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Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Public Art and 'Piles of Sheet'

Arts managers who don't watch The Daily Show with Jon Stewart on Comedy Central (could there be any?) missed a particularly sarcastic perspective on public art, as this Monday's show focused one its fake news segments on Christo's new installation in New York, The Gates.

The fact that the segment was titled 'Piles of Sheet,' and reported by the show's 'Senior Conceptual Art Correspondent' might give you a flavor for their take on the installation (which has received glowing praise elsewhere). It's a comedic view on a common public struggle around public art...where conceptual expressions smack up against the daily world. Here, as always, there's lots of friction between beauty and utility, academic posturing and real-world concerns, revelation and relevance.

In one particularly sharp jab, the mock reporter admits that The Gates is, indeed, a work of great art:

''...because, like all great art, it challenges what we thought we knew about the world. For instance, I used to think that $21 million dollars could be used to achieve something noble, like build a hospital. But The Gates has forced me to recontectualize my notion of what $21 million dollars can be used this case, to redecorate a bike path.''


posted on Wednesday, February 16, 2005 | permalink