Artist and web-savvy prankster/provacateur Yazmany Arboleda welcomes visitors to his primary website with a disclaimer that it is “not a statement, definitive or otherwise, but rather an exploration—a web of wonderlust, of musings and misadventures.” This morning in Manhattan, Arboleda got another misadventure to add to the mix when police shut down his planned day-long, two-pronged art show provocatively titled “The Assassination of Hillary Clinton” and “The Assassination of Barack Obama.” (Unless of course, those cops were actors hired by Arboleda, and we wouldn’t put it past him.)
Set to open tomorrow (here’s the YouTube invite), the show was allegedly sponsored by An Available Space, “an alternative arts organization” that looks to be Arboleda’s creation, complete with a website that emulates that of the nonprofit arts organization Creative Time. Earlier this year, Arboleda crafted elaborate press releases, exhibition websites (complete with PhotoShopped installation shots), and even fake Chelsea art galleries where his Clinton and Obama shows were allegedly installed and hastily censored (Michael Musto fell for it, as did the news team at a Univision affiliate).
Always thinking, Arboleda chose to stage this “24-hour resurrection” of his assassination shows in a vacant storefront across from an entrance to The New York Times building on West 40th Street. This proved effective, and the NYT‘s City Room blog picked up the story this morning, noting that, “By 9:30 a.m., New York City police detectives and Secret Service agents had shut down the exhibition, and building workers quickly covered over the inflammatory title with large sheets of brown paper and blue masking tape.” Arboleda was detained, questioned, and released. “It’s art. It’s not supposed to be harmful,” he told the Times. “It’s about character assassination—about how Obama and Hillary have been portrayed by the media.” He added, presumably with a straight face, “It’s about the media.”