I wasn’t surprised to read last weekend that Miami’s “social X-rays” ignored the great French novelist Alain Robbe-Grillet at an Art Basel event held in his honor. Nor did it come as a particular shock to learn that the annual art affair is, like so many supposed celebrations of culture in Miami, ostentatiously about money — “money that you can not only taste in the air; you can hear it discussed, and see it being spent all day long.”
But I got a kick out of a different, equally scathing perspective from The State of Miami and Other News: “The whole thing was sort of fitting for a town that has an annual book fair dominated by hot dog vendors.”
Meanwhile, Franklin Einspruch of Miami’s Artblog.net was actually less depressed by this year’s fair than by Art Basels past.
A few years ago I felt like I was trapped in an art world characterized by permanent stupidity. Now, I feel like I’m watching the nascent stages of something as yet unimagined.
Update: And here’s my friend Emily Hall, writing for The Stranger:
It is all work and no context, so that gradually you might forget what art is for, that these objects have meaning. The University of Washington’s Michael Van Horn noted astutely, if wearily, when I ran into him at the big show, that it was something if you emerged from Miami Basel without having come to hate art entirely. The best defense was to focus on the details, for example, on the taste of adrenaline, as inspired by a Jenny Holzer work, created by a flavor company for Visionaire magazine and offered in those little bits of paper that melt on your tongue and usually contain breath freshener….