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Top Ten Art Cliches You Can't Do Anymore
1. Faux controversy: Please stop trying to shock your audience unless you're sure you can get a government official to take away all of your funding, or at least a cease and desist order from someone's lawyer. People who go to galleries aren't easily offended anyway.
2. Words: Words officially suck, especially words like Diaspora, dialectic, edgy, vocabulary, rhetoric, virtual, transformative, interactive, and identity. Perpetrators: Anybody who has applied for a grant in the last twenty years.
3. Artists' statements: See #2. Folks, let's leave the writing up to the writers.
4. Dolls: Cheap, cute, and chock full of meaning, dolls are the ideal thing to make a redundant statement, especially if there's weird sex stuff involved. Toys are a related banned topic particularly close to my heart. Perpetrators: Me and half of Toronto's emerging artists.
5. Piles of stuff: It's time to put to rest the "if one is good, dozens are better" formula. Perpetrators: Katharina Fritsch, and everybody profiled in that Lola spread a few issues ago.
6. Hair: We all have it someplace, so when you think about it hair isn't really all that exciting to begin with. Related banned items include bodily fluids, fingernails, and belly button lint. Leave 'em at home.
7. Big photographs of small stuff: Don't make me confiscate your macro-lens and train set.
8. Painting: I'm jumping on the bandwagon: painting is for 20th century hayseed suckers. From now on I'm going to take pictures of my crotch and you better damn well like it.
9. Food: Let's keep it in the kitchen from now on. Perpetrators: Me, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Jana Sterbak. Felix González-Torres is acceptable because you're allowed to eat his work.
10. Irony: See #8. No, really.
Special thanks to Tegan Smith, Scott Anderson, and Gerard Brown for suggestions. Additions, complaints, and letter bombs can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
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