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surrealist wednesday

My spam's a bit strange this morning. Is there a new virus on the rounds? And what am I to make of someone offering "clear out your pamela debt, no loan needed"?

Meanwhile, artists continue to do strange things: Kelly Heaton is adopting different personas to interact with Elmo: The Trapper collects Elmos through eBay; The Industrialist performs the skinning; and The Taxidermist stuffs and mounts their heads. The Alchemist solders the electronic viscera and seeks clues to the mystery of life. Other characters, The Sociopath, The Debutante, and The Fashionista, interact with the coat and its accessories at various stages in The Surrogate’s development. Much more here including an astounding Elmo merkin. Tip of the mouse to Pete for pointing me there.

To do list


2nd Oct, 2003 06:13 (UTC)
Ps do you think David Blaine in his box is art?
2nd Oct, 2003 07:56 (UTC)
nnnnnnnnyeeeeeeeeeruuuuuuum well
I'm not really in the habit of drawing a line in the sand and saying this is art, this is not, but I'm not very happy with the omnipresence of Mr Blaine, no.

Though it is better than the pole-standing thing he did before, I mean, for heavens sake -- St Simon Stylite started that centuries ago, and it's now a popular world-wide devotion/endurance activity with its own conventions, devotees and celebrities.

I think my problem with him is that he's adopting acts which are traditionally used for protest, devotion, meditation and miracle and applying them in a very transparent, banal way. Going on hunger strike over justice, I understand, walling yourself up as an act of devotion, I understand, starving yourself to prove the reality of divine sustenance, I can understand. I mean, I may not agree with the acts of the asylum seeker who sewed his mouth shut, or want to be an anchorite or a breatharian (who come in two flavours -- deluded and dead), but at least they're mortifying themself for a reason. Blaine's doing it for TV ratings, sponsorship deals and fame. He's perforating his gut, partially dissolving his skeleton and losing his hair for the money.* And that's just a bit silly and kind of embarassing.

Which isn't to say that it's not art. But I don't particularly like it. I've spent too much time working in charity and around young people to see people starving (themselves) to death as art.** Put Tilda Swinton back in her glass box -- and put Blaine in the Thames.

* Assuming we are being told the truth about him not eating.
** Though I do have a very interesting short film called The Hunger Artist on tape at home.