Sunday, 19 July 2009

Well done Mr. Koons. Very American of you.

Missmc gave the new au pair a tour around London yesterday.  We stopped by the Jeff Koons exhibition at the Serpentine, children in tow.   Inside were things that ought to appeal to children.  But they did not.  Three inflatable monkeys, arms linked, cascaded from the ceiling, holding up a chair.  A lobster did a headstand balanced with one claw on a refuse bin, the other on a chair.  Pop pop Popeye made an appearance in several large scale kitschy paintings with some more inflatable animals and airbrushed girls.  A host of seaside inflatables did tricks around the room.  

We continued onward to lunch at the Orangery and discussed the exhibition.  The Italian au pair found some English words to say something to the effect that the show gave her nothing to think about.  The eight year old gave it a 3 out of 10.  Even with a vast background of visual art to prop up looking at pop readymade hybrids, Missmc was drawing an utter blank.  The Serpentine staff were trying to sell catalogues with a Big Issue like fervour.  The subtle approach to catalogue sales had been thrown out the window.  The whole exhibition experience was so so utterly American, from the overt commercialization, the cheap ready-made, the advertising-like veneer of the paintings, and all things that go Pop, and disappear, leaving a trail of waste that would not ever decompose.  And so, therein, lay the content.  Missmc gingerly picked it up and looked it in the eye.  The American Dream was full of stuff.  Useless stuff.  Materialistic.  Produced in China.  Props.  Reliant on pure associational sensationalism appealing to base emotions.  

Well done Mr. Koons.  Very American of you.  I hated it all.

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