Sunday, February 7, 2010

School of Saatchi

Charles Saatchi reveals himself as the rightful heir to the Duchampian empire. In his latest television programme and competition, we see him elaborating and commenting on the conceptual framework which surrounded and constituted the readymade artwork, Fountain by Marcel Duchamp. In School of Saatchi, after the necessary build-up and hype which mimics and critiques the X-factor, Saatchi enters a readymade, titled Truncated Trunk through the agency of a young artist Eugenie Scrase and wins the competition. Whereas Duchamp acted under the pseudonym R Mutt, Saatchi uses suggestion and Derren Brown-ian manipulation to convince the young artist that she in fact found the piece herself. We are all in on the joke from the beginning, since the found object, entered in the way it was by Scrase, would do nothing to critique the competition in which it was entered, or redefine art. Having spotted the man behind the curtain however, we see that this neoneodada anti-artist, manoeuvre opens up a new field of possibility, in mind-control art, and systems manipulation. The King is dead, long live the King.