Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist


The form of the art work- a line of people lying asleep among rumpled sheets on a very big bed- is borrowed from Vincent Desiderio- but Kanye has put his own twist on it by realising it in 3D and having all the people be famous.

It began as an artefact in a music video- a movie prop. The video teases us. Are these people there in the flesh- or are they waxworks? Or are they sometimes real and sometimes wax? Is that chest moving because there are lungs behind it or a little machine? And what is reality anyway. And what- especially- is the reality of fame?

These people are famous in various ways. They are entertainers of differing stature and notoriety, a journalist, a former President of the USA, a would-be president of the USA- plus Kim Kardashian who defies categorisation.  Power, beauty, talent, extreme wickedness- these are the things you get to be famous for- in 2016 as always.  In 50 years time, if the artwork survives, some of these people will have to be explained to the viewing public. Perhaps all of them will. The gallery goer of the future may experience the work as "Kanye West and some of his Contemporaries" or "President Trump and Others" or even "Bunch of Nobodies". Who knows? But that's fame for you. Slippery thing.

For the time being all these persons are equal. Equal to one another and to us. In waking life they are lovers, enemies, aquaintances, strangers. Here none of that applies. All are equally supine, helpless, harmless, objectified. Just lumps. Empty shells, from which the thinking, creating, conniving, active constituent has been extracted. In this state they cannot hurt us or entertain us. Or object to the company they have been corralled into keeping.  They are beyond everything- including the egos their waking selves spend so much time indulging. They have been captured in the one and only state in which their fame means nothing to them.

Listen to them snore...
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