Episode 111: Sympathy for Dominic Molon

October 14, 2007 · Print This Article

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downloadDominic smells like brimstone?
Duncan and Richard talk to Dominic Molon about, Sympathy for the Devil: Art and Rock and Roll Since 1967. There are lots of “Rock out with your cock out!” kind of stupid comments. Paul Klein and Wesley hated it, hear from the curator go check out the show and see what you think.

From the MCA site:

“Sympathy for the Devil: Art and Rock and Roll Since 1967 examines the dynamic relationship between rock music and contemporary visual art, a relationship that crosses continents, generations, and cultures. Since the late 1950s this unlikely hybrid of rhythm-and-blues and country music has had an undeniable impact on society while drastically changing with the times. Artists from the 1960s to the present have maintained a strong connection to rock, beginning with Andy Warhol’s involvement with The Velvet Underground (who released their Warhol-produced landmark album The Velvet Underground and Nico in 1967 — the same year the MCA opened its doors). More recently, artists such as Slater Bradley, Raymond Pettibon, and Mike Kelley have created album covers and music videos for rock bands, while many noted rock musicians such as John Lennon, Bryan Ferry, and Peter Townsend have emerged from art schools.

This exhibition is the most serious and comprehensive look at the intimate and inspired relationship between the visual arts and rock-and-roll culture to date, charting their intersection through works of art, album covers, music videos, and other materials. The exhibition addresses the importance of specific cities such as London, New York, Los Angeles, and Cologne; rock and roll’s style, celebrity, and identity politics in art; the experience, energy, and sense of devotion rock music inspires; and the dual role that many individuals play in both the sonic and visual realms. This exhibition is curated by MCA Curator Dominic Molon.”

Dominic Molon
Paul Klein
Wesley Kimler
Hüsker Dü
Apocalypse Now
Brian Chippendale
Fort Thunder Collective
Jim Drain
Rirkrit Tiravanija
Mungo Thomson
Rita Ackermann
Angel Blood
Royal Trux
Dave Muller
The Whitney Museum
The Guggenheim
The Tate Liverpool
The Velvet Underground
Robert Longo
David Byrne
Richard Prince
James Chance & the Contortions
Rodney Graham
Black Sabbath
Assume Vivid Astro Focus
Throbbing Gristle
Genesis P-Orridge
Psychic TV
Mike Kelley
Destroy All Monsters
Jim Shaw
Tony Oursler
Cary Loren
George Clinton
Iggy Pop
George “The Animal” Steele
Soupy Sales
The Nuge
The MC5
The Stooges
Christian Marclay
David Bowie
Mötley Crüe
Gerhard Richter
Roxy Music
Jay Heikes
The Cure
Black Flag
Sonic Youth
My Bloody Valentine
Ed Paschke
Damien Hirst
Douglas Gordon
Jason Rhoades
Direct download: Bad_at_Sports_Episode_111-Sympathy_for_Dominic.mp3

164 Responses to “Episode 111: Sympathy for Dominic Molon”

  1. Okay. Here we go! Ready, Set, Go for comments.

    A one, two, three, four ….

  2. “Wesley and Paul hated it”…….Tony Fitzpatrick won’t step foot inside the MCA, musicians and artists across Chicago feel correctly insulted.

    a few points:

    1.The ‘midwest section’ of this show is largely filled with ‘Destroy All Monsters’ poster paintings -done by Jim Shaw and Mike Kelly -two of the very top LA artists.

    2.” “if there is a relationship between art and rock in Chicago”……Molon said this to Deanna Issacs of the Reader last week……which kind of renders his further comments disparaging the scene here as highly suspect…while pointing out the obvious -that he did not look here. Why does Franceso Bonami openly and publicly brag about how he doesn’t do studio visits? And why do we accept this failed painters pronouncements with rapt attention and apparently, deference?

    3. All of which begs a few questions: is this show really about rock and art or, about a few consensus correct artists and a few ‘hot’ emerging consensus correct artists who happen to have worked with rock music?

    4. It is probably cogent to note, I am definetly not advocating an all Chicago show, nor have I ever been sympathetic to the MCA only showing whats here in Chicago. Having said this, a certain chauvinism and awareness of what is here would be similar to MOCA in LA and museum in NYC…. ask yourself why are artists routinely ignored by curators here?….would the show have benefited from including more work from here – is there better work here than much of what is in the show? The short answer is yes.

    5. are the questionable choices of Chicagoans we see up in the aquisition show then about nothing more than curatorial complacency towards the scene here or, is there also an element of political corruption involved? (Not that corruption and complacency aren’t by defintion co-existent. What is Judith Kirshners relationship to the collectors who bought the work we see up at the MCA from local artists? (all three artists from here have deep associations with Ms Kirshner) What is the relationship of said collectors to the MCA -in otherwords, are these the people paying the bills there? Do the curators making these choices essentially work for them? Does this explain why so much of the local work the MCA gets behind is crap? What is the connection between this culture of corruption and the way Molon feels comfortable dismissing with impunity a scene that in one sentence he admits he knows nothing of “if there is a history between rock and roll and art in Chicago” and in the next sentences disparages?

    And still more importantly, why do we artists here tolerate such arrogance, born of expediency and, ignorance, afraid to speak out and demand better for ourselves? Artists in LA wouldn’t put up with a rock and roll show of Chicago artists -I promise you questions would be asked. Beyond Pedro Bell, is a photograph of someone holding a Neil Young Album over their face the best revelation Mr Molon could come up with from Chicago scene -or does this just underline once again his contempt?

    6. What can we learn about how ‘sensibilities’ are arrived at -at the MCA by looking at the Karen Kilimck exhibition (pending) at the MCA -championed by Mr. Molon? – I am going to post some of this artists paintings along side my own in my pending sharkforum article – a little compare and contrast session -though admittedly its mean and unfair on my part to do so as aside from the fact that I have forgotten more about painting on any given day than is anywhere in evidence in the insipid work this artist slated for the MCA demonstrates, the only thing of interest in this painting being, how bad it is, and how it ended up in a museum. This is a patently awful painter with just about zero skill… its beyond belief that this trash is being foisted upon us. Don’t take my word for it -look her up online…. incredible until you understand how Kilimnk is one example of the consensoriats answer to ‘the painting problem’…in otherwords -find some lame-ass shite, write some lame ass, consensoriat shite about the shite and presto! You have 200,000 plus auction prices -(look it up and be sure you are sitting down when you see the drech that fetched this stupid sum….) and, you’re showing at the MCA! (well Saatchi owns one! what else do you need to know? she’s HOT!)


    Wouldnt it be interesting if the MCA could truly have vision and see past this current marketplace -with its fucked up mixture of academic institutions, museums, auction houses and art fairs- especially given all signs point towards a major crash of this phenomenen?…..how many of you are aware that last years Whitney Biennial artists were announced at Art Basel Miami? Dominic was…..thats his criteria. As it was the criteria for the collectors racing around booth to booth securing one speculative investment after another, as it is for the small group of people who represent Chicago to the rest of the art world -while completely ignoring the artists here………Since its not, the work, its therefore unthinkable the Sympathy For The Devil could have actually focused on rock music and really interesting, good work -rather than art world status consisting for the most part of the usual suspects- and new, speculative investments- in the perimeters of a superficial (or at least, secondary) context.

    7. And finally, a point of interest, when discussing the future of the MCA at my studio Molon was decidely pessimistic….in fact he openly questioned whether any of his fellow curators there had any vision…..funny, coming from such a corporate guy like himself, I wonder, did he mean his fellow curators who (with a few exceptions have been such dead weight here) do not share in his corporate vision of the future?….I’m guessing he considers this particular kind of market driven, consensoriat conformity that he adheres to, with almost no originality or, individuality, as a vision, as forward looking…..and you wonder why the scene here sucks…….sheeeesh!

    -In the end, some of the work in Sympathy For The Devil is good, some of it sucks, none of it with a few exceptions (Pedro Bell) is unexpected, and yes the show, with even a semblance of an original, intelligent, point of view, should have been so much better. Better than the tired, business as usual affair that it is.

  3. Maybe I don’t make this central point with enough clarity: would Dominic Molon chose a Karen Kilimnk or any number of the artists in Sympathy -based on the work itself, divorced from its position as speculative investment, or simply commodity in the corporate structure of todays art world? If he can answer yes, what can I say but Dominic -if you think Kilimnk is an interesting painter, challenging or in the slightest way, an accomplished painter, you are in the wrong field.

    We are desperately in need of curators who understand the idea of being unique, inimitable, individuals. Never has this been more in evidence than with the current doings at the MCA.

  4. So I have listened to the interview. Good job. Dominic is interesting to listen to or read, as was his first BAS interview and various emails I traded with him. I understand his considerations more now. Instead of a Soft Rock Show I propose a follow-up show likening Canadian Art to the Guess Who And Bachman-Turner Overweight.

    But but but.

    I STILL have to go along with a Shark Attack. This is still a show completely dissing the home team, as I can see by who is included.

    If I may be so bold, Dominic has created a show certainly not of bad quality, but it is not what it purports to be. To correctly label it, it needs a name describing its real content:

    “Top o the Pops Consensus Artists Who Have Some Interest in Art Rock Bands Deemed Cool by People Who Were Suburban Teenagers in the 80s.”

    Please see our cartoon at http://sharkforum.org/

  5. “Top o the Pops Consensus Artists Who Have Some Interest in Art Rock Bands Deemed Cool by People Who Were Suburban Teenagers in the 80s.”

    Do you think?…..just another example of the slack curatorial practice happening here -I mean, Sympathy For The Devil is a song off of Beggars Banquet by The Rolling Stones- a band that took its entire style (not to mention its name) from Chicago r b – a band that considered Chess Records as Mecca- not to mention that this particular record was informed by the playing of the great American music scholar and geetar player -Ry Cooder, -whose open tunings he had taught to Keith Richards…

  6. Duncan said last episode that
    “You guys know he [Dominic] is on the show next week and will address directly the question of how he choose work for the show. Then we can all do this again.”
    No, he did not, but yes we can.

  7. Anna, Euroshark (MSB) has put up a guide to ‘consensus curating’ on sharkforum -that, kind of…says it all, -in terms of providing an answer to how work was chosen for the show.

  8. Duncan must be forgiven for such transgressions, he is kept under heavy sedation to avoid being a hazard to himself and others.

  9. Anna,

    Well, alright, but he did give you some insight into how things were chosen and I did try to nail him down on specific pieces as case study and as to how he saw it, but I suppose I’ve failed.

    Let’s face the fact that in part Wesley is right that everyone is conscious of their role in the power structure and no one wants to be last. That being said, Dominic has bosses. Lots of them. Some of them are us, the museum goers, who want to see the big fashionable pieces from around the world and some of them are the Director and his Board who have a serious vested stake in the art world consensus and need to see their Museum on the right side of it.


    You wrote a novel. No one can respond because no one has time to read the whole thing.


    We have not had a chance to post a policy about these things but…

    -No name calling.

    -No attacking people on personal grounds.

    We have never censored a post because we thought someone’s feelings would get hurt or that people were too “mean,” but due to an overwhelming amount of concern on the part of the general public, it has to be said: NO PERSONAL ATTACKS. Period. If you want to attack a position or attitude or role in a power hierarchy go ahead, but do it without claiming someone as fat, or balding, or slutty don’t imply or say that someone is someone else’s lap dog, or a jerk face, or has shriveled genitals or is dead inside or is a troll. This goes for everyone.

    Let’s have a clean discussion about the issues, rather then a bitch fight where we call each other names and pull each other’s hair. At the end of the day we are all on the same side. We get too aggressive because we care, but remember we share the local art scenes we are apart of and the more we become divisive and “in-fighty” the less impact we have as a collective.

    Don’t make us feel that we cannot maintain this open forum.

  10. Duncan -I don’t believe on my part there has ever been (or if so, very rarely and only in response) any attack on personal grounds- ( well I did agree that Mr Molon is slightly doughy, but I actually considered that more a term of endearment than mean-) but seriously, in fact my experience has been that of writing voracious opinion -only to be stupidly and foolishly attacked- ad hominem -with the apparent prerequisite amount of name calling- just recently as you note in your post above, from a BAS editor-

    I disagree with your notion that we are all on the same side… give yourself a few more years here and you may very well come around to my way of thinking.

    …after watching the powers that be here in Chicago do their thing for the last 25 years – and by powers that be I mean, Kirshner at UIC her pal Suzanne Ghez at the ‘Ren’, Mr Curator James Rondeau, and his collectors group headed by one art maven known as Deborah Lovely, and certain curators at the MCA (some this does not apply to,) along with this most of the powerful collectors here -who rarely support art from here, I think your notion Duncan is in my humble opinion, sincerely deluded.

    As for my ‘novel’, I am as usual, specific, and to the point, almost never indulging in ad hominem attacks, and rarely wasting words. In fact its always my aim to be specific, as the art world here is neither all that large nor difficult to understand. I know in this time of shortened attention spans it may seem unsurmountable, but try and stick with me as I usually attack my subject with any number of specific points and, objectives – all with the idea of unpacking and fleshing out what is, on the menu!

    Besides, if my posts are so too long for people to read, why then does your readership go through the roof when The Shark swims onto the scene?

  11. And finally one last point Duncan: don’t make excuses for Dominic Molon! Don’t be an enabler! a small amount of courage and, ORIGINALITY! -a slight demonstration of the huevos to at least in part begin the creation of his own canon of references would have only made this a way more complex, interesting exhibition. There’s just no way around it. I don’t want Dominic or the MCA to fail, I want to see them as a vital force. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist or, even a large shark! to see, this is not happening at the moment. From the bad building, to the programs and vision of the place being in disaray, change is required.

  12. About talking nice: I’m still going to do my best to get the Canadian Guess Who into this conversation, just to torment Duncan, though. Amerrrricannnn womannnn, just geeeet awaaaay….

    Personally I don’t think you failed, Duncan. It was a good interview as far as it goes. Maybe you are just a bit blinded by being roughly of the same sub-generation and taste-group as Dominic, but this is a very very limited view of rock and of art and of course of Chicago.

    You are right about the bosses. That is my point at the post on http://www.sharkforum.org/, that the power structure of the currently mannerist artworld does indeed generate what is done more than any individual can. But one DOES not have to buy into it fully. A whole additional room of works from Chicago and one more cognizant of non-80s-cool Rock would have made an impact. Even better would have been a Rock and Art show with hardly any top o the pops artists. That would have been a Helter Skelter or a Sensation or the like. We’re not talking about a bad idea here, au contraire mein Herr. A great idea thus producing an openly great failure of courage. Check out my post at SF. This has GOT to change or we will be mired ever deeper in an ever-feebler and brown-nosing artworld.

  13. While agreeing with the foregoing, I find the MCA show problematic for additional reasons.

    The MCA missed a major opportunity. Once the Art Institute opens its contemporary wing the MCA is going to pale in comparison. The Sympathy for the Devil show was an opportunity for the MCA to assert and redefine itself. It failed ignominiously.

    As is suggested by the interview, Dominic was given damned near free reign. Big mistake. Director Bob Fitzpatrick has announced his retirement. Who’s in charge? The show, and the interview, present the MCA as clueless about defining its future.

    The history of art in Chicago – for over 100 years – is to act with the conviction of the values that exist here and to not kowtow to the whims of the coasts. Here was an opportunity for the museum to establish an attitude that says a small portion of MCA content should be Chicago relevant. To do something fresh. (Has anyone looked at how the Detroit Institute of the Arts is redefining their program and significantly altering how art is grouped and information presented?)

    That our museum should be a sheepish follower denigrating its support base hurts us, and more importantly it hurts the MCA.

    Bad tactics. Bad message. Stupid. Unfortunate.

  14. Paul, you’ve outdone yourself in terms of being succinct.

    Sharkforum now has up an online exhibition of Mr. Molon’s next project -the stunning consensoriat vapidity known as Karen Kilimnik…..let the work speak for itself. Truly, beyond belief.

  15. okay, i have read thru everything and I am perplexed. I understand many of you want more representation of Chicago artists in the museum. That is understandable, but how THIS particular show should have accomplished that is beyond me. Please educate me about Chicago artists whose work incorporates rock and roll sensibilies. Everyone knows that Chicago is important in the development of rock itself, and I would say that any exhibit about rock (sans art) that did not have Chicago elements would certainly be lacking. But without clear examples of Chicago artists (other than Ed Pashke) whose work deals with rock, I would say to just add such artists to be arbitrary. What should Molon have done, call up a bunch of Chicago artists and ask them to make a piece about rock and roll by a certain date?

  16. I once carved a megadeth logo into my desk in high school…does that count?

  17. Perhaps the simple difference between Karen Kilimnik ( the correct spelling of her name ) is that she has been able to amount to such success (surprising enough, yes) due to the fact, that she is not a fascist.

    But in all honesty, if one is to actually compare Kimler or Brandl’s work- to Kilimnik, as Kimler asks us to do, it all adds up to great confusion.

    & with all the censorship & nepotism & abuse that goes on at sharkforum I have to agree with Duncan as to his apt observations:


    We have not had a chance to post a policy about these things but…

    -No name calling.

    -No attacking people on personal grounds.

    We have never censored a post because we thought someone’s feelings would get hurt or that people were too “mean,” but due to an overwhelming amount of concern on the part of the general public, it has to be said: NO PERSONAL ATTACKS. Period. If you want to attack a position or attitude or role in a power hierarchy go ahead, but do it without claiming someone as fat, or balding, or slutty don’t imply or say that someone is someone else’s lap dog, or a jerk face, or has shriveled genitals or is dead inside or is a troll. This goes for everyone.

    Let’s have a clean discussion about the issues, rather then a bitch fight where we call each other names and pull each other’s hair. At the end of the day we are all on the same side. We get too aggressive because we care, but remember we share the local art scenes we are apart of and the more we become divisive and “in-fighty” the less impact we have as a collective. ”

    It’s simple, two wrongs do not- make a right & many at sharkforum ( some of the few talents that are there,aside) they are just burying themselves in a mire of vitrol,censorship, conspiracy theories & massive distractions-.
    Ironic really.

    Those who work with tact, sometimes have an easier time getting things done, at times this may not seem fair, but for the most part it’s true.

    Attempting to focus & act on- more important, fresh & successful endeavors seems to make much more sense.
    Instead of railing against those few who have benefited from the system because they know how to. As we all know, this is nothing new & has been an issue for centuries.
    & how to battle these trends? Dialogue & creativity- offering us an experience & a reality, that is digestible.
    I have rarely seen sharkforum attempt to freshen & open our eyes with new talent.
    I have seen from them the opposite, taking talents or those with an opinion- to the guillotine for kicks & scoffing about it, with an odd & grandiose sense of inflated entitlement that just, gets, nowhere.

    Recently many at the forum, Tony, & Wesley, Brandl- etc- had some particularly nasty & immature things to say about conceptual artists & students at SAIC-
    One of the comments,
    ” You know what would be great ?– If one ‘conceptual artist ‘ locked another ‘conceptual artist’ in one of those plastic port-a-shitters and set it on fire…. I’d really like that!

    Posted by: tony fitzpatrick | August 22, 2007 02:49 PM ”

    I would hate to see Yoko Ono or Joseph Beuys in that sort of situation, two conceptual artists that i admire greatly.
    & what does this say or accomplish as far as useful satire? Or Chicago Art?

    Not much.

    & Ann Shaw, has every right to go to Art School & do whatever on earth she likes & in her case, an appropriate, significant satire of anyone- should never be inclusive of all conceptual art. Not to mention, it was not a very good discussion on conceptual art in the first place.

    So this is a good example of lack of tact, & entitlement.

    Again, ironic.

    & I too agree with Creegan as to his inquiry,

    “Please educate me about Chicago artists whose work incorporates rock and roll sensibilies. Everyone knows that Chicago is important in the development of rock itself, and I would say that any exhibit about rock (sans art) that did not have Chicago elements would certainly be lacking. But without clear examples of Chicago artists (other than Ed Pashke) whose work deals with rock, I would say to just add such artists to be arbitrary. What should Molon have done, call up a bunch of Chicago artists and ask them to make a piece about rock and roll by a certain date?”

    & if you cannot do it better & with tact, then best not to resort to fascism.

  18. Geez Ben, calling “bad art” bad doesn’t really make a person a fascist.

  19. This is for Mark Creegan- It’s not my battle, but I think I might be able to offer a rendering of the objections:

    1. Chicago figures quite prominantly in any narative of Rock ‘n’ Roll history. So much so that any rendering of that history should acknowledge that fact in some significant way. Granted this point deals with the music side of the show, but:

    2. The period in question, 1967 – 2007, offers a TON of examples of local work that is not only superb on it’s merits as art, but was pivotal in the growth of the indie rock scene, for example. As I stated in other posts, I think there’s a really persuasive argument that says that the huge success of indie rock in the 90’s (isn’t it one of the most profitable periods in rock history?) was directly connected to Chicago as a substantial hub, and the swag and promo art that supported those shows was huge. How many great records has Sheila Sacks done the album art for? Did you know that she was the art director at The Reader until the recent sale? I only mention it because there’s been a robust and substantive connection between these two forms for some time. Other artists of note have been mentioned. I wonder if Mr. Malone ever contacted Gregg Parker, owner and proprietor of The Chicago Blues Museum.

    Parker’s got an amazing collection of R & B, Soul, Blues and Rock artifacts, a library of rare DVD’s, and a near-encyclopedic knowledge of this fascinating history. This is about the art side, but there’s more.

    3. There’s a reason to wonder (I’m at a remove, so I can only wonder) if the calculus employed in the selection process for this show was more about (esthetics and history) or (politics and ambition). I don’t know – I’m just saying that the impression is given off, and the images I’ve seen of Karen Kilimnik’s work seem to lend credence to this theory.

    Without having yet seen the show I can only offer a rendering of the arguments at hand and a comment on appearances – it does look pretty bad. I don’t know Mr. Malone and I haven’t got an opinion of him. The episode was pretty entertaining, but I enjoy listening to Duncan try not to punch Richard. I really wish they’d take it to Itchy and Scratchy territory already. Either that or Larry and Shemp.

    The upshot is that it starts to seem as though Chicago was either intentionally ignored or just not bothered with – I dunno. I judge Mr. Malone more on his words than anything – he did confess to a lack of knowledge of the well-documented and robust interaction between art and music in this town. Perhaps this is anti-perochialism, or something innocent, I dunno about that either.

    As far as Mr. Lahey’s observations about Sharkforum, I’ll respond a little since I’ve had some involvement in that project. While I’m not going to touch your criticisms (too sticky and not really my table anyway) I’ll offer that I think you misunderstood the Ann Shaw posting – most SF editors that I spoke with thought she was quite brilliant.

  20. Oh brother……ever consider Ben than maybe Duncan really doesn’t give a shit about what is said here -and made the comments he did to shut-up the whiners like yourself? Sorry Duncan -for spilling the beans…

    And for your information – the fish that has been called the most names here is this one -usually by people like you.

    I’ll let Mr. Fitzpatrick respond to your feeble attack on him when and if he has the time -or cares to bother himself (doubtful) -Tony’s a little busy what, with his one man exhibition at PS1 opening this weekend.

    Karen Kilimnick is an awful painter. I wish she was a fascist, then at least there would be something to discuss about this no talent fake -beyond the insipid consensoriat that promulgates this kind of rancid junk. As for as taking ‘talent’ to the guillotine..I assume you consider Ms Kilimnik one of them..boo hoo

    Who should have been in the Sympathy For The Devil……..how many times have Tony and myself given our opinions on this? Have you even seen the work Tony has done with Steve Earle? -or the work I have done using large scale paintings and drawings with Eleventh Dream Day, Nicholas Tremulis, Alejandro Escovedo, Kurt Elling for Blue Note…have you ever seen the work of the Screwball Press people? The bottom line is Ben, if you can’t see what work here in Chicago incorporates rock sensibilities -no amount of money poured into SAIC is ever going to help you figure this one out….in the meantime, why don’t you try educating yourself…I know that from potty training on, you have probably been told what to do….but there is no time like now to start trying to self actualize…..

    Sharkforum is not a show and tell venue Ben -we have put up some very good work on the site-work that has been hugely reviewed here -like Dave Roth’s show with its great review from Alan Artner, like the exhibition I have up now with Sandro Miller, with its review from Kevin Nance referring to me as the leading painter/provocatuer here in Chicago ….like Ursula Sokolowska, just now returning from London where she was one of 20 artists in the world chosen to participate in a Saatchi (speak of the devil) sponsored emerging artist exhibition at Frieze. As far as few talents, do you even know who David Amram or Simone Muench, or Rick Rizzo is Ben? Or half the other people of whom the sharkpack consists? Doubt it.

    Quit whining Ben, coming on with this limp wristed, slack, faux attack. Quit acting like a cheap, dime-store turtle, with a soft shell to go along with its soft head.

  21. btw Ben since you’re so big on people ‘educating’ you, and as you do seem to have the whiff of SAIC about you, why not go ask Lisa Wainwright -dean of grad studies who she thinks the most important artists are here…ask her who she thinks is the most interesting painter here in Chicago…Lisa’s an art education professional, go ask her -do it! I’m sure she will be more than happy to accommodate you-

  22. Ben — cut it with the “fascism” comment. That’s drawn out every time anyone criticizes anything. In purely political terms (real life , not artworld) if you were knowledgeable of our activities you would see that I am diametrically opposed to that, certainly far farther left than Amis (the nickname for US Yankees in Europe) (and fascism is a dictatorship from the right, in case you’ve forgotten). Please choose your vocabularly more carefully or YOUR criticism is only vicious and negative, which you apparently don’t see as such, and conterproductive to discussion with you!

    Beyond that, this is NOT Mr Rodger’s Neighborhood. Criticism in the true, wide sense is accomplished both by pointing out what is WRONG as well as doing nice positive things.

    Granted all of us get nasty from time to time, wordwise at least (I’m guilty of that), but as Duncan also points out that is part and parcel of being truly involved and caring.

    I agree that in GENERAL we should be more civil. BUT I also feel there is a place for REAL outrage or the whole thing is silly. If everything is okay, nothing is good, to say nothing of great. If we are never outraged, we never really care and then this art thing is simply one nice big middleclass hobby. What I have called the Polyanna on Prozac viewpoint. That is indeed what many of our distiguished opponents desire. For me, art is more important. Quality judgements MUST be made. Attempts to see the truth are necessary. Everything is NOT okay.

    I would add that Ann Shaw’s video is indeed powerful — and nuanced, albeit satirical — and quite clearly dead-on as it hit some nerves very directly.

    May I add, since you mention and enjoy him, that I personally worked directly with Joseph Beuys, building an exhibition and performance for him and have a multiple he gave me up in my house. He was VERY critical before his death of where things have gone, while they are claiming to be in his (and my) direction.

  23. Beuys was a Stuka dive bomber pilot in WWII, by the way, but that is going in a direction I don’t want to discuss. Just to point out that terminology like “fascist” should be used with more care.

    Thanks to Chris or whoever, by the way, for the function of being able to correct comments on this, the new BAS site design. Notice how my massive typos have become a wee bit less overwhelming?!!

  24. Yep, Ben’s hero Beuys, a Luftwaffe ace- not, that there is anything wrong with that……well Mark, its always the Ben’s who hurl the most and the really nasty invectives amidst their passive aggressive vituperations…..all the while trying to pass themselves off somehow as the offended and ‘hurt’ victims….nothing new here.

    My thanks to Chris as well, though I have about given up on the error free post-

  25. “fascism is a dictatorship from the right”

    I think you’ve got that wrong Mark.

  26. Well, yes and no Dave -fascism (league) was coined by Benito Mussolini…and was anti left/communist – like the Nazis, and also like Hitler and friends, there was this whole totalitarian state thing that is not unlike the far left… not how we think of the far right at least in this country, today- though the whole militaristic thing has carried through…in another context, Iraq under Saddam Hussein could be considered a far right fascist regime and a totalitarian society…..

    What? Are we trying to turn this into an interesting discussion? I suppose there was no where to go but up…..

  27. Hi Dave, I’ve certainly got that RIGHT! Look it up. I know there is a lot of propaganda in America to make only the left scary, we call that “being blind in the right eye” here — but yes, fascism is: patriotic, nationalistic, militaristic, pro-big-Capitalism, power to the rich (Krupp, Flick, etc.) dictatorial, usually racist, right-wing. Communism is a dictatorship from the left: supposedly internationalist, anti-patriotic originally, anti-Capitalism, dictatorial, class-based, supposedly power to the “common man,” left-wing. Yes, in effect they come out darn close, but there is a difference, even when they are both dangerous totalitarian bastards. That’s why I am adamant that vocabulary matters. The word comes from the Roman “fasces,” that bundle of sticks representing (to fascists) that the group is more important than the individual, later it becomes replaced with racist symbols like the swastika. The fascists all flirted with “socialist” words as a part of their campaigns of misdirection, to claim that taking your freedom away was good for you — you’d be protected as in a social state. Communism of course had its own lies but that is another matter.


  28. What are you guys doing blogging at this hour? It’s the pm for me, but it has got to be ungodly early for you!

  29. Man, I keep trying to get out while being pulled back in.

    It is true that, I don’t ever care, in specific, about the content in any single blog post.

    Do it think that it is important that we don’t totally beat the verbal and emotional crap out of each other… Yes. I always keep in mind that I am a willing participant in this art world, a volunteer and that I want to be here and so does everyone else. I don’t want to deliberately alienate anyone. That is, maybe, what the art world is best at and I think I’ve had enough of it.

    Do I think that we must struggle and defend our positions and beliefs… absolutely. Should we question any center that makes itself an absolute authority… absolutely. In this specific debate do I side with anyone… nope.

    I think we often get confused about what these institutions are doing and why they are there. There we see a pretty clear divide between people like Yood or Klien that advocate for a regionalism with an eye to the local and people like Malon and Tasset who look to, and connect with, an international focus. But is that really a problem?

    What are the roles of these places? Wesley is right that if I was the MCA I would be worried about the AIC’s new modern wing but I would also be worried about my wallet and in Chicago the art world never bets wrong when it bets against Chicago. (Which seems like a self perpetuating loss.)

    There are models of national and international practice that do not require (although it would be nice) financial viability. Great local examples are Dan Peterman and/or the mess hall scene and/or the Area Magazine scene. They all have found non prophet models to create a sustainable practice and audience.

    I think if anything is clear it is the the only way we will ever make things happen here is by doing it ourselves and not allowing the divisive nature of this places possibilities to mire us.

    The MCA is not the only place in town. Look at 3 Walls they just opened a new “Locals only” SOLO show space in response to this urgent need for more spaces to support some of the less commercial practices in town. Those that are not getting those coveted spots at the museums or have had them and now there is no where left to show. (Their submission deadline is soon, look it up.)

    I hate being pulled into this because I don’t know what I want out of these institutions and I think if we were smart we would do our own things and support those we believe in.

    Do I think I would have made the same Rock show Dominic made? Of course not I’m bored of Marclay’s work and don’t feel like it “rocks” at all but I wouldn’t have done a major US rock show without including “Destroy all Monsters” or Assume Astro Vivid Focus. I would have included Paul McCarthy and the Chapman Brothers. (because their work addresses a key point for me in rock and roll, the willingness to shit on yourself and any one that supports you. Seemingly cause your too stupid to know better. For me they are the GG Allen’s of the art world. And mind blowing.) Did I like what I saw of the show? Yes. Am I going back to specifically see “conceptual artist” Douglas Gordon’s piece. FUCK YEAH! Do I care for Karen Kilimnik, not really but I also wonder a lot about how these decisions get made and why the shows happen. For instance I still have trouble believing that the most edgy and interesting work that the Art Institute could find in THE WORLD was those Maureen Gallace paintings. So I imagine there to have been other concerns placed upon why to do the show. Not that anyone would ever admit that but I can’t understand it any other way.

    Let’s face it the whole art world seems a lot more like a business world then the pure and spiritually righteous aesthetic exploration that I was taught to believe in as an Undergrad. It is true there are power centers here. You decide if the represent you. For some people the are god sends and for others the bane of there existence. If not do what Dan Peterman or Marc Fisher or Brett Bloom or Tony Fitzpatrick does… ignore them and do your own thing.

    Sorry, I hate being dragged into these things.—————————————————-

    Fuck it. What I think is… that we have a determined need to maintain open, frank and critical dialogue about these things. If you feel like Mark or Wesley or Marc or I am being a bully… beat our asses down, we are assholes and we do deserve it. But… DO NOT ATTACK PEOPLE ON PERSONAL GROUNDS. (they know their faults and I know mine) We share this place. Make your voice heard and be honest. We are not getting anywhere now so we might as well like each other on the other side of this thing. Even if, or especially if, we are in the same damn place.

    Damn, posted a novel.

  30. Gone With The Wind in scope and scale Duncan!…….

    I would put Destroy All Monsters in my version of an exhibition -wouldnt it have been way more interesting to have had half of those poster paintings, and then say, some work from here…..-in other words, some slightly more complex and original thinking on the part of the curator -using pre-existing canon and then adding to it……..its really a no-brainer and just kind of sad and amazing that its not that way.

    Karen Kilimnik is up again on sharkforum again! in a SMACKDOWN OF THE HEAVYWEIGHTS! going up against Painter Of Light Thomas Kinkade! -Shes losing!……at least he is honest enough to admit he’s just a whore…..and he is a better painter…..though thats like saying between the two of them, he’s like the leper with the only finger……

    Yea it is kind of funny how vile Ben’s complaint was as he wrapped himself in a cocoon of self-righteous indignation…..

    Back to Kilimnik……those paintings are worth maybe 20 dollars at best….I view the 198,000 price tag as a frightening indication of what is to come….there are financial analysts talking about another 1929 level crash…..and when I see this kind of almost pyramid scheme like prices being rolled out for complete junk……there is going to be an adjustment….in our hand to mouth existence here -I hope it doesn’t wipe us all out when it comes….I had a great dealer pull me aside and warn me to be careful and try and save $ because a crash was coming…..

    As far as how this show was chosen….same with the rock show to some extent Duncan: Karen Kilimnik;…..shes HOT! Saatchi has one! Its really sad that Molon doesnt know enough about painting, cannot apparent look and see for himself, and is so wired into consensoriat thinking that he would be suckered into showing this crap. Its an embarrassment beyond belief.

    -I’m glad you jumped in…I think it was a good idea……lets go eat food! dinners on me. And I wont even make you swim around in cold saltwater and chew the heads off of seals…

  31. In a very general sense, I agree with you Duncan.

    (Even if you are badly mistaken about Tasset being international. I enjoyed his interview on BAS, but internationally he is seen as a regionalist “facsimile” of hit NYC artists. Sorry, but it is true. He’s only “international” in Chicago, you might say. Tony Fitzgerald, seen as somehow idiosyncratic it appears to me in Chicago is seen OUTSIDE the city as one of the most international artists from there. Believe me, I am international, even have two passports, and live in several countries, so I see and hear alot from many different contexts. You are too Duncan, you Yankee-Canuck (friendly name calling), but with cultures perhaps a bit to near to one another.)

    I especially like your desire, often stated, about trying to overcome “the divisive nature” and tendency to self-destruct of Chicago. That should be repeated at EVERY opportunity.

    But I think you are self-conflicting in your statements. First, you say “Do I think that we must struggle and defend our positions and beliefs… absolutely. Should we question any center that makes itself an absolute authority… absolutely.” But then you end with the idea once again that if there is an unjust situation, one should just “ignore them and do your own thing.”

    I’ve often heard, especially from your generation, especially in Switzerland and Chicago (not in NYC, and seldom from older or much younger artists, e.g.), that there are only two choices of response to any given situation: accept it, learn the rules, try for career success — the ol Yuppie tactic known as Sophistry since Socrates attacked it. Or, alternately, drop out of ithe situation totally, the ol Hippie thing. I can envision many other responses, being neither Yuppie nor Hippie.

    A “punky,” critical DYI is needed. Best of all, operate with the parts of the situation that work for you, criticize and attack the others, create opportunites for yourself — and most of all NEVER ignore anything. And let them know you are intelligent, observant and critical. Ignoring things can often be a tacit form of support if not fear or indirect subserviance. We can keep hypocrisy on the run if we openly talk about it. That of course does not preclude being very very very supportive of what you find positive (like I and you find 3 Walls to be, and so on).

    Most of all you are right about dissing Chicago being a kind of Popular Sport of “self-perpetuating loss” — I think BAS and Sharkforum and all the little galleries and stuff are genuinely tearing that self-built penitentiary down, slowly but surely, brick by brick — and often this is being done by bringing clear criticism right out in the open.

    That’s my War and Peace post.

  32. Just for clarification, I sited Tony Tasset partly because I love that guy and partly because it seems to me that the moment he was part of for the “History of Chicago Art” was one in which he and the other Chicago Artists lionized in the nineties were looking out towards the international world rather the preceding Chicago Art spikes like the Imagists which defined themselves in opposition to an international NYC based art world.

    And I think Tony’s great and screw the international art community. I want a life sized photo of a grown man wetting himself. That’s right I said it and meant it. (Tony Fitzpatrick is also great and deserves the success and reputation he has.)

    Also, I loved Ben Lahey’s post. He is not afraid.

  33. Hmm, Duncan. Couldn’t be further in diagreement with you.

    Nice that Ben considered everything and was interested enough to comment,
    “not afraid”? Of what?
    Of learning to not exactly DO what he is complaining about? Complain that others have no tact and then accuse me and others of “fascism,” a rather loaded insult, exactly what he decries, and misused at that.

    You and I can discuss that manufactured “lionization” of a concocted “history” another time. I think I need to do an interview with you about some facts concerning Chicago before you appeared there.

    “Looking out toward” — one of the best euphemisms I have ever heard for toeing the line and copying.

  34. I think the pissing the pants/toe sucking/canned tomato fight/second rate colorfield painting epoch, invented to play to the art mavens from Wilmette as ‘dangerous’, funded by the likes of Howard and Donna Stone among others, pushed by Judith Kirshner as ‘international’ -when in fact it was a mere provincial wannabe copy -never taken seriously in the markets it was intended for, is way over.

    That two of these artists were showcased in the 40 year acquisition show was widely questioned and complained about AT THE MCA is what I have heard from any number of people.
    As a matter of fact I heard that their inclusion was described by the curator herself as ‘LOCAL POLITICS’. I feel pretty confident in stating that in most curatorial circles I respect, that work is now seen as having aged very poorly, that the political manipulation that happened to ‘place’ that work here has had a large role in what a collegiate, moribund scene we have here today.

    I will point out to you Duncan -and you wouldn’t know this as it was before your time, -there were a whole group of artists bringing international ideas about art here -people like Gary Justis, myself, Ken Warneke, Martin Puryear, Vera Klement Ted Rosenthal, Michael Hoskins, Jim Brinsfield -way before these conceptual 101, white bread generic types were ushered in here…..causing Chicago to lose all of its self identity and become a second rate copy of what was happening elsewhere.

    Sorry Duncan you’ll have to fight that Wilmette suburbanite who in hushed tones thinks a photograph of someone urinating on themselves is…….’daring’ , ‘dangerous’….for it.

    And btw -I was the one that brought an east and a west coast sensibility to painting here to Chicago in the 80’s -as I still do today -partially due to the fact that I grew up in San Francisco……… it certainly wasnt a bunch of completely derivative, lame ass, generic, slack, decorative abstraction executed with almost no skill emanating from the smart set, that did! Wake up and smell the coffee dude -and while your at it -you might try and learn something about painting to aid in your comprehension of it.

    You need to wise up on this Duncan.

    Ben., I thought he came off as a tool, personally…..Tony wondered this morning if this guy understands what a joke is….

  35. and btw Duncan…it would serve you well to stop buying in to the concocted, (as Mark describes it perfectly) insipid, manipulated and completely fake history that you parrot-

    I know you are smarter than this……so why not quit carrying water for the generic, academic, mediocre goods of the consensus crew -an agenda that you were sold as a student under false pretenses. An agenda that as an adult you should have outgrown, and seen through by now.

    Speaking of which, I’m pretty sure one good sign of being an adult and, a man (or a woman) -is not living your life worrying whether or not all people like you.I assure you, they won’t and, they don’t.

  36. a final though on this -when you get all mealy mouthed and parrot this consensus correct, cooked up history -understand that there is a whole host of people you are insulting…

    As one of the very top painters here said to me a while back, “so much was lost for so little.” I know Ed Paschke felt the same way -and what are you talking about Duncan -his being regional?…HELLO! Ed showed all over the world! At the Louvre! With his Paris dealer for decades! In LA! In the American Show 20th century show at the Whitney! The last Biennial there ,…did you see Roberta Smiths obit on him when he died?….sheeeesh! -quit buying into this absolute and utter horse shit! Its disgusting! Quit kowtowing to this fake sales pitch…..I mean jesus! Just do yourself a favor and check the facts before stating things you were told that are in fact, about an agenda, and patently untrue.

  37. a final though on this -when you get all mealy mouthed and parrot this consensus correct, cooked up history -understand that there is a whole host of people you are insulting…

    As one of the very top painters here said to me a while back, “so much was lost for so little.” I know Ed Paschke felt the same way -and what are you talking about Duncan -his being regional?…HELLO! Ed showed all over the world! At the Louvre! With his Paris dealer for decades! In LA! In the American Show 20th century show at the Whitney! The last Biennial there ,…did you see Roberta Smiths obit on him when he died?….sheeeesh! -quit buying into this absolute and utter horse shit! Its disgusting!

  38. Ah yes, the “Shark Pack” is utterly flawless.

    & who is not allowed to make mistakes? You? I? Molon? The Universe?

    Oh the sorrow & betrayals of senselessness.

    After all, what is a mistake, but an infinitely vital process of evolution, ( the error threshold :).

    & since the fish is so enthralled, especially with all his prescience- about the likes of Hirst- who he dislikes so much ( another London Saatchi artist )

    & i quote: “Lets consider Mr. Hirsts most recent images: the face of the female crack head disintegrating, the lab animals being cut open……I don’t think correcting societies ills is nessecarily Mr. Hirsts agenda….it all seems slightly too sensationalistic for that.”

    Praising the London art scene are you Mr.Kimler?

    Well, then you better get to writing a fine article & critique about this years 2007 Zoo Competition winners.


    Ces’t la vie.

  39. Ah yes & i almost forgot, i found this small prize-
    who is Kimler to know what artworks in Wilmette are collected ( names & artworks please- facts?)
    “Sorry Duncan you’ll have to fight that Wilmette suburbanite who in hushed tones thinks a photograph of someone urinating on themselves is…….’daring’ , ‘dangerous’….for it.”
    &, let alone criticize- when he is such an avid fan of Rikki Kasso?

    & I quote Kimler on the immense talents of Kasso:
    “I like the work. In the context of now, with photographers such as Nan Goldin portraying the Tokyo Underground in far more explicit, sexually charged works, these images appear romantic with a sense of melancholy to me. Any criticism I would offer would come in the form of discussing how influenced this work is by Araki Nobuyoshi, that like so much work of today it perhaps lacks a view forward….”

    A nice Kasso article: http://fleshbot.com/sex/blogs/tokyo-undressed-163566.php

    “Daring, dangerous”, are not words that come to mind.
    More like, “silly & hypocritically redundant”.

    Ah yes such fine artworks, really changing things in Wilmette- are we?

    What other unthinkable observations shall ensue?

    But in all seriousness, “freshen our eyes” or just keep yours- shut.

  40. Ben Lahey…stalker, sycophant or merely an obsessive fan of The Sharks? -you tell me. You seem to be an avid reader of my writing.

    Obsession…..”freshen my eyes”

    As far as a list of collectors….from Wilmette, lets start with the chairwoman and treasurer of Mr Curators collectors group……do you even have a clue of whom I am discussing Benji The Fearless?

    As for ‘freshen our eyes’…do you work at a makeup counter somewhere on the Gold Coast Benji?

    Simple, on your next lunch break head over to your local Barnes&Noble and pick up the current issue of Shelter Magazine -where there is a very large, comprehensive article on….me! Or, hike your smug little self over to Architrouve and see the exhibition I have up there along with Chicago photographer Sandro Miller. Or, head out to Queens for Tony Fitzs opening at PS1 this weekend -(I’m sure he’ll have the welcome wagon out for you).

    Of course you take the Kasso comments out of context…been watching a lot of Fox News reruns there Benji? You really had to dig through the archives of sharkforum for that didn’t you? The adventures of Benji…all in the name of some petty obsession. Got a lot of time on your hands do you Benny? As far as Hirst, I am indifferent -some of the work I like, some, like the photorealist paintings done by assistants, I’m not crazy about…is this an issue?

  41. btw -while you are at Barnes&Noble Benito, why not pick up Alejandro Escovedo’s last cd ‘The Boxing Mirror’ -produced by the great John Cale of The Velvet Underground -that I happened to do all the art work for?

    There: now you have your assignments for the weekend Ben so scamper off and avail yourself to what is out there to be seen, in other words, put up or shut up-

    And is there anyone besides you so foolish as to think Molon’s criteria for the rock show was a mere mistake on his part? Or that my comment regarding Rikki Kasso “I like the work” translates into my being an avid fan?… Huh?

    Better make sure that 20 watt bulb is screwed in tight Benji the Brave, its apparently all you’ve got.

  42. The Sharkpack are certainly not flawless —we have our ebbs and our flows as do most people, but clearly you mistake the ebb for the flow.

    I did NOT think you “made a mistake” Ben (until that last post which appears merely rancorous, and rather pointless, you obviously just hate Wesley or me or whatever) — I meant you over-exaggerated with the “fascist” word, thus actually becoming an example of what you (correctly or not) were attacking at Sharkforum. I guess you should have accused us of “talking like thugs” or something. But maybe you missed the jokes, and perhaps they weren’t all that funny, but all our threatening sounding scenarios you refer to were really mimicking artworks actually done by the people we were criticizing. Parodies — perhaps to the point of travesties, but basically cartoon-like.

    Your logic rather leaves a lot to be desired, as well, but if you are pleased as punch with the status quo and with defending it, and thereby with your own disablement, then go ahead. I find it sad, — and even sadder that such sycophancy is described as courage by Duncan, but I can’t see too much to argue with in the face of such lack of vision. Maybe it is just that Shaw’s very amusing satire hit an open nerve in you. Duncan, I’m very disappointed in you. I usually trust your vision.

    I do believe that criticism, clear and open, such as Wesley’s, IS the opening of eyes. Eyes blinded by masses of memorized art school verbage. And lots of times that cannot be done in a nicey-nice, let’s all get along fashion. Even if we do all want the best for our little artworld.

  43. well Mark -as usual, your erudite, learned self scores a direct hit….

    mr Lahey; (Benji) art world pundit and, non-entity, (google = nothing)…. (is this guy a receptionist at some art gallery or some other equally high powered position?) merely seems not very bright.

    But, Duncan’s comments are a disappointment….I’ve said what I want to say to him on this topic above, hopefully Duncan, you will hear me and get your facts straight.

  44. Is this the same Mr. Lahey?



    this whole thing has become infantile.

  45. I think it’s worth while to say a word about judgment and opinions. The reason the accusation of “facism” comes up (over-strong in my opinion – is it the same as Fascism?) is that often those with differing viewpoints are forcefully instructed that these opinons originate from weak-mindedness and indoctrination.

    Recent examples would include the ridiculousness surrounding my Duchamp post on SF a while back. I submit that such accusations are greatly lacking in persuasiveness, and do the argument a disservice.

    Forcefully advancing one’s position is acceptable and appropriate, provided this advancement takes the form of salient points and avoids the temptation of becoming personal. Telling someone over the age of 12 that the things they believe are the result of swallowing whole academic doctrine only serves to anger and/or alienate, and does little to persuade.

    This is not about “playing nice,” although I’m a big fan of civility – it’s about giving your position it’s best shot at getting across. Once it gets personal it all seems like quantum foam at best, and schoolyard childishness at worst.

    If the goal is just shutting someone up, then by all means let ‘er rip. If the goal is enlightenment and persuasion, then the message gets lost in the personal vitriol. Personally I’ve seen little of value in the back and forth, but that’s just me.

  46. Duchamp…..are you STILL! talking about this Dave?…..thats just what we need in this discussion, its so relevant!.. Marcel Duchamp…why not add to his ubiquity? I think the general feeling at sharkforum was with all of this artist’s airtime, we really didn’t need to add to it….though you were welcome to post it……others were equally welcome to question the necessity or value of doing so.

  47. are you kidding? it’s got nothing to do with him – it’s about the method and form of disagreement.

  48. and you took credit, congratulating yourself (at least to me) for the lengthy discussion that ensued, as I recall.

    you might also note how I BEGAN THIS THREAD -WHICH PERTAINS TO DOMINIC MOLON! AND THE MCA ROCK SHOW!…..with a detailed, lengthy discussion of what I felt the issues were concerning the exhibition…far more important to me and I believe for everyone than listening to Benji yipping or discussing your bent feelings over an artist a lot of us on sharkforum felt had been way over, (including most pointedly Lynne Warren I might add,) had been way over discussed period. And to not discuss this artist in the context of the institutional art education system is ludicrous-

  49. and to claim ignorance to this universal truth concerning such, (seeing Duchamp in some type of vacumn, suspended apart from his towering influence in todays academies…) is….well what do I know..perhaps the wheel does need reinventing….

  50. “If the goal is enlightenment and persuasion, then the message gets lost in the personal vitriol.”

    “it’s about the method and form of disagreement.”

    Mistakes, mistakes, mistakes. A rather thrilling ( yet not quite engaging) monsterous pile, somehow compelling from afar, almost but not quite as compelling as “The large night in the bucket” by Baselitz.

    It is a fact- that Mr. Kimler, Fitzpatrick, Brandl & what ever few acolytes these fellows have- ( ostensibly, because of the lack of open dialogue available at Sharkforum- scaring “free thinkers” or those with an opinion- away )
    a problem.

    Dilemma, what ever one wishes to call it, a significant problem, on their hands.

    & i beg to differ Kimler- you seem to have quite the love affair for Kasso’s work, as i think anyone would care to notice if they wished to put on some hiking boots to climb the mire, of the blog. & Wilmette? Sounds like just the vacation spot for you with all you know about Wilmette.

    & I am glad you are enjoying healthy excursions into fascism Marc.

    I’ll offer my notion- ” Sharkforum- The New Stasi” it’s a good “joke” yes?

    Must be funny to you & your sense of “pranks”-. But the difference is i am serious.

    & i think, at this point, it’s obvious that Molon managed to pull off a exciting , inspiring, successful & meaningful show.

    & soon, i think- i shall take it upon myself to create a diverse blog for Chicago artists- ( & artists the world over ) to share dialogues & post articles, discuss local & world issues & politics, the issues that are important to artists & those who work in the arts- & art lovers.
    & of course, there will be debate. & there will be a healthy wealth of self proclaimed failures, original thinkers, mad men, logicians, street artists & graduates, etc-.

    If- they find themselves so inclined.

    A blog, that will as well be accessible to those who have turned away ( & will turn away ) from Sharkforum because of character assassination, or abuse.
    ( I can see some hands rubbing in anticipation- of attempting to assassinate the blog, even before- it’s conception )
    I hear the delicious & sweet endless style & Shark drone of “NO”.
    No to everything.

    Well we will say, “Yes”

    & some, not all, of those at the Sharkpack, sadly- will not be allowed to comment, whatsoever.

    See you on the other side of the coin.

  51. see Duncan, you’ve created a monster…Benji The Great!

    Where are these delusions of grandeur going to show up next? Can we dare hope for Ben Lahey to become Ben Laden?

    20 watts and, growing dimmer…

  52. now,that the emancipator of blogdom has revealed himself to all, people! Salvation is at hand (through the will and grace of Allah that is…)

    what!, a moment in history….Duncan, how does it feel to have announced his coming?…you must feel almost like…St John the Baptist!

  53. “…claim ignorance to this universal truth concerning such, (seeing Duchamp in some type of vacumn…”

    sigh. not even worth unpacking this, except to say that this bent rendering of my position is proof of my point above. it’s not really personal, or at least it doesn’t need to be.

    “congratulating yourself”

    dude – take a joke. i only said that because of all the shit you gave me about a little web link. talk about picking the fly shit out of the pepper.

    it’s true that some things are more important than decorum, respect and civility – there’s just mixed opinion about where that line is. you managed to respond to exactly zero of the relevant points in my post.

    and Mr. Lahey – I’d respond to your post if I thought I understood it. Seriously – you write in haiku.

  54. Dave -I cant get back into this again, I responded to your post in just about the same way Lynne did -though admittedly, lacking her razor sharp precision in dismissing an artist who has already been way over-thought, over exposed, over deified, over institutionalized and over exploited causing him to be, over extended……

    as for your far too generous take on ‘Ben’s’ junior high school level pronouncements….well, you are always way nicer than I am.

  55. besides Dave, don’t you remember this guy with the pseudo babble, fake pompous schtick from artletter…..with nothing of substance ever being said? I didn’t recognize until the last post……

    so now..whens ground breaking to begin on your tower of babel Ben? Pardon me if I’m not one of those holding my breath in anticipation of the great moment…..

  56. What a mass of self-contradiction you are Ben, yelling “no no no” to any criticism you don’t agree with, using cheap-shot (and incorrect) historical analogies and then saying your targets are the nay-sayers and you will be the “yes-sayer.” More likely the “yes-man.”

    I think it would be good if you do your own blog, although there are many others already out there — and good ones too— , to which it would probably be good for you to contribute and thus save you the work of doing all the site maintenance and so on (AtStyle, Leisure Arts, ArtIdiocy, etc.).

    Yes, open commentary and discussion are needed. But with a clearness of mind which I seriously doubt you have. A simple blog of kowtowing is hardly needed, especially if you intend to couch it in your double-think (your nastiness as positive, everybody else’s as bad). I’d be more than willing to argue with you on your site — or Sharkforum if you have the courage to appear there. But you do have to review your own serious lack of logic first, whatever my own failings are.

    Dave, I like your comments, as always, especially, “it’s about giving your position it’s best shot at getting across.” Persuasion is something many bloggers (such as I) tend to forget about, simply wanting to get a clear critical idea across. I’m not certain though that it is always possible. “Argue with a fool, lest he feel that he is wise in his follies” it says in Proverbs.

    I find Ben to be the biggest nay-sayer here. VERY haiku, self-contradictory haiku at that. And I enjoyed the fight at your Duchamp post Dave!

  57. “Yawn”

    Shouldn’t some people be painting?Consistently..

    From what i have seen in the month I have perused your forum, yes it’s accomplished some vital things, raised some important issues for scrutiny-.
    & there are, some great talents at your forum.

    But admittedly i have been disappointed by & found your successes tarnished by these vicious circles of diatribe at times brutally projected at others, that do not seem to help your “cause”.Reminding me of all the disregard & hypocrisy & insult from the “powers that be” that you complain about.

    People are people & if you want them to rally behind you- & your “cause” why not be democratic?
    It seems as if it’s either too much to handle-, or you truly demand that all people see through your eyes &/or that anything else is just not up to par, with your “vision”.

    There are conflicting realties at work, in your politics- of which i am not the only one, aware.

    So let’s say your work was included. Or Fitzpatrick? In some ways could this not potentially upset a great number of people? & why….

    Let’s say a woman i am pursuing, throws food in my face one night,threatens me & berates me, & as i try to escape she kicks me in the balls, leaving me whimpering on the side of the road. Not a good experience, interesting, but not good.

    & let’s say i preferred the company of my friends, over this woman & thought well i’ve got some things to work on but i certainly do not deserve that.

    & then i have a get together & she was not invited. Then, let’s say she spreads lies about me & gossips, upset that she was not invited. Then she stalks my friends & tells them that she wants me to invite her to my next party & how upset she is that i am smitten with an Italian punk singer.

    Do i invite her to my party?

    It’s this simple.

    No matter how poignant some of your causes are, people generally cannot have respect for others that spend an exorbitant amount of time “correcting”( very annoying to most people ) & disrespecting others & who lean way to far over the edge of unpredictability.
    & some of us like occasional “playful” impoliteness or the rudeness that we are capable of in certain contexts & in the moment, but it’s next to impossible to participate or cooperate or take seriously those who live by it.

    & well of course if you two- were included- then what?

    What if you were at the “Sympathy for the devil Show”?

    People- do want to have an experience when it comes to art & they do, want it to be free & immediate, meaningful, comprehensive.
    &, no matter what anyone does-or makes, there will always be a few malcontents.

    Those who invest time in learning about you- & Chicago arts- are aware of many inconsistencies on all sides of these constant arguments.

    & generally most of us i think have a preference for cooperative or aware dialogues & the work that is involved in seeing things as they are-, i suppose a sense of useful humanity. This approach is a little less, threatening & creates more momentum & participation.

    & we also desire an escape from emotional & mental novelty.

    A sincere- “rebellion” is dynamic & can bring fruition, flaws & all.

    & much of what you “battle” so doggedly & so persistently & with much insult to others, does not look like it’s going to budge as a result.
    Because you are forsaking many potential advantages.
    Perhaps do things the hard way, ascertaining which version of sincerity is the one that you find most pragmatic & authentic.

    You are not in essence- an artist for the people, in full support of their creativity and aspirations to the full & authentic degree that is required-, by your expectations-.
    Creativity, & a desire for it, is universal & individualistic, & thinkers & artists alike, are watchful over this reality.

    & your lack of tact, furthers you from your “goals”, that you claim stands to benefit all Chicago artists. It’s not the truth.

    “Sympathy for the Devil” is an experience for the people & artists of chicago-, it is an attempt.
    & Yes Molon made a few unfortunate errors in exclusion & i think it’s important to be aware & outspoken about this, but to also try and be aware of all the “politics” involved, inclusive of yours.

    In which case, many people’s observations, are something to think about.

    Haiku? David?

    Forgetting all knowledge at one stroke,
    I do not need cultivation anymore.
    Activity expressing the ancient road,
    I don’t fall into passivity.
    Everywhere trackless,
    conduct beyond sound and form:
    the adepts in all places
    call this the supreme state.

  58. .

  59. . ( editing mistake ) apologies.

  60. You are right about our lack of socially appropriate tact, Ben, in the Sharkpack. And that it can get “in the way of a successful carrier in the Consensus circles;” you are right, but that is not our, or at least my, goal, nor Wesley’s as I know from many a discussion and even argument with him.

    As I stated above, there are not just two possible options for activity; dropping out or politely following rules. If I may go so far, you’re heart appears to be in the right place, but your mouth is still acceding dominance (and in fact correctness-due-to-momentary-regional-power success) to the situation as is. If you refuse to speak up, or only allow yourself to speak politely in the manner others allow you, you are capitulating, in my opinion. If you have something to say, if you have seen a truth, you must say it. And that, generally, will NOT please others.

    Sitting on the fence is not criticism, it is cowardliness. My father told me that if you never have any enemies, then you have never spoken clearly enough. If you see a truth, you must acknowledge it to free yourself, but you must also clearly state it to help free others. And may I point out that although Wesley’s Shark attacks can cause fear and anger, please read the contents. I think you’ll admit (and have done so indirectly already) that he is usually right (maybe not when he disagrees with me, which is often …. ‘cause I’m usually right … just a joke — I guess I’m Hosea to the Shark’s Amos.).

    Really! Wesley sees injustice and is inflamed by it in the old tried-and-true fashion that all prophets, political critics, heralds, even muckrakers and so on have been. (Read Nelson Algren in Chicago, City on the Make sometime! Or Amos.) He sees injustice not only to himself but to Chicago, to painters, to art, to YOU — and unmistakably and aggressively assails it. That ain’t bad!

    I am less ferocious, perhaps, but equally fierce, especially when I see what I find to be hypocrisy, sycophancy or just plan muddled-thinking. And Dave Roth is even more “measured” but quite clear in his arguements. And so on through the “pack.”

    Even Jesus violently threw the moneylenders out of the temple with a bullwhip. We aren’t all nicey-nice, at least not all the time. Well, maybe we Sharks aren’t hardly ever, but that’s our way. Much of the time we are NOT trying to convince the “enemy,” the pusillanimous consensus schemers, our “moneylenders,” but rather are trying to get others to awaken and help drive them out of “our temple.” Overextended comparison, but you get my drift.

  61. “I cant get back into this again…in dismissing an artist who has already been way over-thought…”

    ::shaking head::

    unbelieveable – you managed to utterly and completely miss the point. Here’s a hint – it has exactly NOTHING to do with Marcel.

    “as for your far too generous take on ‘Ben’s’ junior high school level pronouncements”

    actually, no. I haven’t been generous with this man at all. aside from glimmers of lucidity in his last post I’ve found him to be almost opaque. the fact that I don’t choose to go after him as you do does not mean I’m giving him a pass.

    I do, however, agree with him here:

    “No matter how poignant some of your causes are, people generally cannot have respect for others that spend an exorbitant amount of time “correcting”( very annoying to most people ) & disrespecting others…”

    Just my opinion, but I think the form of your argument does it a disservice – that’s my point.

  62. Sorry — I apologize in advance, especially to Basho —- I can’t resist. With all this talk of haiku and so on and after my big long novel of a comment above (which I hope you read more closely than this post), to add a silly pendant:

    Small courtier frogs in a polluted consensus pond
    A shark jumps in,
    Blood spurts — shpppriiiiits!

  63. Oh bruuther…first Ben, when and where did I ever claim to be an artist of the people? I have referred to myself as, An Enemy Of The People -in both concrete, and metaphorical terms….but artist of the people? huh?-give me a fucking break. That has about zero to do with who I am. And when have I ever claimed to stand for all artists? There are a whole boatload of artists here I detest…..I don’t stand for them -can I be anymore clear?

    -as for your painting consistently remark, only someone utterly unfamiliar with me, the vast amount of work that happens at The Sharkpit would make such a stupid comment.

    Next, your ‘dating’ scenario is simple-minded and idiotic. It also has little to do with the corruption that dogs the Chicago Art World. And besides….I’m not looking to be invited to these peoples party -neither is Tony -or others….we don’t want what they’ve got. Your make nicey-nice stance, is crap.

    Sympathy For The Devil fails on many levels. And no, I do not think it is the unmitigated, wild success you speciously and falsely claim it to be.The point is Ben, they never looked here out of force of consensus habit….it had nothing to do with anyone being insulted, cajoled or otherwise…….this is a very careerist exhibition on Molons part (read Brandl’s terrific instructions for climbing the consensus ladder -on sharkforum.)

    Next, sharkforum is not, a democracy. An anarchy of like minded individuals perhaps Is there room for debate? Yes -but, it is not a blog site. Sharkforum is an ezine with at least a partial agenda of over throwing certain elements of the scene here. We have a row to hoe so to speak. You are correct in noting there are some very talented -and here is where you miss the point, people who on many issues concerning the art world here, see it the same way. The debate has already happened Ben. You, are years too late for the party.

    As one somewhat renowned individual person at SAIC noted to me, the scene here in Chicago will only grow when the people in power here have their backs broken.

    “Do not mistake me for what I am not”….do you know the quote? Well, now you do.

    Your final comment about Molon……doesn’t cut it. Claiming the rock show here is for the people is, laughable. Its not a mistake Ben, its a culture of corruption, venal and, insipid…..which is why I chose to bring up that dreadful hack Kilimnik…..(btw note the fabulous Kinkade vs Kilimnik smackdown at sharkforum)…..and ask what are the decision making processes that inform both of these shallow, trendy exhibitions?…am I being mean to Molon? Not really, just a shark -feeding on what’s weak. I actually like Dominic…..he just needs to grow some testicles and quit mouthing existing canon formulated by others in LA and NYC.

    Mark, love the haiku!

  64. Actually, the comments I respond to above from Ben ‘Lahey’…..are strangely reminiscent of comments aimed at me in the past coming from one Victor Cassidy -hack writer who amazingly (to many) writes here on occaison/ was for a long time 1/2 of an awful pair of ‘critics’ for Art In America……but, not so much anymore haha!

    And also NOT!-any longer, for artnet………who says things cant budge or, be changed?

    Sometimes great good does come from acts of vengeance no matter how cold the serving.

    And after all, I am a cold water fish.

  65. I will not repeat myself, it’s tiring. Another forced to babble, irked.

    Sounds like you are attempting to be an artist for the people in this Swiss Sharkforum entry, Kimler:

    & i sincerely think that one of our issues ( those who are no longer interested in sharing the same novel shifting walls, some of you occasionally bang your head into)
    is that,
    it’s obvious to us that you all take way, way too much to task via the net-, it’s not approachable & digestible, nor is it an experience.

    This fine NY Times article might help with that.

    Kimler & Co’s paper trail is vast & inexhaustible, overwhelming discussions & creating more confusion.

    Anarchic yes- an “anarchic enemy of the people” swamp of paper-trails.

    & Anarchy? yes- “against the people”? No, we want to work with the people Kimler, we need the people..

    It would take years to make all your diatribes & attacks comprehensive, so that one may just sit & even think, ponder & question them all.It is legitimally impossible at this point.
    You have criticisms, for many an observer, inquisitor, curator, artist, etc.
    & personal- assumptions as to the validity- of their final products, livelihoods…

    But you still have not built a museum( takes “people’s” participation, inclusion & interest- and $$ for that), nor have you gathered artists & done the work to have a significant curated show, or created an online file to represent hundreds of “overlooked & undermined” Chicago ( or Swiss ) Artists.
    & the diversity, at your forum is lacking.

    Some of your best forum talents, seem to find the most success outside- of your forum & their internet comments kept at a minimum-. & yes perhaps some of these successes are due to the exposure- from your forum.

    Meanwhile “The Chicago Art World” is chugging along & working hard, gathering in the real world, flaws & all-.
    &, there are multitudes- of alternative curated shows, art files presenting tangible opportunities that are accessible to all & fruitful & focused discussions & debates- about, Art.
    &- all this activity & opportunity is more prevalent than ever- in all of history.
    & who are you to dissuade anyone into believing that options do not exist when they do-.

    All to perhaps strive towards a movement & it cannot be forced, or prescribed.

    & there have been some incredibly important & influential successes & movements with a vast array of incredible work as a result.

    The “Black Arts Movement” did it & still has an impact-

    Here is an article of a recent conference at Northwestern-

    Krasner did it. The surrealists did it.Pop, Indian river school, Fluxus, & on & on-. Bad At Sports is a wonderful & at this point irreplaceable Chicago forum for discovery- & participation-.

    For now, i set fire, to the paper trail- .

  66. blah blah blah…. ever considered the wild idea of writing with intelligibility?

    This is retarded- I quote you:

    “But you still have not built a museum( takes “people’s” participation, inclusion & interest- and $$ for that), nor have you gathered artists & done the work to have a significant curated show, or created an online file to represent hundreds of “overlooked & undermined” Chicago ( or Swiss ) Artists.
    & the diversity, at your forum is lacking.”


    The work and events that have happened at The Sharkpit from the formation of Collaboraction Theater Company, the origins of Sketchbook Festival, the numerous Collaboraction Kimler happenings on to The Hypocrites Theater Company, numerous music concerts/ interdisciplinary events, poetry events Sharkstock 1 and 2…..art exhibitions, are all well documented

    -and have nothing: ZERO to do with, creating a museum, having a curated show.or, online file….. these are not our goals, nor have they ever been…is this sailing over your head or something Benny?

    We have a very diverse and a very select group of people on the site. -We try and avoid people like you for instance -and involve ourselves with people who actually have something of substance to offer, and or, merit inclusion due to accomplishments in their respective fields.

    The whole idea of sharkforum -is about alternative options Ben. This is easy stuff…….I dont see why this is so confusing to you. Tony Fitz myself and others have been exploring alternative ways to make things happen here for years….however: if, we could have MCA function for us as MOCA functions fo LA artists as the Whitney and MOMA function for NYC artists…..it would be good.

    In the meanwhile we have sites -like Bas like sharkforum -2 very different sites…..and there are others…..I think the one valid idea your line of thinking suggests is, if you don’t like what youare seeing at one site -find one you do -or, start your own and quit whining.

    as far as repeating goes -I have been forced -by my good nature and infinite patience with you, -to repeat for you things that have been stated very clearly on this particular thread time and time again..as you seem to have a problem with either your ability to apprehend or, comprehend.

    Tedium Ben, delivered with a certain fey, insipidness in lieu of any real sophistication/ argument with substance……its your strong suite.

  67. btw -Ben -since you are so worried about what the sharkpack has accomplished, have you figured out who David Amram is yet?

    why not google him? You see, when you do you’ll notice things like…he wrote the score for The Manchurian Candidate, was the first art in residence of the New York Phiharmonic….actually you will have a similar experience with most sharkpack members- whatever the volume of their contributions to sharkforum -they are individuals who can be described as, ‘accomplished’

    maybe rather than worrying about us/our accomplishments -which you seem clueless about anyway,……perhaps you should focus on yourself; when we have googled you, what comes up is a big ZERO….nothing.

  68. and finally, sharkforum is a online magazine. EVERY member of the sharkpack has his or her success outside of the forum…..its an ezine dummy! As opposed to real time and analog reality…do you get my drift?…sheeesh!.. I mean what do you think or- a better question, do you think even?

  69. Mark -when you wake up over there in the Alps, perhaps you can help Ben out with the etymological aspects and definitions of the word ….CON-FUSE….as it seems to inform his thought process to a large degree, it might be a good idea if he understood its meaning.

  70. Neither Sharkforum nor Swiss SF are exercises in trying to be wide, broad representation, Ben. It is a critical site. Please note the word “shark”. BAS is a presentational one. I enjoy and treasure both. You clearly want a happy, everybody’s okay site. Good! Go do that. You haven’t. SF and BAS are also not trying to make a museum. Both have actually done very well in attracting attention and closer attention to a handful of artists (like Leta Peer, Litsios and others at Swiss SF) and others, although I don’t think that’s the main idea. Such an idea would be a good one for a site. Why don’t you do it, rather than complaining that someone else isn’t doing exactly what you think needs to be done.

    There are now only about four people talking here and nobody seems to be listening to each other. Reading that is, for understanding instead of as a chance to shout.

    Who are you really Ben and what would you do to break open the closed and as MSB has said “mannerist academic” system? Why does criticism scare you?

  71. Alright, so it is lunch here and I just checked in.

    Thanks Shark and Anna.

    “Ben” seems not really to be reading the answers (mine are a bit over long) and only wants to say “no, no, no” while claiming he’s correcting the shark group for that. I don’t know where he gts his broad assumptions of “facts” from eithr. It has ben brought to my attention by two Kulturbeauftragter (something like Canton Cultural Directors/Ministers) that directly due to my “sharky” activity several shows have been given to certain artists and that they were in meetings discussing the “closed cultural clique of the curators and certain academics,” and since they, the ministers, fund it all, they are going to require more diversity and regional involvement. Pretty much a hit there.

    Yeah, I’ve probably paid personally — after a big sale of a big painting to an important bank, the woman running the curatorial committee told me that she “still” thought I was a great painter and would support my art, but “in spite of” my shark-like articles and so on, with which she agreed, she said, but that theses ideas should not be said out loud. What the hay. On the other hand, I was just invited to be in another show, in a publication, and the only artist to spaek at a symposium (and I have to do that in German). So who knows.

    But my point is, yes the Shark and his company and their/our attacks are indeed bearing fruit.

    Now I don’t want to go any further on this, because it appears that “Ben” wants it to turn into the very name-calling and so on that Duncan badly wants to avoid. And we ARE playing in Duncan’s house, so to speak, right now, so I am stopping here. You can hear me rant another time and another place (SF). And I personally will use my real name.

  72. Sophie Lahey Says:

    I, Sophie Lahey, agree.

  73. well Mark isnt great that you can search out url addresses?……sure this neocon schill for the consensoriat here was able to divert attention from what was really wanting discussion -namely Molon’s stuttering explanation for a consensus correct, east and west cost weighted and informed exhibition.

    Still its not a bad thing to reiterate a few salient points about sharkforum…an entity that clearly has the attention and concern of the Kirshner clones. As it should when your days are numbered..tick tick tick…..

    If nothing else, Duncan’s recitation verbatim, of the consensus mantra as to how it was the dark ages here until Robin Lockett, Mitchell Kane (where is he now?)…..(where is she now? out of jail after ripping off The Arts Club for all of that money?) and the rest of the suburbanite cabal took over here……marching in step, punishing those who got out of line ostracizing, amd marginalizing the rest of the community here, in a way that would have put a smile on Mussolini’s lips, demonstrates the huge need for Shark Park, for sharkforum.

    A place to set the record straight.

    This thread also demonstrates what keeps Chicago small and collegiate….diverted from the very real and serious discussion of what is wrong at one of our major exhibition spaces -a constructive critique no matter how tough, discussing this exhibition and a pending one….in a substantive manner -we end up babysitting this tool.

    Moving on: I suggest people take note of the Kilimnik vs Kinkade Smackdown! on sharkforum…….and we begin the dialog as to why the wall space at the MCA is being compromised, wasted on this specious trash. Its a damned good question.

    I would also point out that this is the final week to see the drawing/photography exhibition hugely reviewed by Kevin Nance Chicago Sun Times, of The Shark and Sandro Miller at Architrouve……

  74. tony fitzpatrick Says:

    Mr. Lahey– please note that I am NOT part of this discussion . Though they are my dear friends, I am not part of Sharkforum. I mostly agree with what my good friend Wesley says– though wish for a tad more civility in how he says it. As for the Chicago Art World– I don’t work there anymore.

    Please leave me out of this discussion

  75. “As for the Chicago Art World– I don’t work there anymore.”

    That’s the saddest news of all.

    How did your show go?

  76. Exactly Tony…..is there anyone here with half a brain that thinks you are part of sharkforum?

    As Tony notes, The Shark and he are close friends -we’ve fought any number of culture wars together, sometimes on the same side, sometimes not, and thus enjoy a rich, complex friendship…..

    I think Tony’s disavowal of the art scene in Chicago says it all; clearly, he’s done…and I know this from my private conversations with him; I think its fair to say he’s fed up and has washed his hands of it. Its Chicago’s loss.

    If I follow his advice, I may not be far behind….this thread here is such a microcosm of the mentality here, the inability to have change, the wrong-headed sycophancy to a group of people who have run the scene here for years -representing us to the outside as a city of only their special interest artists and little else…..

    its all quite unfortunate

  77. OK. So, I was away all weekend and I came back to a screaming match. Interesting. Although, I’m confused about a few things.

    Mark, for clarity I’m suspicious of any attempt to topple hierarchy and establish a new, now “different” hierarchy. I accept that any scene needs leaders and that is fine. But I prefer the “the scene you have is the scene you want model” and we can and do create our own scenes here. Not a hippie-esque get stoned drop out model(sadly it is more “Field of Dreams”.) The museums here have had more Chicago oriented and relevant work in them over the last couple of years so the pressure brought to bear on the museums by projects like Shark Forum (and BAS) is having an on the ground impact and it is exposing more local talent. Change is slow and I believe that we will have to work for it by building our alternatives.

    As for Ben “…not being afraid,” you and Wesley are such active and aggressive posters that most of your old BAS based sparring partners will no longer participate. Those who have spoken to me personally about it claim two reasons; they don’t have time to match you two post for post and emotionally it just is not worth the tongue lashing they receive for doing so. So as for the “not being afraid” comment, it is that most people are thin enough skinned that they don’t like it being suggested that they are “retarded”. As I defend you to them, I defend them to you and incourage an open forum where these issues can be discussed regardless of peoples art history ideology or social clique, but I too, wish for more civility all around.

    As for my posts and fondness of Tony Tasset. Look. I’m not really sure what the “people’s history” of Chicago Art is. I know a hell of a lot more then I did five or six years ago when I left grad school but the archives of the New Art Examiner do have a record of what these people said and did, and projects like Corbett vs. Dempsey are really looking at the lost histories of Chicago art and it would be silly for me or anyone to ignore their research and results in trying to understand that history.

    I meant no slight to Ed Paschke when I mentioned the regionalist nature of the imagists work. They themselves recorded that they were working in opposition to what was going on in NYC and that their interests where in someway defined by that, not being in the center.

    In terms of Tony Tasset’s generation who seem to me a little younger then Puryear and Klement’s, both of whom are doing amazingly well and make great art… And last time I checked live in NYC. Where as I could call Dunning/Tasset/Ledgerwood and have coffee with them tomorrow. I’m not sure how these people were lionized and how the choices of the chicago art history dogma were made (in fact I’m not sure they have been, it is incredibly difficult to find records of what happened here) and I’m not defending those choices, but I’m not sure why I also have to hate Dunning/Tasset/Ledgerwood work. For me ideas that Tony was working with in the late 80 and early 90’s are still relevant and interesting. Ideas like mythology, masculinity, failure, fantasy, and the hero are all ideas that I still think about and use in my work. Tasset’s urine soaked jean are a stepping stone for me, not because it is “daring” and “dangerous” but because it is not. Why would I now reject it? Must we all maintain the same personal canons? Must we all find the same things useful? Must we all like the same movies, artists, foods, people? Isn’t the fact that people think differently what make it fun to talk to them? Should I really be talked down to because I like something different sometimes?

    And Mark we all know that all history is… “concocted, insipid, manipulated and completely fake”. It is always a story. But it does not seem wrong nor indefensible to say to that the imagist (no matter how international successful Roger and Ed were, and after all Dada, Pop art, and Abstract expressionism are all at one point regional styles) were regionalist in there conceptual interests and defining themselves as oppositional, and that whatever success the 90’s “Robin Lockett-ish” crew had, they were defining themselves as complicit with the international art world. Now, how is that a statement that is wrong? And what does it invalidate?

    We all know that Roger Brown, Jim Nutt, and Ed were insainly successful on the international and national market. THat is why they appear in text books about Modern Art History.

    I never implied that everyone didn’t know what was going on in NYC. Just that they didn’t care. Which again is the choice I would make about the SFTD show. Don’t like it? Stay home. Write a note to Bob F. and tell him why your staying home. I myself will be going back to catch the Douglas Gordon piece and have not yet seen the show fully installed.

    And Tony, ahem, Mr. Fitzpatrick… Anytime you decide to come back to the Chicago art world. I have a shovel and a strong back and will help you build anything you think we need. (And in the mean time I want to drop by and record a couple of things with you. but not for the Chicago Art World, for the Art World in general.)

    PS. I know that I am also going to live to regret this post and I’m am a little frightened.

  78. Duncan – will you marry me?

  79. Vera Klement lives in Printers Row Duncan…….your earlier recitation of the history of Chicago Art as applies to Tony Tasset and friends is a piece of propaganda that you have unfortunately bought into…..which, I believe you honestly don’t recognize as such -you should…

    ..why don’t you get in touch with Lynne Warren at the MCA the curator here most knowledgable about the Chicago scene, its recent history, and get up to speed on this topic-I think its fair to say she will quickly disabuse you of the notions you set forth in your previous post.

    fyi Puryear and Klement and, the others I mention were all very active here in the mid -late 80’s…

    in terms of my work, you might want to ask yourself why painting that is very contemporary, conflating figuration/abstraction, realist , historical and expressionist conceits in a way unto myself, with high skill level and tons of technical expertise, is looked past for, in one instance -(whats up at the MCA right now- in terms of aquisitions from here,) colorfield painting, with a few elipses of other color -that are not only completely dated and retro, but verbatim ripoffs of the painter Larry Poons circa 1962…….ask yourself why that is Duncan ask -Lynne -or ask me and I will tell you a tale of art world politics and, corruption.

    Welcome back…..sorry us sharks are too fierce, what can I say? are we not apex predators?

  80. btw Duncan, as for ‘Ben’ -how brave can you be, adding specious filler, never engaging in real dialog, to a blog using a pseudonym?

    also -my comments about the Larry Poons facsimile painting is an opinion shared and discussed with disgust by virtually ALL the serious painters I know here, not to mention people who know anything about contemporary painting…..less a work of art than a signifier of corruption, local art world politics, aided and abetted by the kind of flat out ignorance concerning not only the history of contemporary painting, but painting in general, that seems indigenous to Chicago, or at least to a certain group within the art world here…

  81. Hi Duncan,
    I think I’ve already adequately, in the posts so far, answered or commented on your thoughts, if you’ll read them. Okay — build it, … we all are, in differing fashions.

    But such an activity is not just nicey-nice. You are still ever-so-slightly tying yourself to a “it’s an all or nothing acceptance of the situation” plan. I have heard from many many supporters of our attacks — ahem — discussions, who say that they agree totally but are too afraid of the consensus artworld in Chi-town to contribute. Too bad. So Wesley (and a little bit I or David) sometimes infuriate a handful of folks — isn’t it sadder that a certain coterie has silenced droves? Or brought about a shoulder-shrugging “that’s just the way it is”? THAT is coercion and intimidation.

    Read your own vocabulary too — “defining themselves as complicit with the international art world” — What’s wrong with that? READ that — that is jargon justifying complicity, collusion, with and in your own disenabling.

    I think of the whole “School” crowd you, and Elkins, are the most questioning I have ever encountered, but in such phrase your training, not schooling, “training,” pops out. I think you are better a thinker than that. I like some of Tony Tasset’s art too. Seems like a nice guy too. (I like almost none by the other provincial Neo-Cons, just for the record.)

    That doesn’t effect the principles of corruption and its debilitating effects. And please cut the “it’s always like that everywhere” — yes a bit, in varying degrees, but the scale of such and its results and the approach and the allowance of support for contrary attitudes, — studying these allows the judging and criticism of any manifestation.

    Yeah, your desire to like more stuff can be admirable, but also a bit credulous. (I know that from my own similar tendency.) I, obviously, developed out of Conceptualism (not Neo, just Late), so my weakness for Dada is a far cry from Wesley’s absolute distaste for almost all of it. But my absolute disgust in the face of hypocrisy, — not advocacy there IS a difference—, is unforgiving.

    I promise to be more polite on BAS in the future (NOT at SF), but no less rigorous.

  82. Mark you make a great point- do you have any idea how many people have thanked me for saying something about Sympathy For The Devil?

    ……do you have any idea how many people have thanked me over the years for standing up to the consensus crew here? Its no big secret in the upper echelons how ruthless power is wielded here in Chicago. Its also no secret how uninformed and provincial some of these peoples taste is….which is why we have Larry Poons circa 1962 facsimiles/knockoffs being pawned off here as ‘cutting edge’ oil painting. Believe me, no ones buying it anywhere else.

    In terms of a major power broker like Judith Kirshner, I have had ex directors of Gallery 400 quietly offer their agreement and support concerning my positions, living in fear of her.

    I have had ex directors of specific disciplines/art departments at UIC thank me for saying something. In fact I had one major figure from UIC come up to me at an MCA opening as I stood visiting with Lynne Warren to personally thank me for having the huevos to tell the truth.

    So we silence a few people -or they don’t have the time to respond to us or perhaps we are just smarter, and better at this -whatever! Hell, the whole fucking art world here has been cowed and silenced by the academic thuggery and manipulation that has characterized so much, all the string pulling! around here -FOR DECADES!

    And one more point Mark -no one has argued as ethically and with as much specificity and focus here than the two of us. We have been and are, SUBSTANTIVE and substantial in our discourse/argument.

    Things like ‘Ben Lahey’ making ill formed, poorly thought out, completely specious pronouncements, wafting through here like a (I’m being generous) semi-literate turd…thats what mars the discourse here in my humble opinion.

  83. A final thought on Sympathy For The Devil….some people here have boasted of it as an unmitigated success, other like myself have scoffed at this perception….well, what is the truth?

    Simple: even with all of the consensus correct artists, usual suspects, this show has obviously been declined by both MOCA and MOMA and The Whitney -and, all venues of consequence in europe….in fact this show is traveling to Miami period -not exactly a major venue. End of story.

  84. Abbie Hoffman aka Ben Lahey Says:

    I have a book suggestion for some of the Shark folk.

    Martha Nussbaum’s
    “The Fragility of Goodness” Should be interesting.
    Since i do not live on the internet i cannot address all points & most of them i have a complete disinterest in commenting on as a few are sheer distractions, delusions & manifestations of denial.
    First i’d like to comment on Roth & how his blog on Duchamp was dragged into this discussion on “Sympathy for the Devil”, as is typically the case with the shark paper trail.

    I think Conger made some great observations. & I too agree with him about- Lynne’s observations about Duchamp, as to form & the autobiographical.

    “I think one of the really salient questions generated here is “how do you define important?” If the criteria is purely historical, then we’d have to place heavy emphasis on influence, which seems a dicey proposition. Anyone care to weigh in?” good ques- Roth.

    I have always liked The Bride Stripped Bare. & Well i find it odd to make Duchamp personally responsible after his death for the great influence he had in- his time- & our vastly- differing views on his importance now.
    I think the focus lays in his time & then the rest of the answers follow as well as some interesting perspectives, pro’s & con’s & all.

    & Kimler, I am a huge follower of Kienholz & i think there should be more retrospectives of their work, especially now. “Back seat dodge 38” has quite a history, one that makes sense at- battling conservatism, as much of their work did & still does & should.

    & why don’t i post all this at Sharkforum? Because I do not believe in censorship & no matter how viable & successful some of the issues are-..& i also do not support character assassination, or occasional abuses of power. It’s fundamentally unethical.
    I mean it is 2007, some of us take a while figuring this out but when we buy those energy efficient light bulbs it all starts to make sense. Global Warming, is no secret.

    & i also appreciated Roth’s Blog on Auang San Suu Kyi. Which recieved 0 comments.
    Here is a link where one may sign a petition in a global campaign to free her-.

    & ah yes the Sharkstock-
    So your “curated” Sharkstock 1 & 2..

    Photos of beer bottles & unnamed artists…& it’s a philosophy? you say? Not, a party??
    Not a show that perfectly fits the socialite, diarists life? Rubber gloves, fins & all?

    & what is, this philosophy?
    World domination? Ha it’s a “joke”.

    & fighting conservatism- in the establishment & cultural institutions, is nothing new. Sometimes, however, they are replaced by equally detested frauds.

    & some of you are hardly authentic Marcusian’s, ever read one dimensional man?

    We are, trying—— to reach a TRUE— Democracy.

    & for some emphasis on the Molon show-

    The Beatles, Lennon, most of the members- captivated & still captivate, influenced, their time- profoundly.I think the magic element for them as a band, was an appreciation for awareness & original thinking-.

    It’s next to impossible to have a Beatles, or Lennon, now- & it’s changing thankfully ( Radio Head , GREAT example of beating the “conservatism & powers that be”) but, it’s next to impossible for original thinkers to sublimate because many just analyze everything death- drowning in distraction-..
    While radio head beats the system, peacefully & just taking a very simple & original risk ( Yes I know Npr does this as well ).
    & I along with many cannot stand- the corporatization of everything, inclusive of the arts.
    & all our present day desensitization & distraction, is the perfect nest for hypocrisy & denial-which is another troubling trend ( Iraq ).

    Original thinking & thinkers- engage people so well, because it awakens original thought in all people & ourselves & it’s an invitation to possibility- and an example of this is as mundane & as tangible as discussions with a child-.

    & Consideration is as well vital- whether it’s for some of the talents in “Sympathy for the Devil” or Duchamp, or within the contexts of our own lives- we need our underdog’s & failures- & the amazement that comes when our underdog’s & failures are sometimes-capable of tangible social & cultural heroism.
    & Original thought attracts original thinkers so easily- because it invites possibility & our own original thinking & this is also when we follow & lead each other.

    Nothing is free of error- error is highly underrated as a viable concentration- it’s about consciousness- otherwise we’ve got nothing to stand on-especially when we are so caught up in Hyperreality-.

    & i think the greatest works of art & our most profound philosophies are the result of original thought-, a germination & digestibility, that results from awakening the psyche into action.
    There has to be something to work with, if you analyze the meaning of cobalt to death, you will never use it.

    & i think the greatest works of art & our most profound philosophies are the result of original thought, a germination that results from awakening the psyche into action..
    & i think Grace Lee Boggs, is correct, that great new shifts are about to happen & i think there will be more appreciation for original thinkers & more- authentic & unbiased, factually informed -.
    Leadership for us to find ourselves nurtured & reinvigorated , mobilized, in facing a world of war, the destruction of the environment, lies, hypocrisy, the power elite-,-etc-.

    & in more positive discoveries- the evolution of the sciences & technology, achieving a true democracy & raising more awareness about human rights- on & on.
    All the issues that many genuinely- care about & make work about-. & it is, these sorts of consistent digestible dialogues- that are what make a difference-.

    We are moving away, from the “me me me me” age ( which also brought back a huge resurgence of “God” based faiths ), to be nursed & rendered in EGO is becoming quite boring & facile.
    Even individuals who are not empowered by “groups” & “authorities”spend a great deal of time meditating & researching & acting on- & representing these important & at times very inspiring issues.

    Kimler says about sympathy for the devil, “MOCA and MOMA and The Whitney -and, all venues of consequence in europe” & i suppose you won’t be wasting time finding great flaws in these events- instead of investing more time in developing the pro’s of your group & your philosophies? The overall meaning of your shows, a relationship between the artists shown & your own work.

    & will you be criticizing other Contemporary museums, for not getting into MOCA MOMA & the Whitney? & MOCA

  85. Abbie Hoffman aka Ben Lahey Says:

    & thank you BAS for being such a informative & truly liberal forum, with many talents discovered via your blog-. It is a rich experience, which i have benefited much from.

  86. Dear Abby,

    Herbert Marcuse was a Freudian Marxist. If you are going to talk philosophers, it might be a good idea to know what you are talking about.

    Why don’t you post this at sharkforum? How about because we wouldn’t let you post this unfocused drivel there – and besides, we’re fascists remember?

    One moment you are calling us thugs -the next moment you’ve got your face pressed against the window, whining about joining us….it aint going to happen so just drop it.

    Yea right, Abbie Hoffman the highpoint of his life being hit over the head with a geetar by Pete Townsend and thrown off the stage at Woodstock -meet the new boss Abbie.

    Ed Kienholz was a friend of mine. As a matter of fact a very large scale painting by The Shark hangs in his studio to this very day.

    Backseat Dodge has an antiquated sense about it at this point -however some of his other pieces from that time -Illegal Operation
    ,The Wait, State Hospital are still very strong -funny you pick the one very well known piece of Eds -like you really don’t know (as usual) what you are talking about.

    When Ed came here to do ‘The Art Show’ in 1985 and wanted to use local emerging artists for the installation, (in lieu of his own paintings,) he was appalled at all consensus crap he was chauffered around to see..finally after days of looking at the consensus crew, the usual suspects here, he asked to look at some real paintings…….I was featured in that exhibition along with Michael Hoskins, Matt Straub and others….

    Eds widow and creative partner Nancy Kienholz as I mentioned earlier on this thread – not that you actually read it dear Abby, shares many of the attitudes The Shark argues….and shares, from our most recent conversation, a similar distaste for the international consensoriat cabal.

    As she noted, the only good thing is, Ed is dead and doesn’t have to see it.

    I walked Nancy Kienholz into the opening of the retrospective at The Whitney, an exhibition that was in the works before Ed died.

    Ed Kienholz is buried in a Packard automobile up on a hill out side of Hope Idaho -Beyond Hope as it is known. One day many years ago Ed and I sat in that particular packard (he owned three of them)..and he said “what do you think of my coffin”…I thought it was pretty swell.

    And finally -have you looked up the word CON-FUSE yet?…..you seem to ascribe all of these goals and aspirations to sharkforum, that have zero to do with the site. And besides, since you are so disappointed why don’t you just get of your specious butt and do something about it create this mega site about everything for everyone you keep threatening like a complete idiot…..though skimming over your swamp of muddled thinking, that seems highly unlikely.

  87. I liked your last comment a lot “Ben,” er “Abby,” er “D” or whoever — don’t agree with all, but it was very interesting. I think you should post comments on SF too. I personally promise to try to not be too nasty. Especially if you use your real name. (But then you’d have to warn me, as I have the tendency to be aggressive almost immediately without always noticing it). (Now the Shark’s reactions, that’s another thing you’d have to discuss with him — but that’s just a part of his winning personality!)

    Dave’s posts ARE great, as is his art and music. And his and all SF post gets tons of readers, if not always posted comments (we’ve got trackers on everything to see the real number of hits and readership and so on).

    Also, lots and lots of people write us personal, private emails about the posts, but are unsure of hemselves and such, thus not wanting to go fully public. Going fully public — with your real name — does indeed take a lot of courage. I considered using a psdeuonym at first, but then changed my mind.

    I think we have battered this show rather to death here, so as I said, I think we can get on to others. Yes, we Sharkpack people, with co-workers in NYC and London and Berlin and Switz and elsewhere, including some heavyweights much much bigger than me, have discussed and have planned a concerted, repeating effort to criticize consensus blindness in many places. Keep your www-eyes open!

  88. -and is it that hard to be halfway accurate Abbie, Ben La-hooha -whatever

    “first i’d like to comment on Roth & how his blog on Duchamp was dragged into this discussion on “Sympathy for the Devil”, as is typically the case with the shark paper trail.

    uhhhhhh……Roth brought it up – too much of a strain on that 20 watt bulb you’re packing to go back and read what was said?

    as for all the utopian (talk about tired) babble going on, I do believe you have announced yourself and blown your cover-and yes, aside from the fact that your paintings completely suck, we found your meandering long-winded/ nonsensical writing style an embarrassment and absolutely censored your silly ass on sharkform. Send us some more, we will gladly accomodate you again, the censor switch is pumped and, primed, and me, with that itchy trigger finger!

    Why don’t you write Damian Hirst another letter suggesting you direct him in a collaboration- between him and your unknown, talentless self?

  89. Oh no — Amy is it you again? Oops maybe better forget my offer!

  90. I quote myself:

    “as for all the utopian (talk about tired) babble going on, I do believe you have announced yourself and blown your cover-and yes, aside from the fact that your paintings completely suck, we found your meandering long-winded/ nonsensical writing style an embarrassment and absolutely censored your silly ass on sharkform. Send us some more, we will gladly accomodate you again, the censor switch is pumped and, primed, and me, with that itchy trigger finger!”

    yep!…..Mark, -bullseye…..”SHE”S BAAACK!”…..

  91. -I should have made the connection earlier with the Rikki Kasso references-

  92. Just a quick note to note that California’s burning.

  93. Arthur Dent Says:

    “TheShark Says:
    October 24th, 2007 at 3:51 am

    I quote myself:”

    This is the most humorous thing ever posted on this blog. Wesley cites himself.

  94. who better?

  95. Meet the new boss… Same as the old boss.

  96. Well! Now that I’ve officially been declared a fascist, I should probably try and be a good one. No?

    Sharks are kind of militaristic if you think about it…..all that armament and everything…..

  97. Wesley,

    I thought you had been declared a fascist long ago…why do you feel particularly declared a fascist this time?


  98. Richard, you’re right!…..I don’t know what got into me!

    I…I.. guess I’ve lived inside this sharkskin for so long, I forgot I actually was one!

  99. I see you, Wesley, more as a prophetic-corrective shotgun anarchist. In a sharkskin.

    By my count, Richard, Duncan only made two “cock-out rock on” type comments. For rock n roll that’s pretty tame and rather appropriate.

  100. Keep in mind I probably edited out 50000000 other cock comments. Duncan was in rare form.

  101. Bull Shit! Richard was making it up while fixating on Dominic’s “gear”. Thank you for noting that Sir.

  102. Ben Lahey is Abbie Hoffman Says:

    What a pity such noble names to drop..

    If only they knew.

    & thus, folk’s i think we have proven my point-( finally )about a few of the folks at the fish forum, not only is Wesley Kimler a FRAUD, he is an admitted FASCIST!!! & has not one ounce of tact- & that goes for you too Marc-.

    Fascists are typically paranoid, they will post arguments if anyone so much as question- the wisdom of the fleas on their rumps- ( as Mr Kimler does….HA ha ha ha ha ha ha ! This is the truth & all should be ( & are ) suspicious,( or are better off ignoring you, in the periphery) oh to find myself shredding away at countless nooses you have thrown on people, men & women who had no for-warning of your lack of integrity & reputation- ( personal -that which you use to trample on our world with- ). Abusing them, hushing them up & throwing them away. PEOPLE! & usually, for nothing or without a single ounce of respectability-.
    & i am with the ever increasing flock- that is better off ignoring you- .It’s so damned hard when people go to comment at a blog & the Shark Statsi comes around.
    You are a monopoly-.
    & with all you whine about- you are your own- enemy-.
    Really, it’s the amazing truth. Beautious-.
    & yes, be careful-.
    All anyone has to do is think & READ about it. Experience- such superfluous know it all, self serving dogma- for all it’s cramped & nihilistic absence of consciousness.

    What you did to Conger & many free thinking individuals, with insight & an opinion- says more about you- than anything..Individuals who – had an ounce of faith in what you say you are trying to accomplish-.

    Marcuse is your wet dream, he is MY reality- .

    & oh i could throw insults, but it’s needless- I know what you do not- that people have brains- lives- existences that rise beyond your comprehension & small mindedness & lack of self control.

    Still have not told us the value of the empty beer bottles.
    Or who the nameless artists are- please do, there is value in ascertaining the meaning of works in a show & why they are together.
    The hard to see photo images on your walls with tacks- please do, tell us what that is about.
    More power to you if you could even honor the meaning of your own shows with the depth of your ( i’ll be fair as there have been moments) at times- supposed-social, political & artistic prowess-.

    & who & what were these shows about??????????????? Still have not answered the question-????? Is it top secret in the stasi safe?

    & this crazy Kasso blog?? What kind of artist do you call Mr Beckman??What aesthetic relationship does he have to your own aesthetics?

    & who ever puts up with condescension & abuse, on you & or others-shame on you.

    Take a few cues from Kerouac-( & so help me if you correct Kerouac- or put him down or claim he was your brother at birth i won’t be the only one to vomit)

    ” 1. Scribbled secret notebooks, and wild typewritten pages, for yr own joy 2. Submissive to everything, open, listening 3. Try never get drunk outside your own house 4. Be in love with your life 5. Something that you feel will find its own form 6. Be crazy dumbsaint of the mind 7. Blow as deep as you want to blow 8. Write what you want bottomless from bottom of the mind 9. The unspeakable visions of the individual 10. No time for poetry but exactly what is 11. Visionary tics shivering in the chest 12. In tranced fixation dreaming upon object before you 13. Remove literary, grammatical and syntactical inhibition 14. Like Proust be an old teahead of time 15. Telling the true story of the world in interior monolog 16. The jewel center of interest is the eye within the eye 17. Write in recollection and amazement for yrself 18. Work from pithy middle eye out, swimming in language sea 19. Accept loss forever 20. Believe in the holy contour of life 21. Struggle to sketch the flow that already exists intact in mind 22. Don’t think of words when you stop but to see picture better 23. Keep track of every day the date emblazoned in yr morning 24. No fear or shame in the dignity of yr experience, language & knowledge 25. Write for the world to read and see yr exact pictures of it 26. Bookmovie is the movie in words, the visual American form 27. In praise of Character in the Bleak inhuman Loneliness 28. Composing wild, undisciplined, pure, coming in from under, crazier the better 29. You’re a Genius all the time 30. Writer-Director of Earthly movies Sponsored & Angeled in Heaven ”

    & yes calif is on fire, buy those damned energy efficient bulbs already.

    Auang San Suu Kyi.
    Here is a link where one may sign a petition in a global campaign to free her-.

  103. Snufalufagus aka Ben Lahey ……..its over.

    -though I am glad you wrote back once more to yet again illustrate the unfortunate ‘leveling’ that can occur in cyber space, allowing an OLD TOWN ART FAIR LEVEL ARTIST AT BEST- with zero chops or knowledge or talent about painting, or about art (-you mention Kienholz previously -whom you are only aware of because of me,)..to distract a group of people from a serious conversation to deal with your massive ego that has no basis in reality.

    This is why we don’t put up everything on sharkforum…

    ..because of people like you Snuffy – no studying of art, zero knowledge or skill, -but with the audacity and amazing ego (and this is coming from The Shark, an egomaniac of epic proportion -but paling in comparison to your famous for nothing self) writing Damien Hirst letters (of course you don’t know much about Mr Hirst other than that he’s famous)..writing him letters suggesting he have you direct him in his next project which, you have imagined up (half baked blather) for him……

    we were having a conversation about the MCA -Sympathy For The Devil before you showed up with this insipid, idiotic, ego trip of yours, lacking anything of substance.

    Why dont you get over the grandiose notions Ms French Fry -and do go to Columbia or SAIC for a semester or two and learn something about art?

    …after which perhaps if you really work at it, you can get a painting accepted at a second or third tier gallery here in a group show.

    I would say that if this were to happen,be sure to send Damien Hirst an announcement card, but knowing you, I’m sure the card is already in the mail.

  104. Ouch…my head hurts. Amy, please stop.

  105. Wait, what? Ben=Abbie Hoffman=Snufalufagus….what is going on?

  106. Is that true? Or are we just making assumptions and now we have unfairly pulled Snufalufagus into this?

  107. Wow. She’s hot. Hi Amy!

  108. Duncan, Dave …….it is 100% a fact that it is her- Duncan give me a ring if you have any doubts, I will quickly dispel them for you.

    kind of ruins the whole Ben Lahey shtick-

    Steve -I’d watch the ‘she’s hot’ comments- a word to the wise- with this particular person, you’re a word or two away from an accusation of sexual harrassment-

  109. If not castration, judging by her posts.

    Shame on me.

  110. pedro velez Says:

    I agree with Klein’s arguments a bit…I did hear Dominic’s interview here just to see his side but found his anecdotes boring and well rehearsed…I wish BAS could have confronted him instead of sucking up to him.

    Now, one big problem you guys have in Chicago is your institutional curators, the same of always…and some of the examples about how to make it in Chi and in the international market…and who made it has been the same arguments since I lived there…which goes to prove that nothing has changed much.

    Now, I saw the MCA rock show and it is a poser’s show, total poser rock for white suburban boys, that’s a fact. I’m sure is going to be a hit amongst tourist, it has a ton of nostalgia, plus the cliched title….that doesn’t mean it is a good show…and it is obvious why they decided to snob Chicago artist and their HUGE relationship with music from the sene. Its impossible to defend the lack of Chi based artist, simply irresponsible and ridiculous. The MCA can’t justify it, neither can Dominic, nether can any Chi artist. If you try to justify it then you ae doing Chicago harm.

    I believe its time you guys take a stand, just as artists do in other scenes. I believe this is a pivotal moment in Chicago, you already lost your position in the art market, you got no important art fairs, you have close to 0 new writers or critics, you got no one in the biennials…what’s left…

    It’s time to rebuild. This show and controversy is just a sign that you have hit the bottom…

    and that could be a great thing.

    or just ask around what do your curators say about Chi artist…the answer is simple, the either say you guys are a hoot and other times they just stay shut. Its a hard truth to swallow but it is a sad fact.

  111. I need to echo what Pedro is saying.

    Here was an opportunity for a constructive discussion about the role of the MCA in Chicago – blown by those threatened by Kimler’s large effort to generate constructive change to benefit the art and artists here. I hate how right Tony Fitzpatrick is when he says “Chicago has the art scene it deserves.”

    As long as we continue this sniveling bickering we effectively refuse to claim the credit, respect or recognition we could deserve.

    The people at Bad at Sports don’t make a penny operating their website. Neither does Sharkforum. But they are on the forefront of those trying to better the scene for all of us. They are trying to improve our lot. I don’t understand the need to mess that up. Why not work to make the situation better – or just go away? Too many artists here don’t seem to care, and when given the opportunity to affect change too often choose to do something negative.

    All this sniping holds down the talent that exists in Chicago. It’s no wonder that so many of the best artists choose to not get involved. To be involved stands to reduce them to the pettiness we’ve witnessed in too many of the preceding posts.

    Sure Kimler’s an easy target, but by aiming at him we hurt ourselves.

    When the infantile stupidity stops Chicago will begin to get the recognition it will deserve, but for now namby-pamby rules the day and namby-pamby is how we are perceived in the artworld at large.

    A sad state of affairs of our own making.

  112. Pedro, Paul -thank you. Of course I am going to defend myself against the usual confederacy of dunces that …like Ben Lahey/ Snuf -the MCA exhibition is nothing to them or, to her, because the work isn’t of the caliber that allows for the possiblity of feeling overlooked..

    In truth this ‘Ben Lahey’ aka Snufalufagus bullshit -that is all about this really crappy painter with a stunning sense of unearned entitlement, with her nose out of joint because we declined to publish her silly ass blather on sharkforum….. really makes me mad.

    I attempted to make this a point by point discussion on why the rock and roll show at the MCA was a major slap in the face to artists here , and a major disappointment; a curatorially, lazy exhibition -all about opportunities elsewhere for Mr. Molon, having little to do with any kind of serious critical thought on the subject. Instead that has been partially subverted by this idiot whose work DOES NOT MERIT DISCOURSE.

    Pedro -Ive read other things you have said about this show -you are dead on. Same with you Paul. We dont always see eye to eye -but we do on this one.

    Dominic’s explanations here are weak. Dominic..start writing your own canon and earn our support. You do the consensus crowd kowtow…..expect to be attacked. -BIG TIME.

  113. and btw Paul, as for my being a big target, maybe its some not very bright people’s perception of who they think I am that you are actually referring to. For in truth, if you actually read this junk, its almost always way off target. Stupid people with their retarded, distorted and petty, perceptions of a pretty smart fish.

    It is a shame, the points I continually (and thanklessly) try to make, addressing issues that effect us all -though I am definitely not philanthropic by nature…but rather through my own Randian sense of selfishness as a virtue, bring up for my own healthy self interest, might very well be commensurate with the healthy self interest of most artists here…what, a concept.

  114. sheeeeeesh!

  115. I agree Wesley. They aim at you – thus you are a target (and you are easy to aim at because you are big and verbally visible), and they miss their mark invariably, but in the effort of going after you they deflect a worthy discussion and further screw themselves and us.

  116. One point of hilarity thats just too rich not to point out…ms Snufalupagus invokes Jack Kerouac into her rant as if claiming some kind of ownership over his ‘legacy’…

    …throughout the course of this thread I have periodically asked Ben Lahey/French Fry if she knows who sharkpack member David Amram is…….you know, the guy who was perhaps Kerouacs closest friend and, collaborator…..

    what, now that you know how famous, ‘who’ David is, I’m sure you’ll be writing him next -don’t worry Amy -we’ll warn him.

    also fyi ms Snufalupagus, I grew up in north beach/chinatown in San Francisco -lived in the same dusty, derelict transient hotels Kerouac frequented, haunted the same dives and dark corners of upper chinatown on Stockton street kerouac wrote poetry about, drank coffee at the Cafe Trieste and Savoy Tivoli on upper Grant Street, frequented Yee Jeun for tomato beef chow mein, and the noodle house Sam Wo with the infamous beatnik waiter/terrorist food server Henry Edsel Ford 3 and used City Lights Book Store as my own personal library -as we all did…..for years

    so perhaps you should kind of drop the whole Kerouac and ‘you’ thing as ill-advised at best.

  117. I went back and read Pedro Velez’s comments above…….everyone should hear what he has to say.

    It is the bottom looming up large with Sympathy For The Devil and the way the HUGE relationship between the music and visual arts scene here in Chicago, was treated.

    You, as rational human beings and as artists, should not stand for it.

  118. pedro velez Says:

    Not only that Wes…whenthe arts in an island from the Caribbean are thriving and artists can somehow sell more work and have more opportunities outside of our region, more than in Chicago?????…it says a lot about the priorities of your institutions and your collectors, etc…..the Ren is even supporting Allora and Calzadilla…who don’t even live here but are considered Puertoricans because they come down once every year. You see how double standards are a bitch?

    Miami, Puerto Rico, LA, Milwaukee, even Dallas now are doing better than what was considered the second market once. At least they don’t complain in Milwaukee and Minneapolis has those healthy grants to keep artist in the city. The Walker has managed to get the natives in the Whitney and other big international shows.

    Its like that song, “what have you done for me lately”…well…the 12 x 12 closet space at MCA doesn’t cut it.

    I believe in public actions, making noise in the press…not the local press, that doesn’t wok anymore…if you go out of the borderds they’ll have to listen…

    so far, they have the upper hand, they have colonized the scene, and the scene just seems to love get beaten up, like the abused woman syndrome. If these conversations stay here, in web forums, they win.

    They have in the past.

    If these curators don’t go out to see shows or studios, in such a small city!!!!!give me a fucking break.

    you need to go to the sourse, the bosses, the board members and the press…do not complain to Dominic, hes just a worker, he need to follow instructions to pay the rent.

  119. well Pedro, I mostly agree with you -though being familiar with the MCA hierarchy and culture, and know several of their more powerful board members, I would suggest that what is really happening is an atmosphere of complacency even torpor with little aesthetic direction or vision. The marketing dept at the MCA is too powerful while at the same time, not being aesthetically or, culturally very bright.

    This allows for small vision shows like Sympathy which really serves two masters -that of drawing a crowd, and Molons own personal career ambitions….and don’t kid yourself Pedro…Dominic Molon could have insisted on addressing the scene here -his not doing so was his own decision.

    The truth is, this exhibition is indeed akin to a teenage suburban white boys bedroom, and just about as thought out… The big issues of rock and art/rock and culture/ rock and art and culture, were never even considered. This much, is self evident.

  120. pedro velez Says:

    I’m not sure Dominic could have had an input to include the scene in this show…first because he doesn’t know it, and second, have you or anybody ever seen him at a rock show? I never did…

    Pedro Bell he got from Elms show, that’s obvious…

  121. pedro velez Says:

    ohhh, and the rock experiece you have to live it live, you don’t get the experience by looking at fucking posters or record covers…

    a poser curating a rock show is insulting and the artists that knowing Molon is a poser agreed to do it, shame on them.

  122. don’t disagree with much of what you say -except this: if Molon had actually done his job..done actual research rather than making mostly cliched choices ( I mentioned to one documentary filmmaker who has worked in the music world the tired Sonic Youth connection of this show -she just rolled her eyes-)..no one at the MCA would have stopped him from including it…….they just aren’t that hands on Pedro

    but he did zero research -I know this because I offered to introduce him to Joe Shanahan months AFTER! the show was in the can…..how ironic he has this publicity photo taken of himself at Metro….its fucked up to say the least…. -and you are correct my friend, I have seen many, many great shows at Metro -too numerous to mention -and no, I have never seen Molon at any of them.

    Obviously he stumbled on to Pedro Bell…..and isnt that the point? Good, thorough curators -don’t just ‘luck’ into things, THEY DO THE RESEARCH! Which, is why I have accused Mr. Molon of curatorial malpractice…….

    One of Molons most egregious transgressions was how he covered his ass by saying there was nothing here he felt compelled to include…..HE NEVER LOOKED! And now, he trashes artists here to cover for his lack of professionalism -and the real agenda of the show -to use consensus correct artists to enable his job search opportunities in better markets…its all very thin and easy to see through…like cellophane.

  123. pedro velez Says:

    In the BAS interview he agrees that there’s no need to research Chi because the show is not about Chi…but how come Chi is the departing point and source????Because it makes the show legit…yes, the city and its history makes the show legit…he knows it.

    with Detroit and the Midwest, he choose the cliched Kelly and Monsters collective…but he doesn’t include the Kelly video, that black and white trashy ode to guitar players…forgot the title of it, because its too dirty is my best guess.

    And yet, another curator with another tired Sonic Youth reference, which looked better and sounded better at the Brooklyn show from the 80’s at the New Museum in NY..there it was mixed with grafitti art and all in between and it worked just fine.

    I think the inclusion of Rirkrit is a huge mistake, just as is the Muller piece and the Astro Vivid, who have nothing to do with rock, only the opposite…and even more Lambie, whose piece looked great but Lambie is eurotrash bull, c’mon…this show has Disney written all over, this show is one of those pre packaged hall of fame museums of rock a ‘la VH 1.

    You can’t dismiss Hardcore Stories and Marc Fischer, Ms Hound, Screaming in Music events, Academy Records, Terence Hanunn, Tortoise and its infuence on a young generation of artist all over the globe, Chuck Jones, most of the Law Office events, Artloinz with Siebren Veersteg, Matt Hanner and these are the youngest, not so underground…Crosshair posters and packaging…How could you not touch up on fucking Ministry and the Albiny legacy…even the artist that made the cast for Billy Corgan’s instruments, crafty but amazing, Rob ad Zena Zakowski..you know, there thousands of leads to follow…

    and even thought I like Pedro Bell…that’s not really rock.

    what about the historical bonfire of disco at Comiskey, great yuxtaposition of artwork, sports and protest….that’s Chicago right there.

    In a city where sportsmen and musicians are treated like royalty…you are going to tell me you didn’t have enough time to do research!!!!!

    you are going to tell me you can’t just walk up to the empty bootle and pay 5 bucks for a show!!!!

  124. Hey, great comments Pedro. My compliments.

  125. Yep!..and maybe the beginning of a strategy session…..how do we bring enough pressure to bear to effect change.

    What can Chicago’s role be in an overheated, stupid, consensoriat led art world that clearly is about to crash and burn, be?

    Is Pedro right about the ineffective nature of the blogs -or can an ezines like sharkforum and BAS begin to supplant the traditional art rags?

    How can we get curators like Molon to be original in their thinking, not merely parroting the same old shite….remember, we have FAILED PAINTERS like Francesco Bonami who’s one art world credt was being an editor at Flash (art whore) Magazine..thinking they are more important than artists…..how did this happen? How can we put a sudden abrupt end to this?

    -the list is long, I have my kid here wanting attention…..more later-

  126. pedro velez Says:

    blogs are important and alter press also…it keeps the pressure…but the money is in the legit mags…the ads…you boycott those mags or you make the big mags come to Chi to find out what’s the problem with the curators and institutions…you make a great press release and caught their interest…this is not an issue Snodgras or the Yood can talk about, it has to be an outisder…

  127. well I agree with you somewhat -though I want to point out to you artnet is quickly becoming more important than the mags -due in part to its viral quality……still what you say about ads is right.

    Snodgrass is a consensus club bureaucrat….and Yood unfortunately has been far too in love with the sound of his own voice for years (aside from being perhaps the most talented fence sitter in the art world here…)..I expect nothing from either of these two. As I have often pointed out, Chicago receives the same amount of coverage from the international magazines Boise Idaho does…..

    I do think we can employ the internet here at a level yet to be seen anywhere in terms of the art world -precisely because we have problems here that require it.

  128. the problem with the ad situation… is with a few exceptions (Tony Fitz- occaisonally me,) most of the ads are taken out by art dealers…….its always interesting to talk to a real art dealer from either coast to realize we dont have any of those here – Richard Gray being perhaps the one exception……

    how would we ever get this group of dilettantes to be on the same page, to actually be smart about something?…sheeeeeesh!

    -I think we are going to have to go it alone on this one-

  129. pedro velez Says:

    that’s the great thing about hitting bottom, the only way to go is up, that’s when complacent artist, scared artist, politically correct artists, quiet artists will talk and take matters in their own hands…

    and when I talked about mags, I consider web based publication mags, of course….

    Artnet has changed a lot for the better in tha past two years, more critical….

  130. I finally saw this show yesterday. I will go back to spend more time with a few of the pieces and to see more of the videos but overall I found very little to like.

    The inclusion of so many bloated and inneffectual works that gobble up massive amounts of space, while contributing a minimum of ideas, is truly sad. Why was Douglas Gordon’s extremely weak video piece given a room that was equivalent to about 1/8th of the exhibition? Jeezus. Lux Interior should have been in Chicago rubbing the faces of every visitor into the crotch of his vinyl pants for the entire length of the exhibition for the amount of space that piece sucked up. Rirkrit Tiravanija’s Untitled 1996 (Rehearsal Studio No. 6 Silent Version) was weak in 1998 when the MCA last showed it and did not need a reprisal. Does anyone even use those awful sounding plastic electronic drums that are included in the piece? Not in my years of going to rock shows. The b/w screen printed-looking works in the atrium were instantly forgettable. The vague and visually slight Jim Lambie work swallowed another sizable room. The weak art gesture of making a minute long repeating clip of the camera on a crane shot from the Godard’s “Sympathy for the Devil” sucked up yet another room on the second floor that could have been given over to something with more than half of an idea.

    Some good choices are badly represented and in some cases, not effectively displayed. Dan Graham is hidden away. The selection of ephemera from Throbbing Gristle is not nearly as strong as it could have been. The compelling TG publication contents in the vitrines should have been made into a free or cheap booklet that visitors could take away. It’s too much to try to read in an exhibition. The exhibition playlist is a nice idea but where are the audio devices to listen to it? With all of the band name-checking in the wall texts, not being able to hear the stuff that is referenced (and which one is presumably expected to already be familiar with) is pretty poor form. The band Big Black is name checked on a wall text but nowhere to be seen in the show (despite the inclusion of Savage Pencil elsewhere – who did the cover art for BB’s Headache EP). Overlooking the relationship between the art and packaging in Big Black’s aesthetic was a missed opportunity that could have wiggled a little more of Chicago into the fold. Tony Oursler’s interview videos in the lobby seem like a promising program – though it’s very hard to hear them or focus on them with all the activity happening in the space.

    The show (and the MCA in general) seems to be too concerned about a High Art/Low Art split that should have been done away with ages ago. It seems miraculous that Pedro Bell and Savage Pencil weren’t left out for that reason. I think they are the only exceptions. The museum shop is happy to peddle numerous books about rock flyer art and the artists who crafted these visuals, but the show itself gives these art and music mergers very little play.

    Where were: Gary Panter, The Residents, Devo (sorry a video alone doesn’t cut it), Yokoo Tadanori, Eye from the Boredoms, Alan Vega, Pete Frame, Art Chantry, Peter Hujar, Giorno Poetry Systems and David Wojnarowicz? John Oswald’s album cover collages are far stronger than Christian Marclay’s but Oswald isn’t a gallery and museum artist. What about Gee Vaucher, who did all the packaging and graphics for Crass? What about the Midwestern publishing histories of Forced Exposure and Just Flesh – or Punk Planet, which constantly merged art with rock?

    Why wasn’t someone like H.R. Giger – who has worked with numerous bands – included? Too low brow? His art that was used for the Dead Kennedy’s “Frankenchrist” album touched off an important censorship battle that paralleled the culture wars of the 80’s and would have been a thoughtful inclusion. I wouldn’t have minded seeing the art used for Celtic Frost’s “To Mega Therion” either, but metal always gets shafted in shows like this.

    Is there a single African-American artist in the show beside Pedro Bell? I mean, Black people pretty much only INVENTED ROCK ‘N ROLL.

    Also, with so many artist groups working today, and with the rise and development of so many collaborative practices perfectly paralleling the years that the exhibition covers, I couldn’t help but notice how little collaborative work was included. Where are all of the groups? Couldn’t someone have been invited to explore the relationship between artists working in groups and musicians working in bands?

    Compelling art, much like the most compelling rock music, frequently comes from the margins. This show could have been a fantastic opportunity to look beyond the world of gallery-represented and museum-collected artists to find much more vital work. The inclusion of Pedro Bell and Savage Pencil is a nice victory for the marginal and often unfairly excluded, but that’s about where it ends. There is more thinking, humor, daring and rock spirit in those Pedro Bell pieces than about 50% of the rest of the show.

  131. pedro velez Says:

    thank you Marc..

  132. Is there a single African-American artist in the show beside Pedro Bell? I mean, Black people pretty much only INVENTED ROCK ‘N ROLL.

    ya think?……its completely outrageous.and so much of that history happened HERE!

  133. pedro velez Says:

    i met one designer for Misfits and Danzig flyers in Florida a loooong time ago, he had one of those Giger’s dinner tables, it was huge.

  134. a more serious and tough question would be given Molon’s white suburban sensibilties, was Pedro Bell in fact included so that they could claim to have an African American artist in the show…

    I would not be suprised if this was not the case and wouldnt that be something? perhaps the best stuff in the show, included as some form of quota-

    Big Black played at the Big City exhibition at Peter Millers -put together by Matt Straub, including The Shark that ushered in the 80’s art scene here in Chicago- it was a massive block party followed by many exhibitions at Peters that involved the east village artists including of course David Wojnarowicz/ grouped with people from here….

  135. pedro velez Says:

    did I leave Chuck Jones out of the Chi list?

    I remember a similar situation, (in relationship to Marc’s comments), years ago at the Ren when Simparch did a project with Kevin Drumm,I wrote a negative review of it because I felt that for a project that was about sound and shelter, architecture and social politics, it was instaled in an elitist institution… and the soundtrack was not going to be accessible to poular culture, neither the piece…

    anyways,I agree with Marc that the MCA, like the Ren then, were trying to mix up high and low culture…or what they believe low culture is, or street wise…or maybe the undergound?

  136. what Sympathy For The Devil does accomplish, is to provide us with a template with which to measure their (the MCA’s -or Molons version of of it -to be fair to others-) methodology, philosophy/aesthetics/ethics/politics (or lack there of)..their basic professionalism, rigor -how they take on a project…how Molon perceives his duties as curator……in at least this particular instance I would grade the entire performance as shoddy, trendy, self serving and insipid at best-

    it really does provide a window…

  137. as for the ‘Ren’…..how can you take a space seriously that has been so politicized with consensus correct, UIC power mongering?

    Suzanne Ghez is a perfectly nice woman with no art education…along comes Judith Kirshner,….now where is that great book or even intelligible aesthetic treatise that gives her credibility?..and between the two of them you get the perfect storm of consensoriat aesthetics, and lack of real depth of knowledge…which is why we get those Larry Poons circa 1962 knockoff paintings -(Ledgerwood) being touted as cutting edge…or a later day fake minimalist like Geber (fraud)…..a deadly mixture of stupidity and, ambition, with a bland, middle class sensibility thrown in to make the whole thing ‘collectible’…bland, innocuous, wall dressing with academically conferred ‘importance’, that in the reality of the actual low skilled derivative fluff itself, does not exist.

    the Ren has on occaison imported good exhibitions here -how they have used that prestige to further the ambitions of a few here -showing academic junk like I mention above has greatly contributed to the retarded art scene we are now confronted with here in Chicago.

    in otherwords, I think the ‘Ren’ sucks.

  138. Very clear and sharp-sighted discussion/comment Marc F!

    And all of Pedro’s comments are razor-sharp. “Poseur”…love that. I have a new title for a Consensus show: “ComPoseurs” combining “composure” with the latin “com”=with, “Poseurs”.

    I, of course, think that many (but not all and not even most) internet sites are important. I have discused it with important editors and publishers of art mags. Many of whom are astounded at the WWW’s importance, many of whom are open that they think it is replacing them and often want to discuss with me why people like me and John Perrault and others, who could get published much more often in the glossies (which are paid), yet want to do blogs (which are mostly unpaid as well). I think the reason’s are obvious and growing. SF may have no “tact,” but is making a big difference. BAS has a certain modicum of tact, but is still making a difference, despite their tact.

    More people regularly read (not just hits) SF than read most art mags just this side of Art in America (the biggest seller of art mags). More than read Artforum, but then as an important contributor to Artforum said, “it is the journal of record because everybody wants in it, but people only look AT it, nobody reads it.”

    And Wesley, “a deadly mixture of stupidity and ambition” — a wonderful phrase. Probably the deadliest mixture.

  139. I feel ashamed that it took a friend’s email to remind me of the astounding omission of the Chicago-based group Lucky Pierre and their current/recent performance “Rock & Roll: Impatience”.

    This incredibly smart, critical, and very fucking funny performance should have happened every day of the exhibit until the four members of the group collapsed and choked on their own [pink cloth] vomit.

    If I had to pick one thing from Chicago that absolutely should have been included and for whatever reason was not, my vote would go to this group and that piece.

    In case you need to know more: http://www.luckypierre.org/

  140. Another big omission: GENERAL IDEA!

    This group always had rock n roll on the mind. The Punk issue of General Idea’s FILE ‘megazine’ was an unbelievable thing, and that it came from and was fully produced and designed by artists, and not music critics, is really important.

  141. Marc, the whole thing is an astounding omission of which we are filling in the blanks, piece by piece…..brazen, flippant and arrogant, rather than scholarly, respectful, knowledgable-

    I think this is a watershed type event for the MCA….I think people are disgusted and fed up.

    Make no mistake about it, this show is about art world politics -not, rock music and art-

  142. pedro velez Says:

    I was going thru the web site of the mCA and you can download itunes and purchase songs from the playlist of the show…that’s so rock…what happen with illegal downloading? sex, violence, drugs?

  143. pedro velez Says:

    fuck! what about Wesley Willis????is he still around?

  144. Wesley Willis, alas, has been dead for a few years. I believe it was leukemia.

  145. Died in August of 2003.

  146. fyi… there will be a show of drawings by wesley willis up at dominican university, jan 23 – feb 29… (curated by a student for his honors project)

  147. The Shark glides into view at The Sharkpit- a PBS interview/video piece shooting tmw concerning the rock show….more as it unfolds

    Madeleine Grynsztejn Named
    New MCA Chicago Director

    This can only be seen as an improvement -we jusst need to be sure that the powers that be here do not get their hooks into her -and they will try to do just that.

    Not that Madeleine is a weak minded sociopath like mr curator (James Rondeau) -but it is important to note, ‘James’ wasnt in Chicago 6 months before he was sighted at the lap pool with his his new workout pal one Judith Kirshner……do any of you find this shocking?

  148. lap pool:

    -I’m sure they have their reasons -Judith probably needs to unwind from hubby’s plagarism scandal (guilty as charged!)….and James obviously needs to work off a few ponds of flab -sorry James theres nothing swimming can do for that fat head perched on your shoulders ( adjacent to that ‘boy on the go’ euro satchel, all consensoriats in ‘the know’ carry)

  149. pedro velez Says:

    Jessica could you send me a link to the Willis event?

  150. pedro velez Says:

    just fro the record, 7/3, Tim Fleming, used to give his space to the trashcore latino kids for them to do rock shows in Pilsen.

  151. Pedro Velez is ON with his observations- .He sees the errors- ( “mistakes”)& “offers valid answers, involved in the discussion-with tact, all without “conspiracy theories” or “corrections of others” to have to wade through.

    “In a city where sportsmen and musicians are treated like royalty…you are going to tell me you didn’t have enough time to do research!!!!!

    you are going to tell me you can’t just walk up to the empty bootle and pay 5 bucks for a show!!!!”


    “blogs are important and alter press also…it keeps the pressure…but the money is in the legit mags…the ads…you boycott those mags or you make the big mags come to Chi to find out what’s the problem with the curators and institutions…you make a great press release and caught their interest…this is not an issue Snodgras or the Yood can talk about, it has to be an outisder”…

    “that’s the great thing about hitting bottom, the only way to go is up, that’s when complacent artist, scared artist, politically correct artists, quiet artists will talk and take matters in their own hands”

    Yes.We get sick & tired of BS & finally talk about all that is not being talked about.

    “did I leave Chuck Jones out of the Chi list?”

    ‘I remember a similar situation, (in relationship to Marc’s comments), years ago at the Ren when Simparch did a project with Kevin Drumm,I wrote a negative review of it because I felt that for a project that was about sound and shelter, architecture and social politics, it was instaled in an elitist institution… and the soundtrack was not going to be accessible to poular culture, neither the piece…”


    ‘anyways,I agree with Marc that the MCA, like the Ren then, were trying to mix up high and low culture…or what they believe low culture is, or street wise…or maybe the undergound?”


    “blogs are important and alter press also…it keeps the pressure…but the money is in the legit mags…the ads…you boycott those mags or you make the big mags come to Chi to find out what’s the problem with the curators and institutions…you make a great press release and caught their interest…this is not an issue Snodgras or the Yood can talk about, it has to be an outisder…”

    Yes!! I take note.& i suggest to any Chi Artist- art lover, reading this to do the same-
    start a blog- start a magazine, create debates & discussions-about/in Chi, photo blogs-.etc-

    hate to drag a reality back into the discussion- but,
    as far as the occasional damaging debacles of “What Wesley thinks & the underside to Shark Politics”

    Hmm.. Whose computer am i using??
    Very Stasi like & very funny.
    I was told you should think of working for the Bush administration to hunt down terrorists & perhaps work as an interrogator at Guantanamo Bay.

    You don’t know me- from Adam.

    “What a tangled web we weave when….”

    My previous statements will find themselves “informative”.
    & Of course questions of necessity, emphasis & curiosity-dealing with your shows, etc- remain unanswered.


    Obviously someone does not know the mechanics of the Game Theory. Or that of friendship, or tact.

    There are two people, with guns pointed at each others heads- nobody wins.
    Someone has to come along to take note & at least attempt to get them to lower their guns.

    You do have, a few great talents, at your “group”as i’ve noted a few times.& I wonder if they seriously meditate on your politics.


    Aside from the fact that you have troubles voicing an opinion- or challenging an opinion, without becoming a one man verbal assault-( well with Mark in tow, yes)
    your bizarre & unexpected vendettas upon many individuals ( many of whom were obviously friends at the time)who simply have an opinion- is completely inexcusable & truly crass, tactless & obsessively—— negative.

    What did these individuals, or artists ever- do to you.

    This is- an issue, of how you have treated many people- & the fact that it is rather hard to hold up any argument under such conditions.
    You are not, to be trusted.
    & you as well seem to literally forget, that other people exist.
    They live, work, eat, think, go to art shows, read, rebel.
    You cannot fight corruption with corruption- well you can but it’s just OLD WORLD, OLD SCHOOL.

    Fear mongering & abuse of others- is rarely if not ever- conducive to awareness, learning, or creativity.
    You cannot be both- knowledgeable & “interesting”& rally towards meaningful causes,which people wish to stand behind- to then lie-, & be immature & abusive to them.
    Several people have dealt with your serial abuses, makes sense that some that you work with, have as well been “serial” in their inconsistencies & abuses. Pick? & Choose?
    It is, going to be 2008 Kimler.
    A lot of more important things on the plate next year, might want to think of that & try to work with others & have respect-for them.

    A little more Human & logical & a little less Shark & blind attacker.

  152. Snufalufagus, aka Ben Lahey, once more the question is:

    what is the nature of legitimate authority? what makes something true?

    …I happen to believe it has something to do with action speaking louder than words.

    I started the discussion in Chicago about the rock show. Others have joined that discussion and greatly enriched and fleshed it out.

    You, are a petty annoyance.

    As for you and your massive ego -drivel, have you heard of Pallet and Chisel?

    They have beginning drawing and painting courses there I’m told…and since that rancid looking ‘work’ of yours is just barely up to Old Town Art Fair level, perhaps before writing me, or sharkforum or Demian Hirst another of your insipid, rambling nut jobs, you should invest a small amount of time in learning something about what, you profess to be……

    Actually, you did if I remember correctly, try to do just this at SAIC…but they were abusive to you, leaving you deeply offended… OF COURSE!

  153. I just cant resist -French Fry, why do I find it highly doubtful until Pedro mentioned James Yood that you even had an inkling as to who he is…..? better hit the google switch-

    You make these comments about the art world here when in fact you are completely ignorant of it. And, the quality of work you make precludes you from being part of it.

    Most people, whether good bad or indifferent as artists, who participate in the art world have studied French Fry, and actually have a clue as to what they are talking about! What a concept! Maybe you should have put in even one semester before mailing that letter out to Demian Hirst offering yourself up as his mentor…….

    As for your judging the ‘talent’ level of anyone here, at sharkforum or, wherever- Dave Roth placed a link to your work up above….anyone wanting to know just how much legitimacy Ben Lahey/Snufalufagus has to making critical evaluations about anything art related should first go look at your -‘paintings’ and I use the word loosely-

    and btw -we dont have guns pointed at each other French Fry- first off, as a shark, I’m not in need of one and as for you, knats dont carry much firepower- it may behoove you to notice.

  154. pedro– unfortunately we don’t yet have a website (something i and the art faculty are trying hard to remedy), but if you email me (jcochran@dom.edu) i can send you a press release and pass on the curator’s info….

  155. pedro velez Says:

    thank you Jessica.

  156. epilogue: apparently Patti Smith was given a guided tour of ‘Sympathy For The Devil’ before she performed…..word has it, that she grew progressively more angry walking through the exhibition and finally as she walked away at the end, asked ‘who are the assholes who put this show together? they don’t know anything about rock ‘.

    The PBS piece on the show featuring Molon and The Shark played this sunday…as I don’t do television, I have yet to see it- though I was told by a PBS person I/my problems with this exhibition and the culture it emanates from, came off rather well- that Molons cooments as to why Chicago has slipped from the international scene -excuses as to why he had -5 artists (out of how many?!) from Chicago -all due in his estimation due to our not having a single identifiable movement here (like they do in LA or, NYC)..came off as more than slightly specious and, suspect.

    He claimed to have not done the show to make friends -I pointed out that this was in fact exactly why he did the show -to make friends that is, within the consensoriat corporate community in his efforts at ascending the consensus curatorial ladder-

  157. Is there somewhere I can see the PBS show online?

  158. Apparently not -they are supposed to send me a link -if so, we will put it up on sharkforum

  159. pedro velez Says:

    the Velez review of the rock show is up in Artnet

  160. Actually I’ll be interested to see that. I was at that show today and the other two shows there. Can you post a link?

  161. Pedro -thanks for the mention -its Kimler btw……terrific review -can we post it or, a link at least up on sharkforum?

    I finally have the PBS piece which consists of about 2 minutes of Shark and two of conformist curator…..not near enough time to flesh out and then, eat, all that is wrong with Sympathy For The Devil.

    On another sad note as to just how venally insipid our world has become -check out the cover of the new Art In America…..Karen (complete hack) Kilimnick rears her utterly incompetent head….can it get any worse?- being the only viable question left us-

  162. pedro velez Says:

    my dyslexia fucks up names, has always been my curse, sorry about that.

    yeah, you can post the review anywhere.

    there should be another one the way about the Steve McQueen show at the Ren and later on an overview of new galleries and artist studios…

  163. Great, great, great article Pedro! I put it up on SF too. Thanks!

  164. bill brenner Says:

    WOW! Reading this thread, I am amazed at the shark’s venom. BenLahey/Snufalufagus is well known to me from years ago and this anger seems familiar. My advice to the shark: forget about it. She’ll never love you.

    Oh yeah, the show sucked. At least, though, the MCA removed that gaud-awful winnebago from the sidewalk.

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