Monday, June 28, 2010

The art of reality

by Alison Kubler
Sarah Jessica Parker with Simon de Pury, the "mentor" of Bravo's "Work of Art." Photo courtesy of Bravo

I was in the hair salon today when the iPhone of the woman next to me rang to the Sex and the City ringtone. While I cringed for her as she tried, in vain and red-faced, to get to it in time before the entire song had played, it got me thinking: what is a quirky ringtone if not the harbinger of doom? Was my co-salonite a complete bimbo? (Cue pensive look out the window while Carrie muses...).

But seriously, when the world as we know it finally implodes and the earth is covered in the ash of humanity's combined accumulated cultural bric-a-brac, who will be left to take the time to comb through the sludge? Will the anthropologists and archaeologists of the future give enough of a proverbial to trawl through the mangled wreck of iEverything that brought about our spectacular demise in an attempt to garner just what it was that made us all tick? I fear what they will find will be distinctly less illuminating than the Rosetta stone and the southern facade metopes of the Parthenon. Because I know what they will find already: Sarah Jessica Parker. The woman is ubiquitous, in a kind-of good way, and in a 'for the love of God, why her?' way too. And now, for reasons known only to herself and the good people of Bravo, she has made a reality TV show about artists. I am incredulous.

It is yet to air in Australia but when it does dear reader I shall be there, glued to the screen I assure you, waiting to post updates. In short, this is the premise of Work of Art: The Next Great Artist according to the Bravo website: "13 contestants will compete for a gallery exhibition, a cash prize and a sponsored national tour. The artists will create works in the fields of sculpture, painting, photography, industrial design and more. Their completed works will be judged by a panel of art world figures including gallerists. collectors, curators, critics and fellow artists. The finalists' work will be featured in a nationwide museum tour." Hmmmm. The prestigious museum in question is the Brooklyn Museum and the art world figures are a strange bunch to say the least.

Oh, they are competing also for $100,000 (sponsored by Prismacolor) which is not to be sneezed at. It is an entirely brilliant and ridiculous concept for a TV show. It is hard to believe that any artist could approach the idea of participating in such a show with anything other than the ironic intention of making it a conceptual performance: "My conceptual program investigates the suspension of disbelief in the context of a reality show." But no, it seems that the entrants are 'serious' artists who want to be taken seriously. Okay, I admit I haven't seen a single episode so I will reserve judgement (sort of)... but given that each week contestants are given challenges such as 'paint a portrait', 'make a sculpture', 'design a book cover'; it seems inevitable it shall fall into parody. The word 'emotion' is bandied about way too much on the website and one of the finalists is named Peregrine. I rest my case. The SJP connection? She is a producer. This means that conceivably when some archaeologist eventually does piece together our society's great cultural moments he/she may make the assumption that SJP was also a great patron, an art doyenne, an artist even. Oh God, I just remembered Charlotte used to work in an art gallery on SATC. She was a curator! It's worse than I thought: I cannot think of a single thing to say, so here's something completely unrelated:

Charlotte, curator & gallerina on SATC

Charlotte: Imagine being completely blind and not being able to see a beautiful day like today. Can you think of anything worse?

Anthony: Stonewashed jeans and a matching jacket.


Heidi Yardley said...

I love that scene, I think it's the one where he looks up to the sky and says 'Nice day to get laid' genius! Thanks for alerting us to this frightening reality show...not looking forward to it x

Alison Kubler said...

It is alarming but I will HAVE to watch it I just know! Thanks Heidi for following the blog

Fiona said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fiona Pattinson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fiona Pattinson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fiona Pattinson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fiona Pattinson said...

Great writing but Yikes at the content! I look forward to your updates Alison!
I'm a fan of Prismacolor but wish they would throw their money around more intelligently. I know, I know - the ubiquitous dollar.

Fiona Pattinson said...

Sorry Alison - my computer went nuts and wouldn't stop posting. I'm trying to remove them X