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Hilton Kramer cries over the Gates' defacement of Central Park

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BurtWorm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-25-05 03:48 PM
Original message
Hilton Kramer cries over the Gates' defacement of Central Park
:cry: <=====art arbiter Hilton "neocon" Kramer

http://www.nyobserver.com/pages/critic.asp

Saffron Succotash! Those Absurd Gates A Blight on Art, City
by Hilton Kramer



About the bright orange gates that have lately been erected in a defenseless Central Park in the name of art, there are no neutral opinions. Everyone has either seen or heard about this massive assault on the most beloved of the citys parks, and everyone has formed some sort of opinion on the worth or worthlessness of this extravagant and somewhat absurd episode in our urban history. My own view is that the gates are nothing less than an unforgivable defacement of a public treasure, and everyone responsible for promoting itincluding our publicity-seeking Mayorshould be held accountable, not only for supporting bad taste but for violating public trust.

What has to be understood about this whole affair is that its not only an assault on nature, but also the wanton desecration of a precious work of art. After all, Central Park is the creation of two of the greatest landscape artists in our historyFrederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vauxand its entitled to the kind of care and protection that civilized societies normally accord to works of art that belong to the community. If some barbarian entered the Metropolitan Museum of Art and proceeded to drape orange banners on the paintings and sculptures, we can be sure that the police would be called in to halt such a flagrant violation of a treasured art collection. The news media, too, would be in an uproar about it.

Yet about these gates the media has been, with few exceptions, idiotically admiring. Its hardly a surprise that The New York Times has been especially fulsome in its coverage of this outrage: Nothing less was to be expected from its chief art critic, Michael Kimmelman, who once performed a similar feat of critical stupidity by favorably comparing a Calvin Klein billboard advertisement of a young man in bikini underwear to Michelangelos David.

Thanks to the media blitz, which has lavished almost daily attention on the draped orange nylon fabric, the gates creatorsChristo and his wife, Jeanne-Claudehave achieved Andy Warhols famous 15 minutes. Not all the media coverage has been favorable, to be sure, but that hardly matters. The perpetrators of this extravaganza have won their wager in the only coin that has any meaning for them: publicity.
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CroixRoussienne Donating Member (49 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-25-05 03:50 PM
Response to Original message
1. Valium? n/t
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UdoKier Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-25-05 03:51 PM
Response to Original message
2. I don't care for the Gates, or much of Christo's other work, BUT...
they are temporary, and in a few weeks when they are gone, no one will ever know they were there.

I wonder if Hilton gets as worked up over the ugly amps and speakers and trucks and cables and paraphernelia every time a concert is set up in the park? They're an eyesore, too, right?
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BurtWorm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-25-05 03:58 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. That is so patently obvious that it's hard to believe Kramer gave a second
of thought to this frothing reaction. It's not the most wonderful work of art the world or even New York has ever seen, but it's not just about the yellow saffron curtains and the orange gates that frame them. Sheesh! :eyes:
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gratuitous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-25-05 03:52 PM
Response to Original message
3. Lordy!
Don't tell me the Observer paid for that!

I wish I had Hilton Kramer's life that is so pristine and happy that the worst thing I can find to complain about is a temporary exhibit in a small setting remote from over 99% of the world's population.

Mr. Kramer: I invite you over to my place, where we can talk about people with some real problems and what you can do to help them.
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GodlessBiker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-25-05 03:58 PM
Response to Original message
4. This Hilton Kramer person is an idiot.
The gates are spectacular. They compliment the landscape, they don't deface it. The gates do exactly what art does when art is at its best: they uplift, they inspire, the enthrall, the make the soul feel good.

Kramer could not be more wrong or insipid. Christo and Jeanne-Claude have earned their reputation as daring and innovative artists who have mesmerized populations with their phenomenal creations. They will be remembered for far longer than 15 minutes, which is fifteen times longer than Kramer will be remembered.
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Hissyspit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-25-05 03:59 PM
Response to Original message
6. Olmstead's Park is an artwork, but it was designed to be used,
for culture, by the people.

Christo's 15 minutes of fame? He's been doing public projects for 40 years!

What a weak argument and critique.
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SOS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-25-05 04:06 PM
Response to Original message
7. Whining neocon doesn't like the Gates....
Who cares?

From Publishers Weekly:

"This seems to be a period of stocktaking by neoconservatives, for Kramer's collection of essays and reviews comes on the heels of Norman Podhoretz's Ex-Friends. The two authors share many attitudes, having both evolved from radical leftists in their early years to vociferous critics of what they see as today's totalitarian dominance of American political and cultural thought by the left."

:eyes:
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marions ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-25-05 04:18 PM
Response to Original message
8. Overblown...
Hilton Kramer is a neo-conservative windbag and as you might expect, not widely revered among artists. (Christo and Jeanne Claude are laughing). I walked through The Gates and found it an uplifting, exhilarating experience, especially for those of us who are not slalom skiers. In a world where billions are spent for the most absurd and questionable enterprises imaginable, how is The Gates a big deal? Hey it's ONLY art.
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GodlessBiker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-25-05 04:25 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. "Hey it's ONLY art."
Which is exactly what Jeanne-Claude has said.
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marions ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-25-05 05:28 PM
Response to Reply #10
12.  chuckle
:7 I guess that's a classic response from artists when they get over-reactions, especially about something like The Gates which is so relatively benign. Even in the case of very provocative and controversial artworks...well, it's only art--a safe, tame, controlled form of expression, usually relegated to museums and galleries in America. It's amazing how many people don't see the outrageous ugliness that goes on all around them, while they will huff and puff about an art piece. I have a theory that people complain about art because there's an individual behind it. The bigger stuff is created by impersonal conglomerates which they feel powerless to confront.
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Stephanie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-25-05 04:23 PM
Response to Original message
9. Get a LIFE!
Geez, what is the big freaking deal? A temporary artwork, no permanent scars on the Park, a huge tourist magnet and revenue producer for the city, and a free thrill for thousands of New Yorkers.
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BurtWorm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-25-05 04:26 PM
Response to Reply #9
11. But Hiltie doesn't get it.
So it must not be art. :eyes:
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