Cards Against Humanity asks Hannukah backers whether to destroy a Picasso

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Strange i didn’t get the survey. But i would not cut up the Picasso, and would have no inclination of accepting the cut up piece if it were to come down to it.

Did Drummond do this first?

In 1995, Drummond bought A Smell of Sulphur in the Wind by Richard Long, for $20,000. In Drummond’s own words, he ‘fell in love with Richard Long’s work because’ “it was art by walking and doing things on his walks.” Five years later, Drummond felt that he was no longer “getting his money’s worth” from the photograph. He decided to try to sell it by placing a series of placards around the country. When this failed to result in its sale, in 2001 he cut the photograph and mounting card into 20,000 pieces to sell for $1 each. His plan, upon retrieving the $20,000 in cash, is to walk with it to the remote place in Iceland where Richard Long had made the photograph and bury it in a box beneath the stone circle. He will then take his own photograph of the site, bring it home, frame it, hang it in the same place in his bedroom where the Richard Long hung, and call the new work The Smell of Money Underground. Drummond’s books How to be an Artist and a later soft-bound edition titled $20,000 recounts this story.

I’ve held at least two different pieces of this and been offered others at different times.


That’s a decent return on a $15 investment. Or was it maybe $15,000?


I can’t see them as anything other than popular idiots, no matter what they do. I think them on the laser cutter would be a funnier “social experiment”. You know, for the lulz.

The CAH folks tend to surprise in the unlikeliest places. I’m hoping that this is an experiment to see if people can pull together for the greater good, rather than agreeing to watch the world burn.

That said, I’ve noticed that CAH have been very deliberate with their wording in past events; nothing here promises to cut up the Picasso, and nothing promises to send out the pieces. They might as well have asked “do you want us to come to your house and punch you in the face or do you want us to give you a million dollars?” I’m hoping that, should better judgement fail to win out, CAH will do something tricksy, like sending out a gift to the “save the Picasso” voters and a “you’re a horrible person” certificate to the “cut it up” voters.


I would vote for cutting it up just because I’m not a fan of CAH and I love the idea of them having to mail out 150,000 envelopes.

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Guy: There, that’s a splendid nose.
Youngman: Seventeenth century? Easily.
Guy: Excellent nose. Keep that. You can burn the rest.


It comes in the seventh night envelope. I know I’ve already gotten one envelope out of order, and haven’t gotten the eighth one yet, so that could be why. The info is on a little 3" x 5" card.

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That’s a really good point. They did say at the beginning that there would be clues everywhere to pay close attention to.

I’ve actually been impressed with the mailings so far. Buying out the factory for a week’s production so that all the workers could have a vacation? That’s stellar. And the letters from each of their fathers have been good reads.

Although I’m not sure why they sent only 3 pairs of menorah socks (for the first three nights)…that does feel oddly incomplete!


I’d say so, yes.

*reads name


Even if this is a joke, or misdirection, it is still repugnant. Various fools have destroyed work over the years in an ongoing quest to be seen as clever, or avant garde, or to make some misguided point about society, the result is usually just the same tired “point” about how capital warps our values, and how we value art. CAH has decided, perhaps as a goof, who cares, to threaten to destroy something most of us would never be able to touch. They have threatened the work of an artist who lived under occupation during WW2, and who created one of the great meditations on the horrors of war.

I realize I am falling for their “stunt” by caring about what they imply they will do, and no doubt the “lulz” will be on all us suckers who reacted with horror at this attempt to stir the pot (“see, we were never going to destroy it sucker, ha ha”)… But still, art is sacred, it really is, in a world where the mystery is destroyed every day, art endures, somehow, despite capitalism’s attempt to turn it into a commodities market for the ultra-rich.

In short, fuck CAH.


What a fatuous endeavour.

Mailing out 150k envelopes wouldn’t be a big deal for them. Consider that they’re already mailing out at least 8 times that number (one for each day to each backer), and that they’ve gone to much greater troubles as part of this and other events. I imagine it wasn’t a no-effort feat to give a the day off to a factory’s worth of workers. And part of last year’s Christmas event involved them placing a bunch of cards in an envelope in a combination-lock safe on an island (that you can only get to by rowboat) that they had purchased (so that they could grant deeds for one-square-foot parcels to the backers).

Stuffing envelopes is not a punishment for these people. It’s what they do. It’s like they’re envelope-stuffing machines. Come to think of it, they probably actually have some envelope-stuffing machines.


You may have seen me on the road…

I think Picasso would vote for the cutting.


I would probably be similarly outraged if the piece were from any of a number of other artists, but Picasso didn’t do most of his work – which is the major reason there’s SO MUCH “art” with his signature on it…easy to do if your only effort is signing the piece – which means it’s highly likely this piece isn’t really his art anyway. There’s a reason it was auctioned off so cheaply: it’s not considered good, representative, or edgy; it’s just got his name on it so there’s a minimum level it will sell for on the strength of that alone.

I don’t think the world would be any worse off if this particular piece became confetti. That doesn’t mean I’ll actively vote for that outcome, but I don’t think this situation is a moral dilemma.

One thing I will say: the alternative choice given is for the piece to be donated to the Art Institute of Chicago. They already have hundreds of works (possibly thousands, if you included the prints, etc.) by Picasso and this piece isn’t noteworthy in any way, so it would almost certainly be stored immediately and auctioned off or donated if the opportunity arose. It’s a waste to give it to the AIC. Some small college museum somewhere would be a better choice.


I don’t think you’re manufacturing quite enough outrage over this negligible, almost wholly unremarkable piece of art that without a doubt no one would give a shit about if it weren’t for this stunt.

Don’t you understand that the people who make cards against humanity are the worst people ever and that everything they do should be regarded with disdain?


Perhaps they could draw a mustache on it. Or has that been done?

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