Monday, April 18, 2022

Eliza Douglas at VI, VII


Culture/commodities valorize their objects with simple bludgeons: the celebrity holds the product, the commercial assigns attitude. Our knowledge of its arithmetic does not cancel it. The code still functions. Brand is the level we fight on. The Whitney Biennial weathered months of protest until the attacks came at their identity, a rebranding "The Teargas Biennial," and suddenly softened their militancy. (CAWD wrote an essay about this here.) Museum brand in turn forms its signet in the installation view, architecture watermarks the photographs, walls as the celebrity hands cradling the art. Why else would Christopher Williams be shipping walls across continents? More celebrity hands. These celebrity hands have been chopped off, stolen, dead hands made to hold. Like as teen you photoshopped yourself kissing Johnny Depp. It would be interesting if a lawsuit developed. Like when the Guggenheim sued Paul McCarthy and Mike Bouchet (again the attack was at brand level.) But Douglas's theft is probably flattering, who doesn't want people stanning for them, building at home reliquaries to them, Johnny Depp, The Whitney, they live off our reverence to them.