Monday, March 13, 2006

Avante Garde Art Anyone? 

So many museums of modern art (MOMAs) are already hanging deeply meaningful and transgressive black canvasses that it's simply foolish to even think yet another could somehow sneak onto those hallowed walls. Sure, it's always possible to try something a little different: giving it a little texture, or making it larger, or thicker, or square, or perhaps painting it using aardvark dung. There are all sorts of ways to make one's black canvas stand out from the crowd. But the most important thing is that a black canvas has to say something.

MOMAs might be able to use this one if its message turned out to be something like "Picture of universe after Republicans suck all the goodness and light out of it" or "Cheney's heart" or "Jesus in a glass of urine after the urine is replaced with Petroleum."

Do you think a black canvas with the title "Mohammed in a Dark Room" or "In the Black Means Prophet" would have a chance of getting shown in any museum, anywhere, what with all the other black canvasses already out there offering such thematic competition? I didn't think so either.

(By the way, just to be clear, this one isn't about the Prophet; it's about the absence of real courage of conviction in artists and fellow travellers who make such a show of pretending to have it.)

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