BASHIN' THE BJORK
I'm old school. Even when I was a young punk I held fast to the romantic version of art and the long suffering artist. It was a relatively solitary pursuit, pursued by putting in time. You didn't have to have a big studio, or even make anything for that matter. But what you did have to do was sit your ass down and think about the next piece. And that piece could take any form: painting, drawing, sculpture, action, video, film, song, or if one was lucky enough, a new approach. Then, through word of mouth, you inform the world that you are an artist. It's a slow process. It can take decades.
Everything gets in the way of this. You gotta pay the rent, eat, drink, woo women, buy drugs, etc. That means if you are not selling work, you have to work. So it goes. The work continues (art and otherwise) sporadically. Now, the other way of being an artist is to come out of some hot MFA program at BugFuck U. and hit the ground running with big shows, big sales and get a big name instantly. It happens. Then you have a long career ahead of you (that goes well or not). Bingo! You're an artist. But there's a third way. And that's where The Bjork comes in. Bjork may not be a household name, but she's pretty famous. She was all over MTV in the 90's with her quirky songs and wore that silly swan dress at some awards show. You know the one? Well, The Bjork has a major retrospective at MOMA. That's the Museum of Modern Art. The one in NY. Didn't know she was an artist? Well, neither did most of the rest of the world.
Facebook mavens like Kenny Schachter and Walter Robinson are all up in arms over The Bjork getting a MOMA prime spot. And rightfully so. I'm fucking flabbergasted as well. And to me it's personal. Here I am nursing my little passion, all on my own, willing to take any kinda crumbs that may fall from the banquet table . And then there's The Bjork. She was married to Mathew Barney. Now I'm no big fan of his either, but hell, at least he's a big successful artist, not a pop star. Now, I'm not delusional. I can't compete with anybody anymore. I know that. I've been melting into a little stagnant puddle for some time now. Soon I'll be only the memory of the stain. Unless I live to 150, forget my MOMA retrospective.
Now maybe if I went and saw The Bjork Show I would change my mind. But there's no way I'm gonna plop down $20 to go to MOMA for anybody. And maybe that's the bigger problem. The public has to be lured. And I'm sure The Bjork's packing 'em in. Celebrity that can be re-packaged as art is there for the taking by any curator or museum board that is willing to take the chance. Critics are hollow voices in the wasteland. No one gives a shit if The Bjork is bashed by the critics. The bottom line is ticket sales. There's a wiff of PT Barnum and Madame Tussaude in it all. And a certain sacrilege in her inhabiting this MOMA sacred space. But when all's said and done, it really isn't my church anymore (if it ever was). I'll never see The Bjork at MOMA. It's already old news. And she'll never see my 3 days in Brooklyn in June. Lets call it even.