Finally, an event that pierces to the heart of the art world. The art handler’s Olympics gets the full New York Times treatment:
The event, the first-ever Art Handling Olympics — a combination roast, “Jackass”-style stunt extravaganza and excuse to drink a lot — drew about 200 people at its height who came to the Ramiken Crucible gallery to watch a dozen four-man teams (art handlers are, by and large, male, and, by and large, large) go head-to-head, demonstrating their skills with a lot of fake art and untold amounts of Bubble Wrap.
[…] Ted Riederer, an artist, former art handler and one of the event’s organizers, […] took on the role of a cruel German curator, wearing a tight houndstooth suit and sunglasses, shouting abuse at the handlers like “Nein! Nein!” and “Hold it higher, higher, a little higher!” and “I pay you people to do this?”
A qualifying round in which teams were required to tape together an art box and wheel one of their members around a city block inside of it, and to stop midway to wolf down Chinese pork dumplings and throw back shots of whiskey, weeded the teams down to four.
The next events — a speed competition to hang framed works of art (with sadistic measurement requirements like 9 15/16 inches) and a contest called the “static hold,” in which handlers had to keep framed pieces of lead weighing 50 or 60 pounds held against a wall while Mr. Riederer barked orders at them and took a leisurely cellphone call in the midst of their grunting labors (“Ah, yes, hello darling, Basel, yes”) — left only two teams for the final round.
Ready, Set, Hang: The Heavy Lifting Is On (New York Times)