The Darwin Awards
While the old photograph of a child with fangs titled Dracula is an easy answer, Ready to Wear, a disheveled wig with balloons for ears and a face of crumpled tissue is not quite as obvious— is it still flu season somewhere?
Each artwork offers a strong statement which seesaws on the spectrum between playful and seriously perturbing— but here, at Bruce High Quality Foundation, the art isn’t the only enigmatic element. The foundation itself, as you will soon find out, is something of an illusive mystery.
What is the Bruce High Quality Foundation?
BHQF is a novel written in the expanded field of interviews, press releases and art reviews. Bruce is our hapless hero, who like Quixote, lives in a universe of his own making, which bears an ironic resemblance to the art world.
This moniker reminds me of the narrator’s struggle to define “quality” in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. How do you define “high quality?”
When Bruce first spoke, it was through a Macintosh text to speech program, which at the time gave two options: regular Bruce, and Bruce, high quality. The distinction referred to the resolution of the audio file, but we took it to be a self-aggrandizing moniker, like Ivan the Terrible or Alexander the Great, with the ironic edge of “High Quality, Low Prices.”
Would you marry, fuck, or kill your art? Would your art marry, fuck or kill you?
Being fundamentally opposed to anthropomorphism, suffice it to say our art is not anyone’s friend.
Talk to me about the Armory Show.
Our project is a cataloging if every possible, or impossible, way to die. It is made up of collectively-made collages using magazines, newspapers, balloons, spray foam, one chicken foot and various other materials. While a long way from complete, considering the indispensability of this work to anyone who will die someday, we felt obliged to display the first group at the earliest opportunity. They’re right past the metal detectors. Can’t miss ‘em.
One of your goals is to explode the self-importance of art history. What is the most self-important art? What moment from art history do you connect with the most?
One of our goals is to resurrect art history from the bowels of despair. This has less to do with the discipline’s self-importance than it’s self-loathing. We think art history is the most important history precisely because it has so little to do with the self or ego and everything to do with the externalization of human desire. A true art history is not an illustrated guide to socio-political history. It doesn’t have moments, it has shapes in time. A Chinese scholar’s rock is a condition of the present. The past is literature.
How do you bring down the system when you’re apart of the system? (If successful, what do you replace it with?)
In martial arts it is not the stronger opponent, but the one capable of redirecting their opponent’s force against them, that will emerge victorious. Not at all relevant to what we’re up to, but interesting nonetheless.
How do you decorate your house?
Bruce does not invest in real estate.
If you were a Muppet, which one would you be?