In mid-December, the district of Gangnam in Seoul will unveil a large bronze sculpture depicting the overlapping fists that are part of the “Gangnam Style” video’s iconic horse-riding dance.
Every year, the Village Voice holds an annual poll, inviting nearly every critic in the biz to vote on the best albums and singles of the given year. Because of its size, it’s generally the best way to measure yearly progress in pop music: the numbers actually mean something. The thing is huge; 493 critics voted in 2012. Although there’s less change than I would have liked, there’s been definite progress since last year. The 2011 Pazz & Jop albums chart contained only one major album, a collaboration between two artists who have both done better work elsewhere. The singles chart alternated between arty album tracks and crass pop-rap rampages beloved by opportunists always on the lookout for new ways to one-up their colleagues. What made it onto Pazz & Jop last year was not what people really loved, but what they didn’t hate, the result of a standoff between the ideologically opposed magazines Rolling Stone and Pitchfork – the winners were the albums mediocre enough to survive. Rather than a consensus, I thought, we had a lack of consensus.
I think it’s happened: I’ve hit my Gangnam Style limit with this new video by Anish Kapoor and his cohorts in museums and galleries (not to mention random offices and people) around the world.
The Museum of Modern Art posted this pretty fantastic photo on its Facebook page today — a shot of museum staff going Gangnam Style in support of Chinese artist Ai Weiwei. If you’re confused about why a New York museum would support a Chinese artist by dancing to a mega-popular song by South Korean rapper PSY, a little background.