Artfully Setting Himself Up For Failure, Part 2

, , , , | Right | August 13, 2020

I work as a gallery attendant in a museum where my job is to talk to people about artworks in the galleries. We have this piece by the artist Joan Jonas — a lady who’s currently in her eighties — on display. Most people don’t recognize her name because she did her most famous works in the 1960s, so anyone too young to remember doesn’t often know her.

This guy who looks to be in his thirties and his mother come over.

Me: “This is done in conjunction with the artist Joan Jonas.”

Guy: “Joe Jonas? Isn’t he really popular right now?”

Me: “No, not Joe, Joan Jonas. She was part of the Fluxus movement but still does art now.”

Guy: “Yeah, I’ve heard of him. I don’t know much of his work but I hear a lot about him.”

I want to scream at this idiot.

Me:She has been around for quite some time and currently mentors this other artist, so they worked together on this. She makes some really amazing pieces.”

He then ignored me completely, went over to read the sign on the wall, and proceeded to explain the meaning behind the piece to his mother, getting absolutely every single thing wrong.

This wasn’t one of those pieces where the artist wanted everything to be open to interpretation; it had a very strong sociopolitical message and that’s why the artists wanted us there to explain it.

I just let the guy keep babbling about nonsense because he was clearly one of those geniuses who knows more about artworks his first time looking at them than the people who were literally trained by the artists themselves.

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Artfully Setting Himself Up For Failure

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