SHOUT OUT to my friend Michelle, for her awesome Oscar post on Huffington Post. I'm sad that I was not at either of the parties she mentions. Sadly, I was at home enjoying the television event solo. There was no one to hear me cynically comment that the show had an overabundance of jazz hands.
The story of MoMA's poster installation at the Atlantic/Pacific subway stop is a perplexing one. I've read a host of online articles praising the lo-fi approach to "remixing" the artworks, in the style of Poster Boy. I'm a fan of Poster Boy's work, but this latest "attack" on the MoMA subway campaign left me wondering if a line was crossed.
It's one thing for artists to mash-up subway posters advertising the new season of Housewives of New York City or pay-per-minute cellular companies. That's an attack on corporate America. That's "stickin' it to the man". The entire purose of those ads was simply to advertise, and the intervention of the artists flipped that intention on it's back, leaving new artworks to ponder in their wake.
The MoMA subway campaign was of course a method of advertising, but it was one with the additional potential to educate. The posters of individual master works in the MoMA collection were presented as replicas, for commuters to enjoy, to recognize, or to experience for the first time. I thought it might be MoMA's intention to bring art to the masses (specifically those not living in Manhattan). Additionally it was a nice reminder to the viewers that art is something to live with daily--not something locked away for only the elite to enjoy.
The politics of MoMA and museums in general is another beast to tackle (there's a huge argument that could be made on behalf of the vandals/artists that their mash-up was a political attack on the museum itself)--but let's not forget what that took away from the non-art world commuters. I would feel differently if the vandals/artists had chosen to hit a campaign in a community that is specifically art-world-ly (say, posters in West Chelsea?) because viewers might be more appreciative of the dialog. I'm not a daily commuter at the Atlantic/Pacific subway stop, but I can't help wondering if a few of them feel robbed of what was, for a short while, a daily mini-MoMA visit.
Those of you waltzing down 26th street this week may have noticed that our windows have temporarily gone dark. This is to assure you that we are simply between installations. Up next we will be featuring an installation by Soner On. Here's a pic of Soner (below), hard at work with Rob to prepare the Glow Room for his project. It will soon be visible from the street--we'll keep you posted on it!