Alternative Facts, Kellyanne Conway, Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990, Tilted Arc, Ed Ruscha Monument, George T. Conway III, and Training Ground for Democracy
Another aesthetic question hinges on the nature of the work that Büchel makes, "fictitious yet highly believable environments," as the Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions put it, that are "carefully constructed so that the institutional framework of the art museum and all reference to the gallery context are removed." The title of the work, Training Ground for Democracy, was meant to be ironic, in a safe, anti-American way. But the irony has played out in ways the artist and museum couldn't have foreseen. For an artist like Büchel, of the "where-does-art-end-and-reality-begin" variety, the formal courtroom in Springfield seemed a bizarre extension of the shrouded installation at Mass MoCA. Judge Ponsor wondered aloud whether the work had expanded to include his own courtroom. In its own blog, Mass MoCA denied that it had worked under the premise that the stalemate itself was "some sort of big ruse, or a work of conceptual art presented in the form of a legal quagmire."