It’s Times Like These

Every now and then, I feel weird about having art world emails sent daily to my inbox. Perhaps I should just allow them to go to my Google Reader, I think. Perhaps these emails aren’t saying anything other than, Yes: the art world is The Market, writ large. And even its political dissent appears as spectacle. But then I think, we already know this, and the art world is not without nuance, so reserve your blanket condemnations for other things. So just read the coverage and keep abreast.

But then I remember that said coverage can suck an awful lot. I could pick just about any Blouin Artinfo headline from any given day, but this one in particular irks for its utter banality.

You see, David Lynch has just designed a bottle for the inimitable and estimable Dom Perignon (or so the bottle’s commissioning would have us believe). This isn’t a surprise. Lynch’s entered a very long line, generations long, of the famed contributing their personal aura to a/the commodity. I doubt very much this is his first time, either. The bottle’s launch coincides, of course, with a three-day marketing junket in the Chateau Marmont penthouse. Again, this is fine-ish. Per above, this is nothing new.

The irk factor is the sole property of Nate Freeman, art journalist extraordinaire. He does the following urgh-y things, all of which bespeak just how inwardly obsessed that milieu is/has become.

  1. Describes the hotel’s top in quaintly glamorous terms and misspells his charm-bomb word: “confectionary [sic] top of a cottage.”
  2. Writes a second, one-sentence paragraph about a car crash, you know, to remind us we’re still in LA, babies.
  3. Applauds himself themselves in the royal we for not talking about the champagne and instead taking a different approach.
  4. Starts said novel approach by including the introductions. So, yes, he’s started his interview with his own name.
  5. Asks four lame questions, all towards demonstrating he knows deeper things about Lynch, namely his transcendental meditation practice. So does my mom.
  6. Hints that Lynch is so Lynch with his answers, employing the “–long pause–” notation after what struck me as an aw-screw-it answer to a dumb question. Junkets are boring.*
  7. Ends the piece with a description, again in the royal we, covering topics Lynch discussed with other journalists, kicking up Venice Beach sand just before his flight, and earlier sitting next to Angelica Houston, Jeremy Renner, and James Frey, where “No one acknowledged a thing.” Aye, again with the “so LA” trope. This guy’s from New York where he writes for Artinfo and the New York Observer. His professional life functions, in part, because of his capacity for cool, non-responses in the presence of fame.

I’ve been hard on Freeman, I know. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and say he had a word limit. What I’m not going to say is that he’s comforted me in my choice to receive these daily emails.

*The single greatest commentary on press junkets is also one of the greatest calls for feminism, written, performed, and awesomed by none other than the genuinely inimitable and estimable Joss Whedon at the 2006 Equality Now Awards. Meryl Effing Streep introduces and she’s not as good as he is.

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