Category: Bizarre Coincidence

Bizarre Coincidence: Francis Alÿs meets Cheech Marin.


A screengrab from Francis Alÿs’s 2002 video, When Faith Moves Mountains (now on view at MoMA). In which volunteers shoveled pieces of a Peruvian dune. The line across the dune is the advancing row of shovelers. Naturally, this brought to mind…


…the 1987 Cheech Marin flick Born in East L.A. — in which all the Mexicanos storm the border to a Neil Diamond soundtrack. ¡Orale!

Bizarre Coincidence: L.A.’s High School #9, meet Godzilla.


A while back, Edward Lifson and I were riffing on what L.A.’s High School #9 — designed by the fancy pants Coop Himmelb(l)au — looks like. After my most recent visit to SoCal, I’ve changed my mind from my original stance that it resembles a watchtower…


…’cuz what this thing really looks like is Godzilla on a train-munching rampage!!!

Bizarre Coincidence: The proposed Apple HQ, inflatable hemorrhoid ring.


The design schematic for Apple’s corporate headquarters in Cupertino, Calif. (reportedly conceived by the Dark Lord Foster, the same architect who was ready to mar a pristine stretch of the Bulgarian coast with a luxury resort)…


…bears a striking resemblance to an inflatable hemorrhoid ring. Available for only $13 at Able Healthcare DME. Starchitect not included.

Bizarre Coincidence: Hole-in-the-floor edition.


Such a ‘k Hole: Urs Fischer’s You, 2007 at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise. (Image courtesy of Gavin Brown.)

In New York Magazine‘s end-of-the-year wrap-up-of-everything-in-the-NYC-universe issue, critic Jerry Saltz wrote that seeing Urs Fischer’s giant hole-in-the-ground at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise in Chelsea was “transforming and shocking.” He added:

Fischer had torn up a gallery, forcing us to look into his own “hole.” But presciently, it was just as much a precipice for us and for the art world, since this was going to be the state of the world for the year to come: We’d all be poised on the edge — politically, psychically, financially, and aesthetically. The stark gesture was simultaneously surreal, loving, violent, and audacious. Fischer shattered perceptual space, destabilized our relationship to art and art galleries, overturned ideas about the market, and made us understand that all that is solid melts into air, that something momentous was coming.

Last fall, in his original review of the piece, Saltz described it as “Herculean,” “splendid” and “brimming with meaning and mojo.” He added that this “bold act” would make the viewer “look at galleries in a new way.”

I gotta be honest: I wasn’t convinced then, and I’m not convinced now. But one thing’s for sure: Fischer’s hole felt a lot less prescient when I discovered that it has a predecessor. Last month, when I rolled up to L.A.’s Museum of Contemporary Art, I got to ogle a 2008 redo of Chris Burden’s 1986 installation, Exposing the Foundation of the Museum, a series of three holes in the museum floor that the MOCA lit describes as “a critical response to the institution of art itself.” Looks like Fischer was out-holed. By some dude in L.A. — 22 years ago.


Exposing the Foundation of the Museum, 1986/2008, by Chris Burden, at MOCA, as part of the Geffen Contemporary’s Index: Conceptualism in California from the Permanent Collection. Today’s the last day to see this piece, by the way, so get over there! (Image courtesy of MOCA.)