UPDATE: Prada Marfa Vandal Speaks Out

by Lucia Simek March 12, 2014

Scenes of the Prada Marfa vandalism (via Hyperallergic).

The personality behind the latest Prada Marfa vandalization is not pleased with the response his efforts of destruction on Elmgreen and Dragset’s 2005 faux storefront have received. “I wish that it was analyzed and investigated as an installation it was,” 9271977 told the Big Bend Sentinel yesterday via text message. “Everything was hand selected, painted, built, researched. The quotes were powerful. The questioning of TOMS and the state of America was powerful.”

Majorly irksome to the “ïnstallation  artist” is the fact that a band of locals and tourists stopped to clean up the handiwork of 9271977: “And it’s a bit unfortunate the locals took it down so quickly. I hope the installation wasn’t destroyed. If so, such is life… It kinda proves the message.”

The message, if one can decode it, was printed on a pamphlet that was strewn about the hot-mess that 9271977 installed. It reads, in part:

TOMS Marfa will bring greater inspiration to consumer Americans to give all they have to developing nations that suffer disease starvation and corruption … So long as you buy TOMS shoes, and endorse Jesus Christ as your savior, welcoming the ‘white’ him into your heart. So help you God, otherwise your damned to hell … Welcome to your Apocalypse?

9271977’s criticisms of Prada Marfa itself are thus: “The irony of Prada Marfa, it’s fake. Prada Marfa has no representation of Texas and Southwest North America. Prada Marfa is a relic of a Bourgeois not so distant past; serving today’s hyper reality of a blank canvas.”

To throw him a bone, here’s a quick analysis of “TOMS Marfa”:

Prada Marfa‘s fakeness creates a “hyper-reality” that, when smattered with consumeristic detritus and desecrated Christian texts, should teach bourgeois society to care about people who suffer in developing nations and represent Texas and Southwest North America in a better way. If the logic follows, Texas and Southwest North America are developing nations in need of concern, as they have been colonized by Christians and hipster shoes.


“It is crazy that we have come to a point in our culture where some individuals in their insane egomania, eager to obtain a bit of attention, start attacking other artists’ works,” wrote Elmgreen and Dragset. “To believe that you can fight something like social inequality by overpainting a sculptural work in the Texan dessert with toxic blue paint is pretty off the target.”



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DrtyThrd March 12, 2014 - 11:07

Poor thing!

Terry Mahaffey March 13, 2014 - 10:41

Vandalism is not art. Taggers are not muralists. Attaching a manifesto to these behaviors does not elevate their acts to “art installation.” If the vandals aim was to “make the world a better place” (their words), they have failed, and have instead created a mess that others must now clean up. They (ironically?) impugn society for its “narcissism” and “unethical hedonism.” To this I say: physician, heal thyself.


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