Jake and Dinos Chapman (1995) Zygotic
Acceleration, Biogenetic, Desublimated, Libidinal Model
Pleasure and democracy ?
“Artists have ... refused to entrust their work to the abstract ideals of 1980s
critical practice and the immanent critique of artistic form, turning instead
to the existentially more „secure‟ ground of their own enjoyment as cultural
“What this art has achieved is a level of distribution and recognition
outside the professional art audience that even critical postmodernism
could only dream of... [while also being] a recognition of the fundamental
„ordinariness of culture.” (Roberts 1998, p76,p.77)
Martin Maloney Glen Brown (1994) Ornamental
(1997) Sony Levi Despair...
Richard Billingham (1995) Liz Shaking Fist
Pleasure and „pluerile‟ ?
“For established artists to say that memories of
the film Grease are as important to them as the
Falklands‟ War might still be stunningly
arrogant, but making work about one‟s
investment in „trivia‟ now amounts to little more
than a one-dimensional gesture ... Artists are
no longer answerable to criticism: there is no
longer a critical economy in London to speak
of, and artists are above all part of a scene
economy.” (Garnett 1998, p. 19)
“I can‟t wait to get into a position to make really bad art and get away
with it. At the moment if I did certain things people would look at me
and say „Fuck off‟. But after a while you can get away with things.”
Damien Hirst 1990, quoted in (Stallabrass 1999, p.31)
Damien Hirst (2007) Spot Painting
“Hirst said that he only painted five spot paintings himself (there are about 300)
because, „I couldn‟t be fucking arsed doing it.‟ He described his efforts as ‟shite.‟
„They‟re shite compared to … the best person who ever painted spots for me was
Rachel. She‟s brilliant. Absolutely fucking brilliant. The best spot painting you can
have by me is one painted by Rachel.‟” Stephen Foster, Blog.
How was Brit Art been made to
seem coherent and valuable?
Grand-Narrative (or myth)
Exhibitions and Galleries
Freeze... Matt Collishaw (1988/93) Bullet Hole
Marcus Harvey (1993) My
Arse is Yours
Jake and Dinos Chapman
“...a great piece of art can transcend
various ephemeral, cultural situations.
To give you a clearer idea... I‟m not at
all interested in issue-based art ... I‟m
interested in art which has a certain
degree of universality and is able to
transcend certain cultural and
Democratic or just „pluerile‟?
“...we shouldn‟t treat the widespread adoption of
the pornographic, vulgar and profane in the new art
as the coat-tailing of media sensationalism, but a
refusal on the part of the artists to feel shame
about engaging in the everyday through the abject.
With the popular enculturalisation of art... It is
inevitable that a distance should open up between
the new art and the theoretical strenuousness of
the „80s... The theory, so to speak, has been given
sensual form.” (Roberts 1996)
Democratic or just „pluerile‟?
“What [the] broader audience is probably consuming... Is the
spectacle itself, and the popularist element in culture. How many
more informaed speculations the [yBa] has created is also
questionable, considering the paucity of rigorous analysis of the
“[The] difficulty in tying down high art lite [i.e. yBa, Brit Art] is not
a product of the postmodern condition... Or of deconstruction in
any essential sense, but rather of a specific situation in which
art simultaneously addresses diverse audiences, facing
outwards to the general audience and inwards to the in-crowd.”
(Stallabrass 1999, p.65)