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Thread: Chip 'n' Dip

  1. #1
    Senior Member Lunasong's Avatar
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    Default Chip 'n' Dip





    Darren Bader's Guacamole French Horn was the centerpiece of last weekend's Frieze Art Fair on Randall's Island (San Francisco, CA). Visitors to the Andrew Kreps Gallery booth there could dip their chips into an endless supply of guacamole, gurgling out of a gorgeous (and expensive) French horn.

    Young Bader, a kind of Gabriel Orozco in diapers, has been featured in a recent New York magazine photo spread as a "hot artist" and fawned over by my pal Andrew "Voice of His Generation" Russeth in the New York Observer. What Bader represents is the code of juvenilia to which much contemporary art has been reduced, high-priced Cabbage Patch Dolls and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, re-fashioned for spoiled collectors, always longing for the next present under the Xmas tree.

    In this pursuit, Bader manages to trivialize, in one vulgar artwork, all sorts of esthetic nobility, starting with the most pristinely beautiful, in form and tone, instrument in the orchestra, the French horn, filling it with edible ****. Bader, of course, also mocks the message of loss in the work of Felix Gonzalez-Torres (a lover dead from AIDS cannot be substituted by an endless stream of candy) by filling collector bellies with avocado mush.

    The participatory element of dipping chips into a messy horn of plenty nicely mocks the spending of collector dollars and the whole piece so resembles an overflowing toilet as to neatly, yet unthreateningly, reference Duchamp's Fountain, and, not to stretch a point too distantly, Andy Warhol's Taylor Mead's ***.

    So why is Bader not some kind of genius for inspiring me to come up with all these associations from the shiny well of classic contemporary? Because he dumbs everything down without any subtlety or true wit to underscore the message of all Bader's practice, that "he don't give a ****." So why should you give a crap, especially when, at Frieze, you are eating it?
    Charlie Finch
    "To be a musician is a curse. To NOT be one is even worse." Jack Daney

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    Senior Member Ukko's Avatar
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    An entertaining post, but... the French horn is not beautiful. It is a Rube Goldberg contraption, barely able to perform its intended function (which to be sure is not the excretion of guacamole).
    I spent a fortune on deodorant before I realized that people don't like me anyway.

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    Senior Member Moira's Avatar
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    I love the concept of using a French horn as a guacomole receptacle. It reduces haute culture to the act of filling one's belly alternatively it elevates us all to an understanding of art as something upon which we can nibble luxuriously decadent morsels.

    And as Hilltroll points out, it is an awful instrument which is usually very badly played. 90% of the audible false notes in any performance come from the horn section. Ok, I sucked that statistic out of the guacomole, but sometimes it seems like that.

    Besides, the guacomole may get a bit messy in the instrument, but it won't damage it. The first thing I was taught when learning to play a brass instrument (admittedly one owned by The Salvation Army) was to take it apart and WASH it - apparently essential if one doesn't want to get repeated colds from the germs lurking in the instrument (no, I'm not going into the science of that). So the expensive horn is not damaged and is still usable for creating music after it has served a more practical aesthetic purpose.

    And it really gets people talking.

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    Senior Member Lunasong's Avatar
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    From 2011 7-Eleven Slurpee BYO Cup Day in Australia:

    Euphonium Slurpee.
    "To be a musician is a curse. To NOT be one is even worse." Jack Daney

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lunasong View Post
    From 2011 7-Eleven Slurpee BYO Cup Day in Australia:

    Euphonium Slurpee.
    Yuk, I hope someone cleaned it out first. There was a dead mouse in a tuba once, it got stuck and couldn't turn round. No one knew it was there.

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    Senior Member Lunasong's Avatar
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    Food related in a roundabout way...


    Urinals at Jazzissimo Lounge in Timisoara, Romania.
    "To be a musician is a curse. To NOT be one is even worse." Jack Daney

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lunasong View Post
    Food related in a roundabout way...


    Urinals at Jazzissimo Lounge in Timisoara, Romania.
    These are probably more likely to have rats in them than mice?

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