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Shia LaBeouf: Is there genius in his endgame?

By Kenneth Goldsmith

Kenneth Goldsmith is a writer and curator based in New York and an artist and writer based in Los Angeles.

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Connor Crawford Feb. 14 2014 18:04Reply


Tom Moody Feb. 20 2014 10:59Reply

Dear Kenneth,
Your report gives few details about this performance so I had to resort to USA Today:

The exhibit is a collaborative project between LaBeouf, Finnish performance artist Nastja Säde Rönkkö and British artist Luke Turner, according to a press release sent to Time.

It took place at The Cohen Gallery, which USA informs us is "is across the street from BuzzFeed's L.A. offices," adding parenthetically, "Probably just a coincidence, right?"

Like you, the Daily Beast's Andrew Romano was oddly moved by the whole spectacle. "I actually felt something real. Something strange and complex. Something like sympathy. …"

This is probably more of a USA Today-type story, and USA Today-type performance art, but it's always interesting to see what you're interested in.

Personally I'd like more sociology on how porous the gallery world and the film biz are in LA. I got messages yesterday that Parker Ito had sold a painting at auction for $93,000 USD, which is pretty good for a n00b, and one of the reasons for the high price tag is that film director Harmony Korine is a collector of his art. Maybe as a cross-NY-LA correspondent and assiduous documenter of the avant garde through ubuweb, WFMU, etc, you can help us understand the interrelationship of art and pure promo hype in the tinseltown art scene.

Best, Tom

Tom Moody Feb. 25 2014 07:43Reply

Ha ha, this will teach me not to skim and troll (or at least, mouse-over).

Michael Connor Feb. 25 2014 10:53Reply

Hi Tom, it seems we erred too far on the side of subtlety with this one, sorry about that :P

Coincidentally, I'm going to be in LA this week for a show I curated at a commercial gallery, and we do also have some research ongoing that might open up this discussion in a more interesting way for you.

Pure promo hype just makes everyone feel bad in the end…But, I like a lot of Harmony Korine's work, and I'm glad to hear he's collecting art.

Thanks as always for your thoughtful comments.

Tom Moody Feb. 26 2014 22:44Reply

It's too late to lobby you about that LA show but here's what I wrote in 2003 comparing Jeremy Blake to a then-lesser-known artist named Cory Arcangel: http://www.digitalmediatree.com/tommoody/?21430
I see your LA show is centered on an earlier Blake work, Liquid Villa, which was more intriguing than the "abstract grid" phase I was referring to (or any of Blake's later work), but the Occam's Razor issues about Blake's computer art – what's the simplest, most un-aestheticized expression a computer is capable of producing? – was never vetted, because the Mr. Market had already decided Blake was important.

Tom Moody Feb. 26 2014 22:48Reply

Uggh – typo – Mr. Market does not need a definite article.

Tom Moody March 4 2014 09:22Reply

Semi-correction: I was confusing Liquid Villa with an even earlier Blake work, Bungalow 8. The latter work packed a wallop during its run at Feigen Contemporary, Liquid Villa was basically a repeat performance and not as good (but still, maybe, better than those grid pieces that came later).

Michael Connor March 31 2014 13:49Reply

Hi Tom - w/r/t your question about LA collectors, this is worth a look:

Eric Dymond May 11 2014 16:11Reply

But did he ever star in "Afghanistan The Movie"?
http://slanderous.org/default_a.htm. It was predicted years ago by Joe Edit.

Tom Moody May 13 2014 08:31Reply

Michael, thanks for the link to the Simchowitz interview. He is quite the self-regarding loudmouth, or "amplification nodule," to use his term. Interesting that he gives no credit to Rhizome or the pre-Facebook blogosphere for first introducing his stable of "Post-Internet" superstars – it's as if they had no careers or critical recognition before he started pushing them. His presence on the scene should make Rhizome uneasy about continuing to carry critical water for the brand (it certainly does me). Perhaps enough has been done for that particular group of artists – they have him now.