Spring has Sprung. One for One. Lets Have Some Fun.

Practitioner: 

Date: 

Mar 9 2014

Location: 

TOMS MARFA

Hello and thanks for viewing.
This was a little installation that took place in the beauty of West Texas. The goal was to reorientate the site specific Prada Marfa into something more relevant, TOMS Marfa. Prada Marfa, being in the middle of nowhere, a structure placed as sort of a apocalyptic trophy for the high art world meant to challenge time; TOMS Marfa was to accelerate that vision with 2014 subject matter.
The risks were calculated.

TOMS was chosen for a variety of reasons. America with its staggering under and unemployment, income inequalities; seems to be more of a TOMS country instead of Prada, so we wanted to question their (TOMS) practices which seem to run parallel with neoliberalism, colonization, neocolonization and the exploitation of third-fourth world nations. As well the exploitation of giving, religion, outsourcing. We want to question the idea of giving through American consumerism. We question the ideology of developing and advanced nations. We stand by and believe America is not fully developed, therefore what appropriation over others do we possess when our example is limited and dead-end.

The owner of TOMS recently did a speech about altruism at SXSW (2014), announcing that TOMS will be going into large scale coffee business. Saying that "your daily ritual" will do good. For every pound of coffee bought, 1 weeks of free clean water will be given to someone outside of America. So now we question the further practice of plantation practices, of deforesting yet another indigenous environment to accommodate an American commodity, an addiction. Nothing but ecocide and neoliberal capitalism.

Globally we all face the same challenges, and in order for us to better represent those challenges globally, we over here believe it is important to recognize the source of our internal issues before assuming we know the meaning of help to others. We must help ourselves. Internal issues such as Californians running out of water, ground water being polluted due to well blow outs,education systems faltering. (the list goes on)

Its been argued that we do help ourselves as a country; help our poor with food banks and shelters. But TOMS Marfa wasn't generated to help the poor. It was to give awareness and open the minds of the classes of people in this country with money and jobs but no mind. The ignorance is bliss class. The everything is just fine class. The consumer class. First world problems all the way.

Anyhow...The locals (Marfa)went haywire, basically these people wanted our head. They tore down the project and then went web crazy. Accusations of vandalism went through out the media, and the way media spins a story is wild, pure entertainment and judgement. The Save Prada Marfa Facebook went on with hate posts. Many people that commented about the project didn't get to witness nor research the full extent of the project but had plenty of hate to give.

Though a dialog opened. It hit the world in two days. Upon 9271977 arrest, the story hit the world again. Roughly some 3 million plus people have seen this project through the web and the goal is to expand on that to get the majority of the mass first world public to recognize this project strictly as art, that was produced on the basis of the intended Prada Marfa project statement and the illegal status Prada Marfa is now garnished by the Texas department of transportation. We art'd on art. In some views, we art'd on vandalism. We want to educate the public on art and dissolve the generational divide that explicitly holds cultural hostage and uses law in its favor to protect its best interests as has done with Prada Marfa; when in fact law is malleable and needs to see the interests of the future and the conflict of "what is art" for the better advancement. Much of it is common sense.

Please take the time to view all the links and photos.

The most disappointing part of all this was Elmgreens display of ignorance and rhetoric towards this project; which proves the art world has lost focus of what art is all about. (Of course knowing)They (The art World) have become, controlling, clickish anti-art, blase, lazy, complacent and scared of losing that throne of perceived excellence and scared of the new generation of artists that have no desire of following suit; art as luxury. Art is for everyone, and is colorful, never static, branded or its definition absolute. Prada Marfa contained a weakness, and that was it was never to be absolute or a definition of permanence amongst our culture and landscape.

Elmgreen had remarks like: "It's quite scary that people feel such an urge to profile themselves in these time", "His statements about social inequality are total bullshit", "Attacking Prada Marfa is an easy target".

And the above statements are the problem... Attacking Prada Marfa; it wasn't a attack. It was site specific. Further more, comments like Elmgreens when allowed to influence law will lead to a world dominated by a dull mentality where artists where be considered "domestic terrorists". Though fictional at the moment, its not that off base to say.

See Elgreens response here: http://www.dazeddigital.com/artsandculture/article/19232/1/michael-elmgr...

Being an artist and a critic of our own work, this experience has allowed for the opportunity to experience media hype, hearsay, how populations are manipulated, how populations take gossip for truth and don't research, how populations idolize, the hypocrisy of the high art world, social media public commentators, exploitation of sophism and rhetoric, an overall loss of moral high ground within our culture, arrest, law: who and how they protect/define, jail; and all the costs that go with everything.

bittersweet.

thanks for your time

A lot was expressed in this project, multi-faceted if you will, but the overall focal point was maintained and it had a wholeness. Perhaps imperfected, somewhat a hack job; but we got the job done and this venture will lead to more, because we are artists and life is our game.
See pics and the project statement at the below link
http://www.9271977.com/biggerthanthebrand

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