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busting the beacon

Post #40 • June 17, 2003, 7:07 PM

Via Modern Art Notes: Playful electricians at the new Dia:Beacon made a “John Chamberlain” and put it next to an actual John Chamberlain sculpture. Nobody noticed the addition for a week. This is especially funny after reading Michael Kimmelman’sfawning essay about Dia:Beacon in the New York Times Magazine several weeks ago.

The incident elicited this colossal load of snobbery from assistant director Amy Weisser: “The electricians made a sculpture, an homage to John’s work. When the art installers saw it, they knew it wasn’t John’s work. This was something that wasn’t mistaken as a work of art by anyone other than the electricians.” So,

  1. Why did nobody notice it for a week?
  2. If it’s a “sculpture,” and an “homage,” why isn’t it a work of art?

In the end, the museum threw it away, as if to state once and for all that God is not mocked and Dia:Beacon will not suffer such flippancy from – snort! – lowly electricians.

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