And this is why we can't have nice things.
And this is why we can't have nice things.
Paul McCarthy's latest inflatable art installation Tree has been erected in Place Vendome, one of Paris’s historic squares located within the 1st arrondissement. Affixed to the ground with a system of ropes and anchors, Tree is a gargantuan, minimalist take on a Christmas tree that evokes images of...Rockefeller Center. Also bounce houses.
The iconic figure is a part of a larger Parisian survey that McCarthy’ is calling “Chocolate Factory.” The entire installation is serving as the centerpiece of the International Contemporary Art Fair. Timed to coincide with the grand reopening of the Monnaie de Paris (Paris Mint), “Chocolate Factory” focuses on the intersection between mass production, consumption, and hedonism. As a part of the larger, festive project factory workers will produce thousands of chocolate Santa Claus figurines holding miniature versions of Tree.
Chiara Parisi, head of the Monnaie de Paris’s cultural outreach, described McCarthy’s work as a dream that has entered the public space.
“This tree is like a giant fantasy; in the French tradition, it’s a fantastical work,” she said. “It’s oversized, it can be analyzed from different angles. It needs that kind of ambiguity too.”
Printemps Francais, an anti-gay hate group known for their vociferous hatred of modern art took to Twitter to decry the Monnaie for what they perceive as a waste of public funds. What Printemps Francais has against McCarthy for his work isn’t exactly clear, but their calls for him to pull the plug on the installation seem to be falling upon deaf ears.
Watch footage of Tree's erection and viewer's impressions AFTER THE JUMP...
The conceptual piece by Timothy Gabriel, which has since been restored, was damaged earlier this week when a passerby splattered some form of red paint or ink across the surface of the 8-foot-tall, 4-foot-wide installation.
The organizers of the event say that the work “depicts an androgynous silhouette, symbolizing the LGBT community, smeared with spiteful words on a cross of hateful quotes...The primary purpose of this piece is to raise awareness of the impact homophobic rhetoric has on the LGBT communities in Uganda, Russia, and around the globe. In many parts of the world, these minorities are oppressed, maimed, stoned, tortured, imprisoned for life, and executed. ‘Love Does Not Harm’ seeks to draw attention to the specific role many American Evangelicals play in this very real persecution.”
Explaining that he had allowed for a space on the back of the piece for feedback from locals, Gabriel said although most of the response has been positive, “it’s a shame that someone had to tarnish the front of it the way that they did.
"We were able to scrub most of it off the yellow section. But any attempt to move anything off the white left a stain or a residue. But it hasn't obstructed or destroyed it."
Watch a report, AFTER THE JUMP...
Dries Verhoeven, a gay Dutch artist, is making a public spectacle of himself in a busy Berlin intersection and angering quite a few Berliners in the process. His art project is called 'Wanna Play?' and he describes it, in part, like this:
The Dutch artist Dries Verhoeven is going on a search for answers, taking his own gayness as the starting point. For 15 days he is living in a glass space, visible to anyone who passes by. He is communicating with the outside world exclusively by means of Grindr and similar apps. The men that he meets online will be invited to join him to meet each other’s non-sexual needs. Anyone who downloads the dating app can see the profile shown here on his mobile phone. All photos will be represented without identifying marks. All chats will be rendered anonymous.
(read full 'about' page HERE)
Except that it has turned out to be not so anonymous for those who interact with Verhoeven, Same Same reports:
One particularly annoyed Grindr user wrote on Facebook that the artist had not mentioned to him that he was doing a project, and when he turned up to the square he was shocked to find his messages had been shown in public.
“Consider what it would feel like,” he wrote, “to walk into a public space looking for an address of a person you are meant to have a private encounter with, only to see your picture and your words projected onto a wall with a large group of people watching and reading, many of them pointing and laughing. People called my name!”
Another annoyed commenter added: “This is completely disgusting and not related to art at all.”
A third: “Your project is extremely exploitive and cynical, putting people’s privacy and safety at risk.”
Verhoeven's project seems to have sprung from an addiction to and subsequent dissatisfaction with the shallow social scene resulting from the rise of hook-up apps. He writes, on the project's "about" page:
I realized that many times it wasn’t sex that I was looking for, but more the affirmation that I got from the sex. The sounds of the various apps had the effect of a slap on the back, an incoming message meant interest. I felt like a teenager who needs the approval of his classmates and so conforms to their rules and their jargon. In less than half a year my texts had been reduced to simple headlines like “Hey there” and “Whats up?”, my photos did not show the man that I was, but rather a bad imitation of the typical torso photos.... The men that I met then were the trophies of my digital hunt. The more their outward appearance fit my ideal image, the higher their value in the imaginary ranking that I kept of them and of my own accomplishments. The sex was not the final goal, but it was a pleasant occupation while maintaining our Grindr market value. I felt like a superficial illustration of myself, a man that could fulfill many sexual fantasies, but who rarely went to the movies with a stranger. I hadn’t brought anyone home to the family for Christmas in years. Grindr kept me from dealing with my single life. A feeble surrogate, but good enough not to feel lonely. I decided to delete the various apps from my mobile phone.
Grindr objects to the project, and its spokesman told Same Same:
“While Grindr support the arts, what Dries Verhoeven is doing by luring Grindr users under false pretenses is entrapment. This is an invasion of user privacy and a potential safety issue. “We encourage other users to report his profile by using the ‘flag’ function on our app, so we can take action to ban the user. Together, we will work to keep these users out of our Grindr community.”
Verhoeven yesterday posted a response to the outrage on Facebook:
Today, he added: "Up for meeting up someone who questions my project in real life. I hope to meet on a non violent basis, in an approach to mutually understand each others point of view. (Things you post here are visible to the audience. Just consider if you are ok with that)"
The project is scheduled to continue for 11 more days. You can view a livestream of Verhoeven's "Box" HERE.
Watch an interview with him, AFTER THE JUMP...
Ed, the handsome man shown in the screen shot above, is the product of multiple months worth of animation, character modeling, and computer rendering. As life-like as Ed may appear his creator Chris Jones has admitted that he’s definitely still a work in progress. Using a blend of Lightwave, Sculptris, and Krita, Jones crafted layers of authentic musculature and realistic skin complete with perfectly rendered imperfections.
Check out the layers digital building blocks that created Ed AFTER THE JUMP...
In response to a planned protest at their headquarters, representatives from Facebook have agreed to meet with Sister Roma of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence and David Campos, a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, about Facebook’s recent crackdown on the use of drag names.
Hundreds of drag queens found their public Facebook profiles deactivated last week after Facebook began to enforce its rules stating that all users must attach their birth names to personal pages. While members of the drag community were not explicitly targeted by the crackdown, drag queens seems to have been disproportionately affected given their tendency to embody their personae as public figures.
“I’ve had this name for 20 years now,” San Francisco-based performer Heklina explained to Tech Crunch “I walk down the street and people say ‘Hi Heklina.’ People know me by my drag name.”
Heklina claimed that every single drag performer that she knew in the Bay Area had been affected by Facebook’s enforcement of the policy, robbing them of the ability to keep their drag lives separate from their personal ones.
“This is like in the 1950’s when drag queens would perform at the club and then had to quickly change into their boy clothes after to keep from getting harassed,” she said, citing the many queens that were effectively forced to out themselves.
Initially Facebook responded by suggesting that drag performers attach their aliases to profiles featuring their actual names or create fan pages for their characters as an alternative. Fan pages, says Heklina, often don’t really capture what all it means to be a drag fixture in a local community.
“While many drag queens are 'out' about who they are, not all drag queens have that luxury," San Francisco Boardmember Scott Weiner wrote in a Facebook post. "Preventing drag queens from using the names that actually define who they are also puts a number of people in the untenable position of having to choose between telling the world that they’re drag queens and abandoning Facebook for their drag personas.”