Punching Internet Memes In The Peen
A buddy of mine posted this the other day and I’ve been thinking it about it for about a week so I thought you might want to check it out as well. Before I post a link, I’ll say a few words of preface/warning.
If you are one of those sentimental people that tears up every time you see one of those “I took a photo of myself every day for 45 years and here it is in 30 seconds” then this is definitely for you or not for you. This prompted one educated chap to write: “Protest art like this is just another form of self indulgent pedantic snobbery.”
Well, Mr. Opinions, all art is self indulgent. There’s no other way to make it. If you’re not making self-indulgent art, then why fucking bother? And, B) I’m not sure pedantic is the right word here.
To the point: We’ve been having a jaunty argument about a piece of work by Will Vincent who for 2,191 days took a photo of himself with the lens cap on.
This has been haunting me for days to be honest and I can’t give you any definitive reasons why, exactly. The immediate response I have is to the protesting nature of it, although he doesn’t specifically mention that in his notes. After living through what seemed to be an entire six months of people posting videos of themselves doing this, or doing this to their kids, I began to wonder if I was just the dumbest person alive for NOT having done it. This kind of art, even if we take the sentimentality out of it, is difficult for me. It’s too close to Identity Art, which has got to be the most masturbatory genre of art, ever, except for the guy who mixes his sperm and blood to make Metallica record covers.
Secondly, I’m distrustful of anything that makes such a huge mark on the internet consciousness, spanning generations, that becomes so instantly popular. If it’s too accessible it makes me worried. Everyone on the planet likes McDonald’s french fries. And they are entirely made of salt and garbage.
Thirdly, and lastly, I’ve been staunchly against artist statements ever since school. Vincent wrote a couple lines at the end which succinctly outline his reasons for doing this in plain words that I can understand that were no doubt harder to write than two paragraphs of nonsense.
I keep coming back to this line: The sheer futility of human endeavour.
Then why make anything at all? Why build a statue? A building? An internet? Why make a physical thing that exists and turn it into a thing that doesn’t? (Like putting things online, for example.) Why run marathons? Why fight cancer?
Because what else would we do, really?
Would love to hear everyone’s opinion of this!
Andres Serrano is a boss, btw.