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Purity and decadence

Purity and decadence






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    Purity and decadence Purity and decadence Presentation Transcript

    • “Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the bank, and of having nothing to do: once or twice she had peeped into the book her sister was reading, but it had no pictures or conversations in it, “and what is the use of a book”, thought Alice, “without pictures or conversations?”
    • Purity and DecadenceIdea art, chi chi conceptualism, ikea art ‘versus’ form, colour, visual pleasure... A phoney opposition?
    • • “Should art be concerned with (and preserve at all costs) its own specialised laws, issues and competencies and address an elevated elite public, actual or ideal? For some, this preserves the Utopian vision of creative human expression untainted by kitsch or political doctrine; for others, it maintains an insulated, socially exclusive and gendered art, with attendant discourse, which feeds the market in novel objects and provides state and corporate agencies with symbols to be used for whatever ideological reasons they wish. Alternatively, should art engage with the social and cultural world at large to give expression to those issues, controversies and interests that are stifled by dominant ideologies? For some this preserves the power of art to engage critically with what Baudelaire called ‘the transitory, the fugitive, the contingent of the present, in a way that addresses a constituency for whom culture has a broader social base; for others, this is naive, conscience wringing whine leading to bad art and special pleading. “ Francis Frascina 3
    • “There is a danger in this rivalry of thinking that artwhich is not visually interesting must ipso facto be clever, or alternatively of discarding visually interesting art as being ipso facto not clever.“ Dave Beech Artmonthly
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    • Key features of Conceptual Art• The dematerialisation of the art object -anti optical - anti formal. Concept over Form.• Resistance to the art market / to corporate buying power. Critique of the institutions of art (museums, critics, dealers)• Investigation of the status of the art object - the ontology of art -art that didn’t look like art.• A rejection of the myths of modernism - especially in relation to ideas of expression, Reading Position for Second Degree Burn, authenticity (see collaborative practice) 1970, Jones Beach, New York, Duration of Exposure: 5 hours. Dennis Oppenheim,• New mediums - the embrace of non 1970-1974. conventional forms for artistic communication - text, photography, video, performance- the search for more democratic forms of communicating.• A questioning of the social role of the artist - artists no longer mute doers.• A re-imagining of the role of the spectator - a shift from a passive consumer of aesthetic objects- to an active reader and interpreter
    • The ontology of artThe Conceptual artist Joseph Kosuth remarked that the ‘purest’ definition of conceptual art would be that it is an inquiry into the foundations of the concept ‘art’. John Baldessari ‘What is Painting’ 1968
    • “Art doesn’t require being able todraw, or being able to paint well orknow colours, it doesn’t requireany of those specific things thatare in the discipline, to beinteresting”Bruce Nauman
    • Anti Aesthetic - Anti Object
    • The New Spirit in Painting Royal Academy (1981)Sean ScullyPaul1984 “Schnabel had rediscovered the joy in art” New Spirit in Painting Catalogue
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    • Neo Conceptualism (1990-98)Artists react against what is seen as the parochial,out dated conservative appearance, tone andvalues of the British art world. Conceptualism hasa pure, ‘international’ style.A generation of younger artists, specifically inLondon at Goldsmith’s college and in Glasgow atGSA ‘rediscover’ (copy, appropriate or repackage)the work of first generation conceptual artist fromthe late 1960’s and 70’s.Partly this shift is stylistic (black and white,minimalism devoid of signs of the hand or‘touch’) . It also asserts the primacy of the idea,for some, at the expense of the form or material.Unlike first generation (60’s and 70’s)conceptualists, these artists were keen to transport‘idea art’ into the everyday.
    • Julian Opie
    • Gillian Wearing
    • Simon Patterson
    • Damien HirstThe Asthmatic Escaped II, 1992Glass, metal, camera on tripod, shoes, clothing, film, saucer, plastic cup and lid, candy bar,and inhaler87 x 168 1/4 x 83 3/4 in. (221.0 x 427.4 x 212.7 cm.)
    • Glasgow Neo-ConceptualismKey Artists:Douglas GordonChristine BorlandRoderick BuchananJacqueline Donachie
    • Douglas Gordon
    • Socially Engaged?Work in Progress1995The men in Work in Progress are wearing either Inter Milan orAC Milan football team shirts. The type of portrait is familiarfrom football publicity photographs, where the players stare Roderick Buchananahead with their arms held behind their backs. However, insteadof being Italian sportsmen, the players are from amateur five-a-side Glasgow teams. Their separation into two sets alludes tothe need of individuals to lend themselves a separate identity,while at the same time maintaining common bonds ofknowledge and agreed opinion. The implied rivalry echoes thecompetition between the two Glasgow football teams, Rangersand Celtic.National Gallery of Scotland
    • Criticisms of - reaction against ‘idea’ art“Today we have nominal triggersfor regurgitating arguments betterrehearsed elsewhere, which areneither illuminated nor in anysense present within the work.This is work that is essentiallyliterary. Work that repels thesenses and takes us off to thelibrary. The press release is thepitch, is the interpretation, is thewhole work ready to be phonedaround the world. Art that indeconstructive logic is a footnoteto the text which justifies itsexistence. “ Christine BorlandMark Wallinger“Fool Britannia: not new , notclever, not funny”
    • The lost radicalism• ’Saatchi’s taste is very much for art that looks like advertisments, and who -except an adman -would want to own one of them?” Julian Stallabrass High Art Lite pg. 201• Idea art becomes ikea art -”you got to have a good idea” - the tyranny of the good idea• Fetish made of ‘being seen to be sharp and smart’ - chi chi conceptualism
    • “People having been looking at work and saying that’s a nice idea. I really hate good ideas, why not write them down? “ Robert Johnston Untitled magazine
    • “The only thing NeoConceptualists share withConceptualists is the useof the word conceptual.” Terry Atkinson
    • The Idea is to Shock
    • Paintings back! (again..) Did it ever go away?• Visual pleasure - return of the seductive, opulent, unashamed reveling in the pleasures of painting.• A reaction against the dominance of photographic, video, installation ‘idea’ based art, as well as the use of ready made and the lo fi• A desire to produce work that was resistant to easy incorporation with the machinery of the culture industry (educational workshops - too easily pitchable one liners)
    • “Inevitably , the yba cult ofpersonality became tired. .Newartists and curators beganlooking elsewhere. Artistswanted to make art withoutanyone peering over theirshoulders. They becameenthusiastic about makingthings again. Art started to looklike it was having more fun whileartists remained serious in howthey reflected their concerns…Cynicism was finally passe andthe art star a bore..”Dick Price‘Die Young Stay Pretty’ Martin Maloney
    • Dan Perfect David Thorpe Daniel Coombes Chantal Joffe
    • “In the art world, this newtendency has been seenlargely for what it is: acynical ploy, given thegrowing dissatisfactionwith the antics of high artlite, to push the art marketon in a direction thatSaatchi can control”Julian StallabrassSaatchi and Sensation‘High Art Lite’
    • Dave Hickey• Key texts “Air guitar” “The Invisible Dragon - Four Essays on Beauty”• A critique of the austere, censorious politically correct culture that has, for Hickey, engulfed American art since the early seventies.• Hickey’s writing aims to place questions of aesthetics - of visual pleasure, experience, fun and most importantly for him beauty, back on the agenda.• “A lanky graduate student had risen to his feet and was soliciting my opinion as to what “the issue of the Nineties” would be. Snatched from my reverie, I said, “Beauty”, and then more firmly. “the issue of the nineties will be beauty [..] the total, uncomprehending silence that greeted this modest proposal lent it immediate credence for me. “ (Enter the Dragon on the vernacular of Beauty pg. 11)• His essays aim to invoke a relationship to art based on enthusiasm and being a fan, rather than theoretical interpretation, critical deconstruction or a demonstration of arts social usefulness.
    • • Theological nit picking and sensory deprivation “What is the good of music? What is the good of painting? There is nothing truly beautiful that can be used for anything; everything that is useful is ugly, for it is the expression of some need..The most useful room in a house is a latrine” Theophile Gautier (1811-72 Preface to Mademoiselle de Maupin)
    • • “The artist Renne Green has enumerated some current art world cliches exemplified by Hickey’s thinking:• Art is borderless• Thinking causes over seriousness and the deflation of fun and beauty, which are equated with aesthetic pleasure.• To think means to think too much,and is in conflict with expereincing (which is thought of in binary terms and is thus associated with feeling,i.e feeling/ experiencing vs. thinking).• Hickey strangely presumes that people - and educated art audiences in particular - cannot take pleasure in a demanding work, or a political work, or even a play of ideas”• Julian Stallabrass 35• Art Incorporated
    • • In his books he constantly alludes to his rich and cultured background, but systematically fails to see the connection between this socialisation within culture, and his subsequent feelings of being so at home within art. Instead of acknowledging that his sense of belonging is a cultural privilege, intrinsically linked to social inequalities within the broader culture, he turns it into a kind of magical gift. But, Hickey’s sense of belonging within culture is simply not available to everyone. In this respect he perfectly typifies Bourdieu’s remarks that the greatest mystifers are the most mystified.• 36
    • Early One Morning Whitechapel Gallery London 06 July - 08 August 2002 Their work demonstrates a sensuous enjoyment of materials, which they activate in dynamic and unexpected configurations. Largely abstract in composition, their work reclaims beauty and pleasure, sampling from the formal strategies of Modernism at the same time as design, fashion, music and advertising. Their works can be spatial, tactile and riotously colourful.http://www.whitechapel.org/images/disappearer360h_0.jpg
    • Installation view at WhitechapelGallery “I wanted to undo the idea of minimalism as incorruptible, overlapping it with ideas of faith, death, magic, things that are all very messy in a way. I like the idea of corrupting, of scratching the pristine surface. It’s like the object tries to be itself but we bring something to it that changes it, a bizarre occultism. “ Eva Rothschild
    • New Formalism? A Reactionary Turn?“Why is that whilst the worldoutside spirals in ever tightercircles of terror and repression,and the potential avenues ofavoidance or resistance becomesqueezed by the growingdominance of capital and its civiland military bulldogs, artistsretreat further into a hermeticworld of abstraction, formalism,deferred meanings and latentspiritualism?”Nick EvansTired of the Soup d’Jour?Variant EVA ROTHSCHILD Early Learning, 2002
    • Tom OʼSullivan and Joanne Tatham 40
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    • • “Such art can only really be appreciated by those involved intimately with its production and reception. It encourages true cultural commitment, mitigates against larger audiences and provides few points of access for curators who need to fulfil educational programmes” Neil Mulholland 42
    • Decadence?Liza Lou - White Cube 2006
    • Laura OwensFred Tomaselli
    • Inka EssenhighBeatriz Milhazes
    • The Subjectivity of Beauty or the Tyranny of Good Taste• “The things that seem beautiful, inspiring and life-affirming to me, seem ugly, hateful and ludicrous to most other people.”• Pat Califia, Macho Sluts
    • Matthew Ritchie
    • Martin Kippenberger
    • Keith Tyson
    • Lucy McKenzie
    • John Russell • THE ARTIST PRESENTS THE SPECTACLE OF FOUR TEN BY THIRTY-FIVE FEET BACK-LIT TABLEAUX, DIGITALLY PRINTED ON VINYL, DEPICTING SCENES OF PEOPLE STANDING IN A SEDUCTIVE AND INFINITE OCEAN IN THE THROES OF ECSTASY. These are people SAYING ʻYESʼ TO LIFE – CAUGHT IN THE THRALL OF THE EVENT AND SPREADING THEIR DESIRE THROUGHOUT THE WORLD LIKE A CONTAGION. It may be unclear whether these poses are the result of ʻFREE WILLʼ or whether they are fixed as narrative or compositional elements within a wider ʻphilosophical context,ʼ but in fact these questions are subsidiary to the performative or ILLOCUTIONARY FORCE of the works as the staging of a staging, or PRESENTATION OF A PRESENTATION. A SELF-ARTICULATION OF THE FICTION OF AN ARTWORK-AS-EVENT-AS-PROPHECY-AND/OR CURSE OF THE UNLEASHING OF THE POWER OF THE FALSE. In this respect the SHIMMERING SUN-SOAKED PLANE OF THE OCEAN is equivalent to the illuminated surface of the picture/object plane, both PITCHED SUPERFICIALLY AT THE SURFACE OF THINGS as an absolute (abstract/virtual) flatness – an incorporeal realm where the forms, passions, shapes and rhythms of this flatness might slip and explode as ideas, shapes, states of affairs, bodies and forces in the real world, FROM WHICH THEY ARE ANYWAY NOT SEPARATED. 55
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