MOCA takes a dump, bigly
There’s a new smell in town, and the best way to find the source is by following your nose down Grand Avenue to MOCA. Yeah, I thought it was coming from the room of stale, day-old Rothkos too, but it doesn’t take long to figure out that the odor comes from the R.M. Quaytman exhibition down the hall; don’t stop at the toilets, you may want some relief while in front of one of the “paintings”. Or one of the 22 panels that make up the 100-ft. long show stopper, “Morning, 4.545%, Chapter 30”.
To me, this piece has no reason to exist, and it’s possible that Quaytman felt the same way since she resorts to the usual trick that “idea-lite” artists employ to give their work the semblance of inspiration. Buried in this almost unending Post-Modernist filigree of 90º angles is a copy of work by, you guessed it, another artist. Sneaky, right? Well, not entirely, since Quaytman gives credit where credit is due, far across the room in a vitrine. There one finds a copy, or maybe it’s the real thing, who cares really, of a Mark Antonio Raimondi engraving called The Dream of Raphael, from 1507. Whoa, talk about a work in the public domain! How about we keep this useless conglomeration of nothingness as far as possible from the public domain and put it in storage someplace? Out of sight, out of her mind… Gee, wouldn’t that be nice? But there’s still a few horrors up the old studio assistant’s sleeve. For reasons I couldn’t be bothered to determine, there is a scaled-up version of a small article in the 1939-1940 New York World’s Fair newspaper, the World’s Fair Daily. Yes, this tiny article has been reproduced in oil, silkscreen ink and gesso, and, per the provided list of artworks, it took R.H. a minimum of two years to make it, from 2001 to 2003.
But wait! Super bitchen! There’s art in the next room that took only one year to make, the epic 2011 piece, “I Modi, Chapter 22”! Which is really cool because it makes you think what MOCA would look like if it was just one big ass, expensive thrift store. Yes, the main component is leaning against a piece of Ikea inspired furniture, has a smaller piece of art next to it and some glittery, beige-y panels haphazardly placed on top of the whole, waddaya call this, assemblage? Installation component? Sculpture? I watched people’s reactions to whatever it is and only one person stopped to look closer, which made me so excited that I went over to breathe in the air of an art experience only to see that they were texting a distant galaxy on their phone.
Well, Joseph Goebbels famously said, “If you tell a lie big enough… people will eventually come to believe it.” So, when you consider whether the massive “Morning, 4.545%, Chapter 30” is art or not, just think about who’s being lied to, bigly…