Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Let them eat art!

Something tells me this is much ado about nothing, but here goes.

Yesterday (it's now officially 12:39am), federal judge Steven J. Rhodes ruled that the city of Detroit is eligible to file for bankruptcy.

What does this mean? Not much, unless you live in Detroit, you care about maintaining a romantic outlook on art, or you're in the business of buying and selling art. In all seriousness, what this means is that theoretically speaking the Detroit Institute of Art's collection could be auctioned off in part or in its entirety to help pay off the city's debts.

Why do I italicize "theoretically"? Because if you actually believe that that fire sale would happen then you are also likely to believe that the state of Texas would allow Jerry Jones to relocate the Dallas Cowboys to the state of Alabama.

This is actually quite sad. That contemporary art has come down not to art making or its content, but rather to the creation of drama by idle individuals about the extremely remote possibility of selling "canonical" works of Western art. Hysteria is more like it.

Here's a very stupid question: why would a city with an exodus of residents and engulfed in poverty, decaying architecture and unpaid bills want to sell off all or any of its city's art collection? I mean, this isn't Venezuela.

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