Monday, December 10, 2012

A Little More Babel

 ...And damned if there aren't problems in Art World.
Kalicorp Art Mysteries, Issue # 2, detail page 2

I continue to find interesting tangents to my last post; so based on discussions that took place on my Facebook wall, here are a few more links to ponder.

This first one from by Simon Doonan writing for Slate.

Doonan who describes himself as author, fashion commentator, and creative ambassador for Barneys New York titles his piece "Why the Art Word is So Loathsome"   He goes on to list eight ways in which the emperor has no clothes.  I think he has some pretty valid points but wonder what actually came first when he claims that exhibitions began resembling Barney window displays in the late 70's.  Quoting item #4, "Artists put down their brushes and stole my objets trouves, my staple guns and glue guns." 
As inspirational as the window displays at Barneys tend to be I still find slightly more authentic expression coming from artists when it comes to installation pieces. 

Then "Why Slates Takedown of the Art World is Totally Wrong", by Jillian Steinhauer for Hyperallergic points out that most of these complaints are sweeping generalizations guaranteed to get everyone nodding their heads yet shows more about a lack of curiosity than a real critique. Reacting to Doonan's remark that: "...artists like to be controversial and piss people off", Jillian reminds us that , "Most importantly, telling artists that they should shut up and fall in line for the good of the children is basically a way of relieving art of all its potential value and saying it doesn’t or shouldn’t matter."

 After all the death of art has been predicted for many of the same reasons since Hegel wrote Lectures on Aesthetics in 1818. 

Or when Duchamp created the Fountain.  Or when Jackson Pollock began flinging his paint on a personal favorite, Hirst's world wide exhibition of spots.

I'm reminded of Joseph Beuys' great piece Explaining Paintings to a Dead Hare, when confronted with easy dismissals of artists currently at work.

The point being art is damn robust and simply because someone finds that it is a messy, imperfect and difficult to unravel doesn't make it any less vital than at any other point in history.

Carolee Scheemann - Interior Scroll

 Personally I find that the explaining of art and it's loathsomeness or what it should be or not be....or why it remains as important as ever to be difficult but even a cursory glance through my fellow artists websites or Facebook pages reveal that great and important work is being made every day.

So as writers keep writing about art, artists in turn will keep revealing what it is.

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