james franco’s non-visible art

2 Sep

MONA: Museum of Non-visible Art, by James Franco et al

The Museum of Non-Visible Art is the latest venture from faux-renaissance man James Franco. Although, given that this news is a month old, he may already be on to something else. Hard to blame the man though; this venture is already profitable. According to Paste Magazine, a woman living in Montreal purchased a piece of Franco’s “non-visible art” for $10,000.

What exactly is this “art” they’re peddling? Not much. “Ideas,” they say, but I think that gives ideas a bad name. Here’s their pithy description:

“The Museum of Non-Visible Art is an extravaganza of imagination, a museum that reminds us that we live in two worlds: the physical world of sight and the non-visible world of thought. Composed entirely of ideas, the Non-Visible Museum redefines the concept of what is real.”

Really? Does it redefine what is real? I have my doubts, because here’s their supposedly revolutionary piece, titled “Fresh Air” (remember, what you’re about to read is the art):

“A unique piece, only this one is for sale. The air you are purchasing is like buying an endless tank of oxygen. No matter where you are, you always have the ability to take a breath of the most delicious, clean-smelling air that the earth can produce. Every breath you take gives you endless peace and health. This artwork is something to carry with you if you own it. Because wherever you are, you can imagine yourself getting the most beautiful taste of air that is from the mountain tops or fields or from the ocean side; it is an endless supply.”

Not only is this not worth $10,000, but of all the non-visible things in the world, air is the most cliche. Non-visible art could be anything. Anything. But they go with what 4th graders try to peddle as a joke.

International Oddity James Franco

If you want art that truly redefines what is real, I have someone better than Franco: Eames Demetrios. For years, Demetrios has long been creating an alternate universe called Kcymaerxthaere, which is visible only through the imagination, helped along by nearly a hundred bronze plaques that are scattered across the globe, each telling a bit of the story Demetrios has crafted by commemorating historic events that have taken place in his fantasy world. I read that one is in the upper room of a building on Main Street in Paris, Illinois.

If I had $10,000, I might tour Kcymaerxthaere. Visit each one of the plaques. Learn about the history of this world that exists all around me but on another plane. This endeavor would actually engage my imagination (whereas pretending I have clean air to breathe is quite underwhelming) and provide real experience as well—I can’t imagine how many new things in this world I would see in trying to locate the historical markers of the other.

But since I don’t have ten grand, perhaps I’ll just see about driving down to Paris, IL, and purchase some non-visible art for the price of a tank of gas and a package of beef jerky.

A Kcymaerxthaere historical marker

"Buttonwillow Bivouac"

"The Crossroads of Kcymaerxthaere"

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