This is the Walker Art Center.

That is art.

I know what you’re thinking: no, it’s Play-Doh Poo on a massive scale. Possibly. Possibly Play-Doh Poo. But it could be just an object created for its own sake, so you can look at it and think: What an interesting rethinking of the notions of color, cylinders, location, and tapered feces. What counts, I guess, is the non-traditional form, since that spurs us to have a conversation about things we’d previously thought settled issues. Such as, what is sculpture?

Well, I think the term is quite elastic, and encompasses almost any built object these days. No evident dexterity is required; no representation of recognizable shapes is expected; the ability to reproduce known objects, human form, and organic shapes is a rarity, and has been since modern art blew up the Quality Factory in the early 20th century so they could build a warehouse stuffed with unloveable rubbish. Does that answer your question?

Uh - well, I suppose, but we could have a conversation about the democratization of shape.

We could have a conversation about the endocrine system of fish, too; doesn’t mean we have to, or we would profit much from the chat. Words like “the democratization of shape” are meaningless collisions of stilted-up nonsense that attempt to imbue the art with a higher purpose the work itself obviously lacks. They’re meant to silence the conversation if you don’t buy into the blather; they’re meant to signal a certain mindset I you’re invested in this theoretical twaddle.

But if you must: by “democratization” you mean the demotion of excellence, since the manual and artistic skill required to sculpt - well, this -

. . . is evidently beyond the artist, but we can’t say there’s a hierarchy of talent. That would otherwise great masses of artists who have a lot to say about the world and meant to say it via brightly-hued, poorly-rolled cigars. Once we have dethroned the old skills, we rob the old privileged orders of their authority, and everyone gets up on the walls, or laid out in the sculpture gardens. This does not empower the artist, though; it just ennobles a new class of gatekeepers, who have on their side the institution’s approval to add non-aesthetic criteria as a justification for inclusion within the hallowed walls. The colorful poops may have extra value based on the artist’s own story, and if the artist uses the proper language - the interplay of the colorful poops gives the viewer an opportunity to reflect on the hierarchy of form throughout history - well, then it’s permanent collection material.

Really, “Democratization of Shape”? Did that pop out of the Whitney Biennial Theme Generator?

Your picture undercuts your own argument. Note how the traditional structure in the middle distance provides a focal point of order, a spindle around which the less formal shapes revolve.

Oh, that’s just happy coincidence. Little in modern art intentionally relates to anything else. It’s a narcissistic pose, and if it somehow lines up with something else outside of its own solipsistic me-me-me creator’s mindset, it’s like a baby farting on the beat during a piano concerto. Happenstance.

I dropped Daughter off here for the Teen Takeover of the Walker, an annual event. A few years ago, she attended; this year, she’s part of the WACTAC, the Walker’s youth council.

  She has a certain amount of amusement about modern art as well, possibly because her abilities produce things like these drawings that were made into temporary tattoos for the attendees.

Her caption for this picture: “I only wanted to dance.” I think that’s better than the Play-Doh Poo, but I’m biased.

Like any critic ought to be. Not too much. But enough so you can feel the most infinitesimal tremor of the needle on your BS detector.




Let’s get you up to speed on the never ending saga of the jewels in the safe-deposit box:

Once again, Frankenstein to the rescue. What happened after that: X-9 used a ruse to get into the apartment after Blackstone had discovered the jewels weren’t in the box, and there was a fight. X-9 went out the window, falling to his death.

Which of course can’t be the case, so let’s see what happened.

Oh, we just thought it was him! I went back and checked last week’s ep, and no, they didn’t show X-9 going out. It was just implied it was him, because it was the cliffhanger.

The following is almost impossible to figure out. You really have to be there. The clips should help. But note the moment when you give up.

Anyway, Blackstone runs away and tries to escape across a sound stage with a backdrop:

He evades detection, but they get one of the gang. So now the gang’s down three.

X-9 calls the home office, and they agree that the gang thinks the Baron is Brenda. AND the Belgravian embassy says they haven’t seen the Baron in days. Did Blackstone take the Belgravian Baron

“You know who might know something about that?” X-9 says. “The girl down at the Apollo Art Shop.”

Oh God no, not back to that place again. Basically she says “I can’t tell you anything, because I am a Belgravian and owe the Baron my confidence, but he’s not Brenda.”

“I don’t know why I trust you,” says X-9, “except that the script calls for a certain amount of sexual tension that’s undetectable in the way we play this scene, because the boys hate that mushy stuff.”

I’m paraphrasing.

Back at the Amusement Park Pirate Ship Hide-out - yes really - They have the real Baron on ice. Brenda calls!

So the gang doesn’t think the Baron is Brenda, in case you were wondering. They take the Baron to another location, where he will meet Brenda. While he awaits interrogation, we go back to the FBI, where the henchman is getting grilled using the time-honored “Milling Around, Irritated” technique.

He’s starting to snap. Back at Brenda’s lair, we finally see Brenda!

He has disguised himself as the Baron, because like all international criminals he is a Master of Disguise.

Naturally, he goes straight to the FBI HQ, because if you were wanted on every continent, this is exactly what you would do to ensure your safety because it couldn’t possibly go wrong:

And then you’d walk right back into the office pretending to the Baron:

The murder weapon was a nautical knife; no prints. “Brenda always was careful to wear gloves,” X-9 muses, noting that THE BARON IS CARRYING A PAIR OF GLOVES. Nothing gets past our G-men.

So basically, X-9 thinks the Baron is Brenda, which isn’t the case, but in this case Brenda is the Baron. Only one thing to do: summon the Blonde from the Art Supply Store!

Who does have the jewels at this point? The Feds. Brenda / Baron says he’s going to call the embassy to have the jewels picked up, and of course uses the FBI Director’s line.

Of course, it’s a ruse!

So now all they have to do is steal the jewels from the FBI HQ.

The henchmen show up in full Belgravian regalia, fresh from marching band practice:

The henchmen see the Blonde, and realize she would know that the Baron wasn’t the Baron, so two of them spirit her away, with Pidge at the wheel!


Now they know the Belgravian guards and the Baron are fake! But it’s too late! The Baron (who is Brenda) and two guards have taken the jewels . . . but the FBI boss says hold on, didn’t you ask for four guards? Well, never mind, have two of mine. Outside the FBI building the blonde says That’s not the Baron, there’s a fistfight, and Brenda gets away, and there’s a chase. Brenda / Baron decides to pistol-whip one of the borrowed guards and throw him out of the car. And so:

I think that’s the first time they actually showed someone leaping out before the car plunged.



That'll do, I hope; see you around.


blog comments powered by Disqus