How does Art Live in Corporo-Fascist America?

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Re: How does Art Live in Corporo-Fascist America?

Postby Project Willow » Wed Mar 16, 2011 5:17 am

I enjoyed this essay...

The Absolute Truth About Contemporary Art
Mar 7, 2011 by Peter Plagens

Read the entire thing here:
http://www.illuminateme.org/arts/truth-about-art.html

Here are some quotes:
...
I’m a dedicated modernist and I’m certainly no nativist. But I am a negativist by temperament, and experience has confirmed that 90 percent of what’s offered for sale by the galleries today is bad art, and that 90 percent of the art offered for viewing by museums isn’t nearly as good as their press releases say it is. Although my reasons for thinking this are wildly different from Cortissoz’s condemnation of modernism, I have, over the last 20 years or so, written about the deleterious effects on contemporary art of pervasive irony, the unfortunately increasing overlap of art and superficial entertainment in gallery offerings, the preening confluence of art and the runway fashion industry, and even the morphing of call-it-like-you-see-it art criticism in more or less plain language into theoretical, judgment-averse “post-criticism.”
...
In the New Art World of today, the typical young ambitious artist once more has an MFA degree. But in order to get career traction right from the start, it has to be from a short list of “hot” schools, especially one of the big three in southern California: UCLA, CalArts, or Art Center. Since the artist’s MFA is now probably in some form of “new media,” his or her work (our artist is now just as likely to be female as male) will consist of either some tricky configuration of projected video, or retro-Pop-Art objects in some kind of fancy plastic made on order by a fabricator. Since all but the most minimum-wage adjunct teaching jobs are as scarce as hen’s teeth, and since government grants to artists are for all intents and purposes extinct, sales now count for just about everything. So our young artist makes work whose point can be quickly apprehended by peripatetic collectors.
...
Whatever clout painting and sculpture still enjoy in the general culture has to do with either money (that is, sensationally high prices) or the artists being “hot” (that is, photogenic and starting to command high prices). Except for the occasional scandal involving the depiction of sex, or a satire of a religious belief, no really consequential ideas or philosophical tenets expressed in an embodied way in a contemporary painting or sculpture gets much attention at all. Contemporary painting or sculpture is all about clever irony. Think John Currin, Lisa Yuskavage, or Jeff Koons.
...
But part of the comparative neglect also comes from the fact that contemporary art still isn’t intended for a large audience. A contemporary artist doesn’t want a million people to give him or her a dollar apiece to look at his or her work. He or she wants one person to pay a million dollars to own his or her work. That being the case, the contemporary artist—whatever his or her still-sublimated movie-directing ambitions—isn’t required to make the work intelligible to a greater public. Chances are, in fact, that the collector the artist has abstractly in mind as a buyer wants the work to look a little weird and indecipherable. After all, that’s part of the staying-ahead-of-the-curve feeling the collector is paying for.
...
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Re: How does Art Live in Corporo-Fascist America?

Postby vanlose kid » Wed Mar 16, 2011 11:00 am



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Re: How does Art Live in Corporo-Fascist America?

Postby nathan28 » Wed Mar 16, 2011 12:12 pm

I’m a dedicated modernist and I’m certainly no nativist. But I am a negativist by temperament, and experience has confirmed that 90 percent of what’s offered for sale by the galleries today is bad art, and that 90 percent of the art offered for viewing by museums isn’t nearly as good as their press releases say it is. Although my reasons for thinking this are wildly different from Cortissoz’s condemnation of modernism, I have, over the last 20 years or so, written about the deleterious effects on contemporary art of pervasive irony, the unfortunately increasing overlap of art and superficial entertainment in gallery offerings, the preening confluence of art and the runway fashion industry, and even the morphing of call-it-like-you-see-it art criticism in more or less plain language into theoretical, judgment-averse “post-criticism.”


All criticism sounds the same because most academics are practically paid (very poorly) by the word with a bonus for getting citations. Hence "post-criticism": it's like having an assembly line in your word processor.


So our young artist makes work whose point can be quickly apprehended by peripatetic collectors.


Um, the point of going to a gallery open to the public is not necessary to 'ponder' but really more to walk around and look at stuff, so, yeah, peripatetic, certainly.

I'm not going to spend an hour staring at a Rothko to grapple with the tragic human condition or whatever, although that does bring us back to the thing about color again. OTOH, I might look at one of those damn MoMA attack-of-the-clones minimalist compositions to look at the elements and principles involved.

Contemporary painting or sculpture is all about clever irony. Think John Currin, Lisa Yuskavage, or Jeff Koons.


What's the matter with irony? Duchamp's Fountain is pretty much sending the same message as this damn piece of writing.

When i was a little younger I was anti-irony, but now I'm anti-anti-anti-anti-anti-irony. I like complicated, no apologies. Didn't this guy say that quick comprehension was a bad thing? But...


But part of the comparative neglect also comes from the fact that contemporary art still isn’t intended for a large audience. A contemporary artist doesn’t want a million people to give him or her a dollar apiece to look at his or her work.


Um, he mentioned earlier that gov't sponsorship was dead, so, does this mean that artists need to use Ford-style production techniques to bring art to the masses, or that the public should pay directly out of personal pockets, or what other way is this achieved? This is confusing.

He or she wants one person to pay a million dollars to own his or her work.


The movie studio model? Seriously? How is one artist supposed to reach that level of corruption and graft alone?

That being the case, the contemporary artist—whatever his or her still-sublimated movie-directing ambitions—isn’t required to make the work intelligible to a greater public. Chances are, in fact, that the collector the artist has abstractly in mind as a buyer wants the work to look a little weird and indecipherable. After all, that’s part of the staying-ahead-of-the-curve feeling the collector is paying for.
[/quote]

...I don't disagree with this at all, there is a problem with irony when it's used a sales gag and to mark staying-ahead-of-the-Joneses. Matching a painting to a room ain't got shit on matching a Koons topiary to a smug sense of self-satisfaction.

But I still don't see how in that case the art would be separate from graffitti, industrial design, illustration or creative dep't projects, all things that really exist and many people see and only pay for indirectly. Is he saying he wants stuff like the Artomat?
„MAN MUSS BEFUERCHTEN, DASS DAS GANZE IN GOTTES HAND IST"

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How does Art Live in Corporo-Fascist America?

Postby Allegro » Wed Mar 16, 2011 1:35 pm

.
Evidently, The Bribery Act would impact international (corporate) art collectors’ transactions as well as practices such as excessive corporate entertainment.

    The Art Newspaper
    New law puts finder’s fees in spotlight
    Dealers risk arrest under act aimed at large-scale corruption

    By Cristina Ruiz | From issue 219, December 2010
    Published online 16 Dec 10 (Market)

      LONDON. Art dealers in Britain could fall foul of new anti-bribery legislation which comes into effect next year. The Bribery Act makes it an offence to give or accept bribes and also introduces a new corporate offence: a company may commit an offence if it fails to prevent bribery by its employees or associates, even those working abroad.

      Art lawyer Pierre Valentin of legal firm Withers warns that the widespread practice of paying finders’ fees to individuals who bring in new business could constitute bribery under the new act.

      “Whilst the payment of commission remains a perfectly legitimate business practice, the days when this is paid or received without consideration of the nature of the relationship between the payer, the payee, and the other parties to the transaction may well be over,” said Valentin.

      The new act “will capture the payment of commission to intermediaries owing a duty of trust to art collectors…without the collector’s consent to such payment,” he explained. “For example, if you pay a commission to the decorator of an art collector because the decorator assisted you in selling a painting to this collector you could be committing an offence if the collector is not aware that you are making this payment.”

      The new law has a wide territorial scope. If the representative of a British firm commits an act abroad which would amount to bribery if committed in the UK, the firm may be committing an offence even if it is unaware that its representative has acted improperly.

      The act is a strict liability offence so the prosecution will not need to show a dishonest intention on the part of the person giving the financial advantage or receiving it. It addresses behaviour which induces “improper performance” without the need to show corruption or fraud. The only defence available to a commercial organisation accused of the new corporate offence will be to show that the company took appropriate steps to prevent bribery.


      The government will issue guidelines before the act comes into effect detailing the measures companies can take to protect themselves from breaching the new law. Christopher Battiscombe, director of the Society of London Art Dealers, says firms will have to introduce new training procedures for employees once these guidelines have been published.

      The act applies not only to the payment of money but also to practices such as excessive corporate entertainment. “Art market professionals will have to evaluate whether the level of entertainment is appropriate in the circumstances, or whether it risks inducing the recipient to act improperly,” said Valentin.

      Although the act is not aimed at the art trade and will most likely be used to target large companies, Valentin warned that the prosecution of art dealers is not impossible. “It only takes one prosecutor to receive a complaint from a collector or a dealer in competition with another dealer for an investigation to be launched.”

      The Bribery Act received royal assent in April and comes into effect in April 2011. The maximum penalty for individuals found to be in breach of the act is ten years’ imprisonment while companies face unlimited fines.

    REFER.
Art will be the last bastion when all else fades away.
~ Timothy White (b 1952), American rock music journalist
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Re: How does Art Live in Corporo-Fascist America?

Postby norton ash » Wed Mar 16, 2011 2:32 pm

My kids coulda written this thread.
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Re: How does Art Live in Corporo-Fascist America?

Postby Luther Blissett » Wed Mar 16, 2011 5:00 pm

Project Willow wrote:Here are some quotes:
Whatever clout painting and sculpture still enjoy in the general culture has to do with either money (that is, sensationally high prices) or the artists being “hot” (that is, photogenic and starting to command high prices). Except for the occasional scandal involving the depiction of sex, or a satire of a religious belief, no really consequential ideas or philosophical tenets expressed in an embodied way in a contemporary painting or sculpture gets much attention at all. Contemporary painting or sculpture is all about clever irony. Think John Currin, Lisa Yuskavage, or Jeff Koons.


I disagree here. In terms of new ideas being explored, it would appear that we still are. The critics who have difficulty with the long view are judging contemporary art against known, established art history. There are plenty of boundaries being crossed and new ideas explored by scores of talented artists. Sometimes it's difficult to see, but try to put yourself in the future.

We can't expect the future to reveal itself in the way that the past has.

But then again, I see a lot of things as "art" - endeavors which my friends and peers are involved in - things like biomimicry, graffiti, protest, noise, hacking, destruction, etc. Finding a way to make an image by rearranging the way the fibers of a surface lay over one another to reflect different spectra of light, without changing the physical color of the surface, is quite literally art, and is most certainly not irony. This is something that we will be seeing in a few years, and is being talked about as a sustainable alternative to mass printing in the end. But first, it is art and the product of creative genius minds.
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Re: How does Art Live in Corporo-Fascist America?

Postby Project Willow » Wed Mar 16, 2011 5:10 pm

norton ash wrote:My kids coulda written this thread.


:lol:

...wait, :(
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Re: How does Art Live in Corporo-Fascist America?

Postby norton ash » Wed Mar 16, 2011 10:32 pm

It's :basicsmile .

Time, care and sensitivity has gone into this thread, however abstract or multitextual it might get, and that was just me as the voice of dim looking at Voice of Fire.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voice_of_Fire

When I finally saw it at the National Gallery, I almost fainted. I fucking swooned.

Anyway, it became the touchstone of an ongoing art debate in Canada between representational and abstract and what we should value.

The wall I face has a Klimt print, a local outsider acid-colour abstract, an emulsion-smeared photograph of lilies, a landscape photograph of Lake Superior, an Ojibwe/woodland-style fish and turtles, a photo I took of my late dog, and a pastel and crayon impressionist portrait a friend made from a 1940's photograph of a stern-looking fellow with high pomaded hair. (I've been asked 'Is that supposed to be Kramer?') (I admired it and the artist gave it to me.)

All worthless, all priceless.
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Re: How does Art Live in Corporo-Fascist America?

Postby Project Willow » Thu Mar 17, 2011 1:56 am

Allegro, I have yet to catch up with some of your offerings.

Luther, I don't think Plagens was saying that there was no innovation, just that it wasn't being recognized, and he specified innovation within painting and sculpture. Otherwise, I generally agree it's difficult to know what the future will bring.
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Re: How does Art Live in Corporo-Fascist America?

Postby Project Willow » Thu Mar 17, 2011 2:09 am

norton ash wrote:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voice_of_Fire

When I finally saw it at the National Gallery, I almost fainted. I fucking swooned.


You nearly destroyed me with this one. Newman. :!:

I don't know what to say. I won't explain, except I do appreciate irony, very much and thank you for the belly laugh, and a bit of a hot cheek.
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Re: How does Art Live in Corporo-Fascist America?

Postby vanlose kid » Thu Mar 17, 2011 8:08 am

norton ash wrote:It's :basicsmile .

Time, care and sensitivity has gone into this thread, however abstract or multitextual it might get, and that was just me as the voice of dim looking at Voice of Fire.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voice_of_Fire

When I finally saw it at the National Gallery, I almost fainted. I fucking swooned.

Anyway, it became the touchstone of an ongoing art debate in Canada between representational and abstract and what we should value.

The wall I face has a Klimt print, a local outsider acid-colour abstract, an emulsion-smeared photograph of lilies, a landscape photograph of Lake Superior, an Ojibwe/woodland-style fish and turtles, a photo I took of my late dog, and a pastel and crayon impressionist portrait a friend made from a 1940's photograph of a stern-looking fellow with high pomaded hair. (I've been asked 'Is that supposed to be Kramer?') (I admired it and the artist gave it to me.)

All worthless, all priceless.



"...as the painting consists only of a red stripe on a blue background."

really?

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Re: How does Art Live in Corporo-Fascist America?

Postby vanlose kid » Thu Mar 17, 2011 8:24 am

^^

In the novel several of Karabekian's paintings are described in detail. The first is a photo-realistic painting of Dan Gregory's studio. The second is an abstract painting of a lost Arctic explorer and a charging polar bear. It consists of a white back ground with two strips of tape, one white, one orange. The third painting is of six deer and a hunter, titled "Hungarian Rhapsody Number Six" which later fell apart in storage at the Guggenheim Museum. The scene is represented by a greenish-orange background with six brown strips of tape for the deer on one side, and one strip of red tape on the opposite side for the hunter. His most famous, which once hung in the lobby of GEFFCo headquarters on Park Avenue, is titled "Windsor Blue Number Seventeen." The entire painting consisting of eight 8X8 panels hung side by side displays nothing but the paint by Sateen Dura-Luxe in the shade of the title of the work. The painting however literally fell apart when the Sateen Dura-Luxe began to shred itself from the canvas upon which it was painted becoming Rabo Karabekian's biggest embarrassment as an abstract expressionist. These very panels upon which Windsor Blue used to cover fully became the canvases Karabekian would prime back to pure white and use for his last work locked within his potato barn.

The last painting is the secret in the potato barn. The painting is an enormous photo-realistic picture of Karabekian's experience of World War II where he and five-thousand, two hundred and nineteen other prisoners of war, gypsies, and concentration camp victims were dumped in a valley when the German forces realized that the war was lost. The painting, which becomes enormously successful as a tourist attraction, is meant to be the only painting that Karabekian created which contained "soul".

https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/ ... 28novel%29


:wink ...

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Re: How does Art Live in Corporo-Fascist America?

Postby norton ash » Thu Mar 17, 2011 9:06 am

Project Willow wrote:
norton ash wrote:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voice_of_Fire

When I finally saw it at the National Gallery, I almost fainted. I fucking swooned.


You nearly destroyed me with this one. Newman. :!:

I don't know what to say. I won't explain, except I do appreciate irony, very much and thank you for the belly laugh, and a bit of a hot cheek.


Not being ironic. It's huge, it's beautiful, and we connected. I was all set up and anxious to finally meet that monster, and I very much liked it. It reminded me of cresting a hill, and BOOM, there's the ocean.

I'm easily seduced by art, quite undiscriminating. If someone's trying to speak, I listen, unless I know that they're lying or are trying to teach me something I knew long ago... as though it's new.

Willow, your own gallery moves me, comes from a spirit which I only partially recognize, but I will look and listen because what you're expressing-depicting reaches me as true and important.
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Re: How does Art Live in Corporo-Fascist America?

Postby Project Willow » Thu Mar 17, 2011 2:16 pm

norton ash wrote:
Project Willow wrote:
Not being ironic.


I know, I should have made that clear at least. It's just that you landed on Newman to express an experience I thought you and Nathan had been undercutting with your previous comments. Newman is emblematic for me in ways that run absolutely counter to what you described, and therein lies the irony.

Unexpectedly, I was once knocked over encountering a Motherwell. In that particular piece, his strokes are like artifacts of purified power. It's not about the shapes but how they got there, a process that goes beyond confidence into absolute command of movement. I was reminded of extraordinary athletic and intellectual feats.

Thanks for sharing Norton.
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How does Art Live in Corporo-Fascist America?

Postby Allegro » Sun Mar 20, 2011 2:33 pm

Project Willow wrote:So, who has been or is writing about these issues, with a view that is aware and critical of the system? I don't have an answer for that,...
I’m not sure I have an answer, yet after reading this week numerous essays wrt the artworld, I think I finally found my feet by reading noted art scholars, Michelle Marder Kamhi and Louis Torres, who are long-time members of the National Art Education Association. They publish Aristos, which Torres founded in 1982.

The original essay I want to submit to RI is 3,691 words. Too long. So, I’ve cut the article in half, and put that abridgement in the following comment space. The 2008 article, What About the Other Face of Contemporary Art?, delineates some issues the opinions about which RI art enthusiasts might find satisfactory as well as unsatisfactory. The article’s authors don’t mention the word capitalism, but they surely point in that direction, from time to time.

The many essays Kamhi and Torres have written, and which I’ve stacked for further study, are written without hyperbole: objectively stated biases, I think, of the primary visual arts, that is, painting and sculpture. BTW, I’ve taken on the authors’ biases: let the technical trainings that lead the proficiencies established from the European Renaissance through Picasso remain, in tact, for study by students and certainly by teachers and professors. However, as noted in another paper by Kamhi and Torres, we’ll observe over the next several years the probabilities that might increase the success of “anti-art” in the marketplace by defining art —created during the most recent six hundred years or so— irrelevant.

Edit: for better selections of words, I guess.
Last edited by Allegro on Sun Mar 20, 2011 3:30 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Art will be the last bastion when all else fades away.
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