The other day as I was loitering around the exit ramp of Hell – as you do – I happened to glance downward just in time to see a snowball roll right up to my shoes. Wow! How did that happen? Later that same day as I was reading the Times on my way back from my pointless work day in the putrid pits of damnation I came across this story – “Art Awards and Irony at the Guggenheim.” The article begins with “Is the art world ready for its Oscar moment?” Then it goes into detail about a so-called ironic awards event that gives out “best of” categories much like every horrific awards show we’ve ever seen on TV. I wasn’t there so I probably missed the red carpet entrances and the Joan Rivers (or an unreasonable Art World Facsimile) interviews – “OOH! Who are you wearing?.” Now maybe this event would have been more ironic if it had not been done at the Guggy which traffics in these sorts of populist entertainments. Maybe it would have been ironic if no one showed, but they did, in droves. Maybe it would have been ironic if there weren’t acceptance speeches, but there were, “…tearfully thanked his parents, his creative partner Lizzie Fitch and his “more than just a dealer” Elizabeth Dee.” We could go on but why? The real irony is how little irony there seems to be when curators, artists, critics, gallerists and galleries that specialize in blue chip status symbols throw themselves a party at a major art institution, award themselves “Best Of” accolades and pronounce that it’s all done in good fun. I don’t care if Jimi Hendrix’s impressive plaster casted penis wins best in show, it doesn’t even approach the size of the balls it took to throw this thing.
Kind of like the MTV awards, which were intended to be ironic when first inaugurated, this event threatens to become a real Annual Event, which will more than likely criss cross the globe and be presented in various marketable venues – timed, of course, to coincide with Art Fairs or Biennials. Once the powers-that-be figure out how to make money from this thing, it will become an irony free zone with any hint of archness on total lockdown. This goofy idea is a career maker for the Conceptual Artist that conceived it – his name is Rob Pruitt. And all I can say is he better copyright the entire function and partner up with some moneyed institution or else it will be the Last Annual Award Show with his name on it.
And on that note – We at Henri award the Annual Art Douche Bag of the Year Award to any and all who attended and participated in this glittering event!