Oh, Work of Art. Why must you tempt me with your thrilling previews and then leave me broken and empty like TVs from the 70s?
Tonight’s episode was sad in so many ways. The electronics graveyard more than foreshadowed the work that was to come. It also echoed the death of my hopes and dreams for this episode, and my silly assumption that a well known critic like Jerry Saltz would know who Tom Friedman is.
Footnote: Tom Friedman is awesome. Also, he’s really well known. I mean, I’ve seen several of his shows, and I’m just a simple girl living in the concrete asshole of Maryland.
UPDATE: Jerry Saltz knows who Tom Friedman is.
I guess I should break this episode down into what I saw happening: the artists were given the task of transforming unusable electronics (from a shady warehouse which just happened to be two doors down from the studio) into a piece of art. That piece of art had to belong to whatever Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn considers to be the definition of “sculpture”. So… a pile of busted shit with paint poured on it fits the definition, but a pile of shit arranged on a table does not. Thanks for clearing things up, Work of Art.
Anyway, the artists took to task, except for Miles, who slept (and slept and slept and slept until his castle became overgrown with thorny briar bushes, and no one could enter. One day a handsome prince, who had heard of beautiful Miles sleeping in his castle, came to the impenetrable forest, and the bushes magically parted to let him through. Upon seeing the intense vulnerability of the sleeping Miles, the prince laid a trembling hand on Miles’ tender behind, and Miles awoke to find himself refreshed and adored.)
Most of the work was tepid and the artists were frustrated with the sophomoric assignment. I have no memory of what they did, save for hazy ones of Mark’s gold day of the dead altar, John’s adorable pile of presents (another altar of sorts, mostly to boy-on-boy crushes, which are the loveliest crushes of all, probably), and Peregrine’s… I don’t know, widow something or other. The assignment was unclear, the objects were ridiculous, and the work was done in two days, what the hell are you expecting? It’s not a rack of lamb.
Let’s be honest about this. Trong was kicked out (spoiler!) because his work shat all over the show. The TVs, which were represenations of the viewing audience, said things like “Reality TV is stupid and so am I, and I’m wasting my life watching this show, and I’m going to die having done nothing to improve this huge world”. That’s what they said on the screens. This made me sad, because it’s true. I’m sitting on the couch watching this show, and I’m just a pathetic, broken shell of a plebeian object, and even Tom Friedman wouldn’t use me for a project.
Lissa’s brilliant tweet: “Trong’s haircut is clearly the most complex work on this show.”
I guess Nao had prior commitments, because she was barely featured in the episode. I missed her though, so I watched her audition tape. Come back next week, Nao!
One last thought. I completely enjoyed the artists having a shocked discussion of Miles’ never-ending skills. “How does he even know how to screen print?” asked someone. “What is concrete?” asked someone else. “Where am I?” asked Judith, shivering.
Bonus: Lissa is a genius: “I was hoping the “concrete assholes” would be busts of SJP and Jeff Koons.”