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Patrick Mimran
December 17, 2004 9:00 PM   Subscribe

The Patrick Mimran Billboard Project, an eyesore to New York City inhabitants for the past few years, has imposed the French "artist's" lame, clichéd grievances about the art industry onto anyone driving or walking down W24th, 25th, or 26th Street in Chelsea. It's an infestation. Now, happily, some New Yorkers who have tired of M. Mimran's pretentious sloganeering have decided to fight back. Hurrah!
posted by jeremy b (43 comments total)

 
how dare patrick mimran speak in disparaging tones about the art world! I'm glad someone did something about it!
posted by buddhanarchist at 9:20 PM on December 17, 2004


Live by the billboard, die by the billboard. It's a fair cop.
posted by Sidhedevil at 9:21 PM on December 17, 2004


The only people I hate worse than art dealers are self-important artists who love to lecture the rest of the world about how terrible art dealers are.
posted by Sidhedevil at 9:21 PM on December 17, 2004


I for one am certainly glad to see New Yorkers, tired of seeing Patrick Mimran's pretentious sloganeering, hit back with their own pretentious sloganeering.
posted by JenSpiral at 9:26 PM on December 17, 2004


Those billboards would normally have something posted on them either way, so what's the problem?
posted by grimcity at 9:30 PM on December 17, 2004


I for one am certainly glad to see New Yorkers, tired of seeing Patrick Mimran's pretentious sloganeering, hit back with their own pretentious sloganeering.


What's pretentious about a middle finger?
posted by jeremy b at 9:30 PM on December 17, 2004


Those billboards would normally have something posted on them either way, so what's the problem?

Last month, Patrick Mimran's 26th st. board instead displayed an ad for The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie. That was a good month.
posted by jeremy b at 9:33 PM on December 17, 2004


What's pretentious about a middle finger?

Good point. "Lame and clichéd" would be more appropriate.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 9:35 PM on December 17, 2004


"What's pretentious about a middle finger?"
You're right jeremy b: there's nothing pretentious about Mimram's middle finger.
posted by buddhanarchist at 9:36 PM on December 17, 2004


This is probably very bad news for Jenny Holzer.

This project is sort of the real-life version of a website with people holding up handwritten cardboard signs apologizing and not apologizing and not accepting apologies.
posted by fandango_matt at 9:42 PM on December 17, 2004


Brilliant.

I really like the idea of having *incredibly* public conversations. I can just imagine a couple "whispering sweet nothings" via billboards.
posted by Netzapper at 9:44 PM on December 17, 2004


jeremy b, what I mean is, what makes these billboards any worse than anything else you'd normally see up there? What makes this worse than seeing a dozen Coca Cola ads during your commute? I just don't understand the frustration.
posted by grimcity at 9:48 PM on December 17, 2004


grimcity: The difference is that we're used to seeing Coke ads on billboards. We've accepted that as a valid message to be transmitted over that channel.

As such, when somebody appropriates this channel for a different sort of message, it screws up our worldview. We're forced to reevaluate our preconceived notions of what should be where. This can be an uncomfortable process--of course, for most people, it never becomes a conscious process, and only acclimitization will help them get over it.
posted by Netzapper at 9:53 PM on December 17, 2004


what makes these billboards any worse than anything else you'd normally see up there?

Coca-Cola billboards have pictures of yummy-looking bubbly soda that make me feel warm and tingly with the knowledge our God-given American Capitalism Machine is relentlessly chugging away like the broomsticks in Fantasia. Patrick Mimran's billboards are just pithy and pretentious truisms about Patrick Mimran.
posted by fandango_matt at 10:00 PM on December 17, 2004


grimcity:

Netzapper has some good points. But also, the big-black-text-against-plain-white presentation is blaring--it demands attention. There's something almost cautionary about it, as if it were alerting its reader to some grave threat. I think that's why despite the fact that I drive past one of these billboards nearly every day, I find myself involuntarily rereading it each time, despite my better judgment.
posted by jeremy b at 10:08 PM on December 17, 2004


so the problem is that Mimran makes use of standard graphic communication techniques-- on a billboard?
posted by buddhanarchist at 10:13 PM on December 17, 2004


Actually, the problem is Mimran's writing is atrocius, and his statements are stupid. Mimran's billboards are like crappy FPPs--they take up space and offer nothing in return. My irritation lies mostly in the attention being given to such an utter lack of talent.
posted by fandango_matt at 10:23 PM on December 17, 2004


My irritation lies mostly in the attention being given to such an utter lack of talent.

Like right now?
posted by dreish at 10:26 PM on December 17, 2004


My irritation lies mostly in the attention being given to such an utter lack of talent.

I couldn't agree with you more.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 10:31 PM on December 17, 2004


As such, when somebody appropriates this channel for a different sort of message, it screws up our worldview. We're forced to reevaluate our preconceived notions of what should be where.

Reminds me of the first time I saw an advertisement for a real product in a video game.

Next: Coca Cola logo beamed onto the moon!
posted by wrongbutton at 10:44 PM on December 17, 2004


Saddest part is, he's paying for that attention. An artist who apparently can't get any legitimate exposure actually uses NYC billboards as his canvas and pays dearly for the right to do so. He's a dipwad.
posted by jeremy b at 10:48 PM on December 17, 2004


Next: Coca Cola logo beamed onto the moon!


I had a dream the other night that the Moon had a Nike Swoosh emblazoned onto it. Weird!
posted by jeremy b at 10:49 PM on December 17, 2004


Actually, the problem is Mimran's writing is atrocius, and his statements are stupid.

Vapid and obnoxious, even. Using the ridiculously pompous and one-way strategy of a billboard to start a conversation about art just begs for a snide response. I'd sure be looking for ways to respond if crap like that showed up in my neighborhood.

So is that image on the Project:Douchebag homepage Photoshopped or real? It's funnier if it's real.
posted by mediareport at 11:14 PM on December 17, 2004


This is more of the crap I hate. My father has been painting for over 50 years. In my lifetime I've heard him refer to himself as an artist 3 times. He acts like it's any other vocation. He's inscrutable, yes; a scholar, yes; but a pretentious piece of shit, no; and all that aside he has work in the Met, MoMA, Victoria and Albert and a host of other places.

Maybe this qualifies as a "these kids today" post.
posted by Captaintripps at 11:55 PM on December 17, 2004


Mimran is a troll. Why are they feeding the troll?
posted by tomharpel at 12:45 AM on December 18, 2004


I have never heard of the guy until this evening. Unfortunately now, because of his billboards, I am aware he exists. His other work is somewhat interesting but the billboard thing certainly makes him come off as a grouchy neighbor.
posted by wuchoogundonow at 1:22 AM on December 18, 2004


It would be funnier - and perhaps paradoxically, more clever - if the anti-Mimran billboards were more silly, dumb, and fun. Perhaps aggressively nonsensical. But keep it in the same font and style, so people just think he's going insane.

AMERICA: WHY ARE ARE YOU LOBSTER?
STOP SINGING.
PAAAAAAAAF!


Well, I'd laugh. We'd probably all be better off if there was a Perry Bible Fellowship cartoon on there instead.
posted by Sticherbeast at 1:44 AM on December 18, 2004


Sticherbeast, I like the way you think. The AMERICA: WHY ARE ARE YOU LOBSTER? is worth taking up a collection.
posted by taz at 2:02 AM on December 18, 2004


The idea of the Coke logo on the Moon brings to mind "The Man Who Sold the Moon" by Robert Heinlein, who wrote of the idea of using the Moon for a billboard for a popular soft drink... in 1950.

Would so many people be as disgusted with these billboards if they agreed with the message? Or perhaps it is the irony of his "patronizing" tone in light of the message.
posted by Enron Hubbard at 2:14 AM on December 18, 2004


I'd rather have some possibly moronic, pretentious artist put up marginally lame billboards than all the other mind-fuck advertising up there. But that's just me. I just wish his billboards were more interesting, but I'm all for private citizens adveritising funny/nonsensical stuff on billboards, even if it's--gasp--black text on a white background.

Those are pretty lame though.
posted by The God Complex at 5:00 AM on December 18, 2004


Jenny Holzer does this muuuuuch better, i.e. with actual thought involved. My favorite of hers, which I refer to more and more as the years go by, is:

The future is stupid.
posted by intermod at 7:40 AM on December 18, 2004


Bout time somebody talked back to this pretentious schnook. My best freind used to live in that neighborhood and I see those snarky little epigams overhead. I always hoped a crew of taggers would get to 'em. Ordinary advertising we can all filter out. But this just reeks of some self-proclaimed genius tossing his little nuggets of wisdom to the unlightened rabble. Not to mention, if he can pay for these billboards, he has too much fuckin' money.
posted by jonmc at 1:00 PM on December 18, 2004



posted by fandango_matt at 1:52 PM on December 18, 2004


I ::heart:: fandango_matt
posted by jonmc at 1:55 PM on December 18, 2004


Download this layered Photoshop file and make your own Mimranist billboard!

You'll need Photoshop, Helvetica Black or Arial Bold, and lots of pretentiousness and condescension.
posted by fandango_matt at 2:26 PM on December 18, 2004


Ah, Jon, he'll lure you in with his pretty posts and then break your heart.
posted by astruc at 2:47 PM on December 18, 2004


America: Why are are you lobster? PAAAAAAAAF!
posted by Sticherbeast at 2:55 PM on December 18, 2004


Yes, astruc, but we'll always have Paris, or at least the Bronx.
posted by jonmc at 2:58 PM on December 18, 2004


Is that arial on those billboards?
Felix Gonzales-Torres' billboard images (5th one over) of empty beds were a much better use of New York billboards in my opion.
posted by mike_bling at 6:31 PM on December 18, 2004


Never underestimate the power of bad art. Truly bad art is wonderful ( i.e. early John Waters, Martin Kippenberger paintings... ) Unfortunately, these billboards aren't bad enough... just annoying and sad.... oh to fail at failure.
posted by R. Mutt at 10:25 AM on December 19, 2004


R. Mutt, well worth $5.
posted by Sidhedevil at 10:43 AM on December 19, 2004


I think, if Mimran's idea was to expose the art world's shallowness, David Bowie and William Boyd made a much better try at it a few years back.
posted by Skeptic at 4:14 PM on December 19, 2004


indeed Sidhedevil, .... lets have tea.
posted by R. Mutt at 7:42 PM on December 22, 2004


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