OVERSTIMULATION AND EXCESS
Usher, His iPhone, and a Woman’s Vagina Make Art at Art Basel 2k14
Artists Miley Cyrus and Kim Kardashian were in Miami creating, too.
Like all good parties, Art Basel wasn’t complete without a little T&A—and don’t worry, I’m talking about the old-school acronym, not some hyper-cool Swiss art collective you’ve never heard of.
At Paper magazine’s launch dinner for its already infamous Kim Kardashian issue, big booty was on everybody’s brain. Kardashian, who really DID balance that champagne on her butt, was there to emphasize the fact that, like a really good selfie or a really tragic celebrity baby name, the #breaktheinternet cover shot was in fact #art. She exclaimed, “I am so so pleased with the result of the cover…I love that I did something so artsy and it’s exactly right to be here at Art Basel, because I truly believe what we made is art.”
This Instagram of artist Marina Abramovic, captured by MoMA curator Klaus Biesenbach and captioned “OMG it only just begun,” quickly became emblematic of Art Basel 2k14, a paean to overstimulation and excess. And after being replicated all week, it also earned the title of world’s classiest meme.
Art is beauty. Art is a window into the sublime. Art is watching Usher pay $20 dollars to charge his iPhone in an adult woman’s vagina. The artist formerly known as “guy who you would totally take home to your mother” inadvertently spiced up his image in Miami by taking part in an installation in which model Lena Marquis placed a battery pack in her private parts, adding a little extra spark to the pay-for-charge experience. Luckily, there’s video proof for the “artistically inclined” or “super pervy” among you.
Miley Cyrus has truly out-confused herself, showing up to her Art Basel performance in pasties, a silver wig, and a fashion-forward take on the classic Borat unitard. She also smoked weed onstage, talked a lot about her dead dog, and explained why she started “doing art,” leaving us all to wonder if we even know what art is, and whether or not Miley Cyrus and Kim Kardashian get together sometimes to do it together.
As protests flourished across the country in honor of Eric Garner and Mike Brown, Miamians took to the street to take a stand against racist practices and police brutality. The action, which occupied the highway that connects the Miami Beach island to downtown Miami, consisted of moments of silence for the dead, as well as a massive die-in on North Miami avenue. The contrast between the stark political message flooding the streets and the days and nights of decadence, privilege, and prestige that made up this year’s Art Basel was undoubtedly more evocative and thought-provoking than any other piece or performance on the island.