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Best of the Aughts: The 11 Best Headlines for a Delusional Decade

We were recently deleting our hard drives from the aughts in an effort to upload everything into the cloud and we found these gems among the files. We almost forgot these things happened … oh wait, did they? Who fuckin’ remembers.

We barely entered the teens & one of the best Obama murals in New York, painted by Juse One, was bombed by a shitty graffiti writer. (photo by Jeremy Sapienza, BushwickBk)

President Obama enacted unprecedented measures to increase arts funding by 1,000 % to stimulate the economy. University art and humanities departments now offer full scholarships to students, and their faculty is paid equal to the faculty of the MBA programs. “Art, ” Obama said in a press conference last spring, “is not a luxury or a mere commodity. It is essential to the fabric of our democracy. The future of our nation depends on developing creativity and free expression.” The White House named an Artists, Critics, and Curators Corps chosen from qualified applicants across the nation, each of which launched unions to guarantee health benefits and legal protection. Several comprehensive education and arts-oriented green building initiatives launched in summer 2009, providing employment to approximately 250,000 artists.

An episode of The Simpsons (Season 16, Episode 14) was devoted to Frank Gehry. His concert hall for Springfield was later turned into a prison. (via blog.davidteoh.com)

Frank Gehry admits that he never intended for art to hang in the museums he designs. “My work is the fuckin’ art, I’m a starchitect,” he told a Russian reporter at a yacht party off the Tunisian coast. His next museum in Odessa is slated to only be a shell made of titanium. It will be called the Odessa Contemporary Art Museum and is expected to bring in over $500 million annually to the Black Sea city in the form of tourism and the rights to reproduce photographs of the structure in publications around the world.

Major Patrons and Collectors Declare NO MORE BENEFIT GALAS! As patron and socialite Blaire Vanderbilt explains “We don’t need struggling arts institutions to spend thousands of dollars putting on parties for us. We have had all the champagne and finger foods we will ever need. They should save that money to pay their staff.” Institutions across the country, from Art in General to the Seattle Art Museum, applauded this brave decision and heaved a collective sigh of relief. This announcement was prompted, some believe, after the director of a small non-profit arts space in Lower Manhattan was hospitalized last month repeatedly screaming the words “please give! won’t you please support us! we ordered 450 canapes….450 canapes!!” after her $8,000 benefit, “A Night in the Avant-Garden,” failed to break even.

Roni Horn made headlines when she ditched Iceland for SoCal's super wealthy pooches -- left: Roni Horn, "Man at hot spring, Strútur, Iceland" (1990) via Tate.org.uk; right: still from Beverly Hills Chihuahua.

Roni Horn left Iceland, vowing never to return. “It got boring—all that frickin’ landscape,” the artist said, adding, “And so did minimalist forms and Emily Dickinson. I mean, ew!” Horn was last seen in Los Angeles, where she’s producing a reality TV show about the favorite chew toys of the small dogs owned by wealthy housewives in San Diego.

According to the New York coroner’s office, irony was pronounced dead at 3:45 pm on September 12, 2001. However, taking cues from countless episodes of General Hospital, it was miraculously resurrected a year later (sporting a face-lift) and continues to party hard. It can be found pounding shots near paintings, artworks about the failure of modernist ideals, abstract or political art, and abject Photoshop collages of celebrity culture.

The New Museum embraces Christianity as its official religion with the announcement of its “Younger Than Jesus” show. As this once cutting-edge museum bulks up to play with the big boys, it can be assured that Jesus Christ is on its side. Earlier attempts to convert to Buddhism (“More Om Than Buddha”) and Islam (“Mohammad’s Wives: A Feminist Perspective”) failed to muster excitement with the New Museum’s Board of Trustees.

Artforum‘s editor was outed at a panel on art criticism in Houston, TX, when he was unable to answer an audience member’s question about a recent article run in his own magazine. His answer to a question about a 2007 feature article on theorist Jacques Ranciere was: “Come now, I don’t read the articles. Nobody does. Everyone knows the magazine is just for the ads!” The audience was initially flustered, but soon shrugged and agreed, launching into a series of livelier follow-up questions about the advertisements in the magazine, which the editor answered with expertise.

Ron Jonescyk, an artist laboring in obscurity was shuttled to fame when a MoMA curator passed by his apartment on her way to her grandmother’s house. She noticed his remarkable sculpture through the window and went and knocked on the door. Despite the fact that Jones has no connections, no degrees, no representation, and has never sold a thing, he was granted a major solo show based solely on the merit of his work.

Keith Arnatt, "Trouser-Word Piece" (1972)

An unnamed source leaked a Secret Instruction Manual for Conceptual Art that had been quietly circulating around the circuit of biennial-friendly artists. With such valuable  top-secret methods as “1) grab a colorless piece of junk from the sidewalk. 2) write a statement about an obscure socio-political issue or reference a little-known figure from leftist or avant-garde history. 3) change your name and location to something exotic, specially if you’re Western European. 4) wait for the invitations to roll in,” this expose caused a furor from curators and artists alike who swore they had never seen the manual. But an in-depth investigation revealed the manual in the possession of at least 200 globe-trotting artists and 58 curators, as well as in the curriculum of a dozen prestigious graduate programs and residencies.

Damien Hirst admits his painting show at the Wallace Collection was a joke. “I couldn’t believe they went for it,” he said at a press conference in Glasgow, Scotland. In another shocking revelation, Hirst admitted that he is the real person behind Banksy and none of what he did was ironic. “I really don’t believe in Global Warming and I think drawing on homes in West Africa was funny, since I had to swing by to pick up more diamonds for my next art piece.”

YOU became wildly famous for about 3 months in 2000 but what with all the 24 hour news cycles, emails to respond to, A.D.D., and creeping cultural amnesia, you forgot.

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