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Thursday, October 05, 2006

Billionaires wrecking Ukraine

Pity the poor hack who had to cover this pathetic spectacle in Ukraine. Talk about adopting the worst of the worst!

As the writer of this article put it, "If this is modernity, Ukraine may be better off without it."

Hear, hear. Some excerpts:

... The Ukrainian [billionaire] businessman Viktor Pinchuk ... is the proud possessor of a sculpted pile of tin mugs, some mobile vinyl tufts that dance when you switch them on, and a cuckoo clock whose innards - a set of bright yellow-and-scarlet wheels - are visible outside. The mugs, the agile sprigs of vinyl and the jokey clock have been deposited in the Pinchuk Art Centre, which opened above a Bentley showroom and a branch of Villeroy & Boch in Kiev in mid-September. ...

On the walls, models romp in baths of volcanic mud and treat an abandoned mine as if it were the back room of a sex club; video wraiths cavort on the white walls....

Boris Mikhailov's photographs of football, shot in Germany, show sport to be an alibi for sexual aggression and fascist belligerence. Vasiliy Tsagolov's painting Orgy peers towards the far limit of a drug-befuddled Hollywood, where Sylvester Stallone smokes a hookah, John Travolta clambers on to a prostrate starlet, and Quentin Tarantino rolls on the floor in a blissed-out stupor. Navin Rawanchaikul's Art or (M)art? mocks the profiteering of his colleagues in a gigantic parody of Veronese's Marriage at Cana. The painter himself, posing as Christ, evangelises over sacred texts on contracts and marketing strategy. At the launch, two of the art stars of Rawanchaikul's satire stepped down from the wall and drifted around the gallery ...

[T]he opening party ... was a boozy scrum in the courtyard below his gallery, with raucous rock bands and dancers writhing in cages. ... At the height of the festivity, a symbolic wall of plastic was tugged down, and some equally symbolic fireworks ignited behind it. The combination of polyester and pyrotechnics had a quite foreseeable effect. Flames shot into the air, Pinchuk's battalion of beefy goons manhandled diminutive canisters of foam, and the guests fled.

... "We now have civic values," said Pinchuk, surveying 15 years of Ukrainian independence. "We know how to be civil. What we must do is show the west that we are civilised."

If this is the best show you can put on, Vic, then you've a long way to go.

Give me"peasant' culture any day. It has a quality of integrity, depth and class that money just can't buy. And the more the (literally) filthy rich scorn it, the more valuable ... and [ahem] cultured, it is.

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