72 hours to get ready for a date—it’s ART!

Unlike a lot of people, I actually tend to like modern art. I can understand, however, why people think that some of it isn't really art, though. It seems that the way to become an art world sensation is to come up with what more accurately be called a publicity stunt, do it in a gallery, perhaps, call it A*R*T and find a super rich guy like Charles Saatchi (a patron of the modern art world in Great Britain) to pay you an enormous sum of money for whatever physical manifestation of it you can whip up.

Lian Sifuentes is an artist who is spending 72 hours getting ready for a date. She is doing this in a tent in Union Square Park on the northern edge of Greenwich Village in New York City. She's being filmed or videotaped as she does this and eventually her "date prep" will be turned into a movie. Every hour she takes will be condensed into a minute of screen time so that she will appear to be moving at normal speed while everything around her will look like it's moving at light speed. Oooookay. Hey, it beats working the fry station at Burger King.

I guess my point in putting this up on MoH is for you guys to collectively discuss whether "art" like this really IS art. Is it just a publicity stunt or a hoax or is it a legitimate form of artistic expression. Have at it.

It must be art 'cause I can't understand it

["It must be art 'cause I can't understand it" is something my old friend Guy Ennis once said when we went to see some pretentious movie I can no longer remember the name of.]

Art Miscellaneous

Posted on Wed Jul 11, 2007


id say its... art! to me it sounds like the artist is trying to convey themes of femininty in culture, the whole process of getting ready to impress the main she is going to meet, maybe commenting on the beauty myth, and how time consuming it is to conform to these standards and how much we miss in doing this (will be a pain to do though)

so i say: yes art (unlike letting a tap run for several days on end to make a point about water wastage.. which is just contradictive and dum methinks)
Posted by jo Odd  on  Wed Jul 11, 2007  at  03:44 AM
Well, okay: so if sharing preparations for a date with the public is "Art" now, then my blog "LaMa in Datingland" must be Art too. Woohoo, I am an artist!
Posted by LaMa  in  Europe  on  Wed Jul 11, 2007  at  06:55 AM
Sure it's art, but not neccessarily good art.

It reminds me of something I saw a few years ago where a group of people sat around a dining table and ate for eight hours, also filmed in the same way... I can't find anything about it on the internet, but it took place in Manchester.

I'm not entirely sure it says anything new either, but then again you don't really have to do that anymore.
Posted by Adam_Y  on  Wed Jul 11, 2007  at  08:47 AM
Well it certainly confronted me with the reality of death and made me re-evaluate my role in society.

Apart from that it's pretty lame
Posted by zooloo  on  Wed Jul 11, 2007  at  12:20 PM
I'd come down on the side of it being art, but not good art. Art should convey a message or emotion or something similar and require that the artist actually have some knowledge of what he/she is doing. Throwing a bucket of paint at a canvas or dropping drops of paint from a ladder or anything similar isn't art. What I think the artist here is conveying is the amount of time and resources wasted in these dating "games" and how unconnected with reality they are.
Posted by Christopher Cole  on  Wed Jul 11, 2007  at  12:48 PM
I tend to come down on the "It may even be good art; how can I know until I've seen it?" side of the debate. And even then, I may not know it if is good -- only whether it speaks to me. I was notorious in high school as the smart kid who hated OLD MAN AND THE SEA, for example.

It does remind me of an article I read about public art, though, suggesting that every board that approved tax dollars for things to be displayed in public places should have at least one ordinary six-year-old kid who would have final say on whether it made sense or not. The kid could be overruled, but not too easily.

Emperor's new clothes and all that.
Posted by Michael Scott Dodd  on  Wed Jul 11, 2007  at  03:46 PM
One of my favorite quotes:

"It is art because I am an artist."

So sure, it's art. I wouldn't look at it, but somebody will.
Posted by Glenn  on  Wed Jul 11, 2007  at  09:52 PM
LaMa, were you in a gallery when you posted to your blog? Or is your blog on display in a gallery? If you don't meet one of these conditions, it's not art, according to how I read CMG's requirements.
Posted by Phred22  on  Wed Jul 11, 2007  at  09:54 PM
That's right, Phred, I AM the arbiter on all things artsy.

In reality, no, I don't think that art only exists in galleries or other "officially" sanctioned venues. After all, every word I speak is part of an ongoing spoken word piece. I'm a walking one-man Off-off-off-Broadway show.
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Thu Jul 12, 2007  at  02:11 AM
Okay, let Raoul see this one out... this man Art has only one date within 72 hours? I think perhaps he needs to read my latest book: "The Psychic Gangster Manual of Love and Parallel Parking", by me, Raoul, International Lust Yogi and Driving Instructor Extraordinaire... it is a torrid tale of unbridled passion and making right turns on red lights after stops. Many who have read the first draft were overcome and came as they drove over... Ha ha ha, that is a very old joke, but so what, maybe this poor Art guy can use it. Many women like religious humor, so don't ask me if the beef is burning! That's not in my garage, Roy Rogers! Rrrraoul
Posted by Raoul  on  Fri Jul 13, 2007  at  09:56 PM
She's only taking 72 hours to get ready for a date? That's not nearly enough time!!!!

It might be art, I don't know. But it sounds unutterably, mind-numbingly boring. IMHO, art is something that evokes an emotional response, be it curiosity, anger, happiness etc, and that stays in my mind long after I've walked away from it. I don't think I'd have any response to this, and I think I'd forget it once I left, so I wouldn't count it as art. But that's just me.
Posted by Nona  on  Mon Jul 16, 2007  at  07:45 AM
Well the end film might be kind of arty, but that technique (fast surroundings with normal/slow subject) has been done to death, so it's certainly not groundbreaking. Neither is the subject matter, nor the perceived "statement" from what I can tell.

I don't want to disparage the work of valid modern artists, because I do feel there is much talent out there. However, there is a certain type of "modern art" that is not what *I* would call art.

A garbage bag filled up with air is not art. It's being clever. And you are very clever indeed if you can sucker someone into paying
Posted by MadCarlotta  in  Canada  on  Mon Jul 16, 2007  at  07:14 PM
If this is art, then in a sense everything we do is art... whether it's making a cup of tea, or taking the dog for a walk, or masturbating to porn.

"What is art?" is an unanswerable question, as it's all relative and personal. My opinion is that for something to be art is must take talent and be inspirational in some way.

Anyone could do this show, so it doesn't take talent certainly... and it's hardly going to change the way people think, so it's not inspirational... so in my opinion it's not art, and the artist and sponsor should be shot so as to avoid them stealing oxygen from someone who might actually have a use for it.
Posted by Colin  on  Tue Jul 17, 2007  at  12:04 AM
Speaking personally, I have no problem with calling this "art." I think the REAL question is whether it's GOOD or INTERESTING art.

I like a lot of modern art; I even like a lot of the kind of stuff that makes people say, "My kid could do that."

I agree with Carlotta, though, that there's an "Emperor's New Clothes" aspect to some modern art (or at least it isn't unreasonable for some people to see it that way).

Like Andy Warhol once said, "Art is anything you can get away with."
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Tue Jul 17, 2007  at  02:52 AM
Actually Michael Scott Dodd brought up the Emperor's New Clothes reference first. I just didn't notice he beat me to the punch last night while I skimmed the comments 😊

Funny you bring up Warhol, because in many ways I blame/suspect Warhol for spawning this current crop of clever-clever-so-called-artistes. I won't go so far as to call him a charlatan though, because there is no denying the man did have actual talent.

I just don't like what happened to many of his hanger-ons after the Factory hey-days ended. I used to know a couple of them from being an NYC club denizen for many years in my youth, and, well...a bunch of sad stories they were. I think he was exploitive to a large degree, although to be fair to Warhol, it was usually a mutually parasitic relationship.

I don't completely blame Warhol, however, because I suspect the earlier Dada's have something to do with it. I think Warhol simply took what the Dadas started and marketed it to the masses.

Hugo Ball is probably laughing himself silly wherever he is now.
Posted by MadCarlotta  in  Canada  on  Tue Jul 17, 2007  at  09:11 AM
I don't see why this even made the news.
Of the women I've dated, I'd say taking 72 hours to get ready for a date is close to the average.
Posted by Big Gary  on  Tue Jul 17, 2007  at  09:38 AM
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