Yesterday morning, the announcement of the Golden Globe nominations kick started the award season for excellence in television and movies. A variety of awards have already been given out this month, but when it comes to the mega-produced and televised awards, the GG’s are the first of three awards that really amp up public excitement (the other two being the Screen Actors Guild Awards and the Academy Awards). I’m a super fan of Black Swan because Natalie Portman courageously revealed the intensity of a delusional ballerina, but dramatically capturing such a contemporary moment as the creation of Facebook in The Social Network was a feat all in itself. This kind of dialogue only scratches the surface of the public discourse during the award season in the entertainment industry. Consumers of box office blockbusters and low-budget independent movies become passionate analysts overnight, capable of predicting accurate prize recipients.
Inside the sphere of the visual arts (which I’ll even extend to the “creative arts” to include more examples), there doesn’t seem to be the same kind of fervent buzz for prizes. In America, the arts are blessed to have the MacArthur Fellows Program and the Kennedy Center Honors, though the former isn’t strictly for the arts and it isn’t televised, and the later is limited to the performing arts and celebrity recipients. When performing as Peter Allan from the Broadway musical The Boy From Oz at the 2004 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall, Hugh Jackman jokingly calmed his nervous partner down by stating, “it’s only six thousand people [in the audience] and about six thousand on the telly!” The Guggenheim in New York City is home to the Hugo Boss Prize, which is probably the closest thing American art fans can get to an award discourse – which isn’t very close. As the reader of an art blog, you’re probably aware of The Turner Prize, the annual art award for British visual artists under 50. For me as a non-Brit, I’ve only read about The Turner Prize on the Internet, and the things I’ve read mediate The Turner Prize experience as a large public fascination with the visual arts similar to my coveted American Academy Awards speak, but I can only be Debbie Downer and guess that it’s probably not that big of a deal.
So what does this have to do with grad school?
The other day I read a short post on Hyperallergic by Hrag Vartanian titled, “Where is the Art World Wikileaks?” Hrag writes, “since the art world depends on tight-lipped kowtowing to the power$ that be, I can’t think of a field that needs a ‘Wikileaks’ more than the art world.” Well OMG, you will not believe what was just leaked onto the Internet the other day: the nominations for The Society of 23 Prize, an art prize within the graduate program at San Francisco Art Institute. The YouTube video, posted by user andrewcove, suggests that the official announcement has not been publicized yet since the website that is mentioned at the end of the video is still under construction. Scandalous!