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Film Prank Questions The Values Of The Academic Art World [Video]

A practical joke offers a critique on the importance of grading, by submitting a famed artists work to see if it passed.

Daniela Walker
Daniela Walker on December 2, 2013. @emptyofpocket

How important is it for an artist’s name to be attached to their piece of work? How important is an art school education? Does million dollar work get you into art academies?  These are some of the questions a pair of anonymous filmmakers tried to answer when they decided replicate famed Russian painter Kazimir Malevich’s work and to see if it would get them accepted into art school.

Malevich was rejected twice from academies but went on to become a leader in geometric abstract art and a founding father of the avant-garde Suprematist movement. In the video below, the film-makers attended interviews at art schools under the name  Michael Mikrivaz, an anagram of the Russian artist’s name, with hand-copied replicas of his work to see if it passes the scrutiny of art academy admissions officers today.

The answer? It does not. The filmmakers, like Malevich, were rejected for having work that was considered nascent and in the ‘early stages’. Malevich’s work now sells for millions of dollars (he set a record for Russian artists when a work of his sold for $60 million at Sotheby’s in 2008), so it is curious that nobody recognized it. At least one admissions officer realized it was Suprematist.

So when it comes to the question what is more important – the art or the artist – it seems we have our answer.

Watch the investigative video below:

Michael Mikrivaz

Source: Animal New York

Images: WebMuseum Paris

TOPICS: Arts & Culture
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Daniela Walker is a regular contributor to PSFK. She is also a freelance writer and avid believer that a square (or two) of dark chocolate a day truly does keep the doctor away.

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