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Pretentious art writing

Discussion in 'Fine Living, Home, Design & Auto' started by Kent Wang, Mar 28, 2009.

  1. edmorel

    edmorel Quality Seller!! Dubiously Honored

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    Art School Confidential pretty much summed up the entire art world for me.
     

  2. Fuuma

    Fuuma Franchouillard Modasse

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    While I agree that the writing can be over the top, it is usually requested by galleries /patrons. So the artists writes a statement. It is equally frustrating when the statements are taken for granted or neglected all together. Yes, the work could and should speak for itself -but -
    Also bear in mind 4+ years of art school will get you talking and thinking this way. (not saying that is good, just shop talk)
    Pretentious , yes at times, but listening to just about any specialist can have this complaint.

    Wang, yours read rather well I thought[​IMG]

    Writing I do like? Robert Hughes and Peter Schjeldahl


    The problem I see is that most of the people posting in this thread are speaking from a position of ignorance and are not the intended audience for those "pretentious" art writings, they couldn't spot a good one if it bit them on the ass. Oh and modern art right now is all post-conceptualism and relational aesthetics and it's true that both those things might be bullshit in the long run.

    BTW is you collect Tracey Emin artworks and have a pool she wants to meet you for a project, might be an occasion to drown her. I can gather used tampons and condoms for the "collecting her work" part, dunno if my bath could pass as a pool...
     

  3. Fuuma

    Fuuma Franchouillard Modasse

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    There's a pretty good article in this month's artforum (I know, who would have believed that!) contrasting two expos at the Guggenheim (Catherine Opie identity work of the 90s vs theanyspacewhatever relational aesthetics powerhouse exhibit) the author argues that Opie's expo actually bring about the kind of interractions and audience ownership that Bourriaud would attribute to r-e while theanyspace fails at it's very purpose. I like when critics have a go at being assholes against hype.
     

  4. designprofessor

    designprofessor Distinguished Member

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    ^ Definately, a small target audience. I find alot of it really ponderous, and I'm in the field!
    Seems like from Minimalism on, stuff got a bit opaque for my understanding. But, when writing about art is done well, whether by the artist or someone else, it can really add dimension to the whole understanding of it.

    On a side note, I enjoy listening to painters talk about painting. and there is a great book called Night Studio, by Philip Guston's daughter -great insight into his life / work.

    Currently reading:
    The $12 Million Stuffed Shark -The Curious Economics of Contemporary Art, Don Thompson
     

  5. otc

    otc Stylish Dinosaur

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    I used tape and spraypaint. How'd you do yours? It looks pretty cool, though I've seen it done by someone else before.


    Ahh, since it was on canvas i thought it looked hand painted and surprisingly uniform (and I know mondrian used oil). I did the same thing on mine (masking tape and spray paint) although the paint and glass didnt get along super well and I couldn't keep all of my lines even...that comes with practice. It was one of 3 pieces for a final project so it ended up being kind of rushed, especially for making the frame (since I lack my own power tools)
     

  6. Fuuma

    Fuuma Franchouillard Modasse

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    ^ Definately, a small target audience. I find alot of it really ponderous, and I'm in the field!
    Seems like from Minimalism on, stuff got a bit opaque for my understanding. But, when writing about art is done well, whether by the artist or someone else, it can really add dimension to the whole understanding of it.

    On a side note, I enjoy listening to painters talk about painting. and there is a great book called Night Studio, by Philip Guston's daughter -great insight into his life / work.

    Currently reading:
    The $12 Million Stuffed Shark -The Curious Economics of Contemporary Art, Don Thompson


    This is an entertaining book...
     

  7. designprofessor

    designprofessor Distinguished Member

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    Yes, I'm enjoying an economists take on the subject.
    He makes a good point about the industry being one of the least regulated.
    For example: I often get asked to appraise work. I don't, but a trip to city hall and pay a fee and I can get the document to say that i can. Scary, when you think about those cases that really do need an expert opinion.
     

  8. redcaimen

    redcaimen Bigtime

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    When did it start happening that art exhibitors felt the need to explain the meaning of the art they were exhibiting? Serious question.

    I can understand name of artist and name of piece, but when did they start telling you what your reaction to the work is supposed to be?

    If the work does not, for whatever reason, speak for itself, shouldnt it be the artist and the artist alone who provides whatever it is he feels he needs to say about it? At least they should provide some kind of uniform caution at the end. Maybe "Caution, the above analysis may be utter drivel".
     

  9. Fuuma

    Fuuma Franchouillard Modasse

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    When did it start happening that art exhibitors felt the need to explain the meaning of the art they were exhibiting? Serious question.

    I can understand name of artist and name of piece, but when did they start telling you what your reaction to the work is supposed to be?

    If the work does not, for whatever reason, speak for itself, shouldnt it be the artist and the artist alone who provides whatever it is he feels he needs to say about it? At least they should provide some kind of uniform caution at the end. Maybe "Caution, the above analysis may be utter drivel".


    As you as you have an exhibit you have some sort of meta-discourse by the curator, this happens by choosing the works to be displayed and the way they will be placed. Relevent text is often just an explanation on that, it clarifies and does not obscure. Sometimes I don't give a fuck and don't read any texts and that's it, try it it's very liberating.
     

  10. redcaimen

    redcaimen Bigtime

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    ^^^
    This seems more acceptable and less annoying than having some art nanny carefully explain to me what my opinion should be.
     

  11. Fuuma

    Fuuma Franchouillard Modasse

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    ^^^
    This seems more acceptable and less annoying than having some art nanny carefully explain to me what my opinion should be.


    Well people always have an angle but there is some informative content.

    -auction texts: this is why this shit is balla, please buy it for a lot of money!!!
    -expo texts: theme of expo is this, this is why it's relevant now, here's how this piece fits
    -gallery: I swear this shit WILL be balla, here's why, plese please buy it now as later it will be worth a lot of money!!!
    -art magazine: the gallerists that place ads in our mag are selling this, please buy it!!!
    -newspaper art critic: here's how I view modern art, here's how I think this dude fits in, look I'm smart, buy my books and take my classes. Please invite me to write auction texts, it's easy money.
    -artist statement: here's why I made this. I hope it's shocking enough that Saatchi buys it and I get a lot of press so I can get laid with major babes. Next time I promise to use elephant dung or my own blood if it's what it takes.
     

  12. Fuuma

    Fuuma Franchouillard Modasse

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    you can substitute "cultural capital" for money at any time in most cases. Except for auction houses, they just want $$$$$$$.
     

  13. crazyquik

    crazyquik Distinguished Member

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  14. Kent Wang

    Kent Wang Affiliate Vendor Dubiously Honored Affiliate Vendor

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    I was at the Guggenheim Bilbao last year and the temporary exhibition at the time was quite atrocious and the wall text even more so. Next time I'm at a major modern art museum, I'm going to take photos of the art and the wall text, then challenge people to match one to the other.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2012

  15. celery

    celery Distinguished Member

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    What you should do is take those pictures of other people's art with instagram, upload them to the internet then write an article about how you're going to have a show in which you will only write the URL of the image on the wall, the URL's will all link to a webpage that has this as it's only image set as the background:

    [​IMG]

    People will be expecting pictures of actual things, but be presented with an image of a webpage not found when they go to the webpage that you created specifically for that reason, therefore making them find the webpage that they think doesn't exist or isn't working. Then you can follow that up with a paragraph about the frailty of the human mind and inappropriate reliance on technology and the transient nature of contemporary art.
     

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