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film criticism by maryann johanson | since 1997

Art Show Down (review)

Here’s a curious new use for DVD: pile on some episodes of a proposed TV series, release it into the wild, and see who bites. Here we have seven pilot episodes of an art-themed game show — a project of the Cambridge, Massachusetts, experimental gallery Art Interactive — in which contestants try to guess what prices actual works of art sold for at auction, attempt to schmooze a “gallery owner” while quaffing wine and cheese, battle other contestants with helmet-mounted paintbrushes, and more. The goofy attitude and quick play is momentarily diverting, but the implied satire on the contemporary art market and artist subculture is one-dimensional, at best. This is “art” commentary only for the most unenlightened of the masses, not for anyone with a serious interest in or understanding of the modern art scene. Extras include fake commercials (like one for “tofu” made from meat, for the carnivorous companions of sensitive vegetarians), a gallery of the show’s original music, and more. [buy at Amazon]

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MPAA: not rated

viewed at home on a small screen

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