David Thompson
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December 14, 2008

Comments

Anna

"I had been awarded a stipend from the Swedish government that enabled me to live and work in L.A. for 6 months."

Maybe they just wanted her as far away as possible.

carbon based lifeform

"except for when a police officer pulled up alongside me, at which point there was no doubt that my privileged position in society acted as a protective shield."

Her privileged position as what - a talentless freeloading tosser? And did the police officer actually do anything?

David

“And did the police officer actually do anything?”

Alas, she doesn’t say, which I guess means no. I suppose we’re meant to believe that the mere proximity of a police car is a symbol of the Oppressive Bourgeois Hegemon™ and thus a mortal threat to the artistic fire within.

carbon based lifeform

Yeah, because when someone breaks into your house the first thing you look for is a conceptual artist.

Anna

LOL

Gort

"Complex cultural diversity… creating a space… explores collective identity… communities... personal narrative… conveying inputs… intervention…"

Kill me. Kill me now.

Franklin

"...at which point there was no doubt that my privileged position in society acted as a protective shield."

If one didn't know better, one might think she was boasting.

Revvy

... Oh good GOD. This is why when asked my profession I say 'Illustrator'. 'Artist' would connect me with these kinds of idiots.

Baltar's Beard

"because when someone breaks into your house the first thing you look for is a conceptual artist."

From Protein Wisdom: http://i175.photobucket.com/albums/w131/vermontaigne/-5.jpg

David

“This is why when asked my profession I say ‘Illustrator’. ‘Artist’ would connect me with these kinds of idiots.”

Ah, but the real art is getting funding for horseshit of this magnitude.

TDK

You know the first thought that came onto my mind is

"there really is an invisible knapsack".

There's no other way this woman could carry that much baggage otherwise.

klipper

What if the conservatively dressed women were taking the piss and wrote "fuck the police" ironically?

John D

Did the taxpayers of Sweden and Denmark get to keep the car and its "transcending force"?

Dutch Canuck

What a waste of a perfectly good Super Beetle. Perhaps it would have been more transgressive if he had gotten people to mark up a late-model S-class Benz ... belonging to a perfect stranger who parked in the spot behind the Beetle. But hey, then he might have had to blow the whole stipend to make bail. How much fun is that?

Spiny Norman

Lifestyles of the Sniveling, Privileged and Pampered. Who knew narcissism was a career option?

Franklin

Funding at that level requires horseshit of that magnitude. The phrases that make Gort beg for death are the markers that you have to throw out if you want to garner approval for your project from your fellows in the academic salon, who would rather commit ritual suicide than support a creative effort that didn't purport to deal with some kind of issue. If you largely make art for visual reasons and write about it sensibly, you're in real trouble.

Revvy, I feel your pain but I refuse to cede ground to them. I'm an artist because I make art. Vestergaard's an artist because there's nowhere else to categorize that crap.

Bunny Smedley

FUCK THE POLICE had legitimized a liberty where people could express themselves without reservation ...

... as long, presumably, as they had the wit to express the correct thought. Or would the artist have been just as keen to legitimize a liberty where people could express a thought along the lines of 'SUPPORT THE POLICE- SOME OF THEM ARE QUITE NICE REALLY', or even 'FUCK PUBLIC FUNDING FOR THE ARTS'?

Shades of a Yoko Ono project at a recent Venice Biennale, where one could place stickers, or magnets or something - for some reason the finer details of this life-changingly liberating artistic intervention into my world-view escape me at the moment - saying 'Peace' on a map of the world. But what if one wanted to say something other than 'Peace'? Too bad, really. I remember regretting the fact that I don't actually always carry an indelible marking-pen upon my person.

pst314

"Ah, but the real art is getting funding for horseshit of this magnitude."

Call it the Arts & Craps Movement. :-P

pst314

"Call it the Arts & Craps Movment"

Did you not find that funny, David? I thought it was a moderately clever reference to the Arts & Crafts Movement which gave us so much beautiful work.

J. Peden

"Fuck the Police" and "except for when a police officer pulled up alongside me"?

If anyone thinks these are rare or unique, they'll surely be champing at the bit to come over to see pictures of my dog, Bumpsie, and maybe even my lovely home movies!

David

Apologies for the recent glitch with invisible comments. I’ve had several villagers taken out and shot, so it shouldn’t happen again. I think Franklin hits the nail on the head. Ms Vestergaard’s generic verbiage is not only a marker of flummery and incompetence, it’s also the language of funding. Which makes the pretensions of radicalism even less convincing:

“Funding at that level requires horseshit of that magnitude. The phrases that make Gort beg for death are the markers that you have to throw out if you want to garner approval for your project from your fellows in the academic salon, who would rather commit ritual suicide than support a creative effort that didn't purport to deal with some kind of issue. If you largely make art for visual reasons and write about it sensibly, you're in real trouble.”

“Did the taxpayers of Sweden and Denmark get to keep the car and its ‘transcending force’?”

Alas, we’re not told this either. And, as with Ms Vestergaard’s work in general, it’s quite hard to care.

In other news, Ms Vestergaard has shared her wisdom and experience at a conference titled, rather grandly, “Tracing the New Mobilities Regimes: the Analytical Power of the Social Sciences and the Arts.”

http://cosmobilities.net/fullnews.php?id=78

Yes, the arts and social “sciences” are coming out of this looking really, really good.

Horace Dunn

"Support the police - as it is their duty to uphold our right to write rude words on cars".

Did I read somewhere that Miss Vestergaard is now taking her Free Expression Car to Saudi Arabia? Or perhaps I dreamt it.

David

Horace,

“Or perhaps I dreamt it.”

Yes, I fear so. My estimation of Ms Vestergaard might have risen significantly if she’d taken her “intervention” to Zambia, Iran or Saudi Arabia - ideally Mecca - where it could conceivably mean something. Perhaps neither she nor her sponsors think “breaking social boundaries” and “expressing oneself against power” would be quite so welcome there, or indeed tolerated.

http://davidthompson.typepad.com/photos/pictures1/mecca_beckons.jpg

Loitering around festivals and protests in L.A., among sympathetic people and where no real threat exists, doesn’t quite cut it.

dirigible

"Oppressive Bourgeois Hegemon™"

You should definitely go for a registered trademark. Like the guy who trademarked "freedom of expression"...

Horace Dunn

David

"Loitering around festivals and protests in L.A., among sympathetic people and where no real threat exists, doesn’t quite cut it."

Yes, indeed. Of course, I wouldn't necessarily want Ms Vestergaard to put herself in harms way. And of course there's no intrinsic need for artists to be in danger in order to produce works of art. What rankles of course is when artists like Ms V BEHAVE as though their activities require moral and physical courage. I can never work our whether they truly believe that they are being "edgy" when they're only being conformist, or whether they're just playing up to the trendy dimwits who like to be fooled by the illusion. Sometimes I think it's just intellectual and linguistic hoop-jumping, like when playwrights are commended for their bravery because they have written a play critical of Guantanamo Bay, or the Israeli Wall. In this case "bravery" has simply ceased to mean what it used to mean, but it still retains its glamour and provides a warm glow.

Anyhow, I can’t work out quite where this particular pathology lies, which I think is why I find it so irritating.

Did you see that episode of Top Gear where the lads went off to the deep South of the USA and drove cars daubed with gay slogans and disobliging references to country and western music? That probably wasn’t art either, but it was certainly a lot more …erm … stimulating.

Mr Eugenides

I think that writing 'FUCK PUBLIC FUNDING FOR THE ARTS' on the side of Bettina's government-provided car would have been rather more profound, not to mention hilarious.

David

Horace,

“I can never work our whether they truly believe that they are being ‘edgy’ when they're only being conformist, or whether they’re just playing up to the trendy dimwits who like to be fooled by the illusion.”

You do realise we’re now pondering whether it’s *actual* self-regarding psychodrama or just the opportunist *pretence* of self-regarding psychodrama…? Either way, it doesn’t exactly impress. And, yes, we take Top Gear very seriously at Thompson Towers. It’s a religious thing.

TDK

I recall in my distant youth a similar art installation. The powers that be made a particular area in our institution clinical, sterile, cold, white and devoid of any artifice or decoration. The dehumanising intention was obvious to all who had their eyes open. So we set out to subvert it using politicised slogans. On the walls went the phrases: "Don't let the bastards grind you down", "Down with the cistern", "I heart Slade" (presumably referring to the notorious prison), "Mr Venables is a fascist", "Sharon is a slapper" and many many more. Soon the installation became the venue of choice for subversive activities such as group meetings and smoking banned substances. Unfortunately some of my colleagues were weak and when the bell went they abandoned the revolution, left the loo and trooped back into class.

Anna

"...presumably referring to the notorious prison..." :)

Dr. Westerhaus

Joyous - I'm contacting my friends in LA right now to draft me a 'supporting proposition'. I see a week-long wallowing in the La Brea Tar Pits as the best method for articulating my gender-alignment...

Anna

Don't forget to create a space for exploring cultural diversity and expressing yourself against power. And always convey your inputs.

Dr. Westerhaus

I'm thinking a slow descent into an infinitely deep pit of pure bitumen might actually be a preferable existence to digesting years of this art-balls. And I'm an artist.
They could then winch me out in 5000 years time, accusing finger still pointing aloft, and install me in my own 'Memorial Museum of Scepticism'...

blah

'Ah, but the real art is getting funding for horseshit of this magnitude.'
A Scandie masterpiece (an oldie, but you may not have heard of it): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buy_Bye_Beauty

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