Wednesday, June 18, 2008

NSFW? NSFL!

So, seconds after I posted an hilarious Sarah Silverman invective-laden comedy skit on this site (warning that it was NSFW) I came across an article in The Age detailing a police visit to an art exhibition which is part of the Biennale of Sydney.

The exhibition features work from Australian artist Mike Parr and includes:

* "...footage of Parr sitting in a chair slicing his arm with a blade and holding his index finger over a lit candle until his skin burns"

* More footage of Parr, "...having the flesh on his face stitched with a needle and cotton thread, and vomiting what appears to be blue dye"

* Footage of chickens being beheaded.

Apparently, the art is Parr's "...most daring and demanding performance and explores "trauma and subjectivity", and the curators claim that they are, "poignant artworks where the viewer is confronted with revolting situations"

Parr was born with a mutilated arm. I suggest he was born also with a mutilated brain.

Is this art? Is this what it's all come to? Was Warhol right when he said, "Art is anything you can get away with"? But Jeez, at least Warhol's stuff is great to look at. Even Bill 'Creepazoid' Henson's works display an 'artistry' of sorts, but what Muse in Hell inspires a man (and an Arts Community, funded by Government) to get some old footage of chickens getting their heads chopped off, pressing 'play' on a VHS and calling it 'art'?

Maybe I'm getting old, I don't know. I just like some art with my art, if you know what I mean. I blame all of this, every performance and installation artist and every two-bit writer who is all form and zero meaning on Gertrude Stein. It's all her fault, all of it.

This shit is truly not safe for work, or for life.

The article is here if you're interested.

21 comments:

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Really it all boils down to the old question of what is art? What is it for?

Is it to provoke? Uplift? Enlighten?

Not having seen the material in question, the only response I can make is - seems a bit tough on the chickens.

Maybe our Sydney-based correspondent Sweatergirl can review this for us.

Puss In Boots said...

I thought the preserved dead horse hanging from the ceiling was somewhat disturbing, let alone chickens being decapitated.

Boogeyman said...

The horse was dead?

Well that just screwed it all up for me.

wari lasi said...

Do you eat chicken Puss?

They all get decapitated before we roast them up and then tear them apart with our bare hands.

This coming close on the heels of the Henson debacle will have most conservatives (sorry, that's me) asking what the fuck is going on in the "art" world. And is there no end to the ridiculous shit that can be done in the name of art?

catlick said...

Is it art? I guess it depends somewhat on the age of the chickens.

Boogeyman said...

20 years after the Headless Chickens burst onto the New Zealand indie music scene, they return with a hanging horse and a masochistic wanker to impress the gullible Sydney art scene.

Mr E Discharge said...

And is there no end to the ridiculous shit that can be done in the name of art?

NO! About twenty years ago for ten years I was a latter day "Magic Alex" for bunch of conceptual artists here and in the US. 10 years of total silly.

Examples:

(a) Designing highly sensitive hydro phone systems for recording small ponds. The artist would then play the recording of one pond to another pond and record the reaction of the second pond. Something about Quantum Theory. Hailed as a masterpiece by the international arts community. Try keeping a straight face when you're sitting in an opera house with two thousand seriously ernest people listening to puddles.ART!

(b)Melbourne based "word artist" gets an all expenses paid trip to Austria plus a fifteen grand appearance fee. Prior to departure he asks the national broardcaster to send people out to record people in the street telling their favorite Dog Stories. When he arrives in Austria , he's asked what he's going to do to the recordings to "turn them into Art". Nothing! says he. That evening half of Southern Austria were glued to their radio listening to the other half of Southern Austria telling dog stories. The reaction was such that he was approached by the Hungarians to come to Budapest to repeat his performance.ART!

(c)A Volkswagon painted with luminous paint sitting the middle of a park surrounded by high powered lighting towers. Every ten minutes the lights turn off, the car glows in the dark making sounds of scraping metal on metal. Rinse, Repeat. ART!.

Mike Parr? Pfft, cheap Stelarc knock off. A nobody in the international Bullshit Artz scene.

Sweatergirl said...

Sure, I can do that. I might take the child and see if I can scar him for life.

Puss In Boots said...

Not very often, Wari. I was vegan for 10 years. Not because I care about the animals, I just think they taste horrid. I eat them occasionally now (but don't eat pigs), but I still eat a vegetarian diet 95% of the time.

Having said that, it's not the decapitation of them that I found disturbing, it's the filming of it and showing it in public that I found odd. Who wants to watch a video of headless chickens? Weird. About as odd as those weirdos email-forwarding that poor dude who got his head hacked off by terrorists a few years ago. What sort of people actually want to watch that sort of stuff? I don't get it.

wari lasi said...

No worries puss, I thought you were offended by the chicken being killed. Vegan? No milk or anything? Did you get sick?

I love pigs. I say to Emma, "Why did God give us pigs?". And she says, "Because they taste great!" Bacon, ham, roast pork, wantons, all that strange Yum Cha stuff with minced pork in them. Yummy.

And Mr E, I tend to agree, there really isn't anything they can't call art. Two puddles talking to each other!

How many surrealists does it take to change a light bulb?
Two. One to hold the giraffe and one to fill the bathtub with brightly coloured power tools.

Boogeyman said...

Art reached its zenith with the painting 'Dogs playing snooker'. The art world has since produced nothing so sublime.

Puss In Boots said...

I'm lactose intolerant anyway, so no, I didn't. I only stopped because I was getting fat eating all those potatoes and pasta. I had to be hypnotised to eat meat again though, and even now I'm not that keen on it. And pigs are gross.

And no, it doesn't offend me them being killed, I just don't know why anyone would want to watch it.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

I'm lacrosse intolerant.

Stupid fuckin' game.

RandomGit said...

So I take it none of you have ever pondered the works of GG Allin?

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

So I take it none of you have ever pondered the works of GG Allin?

Not on a full stomach, no.

Boogeyman said...

I'm lacrosse intolerant.

That's what you get for not attending an English upper-crust private girls' school.

Perseus said...

"I had to be hypnotised to eat meat again though..."

What?

Hey Mr. E: What did the ponds 'say'?

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

"Look deep into my eyes.

You will eat a lamb chop, lamb chops are delicious."

Damn, I'm making myself hungry.

Puss In Boots said...

Hahaha. Not quite. I'm serious though. I tried to go back to meat by myself, but after 10 years of not eating animal products, I just couldn't do it. It made me ill. So I got clinical hypnotherapy (like they use to help you stop smoking). It only worked about 50% though. I still have an aversion to animal products, but I'll eat them occasionally now because I know I should.

wari lasi said...

It only worked about 50% though

Try half a steak then, or better still, half a rasher of bacon. I can smell it cooking now.

Mr E Discharge said...

Hey Mr. E: What did the ponds 'say'?

Small talk mostly, the usual stuff, temperature, turbidity, pH. You know how it is with invertebrate pond life. Anybody heard from Cookster lately?

As a performance piece it was less about what was being said, more about the juxtaposition of individual streams of conciousness within a closed fractal landscape.

I'm told.

For further information on this fasinating topic. Google:
"Chaos and the Emergent Mind of the Pond, A collage of underwater invertebrate sounds" by David Dunn.

There will be a quiz.