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Peek inside the NY art world and the elusive Cindy Sherman

Forum > Reviews

Guest of Cindy Sherman - A documentary film by Paul H-O and Tom Donahue

Paul H-o at University of Canterbury, A4 Lecture Auditorium
2 Apr 2008 - 2 Apr 2008

Lee-looking-profound-1 by Artbasher
44 Comments
Article of the Month April 2008
Guest-of-Cindy-Sherman-1 This movie takes the piss out of the art world and unexpectedly for an American "guy with a microphone" semi-parody is also self effacing.

Paul H-O tells his story of making Gallery Beat TV, a pre-YouTube public access super low budget art world TV show in New York City. He pretty much went around the galleries filming openings and shows, talking smack and getting past all the art-speak BS. Gradually a cult following developed. Although artists didn't really like talking to Paul, they loved watching other artists talking to him on his show. Where once he was kicked out of galleries, he started to get access to the highest echelons of the NY (and hence also international) art scene. What's phenomenal about this, is no one else was doing it. Paul just started out doing this crazy tihs on his own. It was cool and people loved it.

So eventually Paul meets, interviews extensively, gets to know and has a relationship with Cindy Sherman, most famous of photographers. Simply as a document of candid interviews with Sherman this film is amazing. Additionally it delves deeply into Paul H-O's own psyche, investigating himself and his relationship to Sherman and the issue of male ego vs female success and ideas of success in general. (At one after art-event-function Paul was seated far away from Sherman where his place card read simply "Guest of Cindy Sherman".)

The movie is melancholic although upbeat. Fascinating that Paul did something awesome, original and underground and got little or no recognition for it, compared to Sherman who is uber-famous (not to denigrate her work at all, which is awesome). Social and status success certainly does not necessarily track artistic or human achievement.

Cindy Sherman's current boyfriend is David Byrne of Talking Heads fame.

This is also going to be showing in Wellington at the city gallery tonight (Wednesday April 2) at 6pm. Go see it if you can. I think it's also showing in Auckland, but I don't know where.

Gallery Beat TV is showing at the SOFA gallery in Chch for the next couple weeks.

Where the kcuf were all the chch artists? The only people I saw were students and staff.
sherman-and-byrne-2007 Untitled-Cosmo-Cover-Girl-1990-91-from-the-series-


Comments:
1 to 20 of 44
cadmium hed
6 articles & 432 comments since 30 Apr 2006
Hey, someone should do this in nz, a daring and cynical (all)blackhumour expose of nz art tallpoppy highrollers and their dysfunctional famous elitist turpsniffing groupies....

Oh. There aren't any.
cadmium hed
6 articles & 432 comments since 30 Apr 2006
For which we are eternally gratefullofourselves.
Lee-looking-profound-1
Artbasher
137 articles & 705 comments since 12 Feb 2005
APW and I have been talking about it for a while.... it may yet happen.
cadmium hed
6 articles & 432 comments since 30 Apr 2006
Can i be a drunken extra in the background of some swanky opening u film??!
Lee-looking-profound-1
Artbasher
137 articles & 705 comments since 12 Feb 2005
of course.
naturebirth
artandmylife
9 articles & 197 comments since 1 Feb 2008
unfortunately I will not be able to get to the wgtn showing tonight. I think it could work here and would love to see it. I heard a classic story of such antics a while back that would have been pure gold translated to film.
benjamin
1 articles & 212 comments since 30 Nov 2007
why is it that nearly all 'arts programming' in nz is hosted by complete morons who think that they are more important than the work and artists producing it? i'm thinking of pseudo-intellectual oliver driver (or is he just acting?), hamish keith with his parody of conceptualism and even national radio's 'arts on sunday' (which is usually good and about the work) and yet they even did something on a kiwi who fell into doris salcedo's crack (!?) and honeybunch's verbiage on artbash...

very occasionally there is a filler at the end of the news on 3 that at least is showing the work, but they normally have a 'funky' shot list with sudden zooms to detail, pans around the gallery at warp speed and some form a spacey triphop playing to make it coooooool...

good luck with the show AB if it ever happens. have you got a title in mind?

'artists talk shit' has a certain ring to it
nosferatu
1 articles & 323 comments since 27 Dec 2007
on the basis of that 'art' programming I decided that Oliver Driver doesnt either like or understand visual art. its reasonable for him to be biased towards his own discipline, but what about the people managing the content of that series? were they all thespian chauvinists?



my grouch is probably because I still havent forgiven Oliver Driver and the rest for what they did when they were in Dunedin for that particular 'big Art trip'...they showed the outside of the Public Gallery for 5 seconds and then, get this, a lingering sniggering pan shot of Parry Jones' naff little bronze penguins ..which, seriously, is a hot contender for the worst public sculpture in the country award. ..(they are wearing bib overalls..yech...I challenge anyone to find a worse waste of bronze in public space, chocolate fish for anyone who can beat that).

WTF? thats the only 'art' they could find in the whole city? excellent journalism skills there guys. not.

the only explanation I could think of, apart from extreme incompetence that is, was a naked derision for the supposedly art free nether regions of NZ.

Ive been told on bad authority (smug bastard living in Wellington) that "everyone knows if it didnt happen in the North then it didnt happen"

growl.
Lee-looking-profound-1
Artbasher
137 articles & 705 comments since 12 Feb 2005
Title?

ArtBash.TV

It's available.

Kind of lame and super derivative to do it now though.

To get back on topic, someone just emailed me and made a couple criticisms of the movie.
  1. Paul is just doing anything he can to be famous
  2. Paul is really sexist in parts. At one point he says, 'I know what it feels like to be the wife' or something like that.
Definitely some truth in both of those points.
benjamin
1 articles & 212 comments since 30 Nov 2007
surely its not derivative... or if it is, what isn't? (anything even remotely 'documentary' must be...) LOL

i think you kinda cover both points 1 and 2 to a degree in your review; its as much about him as them, and maybe he's a sexist dick trying to up himself? i don't know

naturebirth
artandmylife
9 articles & 197 comments since 1 Feb 2008
I'd watch Artbash TV
william blake
29 articles & 728 comments since 15 Aug 2006
...hey nos, desperate for that chocolate fish, I was contemplating the worst public sculpture in the land ( and there are some howlers ) but it occured to me that any given public sculpture has a community of interest behind it, plus funding, plus technical back up and planning consent from the local authority. With all of this back up its pretty hard to stand in opposition to this community of interest without understanding their objectives ( i can only assume penguins in suits are aimed at kids...) possibly the most controvertial public sculptures that I know of is the bronze of 'rocky' which stallone has been trying to gift to philadelphia for years ( as an aspirational icon....) this is deeply disturbing
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naturebirth
artandmylife
9 articles & 197 comments since 1 Feb 2008
wb "community of interest behind it, plus funding, plus technical back up and planning consent from the local authority."

I am in the middle of writing an essay about a public artwork which was a disaster because it had funding and some dodgy planning consent and thats about it. Firstly it fell over and is currently in a location where you can hardly see it. It was art by committee in the worst possible sense.

I want to see the penguins!
william blake
29 articles & 728 comments since 15 Aug 2006
...which makes me realise how smug communities of interest can be.... film props as art? 'tripod' 2004 bronze. weta workshops. courtney pl wellington
innov-wgtn-tripod-enlarge
william blake
29 articles & 728 comments since 15 Aug 2006
a&ml...thats not an argument thats a blurt. who, what, where, why. and can you expand on what a dodgy planning consent is?
naturebirth
artandmylife
9 articles & 197 comments since 1 Feb 2008
Apologies. What I mean is that if a council REALLY wants to do something they will issue themselves a planning consent maybe even bending the rules to do so and without a lot of consultation. Perhaps i should remove my comment it isn't on topic
babelicious
1 articles & 30 comments since 13 Mar 2008
I was there and I saw a doco that presented H-O as a hardscrabble, self-made auteur - before during and after Sherman. Warts and all.

What I clearly didn't see were very many of the usual suspects one sees eddying about in the ever circling backwater of the Christchurch art scene.

Incuriosity is the leitmoitif of Canterbury artists and their support staffers.
Lee-looking-profound-1
Artbasher
137 articles & 705 comments since 12 Feb 2005
Or perhaps they were working at their jobs. 4pm is a bit early for most people. Also it could have been advertised a bit better. I only heard of it through word of mouth.
bruce
36 comments since 5 Nov 2007
it is a bit hard to get to things of you dont know about them. But Babelicious has a point about insularity too. Ive noticed many people dont bother with shows if they dont already know the artist/s. (I like what I know, etc)
babelicious
1 articles & 30 comments since 13 Mar 2008
It was noted in the local paper & I got a notice from High Street Projects and received an email from SoFA as well. There wasn't any alcohol served at the screening is my guess as to the turnout of regulars.
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