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What’s the Scariest Thing About the Shark at the Met?

It’s not those pointy teeth, nor the inappropriate juxtaposition of Damien Hirst‘s oeuvre with an 18th-century Copley copy and a 19th-century Homer, with which it has little resonance beyond the obvious shark connection.
No, the scariest thing about the tank recently installed at the Metropolitan Museum is the big sign on a pole, standing right next to it, with a whole list of prohibitions: No Photography, No Video, No Cellular Phones. (I think they forgot “No Diving.”) Adding to the air of menace is the guard who constantly reinforces that message in a loud voice whenever the threat of digital disaster lurks near. (Most of the Met is a snapshot-friendly zone.)
I didn’t even try to photograph the art, but the sentinel wouldn’t let me photograph the sign either. So you’ll have to imagine something like the image above, but freestanding and with a red-encircled image of a video camera added.
If “The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living” is conceptual art, I’m not sure this was part of the concept.

an ArtsJournal blog