Will there ever be another Factory?: The Fate of the U.S.

Andy Warhol’s Factory is gone. Period.  It’s been gone for quite awhile now.  So the title of this post may seem like such a shallow question to be asking while our country faces such dire circumstances. But then again, is it?  As Adrienne Arsenault recently reported on the world’s reaction to the Wall Street bailout, “Are we witnessing the end of an empire?”

While the Factory was “both site and symbol of the alternative culture’s disdain for the bourgeois ethic” and served as a place for alternative ideas (sound familiar?), it certainly did not turn up its nose at making money off art. Perhaps that was its downfall?  That, and the influx of corruption within the “family.” We all know what happened to poor Edie and Candy Darling.  Hell, for that matter Andy didn’t fair so well either.

Okay, so follow me here, take a look at what has happened to Warhol’s work from 1978 to 2007. I remember 1978…before Jeff Koons and Julian Schnabel, probably even before you!  I remember 1978 before cell phones, the internet, and the Ipod.  You could truly be “out of touch” and it didn’t mean drugs or a mental disorder.  No more folks.  No more Andy Warhol and no more Factory.  The end of that empire has long since passed.  What can we learn from going back and taking another look at the Factory?  I happen to think quite a bit.  Something to think about.  Ciao.

One Response to “Will there ever be another Factory?: The Fate of the U.S.”

  1. Mike Isaacson Says:

    I don’t know that you can necessarily say that the concept of The Factory couldn’t happen again. Being in or out of the loop really has nothing to do with it; it’s really about doing the alternative art scene, rather than being aware of it. Whether it manifests itself in the form of another collective physicality is anyone’s guess. However, there are plenty of places on the internet where alternative arts are thriving:

    http://improveverywhere.com/
    http://cacophony.org/

    Really the only difference now is that the DIY ethic is so pervasive (probably because it’s so easy with such advances in technologies as cheap multi-track recorders, cheap art kits, etc.), it’s hard to call anything alternative, or at least to say that in terms of the ‘art world’ as a whole (whatever that means) it’s in the minority.

    With the advent of the poetry slam, the independent record label, and canned spray paint, Guillermo Gomez-Pena’s “Mainstream Bizarre” becomes all the more prevalent. In sum, I love populism.


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