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This Chapo-themed “interactive artwork” could be the worse thing at Art Basel


This Chapo-themed “interactive artwork” could be the worse thing at Art Basel

Are you banging your head against a CRT monitor because all your cool friends are at Art Basel while you’re stuck in some shitty office overhearing Yazmin, a woman in a blue pantsuit with mousse in her hair, talk to her ex-husband about she hasn’t received this month’s child support payment? Don’t sweat it, kid. Truth is, your friends are currently surrounded by a bunch of assholes and mediocre art.

But don’t take my word for it. Take a look at El Chapo’s Revenge (Beach Better Have My Money). It’s not just a pun, but an “interactive artwork” where, after forking over $250 bucks, Art Basel attendees are given a metal detector and sent on a scavenger hunt inside a fenced off beach area. Zerek Kempf and Nathan Gwynne, the creators of El Chapo’s Revenge, allow participants to take home whatever they find, which seem to be all sorts of “prizes” (zinc-casted chicken bones, Donald Trump heads, corn cobs, etc).

But like so many half-assed hipster art projects which aim to be cynical, ironic, or political, El Chapo’s Revenge is very convoluted and underwhelming:

We were inspired by these prison break stories. Before the prison break of El Chapo there were two inmates in upstate New York that had just broken out of prison. El Chapo is a kind of almost mythic figure at this point (which) is something that we’re interested in. And the idea of a hole, I think, is one that everyone can relate to. A hole goes both ways; it’s a way to get out, but it’s also a way to get in. It allows the otherwise frivolous frolicking on the beach that happens every year at Art Basel, Miami Beach, to have a little bit of a reminder that there’s a lot of other things going on in the world.

Hopefully some of those “other things” include vaguely-worded mission statements and terrible art in supposedly innovative art fairs.

See El Chapo’s Revenge (Beach Better Have My Money), if you must, below — and lay off Yazmin! Being a single mother is incredibly difficult, you judgmental asshole.

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