Vito Schnabel

Sign up for Our Newsletter



Posted by on May 24, 2012

Summer Art Guide: 'Ghosts in the Machine'

Summer Art Guide: 'Ghosts in the Machine'
Photo: Village Voice

Written by Christian Viveros-Faune on Wednesday, May 23, 2012 for Village Voice

The Bruce High Quality Foundation: Art History with Labor

June 28 through September 30

New York's premier art collective, The Bruce High Quality Foundation has promised to accomplish two seemingly opposite things: "resurrect art history from the bowels of despair" and "protest against the star-making machinery of the art market." Although this might read as a standard case of cognitive dissonance, it's more likely a flash of F. Scott Fitzgerald–type genius. (The author of The Crack-Up referred to a first-rate intellect as one capable of holding "two opposing ideas in mind at the same time.")

Whatever the deal, BHQF plans to pull out all the stops for its upcoming Gotham exhibition—brimming brilliance and insanity included. The anonymous artists are due to take over Manhattan's toniest exhibition space: the lobby and plaza of Park Avenue's Lever House. Following bling-studded presentations by Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons, and Rachel Feinstein, BHQF will inaugurate a show whose putative subject is "the history of organized labor and the idea of work itself." The exhibition will include, among other objects, a 12-foot bronze sculpture of a rat (the sort unions use to protest scab labor), a "pedagogical video," a large-scale painting, and several "janitorial objects" sculpted from Play-Doh, among them mop buckets, trash cans, chairs, and a copy machine. All this deposited squarely at the feet of the wheeling-and-dealing 1 Percent.

Among the hard questions sure to be asked are: Will this art triumph over the speculative traps that await? And can you really be an art star if you refuse to be photographed? Lever House, 390 Park Avenue,