Thursday, August 11, 2011

The institutionalization of almost everything

From Abstract Expressionism to Pop, from minimalism to graffiti the wheels of institutionalization are grinding away on what’s left of our culture. Got something avant-garde? Let us help you sell it. Do you like Banksy? We’ll here a bunch of shit with his art on it, yes he’s on TV and there’s a movie out about him, never mind that he’s trying to avoid the insanity of the market like the plague. Spectacle sells and everybody knows it. On the other hand, Banksy has become a great manipulator of the market himself and learned to walk on the art market’s waters, using the art market against itself, making fun of it and by extension of himself and everybody else. Cynicism at its finest has found a savior in Banksy and the anti-christ in Damien Hirst. How would Banksy react to the fact that some marketing agency figured out that it could repackage regular hardware store spray paint, and sell it to the burgeoning graffiti art market at 200% mark up as an artist quality spray paint in hippified packaging? Wouldn’t you want to learn how to spray paint graffiti on a train car or on a wall at SCAD or RISD? We all know what Damien Hirst would do though. He’d make the cans solid gold with a polished diamond tip and fill it with the tears of humpback whales and sell it at Sotheby’s for $5 mil each. Then Jeff Koons would do us all a favor and produce a shiny giant replica of the spray can with a picture of the whale smiling. Thomas Kinkade would just produce another one of his artistic still births without much regard for his or anyone else’s soul or consideration for aesthetic and moral principles.
Bill Hicks said it best himself, referring to the forces that truly drive our politics and economy “if you’re in the marketing business….kill yourself! You have no rationalization for what you do, you are Satan’s little helpers, kill yourself. Suck a tail pipe, borrow a pistol from an NRA buddy and rid the world of your evil fucking presence, you are fucked and you are fucking us, kill yourself, kill yourself, kill yourself now. Now, back to the show…!”
The true power of marketing has to be the inane right wing clown show we get to see on FOX every waking minute prepackaged and prechewed just right for the idiotopia that the United States has become since papa Reagan was let loose upon this land. Who can explain the phenomenon that evil spawn like Bill O’reilly get to “write” books about themselves and call it Culture Warrior? I have searched in the shadowiest corners and crevices to find the answers and came up short.

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