Artists Poking Fun
When it comes to the art world there are a number of widely accepted though unarticulated understandings. Contemporary art is good for you, even if you don't understand it. Austere art galleries are a necessary bridge between artists and appropriately educated and dressed collectors. Artists don't need public approval.
Recently many artists have been bringing such unarticulated "understandings" to the forefront of their artistic production. They call into question the validity or necessity of such traditions, and highlight inherent paradoxes and contradictions. They do it by poking fun.
Often using video to directly address the public, artists act out various roles, parodying the museum director on a fundraising campaign, gallery director speaking at a show opening, or avant-garde artist describing his or her work. They also poke fun at themselves, highlighting the tension found in acting the part of the morally superior artist who seeks approval and financial stability.
We're not sure whether these contradictions are funny or painful, but humor is one of the only ways to communicate them simultaneously. If you're familiar with art world personalities, you may find some of these videos and performance pieces particularly funny, but then it means the artist is laughing at you, too.