At artnet Charlie Finch beats down Dave Hickey, whose recent SVA lecture, “The Good Ennui,” has been circulated online via the James Kalm Report. (SVA has asked that the video be removed, so click over and watch it now, just in case.) “Watching a video of another ridiculous lecture by Dave Hickey at SVA, one is not surprised to see that the bulbous phony is still up to his old tricks. Hickey is a guy who tickles his audience with hoary signifiers, constantly preens his own self-regard and takes an obvious theme, that is also false, and gently beats it to death.
“In his current dispensation, he begins by making a joke about not turning off his iPod during the lecture so he can listen to T-Rex. Well, people just love to cite Mark Bolan’s band as a lost reservoir of genius, and Hickey’s audience giggles in recognition. A less pretentious sophisticate might have referenced Nazz or the Flamin’ Groovies. Then Hick the Dick compares his hair to Einstein and refers to the with-it philosophe Peter Lanborn Wilson by his nickname ‘Tim’ and wonders if people are happier in Bhutan ‘when Uma Thurman’s father is there.’
“This is not insight. This is the same kind of vulgar vanity by association that one gets when opening the current issue of W to see a number of good contemporary artworks being debased by an Inez van Lamsweerde fashion shoot. Must the art world constantly be advertising its general lack of curiosity by slumming to the dumbest and most obvious signifiers in the wider culture? Dave Hickey is most comfortable with that status quo because he has fashioned a career out of his own intellectual laziness interfacing with the naiveté of his student audiences…” Read more.