Provocative generalist Dave Hickey gave a MOCA-sponsored talk at Los Angeles’ Grand Central Market last night. (While Hickey loudly retired from the art world a while back, he has a new book out, which apparently necessitated his un-retirement. These things happen.) It ended up being a pretty lousy day for MOCA, Hickey and for women everywhere who might find themselves in a subway car with Hickey.
First, MOCA took to Tumblr to advertise Hickey’s talk. The museum thought that the right way to encourage people to attend was to share a quote in which Hickey found sexual assault (or at minimum, something very, verrrry close to sexual assault) “vaguely exciting.” It was a dumb thing for Hickey to say, a puerile joke at best. It was an even dumber thing for MOCA to use as promotional material. (Lookey here! Hickey is “infamous!” If he finds sexual assault funny, what else could he say that might have you rolling in the aisles!)
Then it was Hickey’s particularly bad luck that ace journalist Carolina Miranda was there to hear him — and that artist Nayland Blake, who is also the chair of the International Center of Photography/Bard MFA program, happened to be reading Miranda. I wasn’t at the talk, but… Miranda’s tweets made me blink.