Have you ever wondered where the term “Artsy Fartsy” came from? The etymology of the term comes from the Latin (ars) or Art and the word Fart which is a pejorative (to express contempt or disapproval, or something stinky you emit from your arse).
While touring the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MoCA) in North Adams Ma. today I felt like I was suffering through an prisoner exhibit at an insane hospital gift shop. The more I strained to understand or to “get” what the artist was trying to create the more I began to wonder if I just wasn’t Artsy Fartsy….. But, then I had to be honest with myself… this stuff is just stinky art for sure and at $18 bucks a pop with a senior discount mind you, it stinks a lot.
One display featured a man with a ceramic pot tied to his ponytail which he swung left to right around his body several times then smashed it to the ground breaking the pot.
His display was to show how artists simultaneously connect their work to the complex material and social histories of pottery as well as to other crafts and modes of making traditional art that lie outside usual fine art definitions, including basket weaving, furniture design, the building trades, and lowrider culture.
I learned this from reading his message on the wall. In truth …. all he made me think of was “Was he be the original Hairy Pottery”???
The museum space is actually a fantastic building with lots of space. It’s too bad the place is full of pretentious crapola. The exhibit below was made up of melted plastic pieces draped over broken furniture. I tried …I really tried but all I could think of a well-known expression, Rome’s emperor “Nero fiddled while Rome burned.” The expression as we know has a double meaning: Not only did Nero play music while his people suffered, but he was an ineffectual leader in a time of crisis. This struck a chord with me for sure….
This is not a post to say in any way that there isn’t beauty in the Berkshires AKA…The Massachusetts Swiss Alps… There is a ton of beauty to behold in these mountains…. but not inside of MoCA. It’s in the mountains surrounding Williamstown MA …. and it’s for free. So save your hard earned cash and enjoy the natural art of the Berkshires…..