Friday, October 5, 2018

Everything is Connected: Art and Conspiracy

"Sol Goldman and Alex Di Lorenzo, a Real-Time Social System,  As of July 1, 1971" (Tate)
With all due respect to The Times' team which unraveled the decades of Trump tax fraud ("Trump Engaged in Suspect Tax Schemes as He Reaped Riches From His Father,NYT, 10/2/18), the paper might have done well to hire artists like Mark Lombardi or Hans Haacke whose works are on view in the "Everything is Connected: Art and Conspiracy"exhibit at the Met Breuer. Here is where art comes in handy. You don't have to wade through thousands of words. The show is agit prop of a certain kind and displays works like that of Jenny Holzer which are documents about documents. Holtzer's  “The White House 2002” (2006), is a painting of a memorandum from the Bush administration allowing for the use of torture on suspected terrorists. Fred Hampton, the legendary Black Panther, makes an appearance courtesy of Videofreex. Mike Kelley’s “Abuse Report” (2012) is a California filing in which the artist as victim lodges a complaint against Hans Hoffman. The complaint recalls Harold Bloom's The Anxiety of Influence. Lombardi, whose mysterious death has spawned its own conspiracy theories, was a conceptual artist whose work is simply a diagram of the Bank of Credit and Commerce International, aka the "bank of crooks and criminals.” Hans Haacke’s piece is “Sol Goldman and Alex Di Lorenzo Manhattan Real Estate Holdings, a Real-Time Social System,” As of May 1, l971.” The only difference from the Trumpocracy is that the Goldman Di Lorenzo empire fell apart like a house of cards. What's's so astounding about a piece of "investigative art" like this, which hearkens back to events that occurred almost 50 years ago, is how prescient it was. All you have to do is fill in the blanks.

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