Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A new kind of "aristocratic" endogamy?

I threw up in my mouth a little when I saw the report (link below), which has been the talk of Spanish cotilleo chat shows and newspapers, blogs, and twitter. The yellow press and gossip television shows claim that ALLEGEDLY the Baroness' son donated let us say genetic material to make the twins, and according to the lurid reports, also his sisters, possible.

I cannot fathom that someone would A. think of such a scheme B. actually carry it out and/or C. invent it and then claim it as the truth!!!! But Spain is Different! I bet Pedro Almodovar and telenovela writers all over Latin America are kicking themselves thinking: I wish I had thought of that plot line!

The Baroness Thyssen, heir to her late husband's fabulous art collection, patron of the arts, and thanks to whose generosity we have the Thyssen museum in Madrid (at least for the time being), suddenly presented to the world via HOLA! (naturally) two identical twin girls with names appropriate for a Venezuelan soap opera, Guadalupe and Sabina. As soon as people saw them, they commented on the remarkable resemblance to their brother Borja, love child of the Baroness and an ex boyfriend but adopted by the elderly Baron. Why the siblings cannot resemble each other since they theoretically have the same mother is ruled out by the fact that she must be at least into her sixties. (hard to know, the former Catalan beauty queen has had a lot of work done and aspects of her early life are debated)

In any event, the mother and formerly pampered only son had a terrible falling out punctuated by her demand that her grandson take not one but four paternity tests to prove her daughter-in-law was not cheating, and by her accusations that the two broke into her mansion to steal documents related to her finances after Borja sued her for control of a Goya painting and his share of the inheritance. This dispute included the release of security camera video (aired on television), allegedly by the Baroness' camp, that claimed to show the son and wife entering and departing her Madrid home carrying out documents and computers in the dead of night.

Again, this seems like something out of a telenovela or a James Bond movie but it happened!

I particularly love this absolutely gruesome and revolting story because it fuses several of my keen interests: Spanish gossip, dissolute aristocrats, and the art world!

Jeffrey Deitch auditions for Jersey Shore?

I have been relentlessly grim (again) lately, focusing on politics and frankly it is hard to sit around trying to
be funny in this blog when all I can think about is the strike at UPR or about people digging up mass graves
in Spain and Judge Garzon being removed from his post. But when I saw this news on twitter, it both
amused me, and made me look forward to the next time I teach about museum and art market ethics.
The video above apparently was shot when an unfortunate gallery visitor was jostled and fell into Deitch
at the apparently quite crowded May Day opening. Deitch popped off although in the image I don't see
any harm and his strawberry colored suit looks pristine. In any case, it is one of those real real artworld
moments that reminds me of "real" moments in reality TV such as the constant outbursts on Jersey Shore
or Real Housewives of NY.

On a serious note, here is the on-point blog post by Culure Grrrl discussing various ethical questions
emerging in response to Deitch's recent activities and planned exhibitions at MoCA.