Sunday, December 13, 2009

Who is Landron?

When conceptual artist Paul Reubens encountered legal problems in a fine arts cinema in Florida in the early 1990s, he immediately called fellow conceptual artist Landron from his bail bondsman's office.

"What film was showing when you were arrested," Landron inquired.

"The Sorrow and the Pity," Reubens replied.

Landron suggested that Reubens call Doris Duke. Duke funded Landron's 1987 exhibition The De-Monetization of Money on Wall Street at the time of that year's stock market crash and the premier of Oliver Stones movie of the same name. Landron projected images of bank notes from more than 80 countries on the Morgan Stanley, Smith Barney and other financial institutions' buildings. At midnight, 300,000 Deutsche Marks were dropped from the top of the stock exchange as thousands of people grabbed for them while Polaroids and 80-pound SONY mini-camcorders captured the insanity. Many of the photos were published the next day in the New York Post with the names and home addresses of those grabbing the bank notes.

Landron said that he did not object to people having access to the monetary value of these notes, but he was appalled that there was no mention of the portraits of the people on the bank notes. Landron felt that it was especially important to acknowledge that while US bills show images of monuments and dead presidents, German currency presents the likenesses of authors, scientists and musicians. The fact that the 1000 Deutsche Mark shows the Brothers Grimm is a testament to the fable of money itself.

The entire exhibition cost around $30 million, and Doris Duke invested $55 million. When her foundation called and suggested that an audit might be in order, Landron said that this was a mere nihilistic capitalist construct and slammed down the receiver. Doris called him the next day, apologized and flew him to her retreat. They had cocktails and bree on her veranda.

After Landron had given Reubens Doris' private number, he asked, "When I call, should I say that I am Pee Wee Herman or Paul Reubens?"

Outraged, Landron shot back, "If you have to ask that, you don't know Doris."

The next day, Reubens arrived at Doris' mansion with a great, private reception and kisses. Which name did he use? As Landron would say: "You do the math."*

* = Math is a social construct.

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At 9:08 AM, Blogger ArtSparker said...

My sister didn't know my 6 year old nephew could read when the incident in question took place, and gave him some watered down explanation, at which my nephew said, "It doesn't say that, it says 'PeeWee Herman nabbed in pern feem".

I noticed a film in the video story with Susan Sarandon as Doris Duke and Ralph Fiennes playing her Butler. Might be a good Holiday film?

At 10:08 AM, Blogger Ladrón de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

Susan - That sounds like a wise child. The Doris Duke film is not bad and is directed by Wallace Shawn.

At 1:40 PM, Blogger Salty Miss Jill said...

Paul was in his Pee Wee Herman incarnation on 'The Tonight Show' a couple weeks back. Funny as ever, despite the jowls.

At 2:03 PM, Blogger Ladrón de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

Salty - Did he mention Doris or Landron?


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