Saturday, November 28, 2015

Art as life, part deux

It's funny to try to judge someone and someone's work from a distance, and yet we do this all the time when considering public people. Of course, this leaves us open to making quick judgments based on nothing more than a handful of glimpses. That's why it's important for those in the public eye to curate those glimpses and thus gain the upper hand by manipulating us.


And so it goes. Recently, I found an interview of an artist, whose work I enjoy immensely. You may have read about a view of the pieces she paints. She has been moving towards structures and sculptures which have actual movement. Interesting, most of this. Funny thing is that in the interview she explains some of this, and what flowed from the critics is nothing short of a vitriol that I'm sure I will never understand.  See if the interview irks you.

The artist explains how she sees the world is history as some ever changing flow of actions with a person (in multitude, in other words multiplied by billions) and how they influence each other and their histories and perception of life and so on [1]. She is still trying to approximate that and perhaps paintings and sculptures are all not enough to do so? Moving sculptures are next, she says.

Moreover, she continues: "History, or trying to write about it, or even about the human condition is like standing in the middle of a flowing stream and saying the water I feel speaks to everything about the stream. It doesn't. It doesn't even speak to the water that was once flowing when we weren't standing in the stream." And this is how she sees life, humans and their inability to really speak about the world.

Her art, she hopes will sooner or later become a better approximation. Let's see.

Nevertheless, it's hard to see what the critics (outside of those reactionary ones) are complaining about in that statement. The rest of the interview isn't so clear cut, IMHO. Her other statements were: "All art [2] is the celebration of the ultimate barbarism."

Hard to see what she was trying to say with that comment. Perhaps that certain levels of luxury (for some art, not all, I would dare venture) that is required for art is only achieved through barbaric ends. Again, I don't entirely agree with this comment, thought I understand its sentiment. In response, though, some of her critics have said that the entire human condition is barbarism and that how we cover it (in a gilded facade, I suppose) matters. [3] They also added that she was now showing in the private halls of some barbarians, that she should keep quiet about it. I'm not sure about what she said, but in the face of such criticism I would say that I side with her.

Furthermore, as an artist, I'm very certain that part of this is a staged performance. If one assumes that truth (the type beyond facts) is what one makes, she can say whatever she wants, as long as it serves her art. Thoughts?


 

[1] so far so post modernism, right?

[2] I think she means the modern kind.

[3] My Southern friends would call this trying to "polish a turd"


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