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[Card One, depicting a watercolor portrait of Boris Groys as an example of “Theoritics,” with text surrounding the portrait] Quote from Groys: “Kant is not interested in the existence of a palace as aestheticized, that is, negated, made nonexistent for all practical purposes—reduced to pure form.” Quote from Artforum: “Throughout Filipovic’s talk, I kept an eye on her seatmate, Boris Groys. He was propped up in the front row, sporting the thin grin of a man anticipating his own surprise birthday at the office . . . Groys’s denunciation of the internet as nothing more than a fleeting, narcissistic reaffirmation of one’s projected self . . . felt far from edgy. ‘He looks nervous,’ my companion whispered . . .” Description of the category “Theoritics”: Employing the codes of International Art English these writers produce vast amounts of text concerned with the conceptual politics of art in relation to Western philosophy (Kant, Adorno, Benjamin) and technology often to critique late capitalism much to the endless fascination of hard-drinking male undergrads, European curators, self-loathing academics, and bored art workers who can translate this alien language rarely spoken anywhere.

[Card Two, depicting a watercolor of Marc Spiegler as an example of “Conisaurs,” with text surrounding the portrait] Quote from Spiegler: “It’s not entirely unironic the artist I chose [Oscar Murillo] is far from the Telegraph’s luxury section . . . um, because obviously, you know, this is part of the market going very fast and very big.” Quote from Forbes: “Since Spiegler started at Art Basel, the collecting landscape has evolved to become a global playground for the wealthy, where an art fair is held somewhere around the world practically every week.” Description of the category “Conisaurs”: Gathering in cities like Basel, Miami, London, and Hong Kong for four day art buying binge parties, rich people spend extraordinary amounts of money on contemporary art objects surrounded by sycophants, art service workers, and poor people who fill the vast halls with bodies to create a spectacle of conspicuous consumption.

[Card Three, depicting a watercolor portrait of Solange Knowles as an example of “Celebritarians” under the heading “The Met Gala” with text surrounding the portrait] Quote from Solange Knowles: “I’m not at all interested in entertainment. I’m really interested in energy exchange between the viewer and the performer.” Quote from Marc Spiegler: “UTA, one of the big talent agencies in Hollywood has set up a gallery . . . WME/IMG bought into Frieze . . . Hollywood sees something of interest in the art world, in a way they never did before.” Description of the category “Celebritarians”: Aligning fashion and entertainment under the social role of artist, celebrities have been breaking through various barriers of the fine art world (although not all of them, cis white men, for example, have been as socially progressive as others) creating a grand, unified theory of the star system in which a few individuals command out fractured attention spans for a few minutes.

[Card Four, depicting a watercolor portrait of Yayoi Kusama with bright fuschia hair as an example of “Selfiends” under the heading “The Broad”] Quote from Kusama: “I want to become more famous. Even more famous.” Quote from Artnet News: “Yayoi Kusama is a living contradiction. She is the most popular artist in the world, but few people delve into her art beyond Instagram.” Description of the category “Selfiends”: Luring the hoards of needy, aspirational narcissists desperate for attention, these brand nameTM figures and institutions offer up immersive selfie-stations for Instagramable opportunities to status signal to the herd of mindless herd of mindless drones dumbly waiting on an interminable lines in a kind of glazed-over bovine stupor to share in a “cult-ural” experience with a doomed population.

[Card Five, depicting a watercolor portrait of Roberta Smith as an example of “Selectivists” under the heading “The New York Times”] Quote from Smith: “Sometimes I think Yayoi Kusama might be the greatest artist to come out of the 1960’s and one of the few . . . still making work that feels of the moment. Other times I think she’s a bit of a charlatan who produces more Kusama paintings than the world needs and stoops to conquer with mirrored ‘infinity’ rooms that attract hordes of selfie-seekers oblivious to her efforts on canvas.” Quote from Eleanor Heartney of Brooklyn Rail: “Are there ways to encourage dialogue about ideas, rather than the personalities and money? Can the new technologies be harnessed to create a truly productive and interactive forum for larger issues? And can we, as critics, convince the other actors in the art world that what we do actually matters to them?” Description of the category “Selectivists”: A tiny group of relatively unknown people hold an enormous amount of power over the career potential of fine artists by helping high brow bourgeoisie confirm what is important art in a nearly bottomless pool of mediocre (not bad) over-production—a position some critics (not pictured) abuse for desperate self-glorification and adoration from needy artists.

[Card Six, depicting a watercolor portrait of Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, an example of “Non Binarians,” under the heading “Invisible-Exports” and surrounded by text] Quote from P-Orridge: “I think it’s very clear what we were concerned about when we began this, which was the ever-increasing polarization and reduction of ideas into dogma and paranoia, and this posturing that there’s a right way and a wrong way: I’m right, you’re wrong, and therefore, I must attack you. And the whole idea of pandrogeny is to make that irrelevant. . . . So pandrogeny is very much about the union of opposites, and, through that reunion the transcendence of this binary world and this illusory polarized social system.” Quote from Ben Tischer: “Genesis is the most interesting person on the planet.” Description of the category “Non Binarians”: Resisting the moral binary logic of western hegemony, these actual cult figures expose the conservative boundaries of the ‘global’ art world ruled by the wealthy elite from Abu Dhabi to Culver City while never succumbing to religious guilt and puritanical repression of the body, sex, drugs, and pleasure gaining the love of followers.

[Card Seven, depicting a watercolor of Oliver Leach (shown here as a black dog), an example of “Shitposters” under the heading “Bakoon” and surrounded by text] Quote from Leach: “Hugh Hewitt blocked me because I saw his wife wheeling out his duffel bag sized turds out back and chopping them up with the side of a trash can lid before she took them back inside and flushed the pieces. He blocked me because I saw it happen and told everyone.” Quote from Artnews: “One of the best accounts on Twitter belongs to @bakooonn, the handle of San Francisco-based artist and photographer Oliver Leach. Having amassed a substantial art following over the past three years, his feed is perversely humorous, sumptuously crude, aimless poetic, and endless in scope.” Description of the category “Shitposters”: Harnessing the awesome [crossed out] terrible reach of the trash like Twitters, these captivating figures gleefully troll ‘gaters, Republicans, alt-righters, Trumpers, and other morons to convert their legions of followers into fans of their art (or podcasts) and break into the ultra serious, closed art world, bypassing the usual gatekeepers.”

William Powhida is an artist who makes fun of the art world. 

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