Thursday, June 17, 2010

notes re: the new provence

A proper review of provence 3 has been long overdue here at AO and unable that we are to attend either of the launch events accompanying the new issue O or even just look at a physical copy, a filler review of the random/scarce pieces of information gathered on the internet about it is in order!

If "south of France" (the bourgeois idleness/holiday destination one as opposed to, for example, street gangs and graffiti) was always a strong underlying theme for the magazine whose first editorial seemed solidly informed by issues raised in a certain lecture, issue O goes all the way uptown and appropriates the untranslated May 2010 editorial piece from L'Officiel Paris, which according to Babelfish casually explains and celebrates a blurring of boundaries between fashion and Hollywood-style celebrity cultures. While the appropriationist gesture nonchalantly suggests that the interpenetration is also happening in art (as other May 2010 editorials also seem to be implying) and that the magazine format in itself might constitute a valid “third way” strategy to casually investigate a not-so-casual biopolitical paradigm, it’s hard to tell what the intentions behind the constant metrosexual/homoerotic subtext-generating going-through-the-motion are in this case (see also: Fantastic Man supplements, Jacques Magazine, Alexander Schroeder...)

A lot of the reprints of 19th century bootlegs finds announced for this issue do promise an anthropologically-tang’d (and maybe even exciting) x-th retrospective in print of the much hyped sources that seem to inform a lot of the work by the better-known artist contributors the editors send emails to, but it would be interesting to see what a generation of young art entrepreneurs surfing the desktop publishing wave in first class makes of the biopolitical new-spirit-of-scene-and-herd-daily struggles their elders –who sometimes happen to teach them art- have been making work about since times way prior to the demise of paperrad's website.

It was once possible to take something out of the real world and introduce it into the art context for scrutiny. How can a fundamentally appropriationist magazine/art project function if its foundations are built on the very ruins of that premiss?

Incest (Art Club 2000, The Runaways, the Jackson 5…?) can sometimes act as a lever capable of enabling clandestine desires to circulate within more mainstream networks, but how much of this aristocratically detached social networking labor actually contributes to such a process rather than a mere connexionist-city jeune homme wet dream as glossy, krebber-via-jonkers knockoff of FMR? What does this brand of elegance capital trade for when it's not adspace or leeway to push difficult forms of cultural production into the spectrum of normality?

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