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    Howl Again!
by Charlie Finch
 
     
 
Vanessa Beecroft
The Silent Service
2000
 
Vanessa Beecroft
The Silent Service
2000
 
Vanessa Beecroft
The Silent Service
2000
 
Vanessa Beecroft
The Silent Service
2000
 
Vanessa Beecroft
The Silent Service
2000
 
Vanessa Beecroft
The Silent Service
2000
 
I saw the best minds of this art generation
rush like lemmings
towards a naval formation
on a boat, the Intrepid,
which had killed millions
of Vietnamese:
Beecroft's minions
brag about it in the press release.
You should be ashamed of yourselves --
Calvin Tomkins, Robert Storr,
Robert Rosenblum, Betsy Baker,
Ronald Jones, Will Cotton --
abetting the military culture
that extinguishes freedom;
but I was there, too,
I'm just as guilty as you!

Beecroft in her aquamarine dress,
smoothly talking to the press --
in my opinion,
just like Leni Riefenstahl,
where art is just
the handmaiden to power.
There is no irony here --
And Deitch doing anything for the show,
putting up signs
forbidding this and that;
"no unauthorized cameras;
your presence here gives
us irrevocable permission
to use your image;
turn off your cellphones,
please"
Please, my ass, Jeffrey Deitch,
go shit in your hat --

Ooh, there were dozens of uniforms --
maybe there were even people in them,
if the military culture didn't
suck out all their freedoms
in order to defend them!
Even the security guards were emboldened.
But shame on the Public Art Fund,
and the Whitney
for formally interlocking with
the Pentagon --
don't they know that we still
have civilian rule in America,
or is every country in art land
Austria?

Where is the sense of loss,
the humility of Maya Lin's
Vietnam monument?
It is not here,
in Beecroft's wham bam four star blowjob.
As Picasso genuflected to the commies,
or Ezra Pound broadcast
his hateful screeds,
so Beecroft thinks her genius
justifies her slavish craving
for order --
What a joke,
and it's on you and me,
artvölk.


CHARLIE FINCH is co-author of Most Art Sucks, Five Years of Coagula (1998).