This is authentic - "

Art or commerce?


GS_signSchool let out early last Wednseday, so we took advantage and headed up to MOMA to check out the lastest iteration of artist Martha Rosler’s massive performance/installation of a garage sale. It’s up through November 30, and well worth checking out.

A panoramic view of the show at MOMA.

A panoramic view of the show at MOMA.

The show is set up in the museum’s Marron atrium, which gives the artist a huge indoor space to display the hundreds (and hundreds) of second hand items on offer. The stuff came from all over (the artist, museum staff and public all dontated things) which made for more of a historical moment-in-time display than the voyeristic this-is-my-life feeling that some of Rosler’s previous sales evoked. (Her first “sale” took place at UCSD in 1973) But it was no less satisfying, and we left with a shopping bag full of goods, each piece slightly discounted after I followed the directions on the sign which encouraged participants to haggle.


To be honest, I completely forgot that I was in a museum and basically just hunted for bargains, enjoyed haggling, tried to explain to my daughter that she can’t have everything she lays her hands on (whilst wondering how a parent counters the crazy consumer-driven world we find ourselves in) and dragged myself away before the shopping got out of control (the apple, clearly, does not fall far from the tree.) The whole show is being videotaped, so I suppose we were all just actors on this particular stage. So I guess the more authentic we were, as shoppers, the better, right?

GS_monitorFood for thought, in any event, which is, I think, at least a part of Rosler’s point. And the rest, lets just say, is history.

Or undergarments, as the case may be:

GS_brasBut don’t worry…

GS_all cleanMOMA is open Wed – Sun and this show ends in two days– I can only imagine the markdowns that must be happening right about now.

Run, don’t walk…

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