Against Sincerity
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Drawing by Mieczysław Wasilewski
Good Mood

Against Sincerity

The Limits of Authenticity
Agata Sikora
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time 6 minutes

Agata Sikora writes frankly about the shortcomings of authenticity and the advantages of artificial smiles.

These are strange times: those who built the systems pretend to be their vanquishers; sexists claim to be feminists; heiresses of fortunes pose as self-made women; and immature perpetrators of violence are presented as distinguished actors who are simply impersonating abominable characters. In reference to the initiation of Kevin Spacey’s trial, Tomasz Stawiszyński wrote recently that we are living in a “culture of appearances” which “favours facades and rewards those […] who thrive at this specific social game that relies on making an impression.” Popular opinion often blames television and social media for this situation, for creating a ubiquitous vanity fair, a dog-eat-dog world of images, profiles and ‘likes’.

But when was this myth

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Are Art People Worse Than Hired Killers?

Reflections on “Velvet Buzzsaw”
Stach Szabłowski

“Why don’t we like people who make contemporary art?” I asked myself while watching Velvet Buzzsaw, a horror movie about the art world. In the film, vengeful artworks murder, disembowel and decapitate people from this milieu. Blood flows from curators and aspiring artists, from authoritative critics and influential gallery owners, and even their ambitious assistants. Do we show any mercy? No, for the inhabitants of the art world there is no mercy. The viewer watches the slaughter of this pretentious company with a vicious satisfaction. Even I – though as a critic and curator I would make a perfect target – caught myself failing to feel sympathy for my colleagues (albeit fictional ones).

Velvet Buzzsaw was called to my attention by Agata Pyzik, an intellectual, writer and commentator; an exceptionally incisive person. You can scare yourself to death much better with other horror films, but you won’t see the art world portrayed anywhere else. Films on this subject are rare birds. By the way, it’s intriguing, or actually typical, that when one of these birds flies onto the screen, it’s only to circle over a battlefield littered with the corpses of art people, killed off by malicious scriptwriters.

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