You Don’t Win Friends With Salad ?


PREFACE: I accidentally stumbled upon a panel discussion featuring (among others) rock star celebrity curator Hans Ulrich Obrist at the 2013 Venice Biennale. I would not find out until later that Ulrich is a big deal and I should cower in fear and intimidation in his presence, but that’s a different story. Anyway, at one point, someone asked Ulrich about the future of art and Ulrich answered with a quote from architect Rem Koolhaas who has said, “The future is the countryside,” and then Ulrich went on to talk about the trend of artists moving to the country to start organic farms.


THE MEAT OF THE MATTER: I went to an artist town hall last night. It was maybe meant more for “entry level” (?) visual artists than people who write about art, so I spent my brief time there snickering with a colleague in the back row peanut gallery. (FWIW, I hope that the town hall was useful to the people it was meant for, and I’m glad that it happened.)

So, for me, the best part was the salad I scored from local artist Alex Thu. Alex put in some time earlier that very day harvesting various and assorted greens at the Last Organic Outpost local urban farm. We whispered our hellos in the back row.

“You want salad?” Alex asked. “I got mustard, I got spinach, I got kale, I got collards…”

I was sold. I was hungry and I am on a health kick and the window to grow local greens is closing fast.

“You got any mixed,” I asked, “with a little bit of everything?”

“Oh yeah,” he said, “I got the mixed bag, too.”

I turned to my colleague, a very health-conscious, buff and ripped man, and said, “You want in on some of this salad, man?”

He had to ask, “Are you guys talking about actual salad or is this some kind of code?” then later explained to me that in the film The Boys in the Band, “having a salad” is code for, well, green stuff that might be consumed out of a bowl.

(In my slang, “salad” is slang for a MIX of green stuff, different varieties of “greens” mixed up together, if you will.)

I had not ever seen or even heard of The Boys in the Band prior to that, but today he sent me a clip and I can’t wait to watch it, can’t wait!

So, Homer and Bart might not have been as right as they thought — maybe you can indeed win not just friends but even art world accolades with salad, and if you toss their salad while you’re at it, well…

Anyway, remember back when “salad” meant something nefarious and possibly dangerous? It’s no wonder Dave Hickey quit the art world.