This Levi’s ad has been making rounds about the internetz. I think people are as much appreciative of the artful nature of this ad as they are confused about how to respond to commercials that pose themselves as art.
“… advertisement that pretends to be art is, at absolute best, like somebody who smiles warmly at you only because he wants something from you. This is dishonest, but what’s sinister is the cumulative effect that such dishonesty has on us: since it offers a perfect facsimile or simulacrum of goodwill without goodwill’s real spirit, it messes with our heads and eventually starts upping our defenses even in cases of genuine smiles and real art and true goodwill. It makes us feel confused and lonely and impotent and angry and scared. It causes despair.”
I hear that. For my own part, the combination of “revolutionary” type scenes with model hipster crap makes me want to die. Even if we sympathetically presume that Levi’s supports popular struggles going on in the world, they are using it to sell MORE FUCKING JEANS. So thanx fer yer support, corporate friends!
p.s. And yet, is it hypocritical for me to like Andy Warhol? What are the valuable distinctions between these two figures: Levi’s and Andy Warhol? The art world and big money have been overlapping for decades…perhaps what makes this most recent attempt disturbing is the co-opting of poetry to sell a commodity. Poetry can hardly sell itself most of the time, which maybe explains why it feels wrong for it to be used in service of a commercial.