"Bas Jan Ader"
I dropped by to see the latest instalment of “the Bas Jan Ader project” but wasn’t too impressed and I reckon personally that the joke has worn a bit thin now. More of the same faux-conceptual art documents, antique-looking films and fabricated nostalgia. This was fun when it started a few years ago, but no one really believes it now, surely? The picturesque death at sea of the artist ties in too closely with the artwork and doesn’t leave enough loose ends for my tastes. Plus, now everyone knows who’s really behind it all, and it’s turned into the art world in-joke that no one wants to deflate.
As with so many artists who fabricate personas to keep their work at arm’s length, what was originally a puppet has been successful and outgrown the “real” practice of the person behind it (see Bob & Roberta Smith for instance). Does this matter? I suppose not. But let’s put a stop to “Bas Jan Ader” after this exhibition at least.