July 9, 2002

MORE ON THE MURDEROUS-FAILED-ARTIST PROBLEM: Here’s a piece in Salon on Mussolini’s artistic pretensions. And don’t miss this argument, from Slate:

Bad artists with political views are always picking on Giuliani and calling him Hitler. Yet in truth, our last century’s worst disasters came from bad artists with dumb political views (Hitler (lousy art), Stalin (bad poetry), Mao (worse poetry), etc.). Perhaps the resemblance between our neo-conceptualists and Hitler is greater than they imagine. Consider the following behaviors alluded to in the piece, and then consider who besides exhibitors at the Whitney and Brooklyn Museum routinely engaged in them:

Dressing up in dumb costumes and having picture made in public places (Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Mussolini, Pol Pot)

Filling warehouses with severed body parts and icky stuff (Above except, mostly, Mussolini)

Portraying political opponents as subhuman (all of the above)

Spouting mind-numbing political cant while imagining they are saying something original (all of the above)

Thinking that they speak for the masses when they are really playing out own neuroses/psychoses (all of the above)

Genocidal Fascist/Communist dictators or Conceptual Artists? You decide.

Art kills.

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