Friday, January 25, 2008

Clutching His Fan of Spoons

Hanyun passed along to me the this NYT article about Karl Lagerfeld's newest antics at Chanel Couture in Paris, along with this pic:

Getting beyond my initial disgust at fashion's constant pilfering of art and Lagerfeld's obliviousness to the fact that Chanel jackets will never ever be on the same level of importance or cultural influence as Chinese dictatorship, I proceeded to read the review. Only to be left wondering why there is no mention of Sui Jiangua and the fact that this tragic fashion runway installation is an altered copy of Jianguo's sculpture "Legacy Mantle."? (see below)

Or maybe the artist gave Chanel permission but the NYT reviewer did not feel the need to mention the collaboration? All Horyn had to say about the giant jacket was this:

Undeniably, the 75-foot model of the Chanel jacket that Karl Lagerfeld erected in the Grand Palais for the spring haute couture show on Tuesday smacks of kitsch. It would be a huckster’s dream dome. There are days when you think the world is almost at that point where you could picture such a monstrosity in place of the Arc de Triomphe or the pyramids in Egypt — and nobody would mind. Great! SHOP!

Indeed she has missed the larger point. I just hope that Jiangua had nothing to do with this bad bad bad idea. Cindy Sherman for Marc Jacobs, Murakami and Louis Vuitton, enough already!


Brian Hits said...

Dear Mr. Local Ephemera--

Are you going to the Art Papers auction this year? Did you attend last year? Would you recommend the event for the enthusiastic viewer/too-poor-to-be-a-patron, or no? Tell us your thoughts.


ers5504 said...

I agree with you about the Chanel's so insensitive. However I think the Murakami/LV collaboration is relavent in regards to Murakami's motivations, research, and themes he works with. just my 2 cents.

H to the N said...

right on mr. local ephemera, may I also add that this very large scale jacket makes a really ridiculous architectural piece as well?

Jonathan said...

Dear Mr. Brian Hits-
It's funny you ask that because I just got into a debate with some other artists about the Art Papers Auction earlier today.
It's been 2 or 3 years since I have gone or donated art to the auction, I think at some point I got turned off to it but I am planning to go this year, mainly to cover it for this blog (if I can score free tickets). I am interested to see how much it has changed. Art Papers has gotten more selective in the art with higher end prices.
The auction can be really entertaining – it’s packed with artists, yuppies, and wealthy patrons and bidding can get very heated over particular pieces. It’s fun and nauseating at the same time.
I really don't see the auction as being an event with on an emphasis on the artists - it's for people who have a lot of spare change (couple hundred to a couple thousand) to drop on some art – it is a fund raiser after all. But it is a great way to see some really excellent art that usually goes for much less than gallery retail prices.
Word to the wise – I think the cheaper rooms close first with the big name/big buck pieces going last. So try to make it early to get the good deals.

Jonathan said...

Hey Ers
Point taken - Murakami's relationship to fashion is definitely different and more understandable than Jiangua's. But anytime art is sold in a high fashion boutique to consumers ignorant of its significance feels a little icky to me - then again, some galleries are not so very different.

ers5504 said...

Yeah...I read an article where Murakami was talking about how, in Japan, art was being sold on the top floors of department DeKoonings and such. All forms of art and design are considered equal in value and are grouped together as entertainment. I'll see if I can find it if you want to read it. I'm not sure how I feel about it..and maybe i'm not getting something important, but it seems to me that in some way it's an attempt to commodify the symbols of a subculture that has had such little respect. Not unlike what many designers do! Like how punk style has become so integrated with mass culture in America, but the total ideaology is lost on the consumer...but then of course these symbols will fall out of fashion and be regurgitated again in some other incarnation. It's what we live with, and I suppose its up the the individual to evaluate the system and choose how they want to deal with it. But what you are saying is so true, many galleries are the same, hence the problem with creating an art "object". Either way it's quite a phenomenon, and it's interesting that he can open up the discussion with his work.
Yes, I don't feel ick as much as I feel sad...there is something a little tragic about it to me.