The MacLamity

The News That Stays News, Reported Live

Monday, May 02, 2005

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I hadn't noted, until Tom Phillips pointed out, that one of the great flaws of performance art, especially it's 1980s iteration, is its dead seriousness. The first demand it makes of its audience, is that the audience not find it funny. The Young British Artists, by contrast, were most successful where their sense of humor and absurdity was most evident. The Germans, however, have apparently not got that far yet:
There is a whimsical and absurd trend among German and Austrian artists. While these qualities may characterise much British humour, in recent Germanic art it really isn't half as funny. In fact, it's a bit laboured and depressing. The madcap culprits include German artist John Bock, or Austrian artist Franz West who makes big, misshapen plaster rings that you're invited to wear around your neck (why? Well, hey, just for a laugh).
[...]
Dada artists performed absurd actions and celebrated the notion of chance. It was meant to provoke and disturb, which it did very effectively.
There is nothing, however, provocative and disturbing about Slominski's work. It isn't a reaction to anything but simply a celebration of its own inanity.