young collectors cocktails.” I know, I had an urge to vomit too. The poor grammar here suggests that the cocktails will be made from young collectors; while I do think it’s a good idea for the 1% to be pestled and pulverised I’m going to assume they mean cocktails for young collectors.

These young collectors will probably only be slightly richer than the exhibitors, because it costs a (non-refundable) $275 to apply, plus a $2000 deposit against your final charge of either $4960 for a small booth with three lights– woo!– or a medium booth with a crazy FOUR lights for $6,200. You do get your $2000 back if they don’t accept you, you lucky thing, though $2000 is probably nothing to anybody moving in these circles. “Drayage” is included, which is brilliant because there’s no need to have your staff equip the horses and harness them to the Pantechnicon.

Many purveyors of wall-based decoration will be there, but probably not a single person worthy to be called an artist. Horrific events like PULSEMiamibeach2016 are one of the reasons I have a GÖTTERDÄMMERUNG tag on this site.


14 Mar

ArtBTheatreTitleMore dramatic readings of the worst artist statements, gallery press releases and art criticism every week, except when I don’t do them every week.

Do you like soil? Are you interested in the self? Not soiling yourself. That’s a different thing. No, this is how one of the artists describes his oeuvre as represented in an exhibition of South Korean artists at Mindy Solomon Gallery in Miami. For the purposes of this week’s reading I’ve mashed up several of the artists’ statements into one incoherent whole. In as much as one can generalise, I’ve rarely come away disappointed from exhibitions by South Korean artists. Whatever the Korean equivalent of je ne sais quoi is, I think many of them have it. Google unhelpfully translates je ne sais quoi as eotteon 어떤, “any”. Yes, Korean artists have any. Thanks Google, you arsehole.

Where was I? I think Korean artists are generally quite interesting, and even if they weren’t I’d usually give them some slack for writing in a foreign language because I sure as hell couldn’t write one in Korean. However, since this gallery is in Florida that consideration is not relevant because the gallery is responsible for making sure their publicity material, catalogues and interpretation texts don’t inadvertently make foreign artists sound like imbeciles.

Talking of imbecility, one thing that probably can’t be put down to translation issues is yet again an artist expressing open disdain for thinking and a concomitant lauding of just doing whatever. Artists used to be renowned for their intelligence and deep thought, didn’t they? When (and why) did it become OK for artists to sneer at thinking? This anti-intellectualism is particularly weird and dissonant when it so often sits right alongside the current fashion for artists to cloak themselves in language that apes social science, physics, psychology and so forth.

Let’s play Artbollocks Bingo!

Ree Soo-Jong says of his pots, in his own words: ‘My work happens through manual kneading of soil, showing its natural, raw aspects and calling for viewers’ instant reflections on the work. Through the unification of soil and self, I intend to reach a primitive essence. The refreshing fascination with nature through soil provides an infinite sense of lifeforce, and also a positive significance to my own life. My work begins with the touching of soil. I think of myself as a very sensitive person who spends more time working rather than thinking; thus, I don’t really care so much about the outcome of my works. Whatever it comes out to be, whether a jar or a human form, the important thing is not the result but rather the breath-like act of rubbing soil and my devotion toward it. It is undeniable that giving real significance to the act of creating itself provides the most delight and meaning for me.’

One of the phrases that should never under any circumstances appear in an artist’s statement or press release is “I don’t really care.” The whole second half of this paragraph raises the question of why we should care or pay any attention to an artist who admits to not caring what we think, and not being bothered at all whether he produces anything provided he can be left alone with his dirt and the touching and the sensitivity.

He actively shows work and is collected in Korea and worldwide, including [blah blah blah].

Woo! He actively shows work! Unlike all those boring artists who passively show work by leaving it face down on the floor in a cellar behind a locked door in the hope that someday a random human will stumble upon it by accident. Incidentally, his work is collected. He isn’t collected. Continue reading

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