Thursday, May 3, 2012

"I'm sick of pretending that I get art"

Glen Loco writes: “You know what? I'm sick of pretending. I went to art school, wrote a dissertation called ‘The Elevation of Art Through Commerce: An Analysis of Charles Saatchi's Approach to the Machinery of Art Production Using Pierre Bourdieu's Theories of Distinction’, have attended art openings at least once a month for the last five years, even fucking purchased pieces of it, but the other night, after attending the opening of the new Tracey Emin retrospective at the Hayward Gallery, I'm finally ready to come out and say it: I just don't think I ‘get’ art.” See here for Loco’s rant against Emin’s work. But why should we ‘get’ art? Senior curator Jim Supangkat from Indonesia defines contemporary art as political – if it isn’t political it isn’t contemporary, he claims – but isn’t contemporary art the intellectual search – Sisyphus-like – for meaning (long given up by philosophers by the way)? And less talented artists and curators assume that this meaning is somehow an essential attribute of the art object, others grab it out of thin air to make art works top heavy and our heads spinning… And see here for how Jerry Stalz is trying to stay sane amongst the cannibalistic tendencies of contemporary art. In 2008, he writes, it “was as if John Travolta’s Pulp Fiction character stabbed the art world in the heart with a giant adrenaline needle! […] But something has been happening of late. Large numbers of disconnected and discontented artists, gallerists and others have taken matters into their own hands, changing the directions of art, its structures and maybe its internal values.”

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