My pal Maggie decants her anguished soul at the Cindy Sherman show. Taking a photograph at a photography opening will, ironically, attract the attention of a douchebag power-drunk art-guard whose job is to prevent photography.
I am returned, my young onions, from St. Louis, intact in most of the important ways. It turns out that my fears of kidnapping were unfounded. No one made the slightest effort to detain me. In fact, the general Twisty-related mood among the locals was something akin to "Oh. So it’s you." The mild turbulence that jostled my departing flight was caused by a collective citywide sigh of "Damn, we thought she’d never leave."
I know this because if they’d really been glad to see me, they wouldn’t have dragged me around to art openings all weekend. I got nothin against art, but man, openings are a kind of persecution. Nevertheless: Cindy Sherman at the Contemporary, Rachel Wilson at Fort Gondo.
Cindy Sherman, you will recall, popularized the late 20th century craze for $10,000 photographs of rubber female body parts. The theme of her current exhibit in St. Louis, however, is anybody’s guess. Visual access to the pictures was impossible due to the dense concentration of thin, white 34-year-old people clotting in front of each piece, where they engaged in the same non-art-related conversations that thin, white 34-year-old people have always clotted in front of art to engage in. I have no doubt that when the paintings at Lascaux were first unveiled at a bison carpaccio reception, the cave-dwellers stood around with their backs to the pictures discussing the best kind of baby seat to buy for a Volvo.
Hey, let’s start a band! L to R: Snappy dresser and sometime patriarchy-blamer Mark Early; Twisty; rock divo Jason Hutto. We are huddled outside in the gangway at Rachel’s opening, chain-smoking and avoiding the weirdos. Photo by Rachel.
Meanwhile, Rachel Wilson is the nom de shutter of the personage known to readers of this blog as Stingray. Whatever you call her, she is my pal who went down to South America a while ago to photograph rebel uprisings, the results of which she turned into a show. The opening for this show differed sharply from the aforementioned in that (a) it attracted authentic penniless Bohemians, (b) the art didn’t suffer from "mystique", (c) there was hot and cold running wine that didn’t suck and a brick wall against which to lean while gulping it.
But it was still an opening. I honestly don’t know how people go to those things. It’s not like you can make fun of the art, because you never know if the artist is right behind you. I mean, just put the shit up on Flickr and send me the link, already.
The Cindy Sherman show was, by the way, embedded in a larger installation of photography called "Girl Photographers Gone Wild" or some crap. God forbid there should be an exhibit of women artists that fails to stress their funlovin’ girlness. I mean, you couldn’t call it "Photographs By Deep Thinkers Of Unspecified Gender." How would gallery-goers know by what factor they are supposed to devalue what they see?