Here’s a Martin Filler piece from the current New York Review of Books…
Filler writes in disapproving terms as follows:
Thus despite the troubled global economy, London in October was flooded by an acquisitive tribe comprised of American hedge fund managers, Russian oligarchs, and Middle Eastern movers, sheiks, and sheikhas thronged the blindingly lit Frieze tents…to stock up on investment-grade artworks with a cumulative insurance value of 223 million (British pounds).
He sounds curiously like Saatchi, in his Guardian diatribe a few days ago. Interesting that they both choose this art fair to suddenly denounce the excesses of the wealthy since this has only been going on for three decades. And, lest we forget, Saatchi was one of the key players in revving it up to begin with. The guy’s a bit like Castelli on steroids. Why the volte-face, as they say in the upper precincts of NYRB?
My sense is that the game’s over. It’s a bit like Alan Greenspan’s sudden disappearance from the Fed just as the housing market tumbled into a heap, crashing global financial markets. Of course, Alan was off on his book tour where Jon Stewart could sycophantically slobber all over him as the great financial guru who had made America into a towering beacon of prosperity. No wonder I long ago cancelled cable TV.
Stewart obviously doesn’t have a clue about economics. And he’s hardly alone. Anybody with half a brain at that point knew that Greenspan had blown up the biggest bubble in the history of the world. An 8 trillion dollar bubble is something that NOBODY misses who isn’t either completely oblivious or who’s a flack for the corporate elite. I’m talking about you, mainstream media.
One can only imagine what kind of wreckage the art bubble will involve. Anyone who doesn’t see the art world as the biggest Ponzi bubble in history isn’t doing very much thinking, either. The soaring stupidity of Post-Modernism at this point seems to be obvious to everyone except the wanna-be Saatchis (or Saatchi artists) still playing. And of course the dozens of art magazines, critics, etc.
But no matter. Fiddle-dee-dee, as Nero no doubt said. And what do I know anyway?
Filler also contrasts the excesses of the decadent rich with, of all things, the London riots and neo-Dickensian closing of libraries for the poor…. He intones with mock-outrage (everything is mock with these Post-Modernists):
On October 13, the borough council of Brent, a racially diverse working-class area in northwest London, summarily shut six of the twelve public libraries it operates… This drastic deprivation of free access to books for citizens who could not otherwise afford them was one of the most personal and telling manifestations of the severe cuts in government fuiding that were first announced in the middle of 2010…. etc.
Then back to his disgust with the excesses of the rich…. Rolls-Royce bearing Prince Charles and emerald-bedecked wife, Camilla…. (tough being royalty these days, apparently) Then the riots in Notting hill where diners no doubt similar Filler himself, who doubtless wouldn’t be supping at the local fish and chips shop, are accosted by “hooligans” straight out of A Clockwork Orange. Fortunately they’re beaten back by the working stiffs, ever protective of their well off clients. An exhilarating evening for all, no doubt. More exciting than Acconci jerking off (or pretending to jerk off) under a platform, I bet.
I think that the message of OWS has sunk in on the people who are sentient in the high art world. Not that there are that many of them. Anyway, it’s the end. The end of the game. The end of the bubble. C’est la vie, say the old folks like me.