German for “link dump”: Thanks to Seattle museology grad student Lynn Bethke for the smart, new way of looking at the link-dumps known as Centerpoints: Wunderkammer (top left). I suppose these quick hits are a kind of “cabinet of curiosities” (as Julian Dibbell calls it), especially considering Bethke’s analogy: “[I]t’s like the funny shaped cornflakes that folks might collect. It’s cool, and somehow worth keeping, but maybe not worth devoting a whole lot of time to.” For illustration purposes (and definitely not worth a standalone post), here’s a giant, John Kerry-shaped cornflake.
Stats of the Union: OK, this isn’t art-related at all, but… The New York Times has an amazing web application that lets you search and compare the number of times George W. Bush used terms like “terrorism” or “economy” in all his SOTU addresses. Beats the tally sheet I was keeping last night…
The real shock at the Chapman Bros. show: Guardian art critic Mark Ravenhill likens the work of Jake and Dinos Chapman (top center, now on view at Tate Liverpool) to Jonathan Swift’s “A Modest Proposal,” a satirical solution to Ireland’s poverty that involved dining on babies. “The wit is as savage, the anger at injustice and cruelty as strong,” he writes. But what he’s surprised by isn’t the violence of the work, but at the lack of discretion by parents visiting the show:
“Look at what the soldiers are doing,” said one parent, holding a toddler up to see. The toddler giggled with gleeful curiosity. I looked around. What the soldiers are doing, countless hundreds of them, is massacring naked civilians and tipping their bodies into mass graves.
“Ooh look, there’s more over there,” cooed the parent, and the toddler skipped excitedly over to another massacre.
Street critique: NYC street artists are not amused that works by Swoon (detail, top right), Os Gemeos, Shepard Fairey and others are being destroyed by a paint-bucket-wielding critic dubbed “The Splasher.” Dousing unsanctioned wall murals with paint, he or she then posts a manifesto (allegedly adhered using glass-shard-laden wheat paste) calling such artists “advance scouts for capital” and their work “fetishized action[s] of banality.” Sounds like art-school posturing to me. Gothamist has more.