Manufacturism

2006-09-14

In the latest issue of my favorite newspaper, the Washington Park Profile, we learn of "Manufacturism", a new movement in conceptual "art":

Manufacturism is conceptual art that manufests products and services as the byproduct of a creative idea.

Anthony Harper and Manufacturistic colleagues create a glaring statement about racism in the 21st Century, with a new piece called Unwanted Hair, a three-piece body of conceptual art consisting of a sculpture made of human hair, a donation bank, and a book of photographs with creative commentary from fellow artists. Conceptually, this piece of work is rooted in the fact that, this year a donation of African-American locked hair was deemed "inappropriate," and rejected by the national non-profit cancer organization, Locks of Love.

Harper and Nonthaveth have taken homeless signs off the streets and into an artistic body of work called Dollar$igns. Homelessness is branded by the all-to-familiar exploitive imagery of an individual holding a brown cardboard sign on a street corner asking for help. Dollar$igns removes this element of exploitation by presenting "help" signs as art.

Oy vey. I'm all in favor of protest and questioning authority. But I'm also in favor of art, not so-called art that requires no craft or talent. And no, don't submit a request that I add "manufacturism" to The Ism Book.


Peter Saint-Andre > Journal