It’s been a while since I had a good excuse to take my nickname for Diller Scofidio + Renfro out for a walk. Dildo Scrofulous + Rent Free.
And I did bring my pooper scooper!
We last heard from the architects of Brown University’s ridiculous Granoff Center for the Creative Arts (an accordian damaged in an earthquake) when they donned their Darth Vader mask to design a replacement for New York’s “beloved” American Folk Art Museum, recently demolished by its evil landlord, the Death Star (the Museum of Modern Art). The firm has gone starchitectural since its project for Brown. Thus it well fits the role of villain.
But today I concede that DS+R is the victim. An art installation called “Facsimile” by the firm at the city’s Moscone Center installed in 2003, before Rent Free joined Dildo and Scorpion (as I once put it, but that was too tame), has been voted off the island by the San Francisco Arts Commission. It was a moving screen that depicted people who stopped to mug before cameras placed within the facility. Actually, it might have been more nuanced than that. It moved on a rail from one end of the building to another. (This reminds me of “Cavorting Inanity,” a neon installation that decorates the garage of the Rhode Island Convention Center.)
The point here is not to praise or condemn the art, the artists or the folks who have decided that it has overstayed its welcome. Rather, the critic who condemned the action in the Architect’s Newspaper failed to mention that the screen had been on the fritz since its installation, and that this is why the 9-1 vote of the commission to remove it was taken. This was “glossed over” (in the apparently accurate words of commenter Mattia) in an article by Edward Dimendberg in the paper’s blog, A/N.
In short, what did he know and when did he know it?