Have you ever noticed that theres a certain subset of people who (incorrectly) think theyre very clever because they dislike the fashion industry, or they think theyve got it all figured out? It seems like artist Shelter Serra, seller of the resin-casted Hermes Birkin pictured above, might be part of that group.
According to Refinery29, Serra calls the two-dimensional art piece a commentary on how an object that costs several months rent does little more than the function of a simple plastic bag, and he thinks we take such things for granted. This whole premise is annoying for a couple of reasons that well explore after the jump, but first and foremost, its annoying because it still costs $2500 and does even less than a simple plastic bag.
Dont get me wrong, I love contemporary art. The weirder the better! But not only does this piece miss the mark in an attempt to make some sort of commentary on fashion price levels and what that means in a larger sense (people in glass houses shouldnt throw stones, art world), but its pretty hard to argue that a functional piece of finely crafted, expertly constructed Hermes leatherwork is overpriced when a sloppy resin copy is being unironically sold via Grey Arena for (using the artists word choice) more than what most people pay for a couple months rent. I would posit that this was perhaps part of the commentary, but not only would that likely be giving Serra too much credit, it also doesnt appear to be true.
What almost bothers me more, though, is that the cast seems to have been made from a fake Birkin, and a bad one at that. So if the artist is so clever and full of social commentary, wheres his Baudrillardian epiphany about making copies of copies and how it dulls our collective sense of reality and authenticity? Or did he just not think of that, in favor of making the point of, Like, Birkins are totally expensive, yo. Because no ones ever said that before. Certainly, no ones ever charged you $2,500 to say it. And Serras (literally) useless resin Birkin is being made in a collection of 20, so, you know. Stock up.