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I'm Braying for Assistance: Help Me Rename This TV Donkey
January 30, 2012  | By David Bianculli
 
Callelan-exhibit.jpg

Hanging art in a museum is nothing unusual, but the way New York's Guggenheim Museum hung the collected works of Maurizio Cattelan for a recent exhibit certainly qualified as odd.

All of his pieces, in a display appropriately titled All, were hung from the ceiling of the museum's seven-story rotunda.

There were 128 pieces in all -- or, if you like, in All. And out of all those weird works -- the pope hit by a meteorite, the chess set pitting good vs. evil, the tiny elevators -- one of them spoke to me the most.

It was a stuffed donkey, with an old TV set tied to its saddle.

Perhaps, for a television critic burdened with too much to do and see, it's the perfect metaphor.

Yes, I realize, that makes me an ass. And also means I'm a beast of burden of my own choosing. And so on.

I get it.

beast-of-TV-burden.jpg

But what I don't get is the title Cattalan gave to this particular 1998 piece -- a media commentary whose own working media, as a work of art, are taxidermied donkey, television, rope, saddle, and blanket. (Budding artists and media critics, don't try this at home.)

The title of the work, according to the exhibition booklet, is:

If a Tree Falls in the Forest and There Is No One Around It, Does It Make a Sound?

Great piece of art. Lousy title.

So what should it be called?

For starters, how about:

Mule Never Get Rich.

Dumb Beast, Smart TV.

TV Worth Carrying.

Okay, so those aren't great titles, either. Some, I admit, may even be ass-inine.

I presume you could do better. So go ahead and try . . .

6 Comments

 

Stewart said:

Given the addictive nature of the medium, how about "Drug Mule"?

Comment posted on January 30, 2012 1:04 PM


Julie said:

Farnworth's Frances?

Comment posted on January 30, 2012 1:10 PM


Jim said:

How about "Too much TV on ass"?

[This one gives me an idea: "T&A," which would be short for "TV & Ass." Nice one. - DB]

Comment posted on January 30, 2012 1:26 PM


Eileen said:

From one of your "older" readers:

Edward R. Burrow

[Eileen, you were the first reader to send this in -- and I'm ashamed I didn't come up with it. BRILLIANT BRILLIANT BRILLIANT! And I'm not even sure it needs the final 'w.' - DB]

Comment posted on January 30, 2012 2:18 PM


Talbert said:

Edward R. Burro.
Donkey Hokey.
Muled Whine.
Hee Haw.
Bray d'Bunch.

[Oh, these are juicy. Gotta give you credit for the Edward R. Burro, which I missed and others got, too. And Bray d'Bunch made me hee-haw out loud. - DB]

Comment posted on January 30, 2012 2:45 PM


Stewart said:

Edward R Burro

[You, too, sent this independently, Stewart. For missing this one, I feel like a real ass. Good work! - DB]

Comment posted on January 30, 2012 9:49 PM
 
 
 
 
 
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