Once again, the ArtReview Power 100 list is out, rather superfluously ranking the big players that made a splash in the Art World September 2011 to September 2012, blah blah, blah, blah blah. But wait. What’s this? Pussy Riot? Slavoj Žižek? Come again?
Among the biggest non-surprises this year are the 3 out of top 5 spots being awarded to mega art moguls/dealers/gallery owners Gagosian, Wirth and Zwirner, while MoCA Director Jeffrey Deitch didn’t make the 100. Out-crowning them all is Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev #1, Artistic Director of international hundreds-of-artists-strong dOCUMENTA (13), for “ambition” as explained by ArtReview Editor Mark Rappolt to Art Fag City.
Ai Weiwei was not kidnapped by the Chinese government goons again this year again, but he still roosts comfortably at the top, moving from last year’s #1 spot to #3 and still trouble. Pussy Riot is once again venerated for its art cred, landing a sweet middle #57 slot, while not officially having made any art yet, but, presumably, going to a penal colony for interrupting the holy-fascist visual culture of Russia’s most powerful and most corrupt and stirring a world-wide discussion on censorship and modern day theocracy — that counts for major art cred, no?
Now, the most delightfully surprising addition this year is Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek who is a damn superstar. Yes, a philosopher. He trots around the world giving devastating philosophy talks. Last week at the Creative Time Summit, he opened with ”I warn you this will be a very pessimistic talk with a little bit of hope at the end,” and in under half hour of “Here comes the beautiful/depressing/obscene/crucial thing…” took down every well-intending performatively Liberal artist speaker before him a major sobering notch. For the grand finale, he tied Immanuel Kant’s definition of private/public with “this new trend of public sex in hardcore porn.” It was glorious. But you don’t understand. Like this, like this. Ughh. Yeah, Žižek. Yeah.