Preserving Art :: Bury It

Wildflower Meadows, Errol McKinson

Wildflower Meadows

Errol McKinson

Oil on Panel


Certain spoofs need to be utterly deadpan to work, and a new one by the Canadian artist Donald Ian McCaw qualifies. He has created the fictional company Mba Fabrications Inc., which declares itself in the process of building something called the Deep Earth Asset Depository.

That’s a (fictional) high-tech storage facility buried 1,161 meters down in an abandoned nickel mine in Ontario. Art collectors are supposed to rent space in this ultra-secure, environmentally-stable facility so that their art can live there forever, perfectly guarded from all possible change or damage. Should they be fussy enough to actually want to enjoy the presence of their aesthetic treasures in their own homes (or private museums), McCaw offers perfect facsimiles of the holdings they’ve sent down his mine.

You need to watch video of him pitching the Depository to get the full effect of his soft-sell. (McCaw is launching another Mba Inc. “product” at Heron Arts in San Francisco on March 11.)

Perfect trompe-l’oeil has always delivered guaranteed pleasure. McCaw has created a trompe-l’oeil vision of our current intersection of science, business, finance and art – and shown that esthetics are barely part of the equation. Someone needs to burn his video onto an everlasting gold DVD and send it down his mine for safekeeping.




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