Fan Film, Fan Films

MOMA Is Run By Hypocritical Jerks

Dramatic Re-Enactment

Fan films are officially considered to be art now—they must be, because the other day, I stumbled across my book about them, Homemade Hollywood, in the Design Store at New York City’s Museum of Modern Art (MOMA). Pretty cool. The downside, however, is that MOMA is run by hypocritical jerks.

For years, I’ve maintained that fan films are an emerging form of Outsider Art, using the mythology of our times to create new artworks. Apparently the museum would agree, and of course, there’s a long history of art plundering the work of others in order to create new visions—a tradition that stretches from Duchamp to Warhol to artists who were in the news just last week for doing exactly that—Shepard Fairey (the Obama Hope poster guy) and Yan Pei-Ming. Now fan filmmakers can metaphorically stand beside those fellow artists via the implicit endorsement of a fan film book being available for sale in a venue as prestigious and authoritative as MOMA.

So it’s a shame that MOMA is run by hypocritical jerks. If this wasn’t an all-ages blog, I’d paraphrase a meme usually reserved for 20th Century Fox.

Sure, it was exciting to discover acceptance of the fan film genre, but you’d better believe I was thrilled on a personal level, too. After slaving over the book for years, it was downright heartwarming to find it for sale there. I’ll admit it—I was proud. So I whipped out my cell phone and went to take a photo of the book on the shelf. It was pretty much like the “dramatic re-enactment” in the photo above, except that the surrounding books weren’t as cool. Regardless, it was a close-up of a plain, generic bookshelf. Nothing to even indicate that it was in MOMA.

“HEY!” came a voice; it was some clerk. “No photos in the bookstore,” she barked. I attempted to explain why. “I wrote this b-” “Sir!” she said, loud enough that the security guard 20 feet away craned his neck to see what was going on. “I said no photos in here!” Like I was a two-year-old. And that was that. She stalked off, I got a sneering “Tsk” from some old bat walking by, and the guard stared and glared at me like he was ready to stomp my face until I left.

I get it that the place costs money to keep afloat (my book was full price, after all) and that visitors who take photos of art postcards instead of dropping a whopping $1.50 per will apparently bring the venerable institution to its knees. However, the museum celebrates artists (such as those mentioned above) who hijack imagery—but it won’t allow mere plebian suckers who spend money to be there to do the same thing within its walls. OK, but what if it was a rule because of security concerns? Again, as noted earlier, my photo could have been a shelf of books anywhere in the world.

Now, throw in the fact that the store sells cameras and film—but you can’t take a photo there. It sells books about how to take photos—but you can’t take a photo there. It even sells books about breaking the law to create illegal art, like the nearby pile of by one Shepard Fairey—but you can’t take a photo there. Oh, and one last point: I had just dropped $30 on an overpriced gift—but I couldn’t take one crummy cell phone photo of my own book to celebrate what was supposed to be a moment of triumph.

Nice way to treat a customer, ya bunch of hypocritical jerks.

So, to summarize: Fan films are art. The museum is charging full price for my book, so don’t get ripped off; buy it elsewhere. And finally, MOMA is run by hypocritical jerks.

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3 Responses to “MOMA Is Run By Hypocritical Jerks”

  1. LOL. Sorry to hear that Clive… I should tell you about the experience I had with my film school Alma Matter trying to PAY them to rent an open room in one of their downtown dorms for my actors to change and have restroom access to off the alley we were shooting in when we were doing “Dark Knight Project” last summer. You’d think an alumni’s film school that constantly hits it’s grads up for donation money would accommodate such a request and take money for empty unused space but alas, the MANAGEMENT office COULDN’T help us. Even though they had a choice.

    It’s amazing what power hungry pricks in different sectors can be with the power they wield to make themselves feel important NOT working with people in innocuous situations like this, isn’t it?


  2. I’m not saying they shouldn’t have let you take the cell phone pic, but your rationale strikes me as a bit flawed.

    After all, a grocery store sells toilet paper but that doesn’t mean they should let you…. You get my meaning.

    Carlos Pedraza

  3. Christopher Moshier

    Just sounds like an ignorant boob. I wouldn’t chastise the whole store for it, but again I don’t know the store. Some people are just plain idiots with their really only concern over self. If she would have used that thing in her head called a brain for a second she would be thrilled to be able to speak with the author of the book they sell and find that you were doing no harm. I have little faith if none in humanity and this person seems to be exactly why.

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