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              Sculpture
Sunday, 7 October 2012
•    European and American
        Sculpture in the 80’s responded
        to the changing nature of society.
   •    What the writer David Harvey
        has called the financialisation of
        everything, the increasing
        commodification and
        commercialization of society and
        culture.
   •    The neoliberal ideology,
        Thatcherism...privatisation,
        entrepreneurialism,
        meritocracy...
   •    A society and culture increasing
        dominated by consumerism.. an
        age where everything has its
        price.

                                             2

Sunday, 7 October 2012
The 1980’S
      “A zeitgeist of cynicism”




Sunday, 7 October 2012
4

Sunday, 7 October 2012
Two distinct responses to this...




             British and .........American sculpture...


                                                          5

Sunday, 7 October 2012
A betrayal of arts
                  avant gardism / radicalism?




                                            6

Sunday, 7 October 2012
HAUNTED BY THE PAST



                             7

Sunday, 7 October 2012
Key Features of the Modernist Avant Garde
• Avant Garde art should
  be above, beyond,
  distinct from the
  academy and market.
  The symbolic
  embodiment of arts
  freedom. An alternative
  and antidote to the
  commercial, managerial
  ‘spirit’ of capitalism.
  The power of the ‘new’.
  Permanent revolution.
  Overthrowing the tyranny
  of tradition.


                             Marcel Duchamp, Fountain, 1917

Sunday, 7 October 2012
Key Features of the Modernist Avant Garde
         Transgression and Critique


     • Socially, morally, sexually
       transgressive
     • (Politically) critical of the
       status quo
     • Avant gardist work
       expresses a sense of
       alienation from the norms of
       society - explicitly and
       implicitly advocating a social,
       political revolution as well as
       an artistic one.
     • The avant garde artist is
       viewed as an outsider, a
       rebel, a martyr – at a
       distance from the ‘norm’.

Sunday, 7 October 2012
Key Features of the Modernist Avant Garde

         • Questions what is
           permissible as art
         • Focuses on subject
           matter and material
           previously ignored as
           ignoble, base, vulgar or
           banal
         • Asserts that this trash or
           kitsch possesses
           aesthetic and intellectual
           value




Sunday, 7 October 2012
• The Readymade
      •
          	

Key points about the readymade:
                 	

      	

      •   The choice of object is itself a creative
          act.
      •   By cancelling the 'useful' function of an
          object it becomes art.
      •   The presentation and addition of a title to
          the object have given it 'a new thoughtʼ.
      •   Duchamp's readymades also asserted the
          principle that what is art is defined by the
          artist (and the institution?).
      •   The readymade also raises questions
          about how important skill (technique) is,
          and how the value of an art object is          Marcel Duchamp, Fountain, 1917

          determined, and by whom.
                                                        The ultimate avant garde gesture(?)
      •   Source: Tate Gallery Website, Definitions.




                                                                                   11

Sunday, 7 October 2012
12

Sunday, 7 October 2012
Changes to the Avant Garde
         The birth of the culture industry - the start of a cultural cold war



    • The old enemies and
      old certainties of avant
      gardist work were
      threatened by the rapid
      growth of popular
      culture post 45.
    • For many self professed
      avant gardists popular,
      mass or kitsch was the
      new enemy




Sunday, 7 October 2012
The cultural apocalypse


    “Our culture, on its lower
    and popular levels, has
    plumbed abysses of vulgarity
    and falsehood unknown in
    the discoverable past; not in
    Rome, not in the Far east or
    anywhere has daily life
    undergone such rapid and
    radical change as it has in
    the West in the last century
    and half”

    Clement Greenberg ‘
    The Plight of Culture’




Sunday, 7 October 2012
Advance?	

        	

   or   Retreat?




Sunday, 7 October 2012
Visual Muzak?




                                       Jules Olitski “Instant Loveland”
                                       1968



    Anthony Caro “Early One Morning”



                                       “Silence is assent”
                                       Carl Andre


Sunday, 7 October 2012
Avant Gardism and Political Radicalism




Sunday, 7 October 2012
Avant garde practice 60’s + 70’s
         Dematerialisation of the art object.
         Political, anti aesthetic, anti commercial in form
         and content.

     •    Performance
     •    Video
     •    Installation
     •    Feminist
     •    Conceptual




Sunday, 7 October 2012
Key Problem for the Modernist Avant Garde


         • Opposition and
           absorption.
         • The radical is
           domesticated.




Sunday, 7 October 2012
1980’s
   • THE RETURN OF THE
     OBJECT
   • THE RETURN OF
     AESTHETICS




                             Bill Woodrow Blue Monkey 1984

       Allan McCollum.1987
                                                     20

Sunday, 7 October 2012
New British Sculpture 80’s
   • Tony Cragg, Richard Deacon,
     Edward Allington, Bill
     Woodrow.
   • Transformation of found,
     ‘low’ objects from the urban
     environment.
   • Focused on issues around
     production and consumption,
     surplus and waste.
   • “Simple domestic objects
     were taken to pieces,
     dysfunctionally altered” (B,
     Taylor, Art Today)


                                         21

Sunday, 7 October 2012
Bill Woodrow
           Twin-Tub with Guitar 1981   22

Sunday, 7 October 2012
“What does it
   mean to us on
   a conscious, or
   perhaps more
   important,
   unconscious level,
   to live amongst
   these and many
   other completely
   new materials?”

   Tony Cragg
                         Tony Cragg
                         Kahzernarbeit 1985




                         23

Sunday, 7 October 2012
Tony Cragg          24

Sunday, 7 October 2012
Bill Woodrow,   Car Door, Armchair and Incident 1981
                                                                25

Sunday, 7 October 2012
Edward Allington
  Oblivion Penetrated', 1982, mixed media. Collection Tate,
                                                              26

Sunday, 7 October 2012
“..their (New British Sculptors) attempts to render galvanised iron or
     commonplace washing machines aesthetically relevant could be registered as
     critical of 1980’s economic and social policy that was obsessed with
     encouraging consumerist attitudes to every object and service. Assigning
     status to derelict plywood or Formica could be taken as a sort of mischievous
     play in territory that the new social policy tended to ignore: the forlorn
     surfaces of public institutions , rubbish heaps, and the neglected spaces of the
     inner city street”

     Brandon Taylor, Art of Today                                                 27

Sunday, 7 October 2012
NEW YORK ART NOW
                                    SAATCHI GALLERY
                                    1988




    Jeff Koons, Robert Gober,
    Peter Halley, Haim Steinbach,
    Philip Taaffe and Caroll
    Dunham
                                              28

Sunday, 7 October 2012
The Great Divider

   • Timely contemporary
     response to ‘new times’.
     Engaged with an increasingly
     consumerist culture.
   • Sign of decadence and
     complicity of American
     artistic culture, its selling out
     to the values of mammon.




                                         Jeff Koons
                                         Basketball tank:
                                         1985               29

Sunday, 7 October 2012
“The subjects of commodity
     sculpture are advertising’s
     language of signs, desire,
     purchase , and making
     collections. It is clean and
     shiny art because it is
     protected from touch and use
     and available only to sight
     [..] it belongs to the world of
     ownership and exchange”

     Andrew Causey, Sculpture Since 1945




                                           Ashley Bickerton
                                           ‘Le Art’ 1987
                                                              30

Sunday, 7 October 2012
“Referring to the
     tendency of avant garde art to
     end up “above a sofa”, Bickerton
     wrote
     that his wall mounted
     art ‘imitates the posture of its
     own corruption...attempting to
     forward the question of
     precisely where conflict exists in
     this morass of ideal, compromise
     and duplicity”

     B, Taylor, Art Today




                                         31

Sunday, 7 October 2012
Appropriation
    •   Duchampian ‘tradition’
    •   Pictures Group
    •   Sampling, stealing...
    •   Questions notions of
        skill, authorship and
        artistic value.




                                 32

Sunday, 7 October 2012
From resistance to complicity -the neo avant garde
    “Shopping Sculpture”




                                      Haim Steinbach
                                     pink accent 2, 1987.
                                     Two “schizoid” rubber masks, two chrome trash
                                     receptacles, and four “Alessi” tea kettles on
                                     chrome, aluminum and wood shelf.




    Allan McCollum



Sunday, 7 October 2012
Death of the avant garde?
    All art was reduced to the level of a
        commodity. There was no
        distance or alternative space for
        the kind of critical, oppositional
        ‘alternative’ position modernist
        avant gardist’s had adopted.
    The modernist idea of radical art
       being aligned with the ‘left’,
       seemed here to be dispensed
       with.


    “the cynical inversion of the old
        avant garde device of the
                                              Haim Steinbach
        readymade”                           Untitled (3 drinking containers), 1992
                                             plastic, laminated wood shelf with objects
    Foster, H, Art since 1900                21 x 23 x 7 cm




Sunday, 7 October 2012
Cometh the hour,
                         cometh the man
                            (devil?)

                                            35

Sunday, 7 October 2012
36


Sunday, 7 October 2012
The Anti Avant Gardist? - Reasons to be Cheerful Part 1
  Bravo Bravo - baiting the art world


    An ex wall street broker
    Koons actively sought to
    provoke a kind of moral
    queasiness and repulsion
    amongst the art world
    intelligentsia. In his personae, his
    unapologetic embrace of self
    promotion, his relaxed attitude to
    openly discussing money (the
    elephant in the room for the liberal,
    politically correct component of the
    art world) and his dedication to
    opening up the Pandora’s box of
    taste and class, he ‘succeeded’ in
    provoking the kind of shock,
    irritation and disgust typical of the
    ‘modernist’ avant gardist.


Sunday, 7 October 2012
• ‘Pop culture figures are vicariously alluring, and this
      is why they are so affectively charged. They can only
      be grasped through a series of paradoxes’
    •    Steven Shavirio, Post Cinematic Affect, Zero books 2010.



Sunday, 7 October 2012
Koons’ celebrity
• I have basic point of
  differentiation here, between
  Koons and all those ‘celebrity’
  artists who have followed him
  (Tracey Emin, Damien Hirst) ,
  namely that for my perspective
  Koons presence, his personae ,
  his performances within the
  mass media, within celebrity
  culture were always ‘unstable’.
• To be critically gone in the
  mainstream......



 Sunday, 7 October 2012
Sunday, 7 October 2012
Sunday, 7 October 2012
The Anti Avant Gardist?
          Reasons to be Cheerful part 2
          No Irony (?)
      •   While the majority of his
          contemporaries used or
          appropriated objects from
          consumer culture in an
          ironic, critical reflection of
          the soullessness of
          consumer culture, Koons
          openly stated he picked
          figures like Popples
          because he had a deep
          affection for them -
          because he responded to
          them -because he ‘loved
          them’.



Sunday, 7 October 2012
"I like the things that I like, I like
      colour, and I like materialism and I
      like seductiveness. And to me
      these things are absolutely
      beautiful. And if I didn't think these
      things were beautiful and they
      weren't spiritual to me I wouldn't
      work with them".

      Jeff Koons




Sunday, 7 October 2012
Reasons to be cheerful (?) part 3- Collapsing Critical Distance




Sunday, 7 October 2012
“The regimentation of human movement, activity and perception accompanies
    the geometric division of space/ It is governed by the use of time-keeping
    devices, the application of standards of normalcy, and the police apparatus. In
    the factory, human movement is made to conform to rigorous spatial and
    temporal geometries.”

    Peter Halley



Sunday, 7 October 2012
I find art's ability to guide,
      direct, and manipulate to be
      exciting. The only direction I
      see for art is as a tool for
      manipulating it public on
      every level - a political tool. I
      don't know if this places art
      above, below or parallel with
      advertising. [...] The
      techniques are the same.
      The audience is the same. I
      can never tell the difference
      between them and us. We
      are them. I am mass as
      much as I am I.

      Jeff Koons

Sunday, 7 October 2012
Sunday, 7 October 2012
Reasons to be Cheerful Part 4
          Crafty anti modernism
          “my god it actually looks like he loves these…things!”

      •    In 1986/7 the material
           execution of Koons work
           radically changed. While
           artists such as Haim
           Steinbach continued to use
           readymade’s, Koons went to
           extraordinary lengths and
           costs to have everyday toys
           and trinkets remade and
           enlarged by American and
           Northern European
           craftsmen .




Sunday, 7 October 2012
Sunday, 7 October 2012
Sunday, 7 October 2012
Sunday, 7 October 2012
The unacceptability of being a Fan -’illegitimate pleasure’

    Up until this point the choice
    had seemed straightforward
    enough for an artist
    appropriating popular culture:
    either you brought suspicion on
    yourself or you brought
    suspicion on popular culture. In
    all appropriationist work
    suspicion fell squarely on the
    culture outside art. Despite the
    talk of postmodern art existing
    in a transformed position in the
    culture, there was still the old
    prejudice that art was a
    superior form of culture, and
    therefore the only cultural form
    in a privileged enough position
    to criticise.

Sunday, 7 October 2012
Sunday, 7 October 2012
Reasons to be cheerful part 5
             Talking pleasure in learning to love




Sunday, 7 October 2012
•   For Koons his love of popular forms
     was a form of submission, for sure,
     but a submission that casts him/you
     neither as victim nor victimiser, but in
     some way both. To think of Koons'
     relationship to popular culture, as a
     form of love is to have him entangled
     in the operations of power,
     exploitation and seduction to which
     he is not blind but submits
     nonetheless. This is the case,
     anyway, so long as it isn't assumed
     that love is always sweet, never
     critical, and can stomach no tension.
     Koons' love for Popples, in this view,
     needn't mean that he was utterly
     naive, nor that consumer culture is
     innocent, presents no danger, or has
     no unctuous effects. Rather, Koons
     'falls for' popular culture despite
     himself, and despite its subjection of
     him.


Sunday, 7 October 2012
Judith Williamson in her book “Consuming
   Passions” in 1985 wrote about one of the
   limitations of critical engagement with the products
   of consumer culture. Williamson noted, that while it
   was more than common to discuss how
   commodities channel our desires for ‘the need for
   change, the sense that there must be something
   else’ into ‘the need for a new purchase, a new
   hairstyle, a new coat of paint’ what was always
   lacking in this discussion was any sense of how
   ‘consuming products does give a thrill, a sense of
   both belonging and being different’. In essence,
   there’s no obvious understanding of why the
   products are successful as products. Why there
   are attractive, entertaining - pleasurable.
   Williamson regarded this as something of a major
   handicap to unraveling and examining the global
   success of the entertainment industry.


                                                          56

Sunday, 7 October 2012
57

Sunday, 7 October 2012
Made in Heaven
             Disappearing of the Map




Sunday, 7 October 2012
Sunday, 7 October 2012
60


Sunday, 7 October 2012
Sunday, 7 October 2012
Sunday, 7 October 2012
Sunday, 7 October 2012
Sunday, 7 October 2012
Sunday, 7 October 2012
Criticisms
     • Complicity with the
       market.
     • Betrayal of arts radical,
       oppositional potential.
     • Sentimental, ‘frivolous’,
       celebration of vacuous,
       banal, ‘kitschy’ culture



                                   66

Sunday, 7 October 2012
• “Koons is not exploiting the
   media for avant garde
   purposes. He is in cahoots
   with the media. He has no
   message . It’s self
   advertisement, and I find
   that repulsive. ‘

 • Rosalind Krauss quoted in Pop LIfe,
   Tate Gallery.




                                         67

Sunday, 7 October 2012
68


Sunday, 7 October 2012
•   Koons re-imagined or rethought some central ideas about what it
           might mean to be an artist in the 1980’s.
       •   He thoroughly dispensed with the idea that artists could or
           should operate outside the entertainment or culture industry. For
           Koons arts absorption into entertainment was inevitable and they
           might as well seize the opportunities that would arise for making
           art more popular, accessible and visible.
       •   While he rejected what he saw as outmoded ideas about how art
           should be made (i.e solely by one artist) his use of other
           craftsmen to fabricate his work created art works where the
           technical and material quality of the finished work was central.
           We could say his postmodernism was anti-modernist in this
           respect.
       •   His aesthetic and moral ‘transgressions’, his ‘shocks’ weren’t
           always typically avant gardist in tone or content. The shocks that
           accompanied his work arose from his assertion of loving popular




Sunday, 7 October 2012
Koons as Futurologist




Sunday, 7 October 2012
Affective labour


   • One of the ways Koons’
     succeeded’ was by being
     good at communicating
     (cynics might say
     operating).
   • In this respect he was a
     very good at ‘affective
     labour’ or ‘emotional
     labour’.

Sunday, 7 October 2012
Emotional Labour
  • According to Hochschild, jobs
    involving emotional labor are
    defined as those that:
  • 1 Require face-to-face or voice-
    to-voice contact with the public;
  • 2. Require the worker to
    produce an emotional state in
    another person;
  • 3. Allow the employees to
    exercise a degree of control
    over their emotional activities.
  • Display rules refer to the
    organizational rules about what
    kind of emotion to express on
    the job.

                                        72

Sunday, 7 October 2012
• Forms of emotional labour


   •  Surface acting, involves "painting
     on" affective displays, or faking;
     Surface acting involves employee's
     presenting emotions on his or her
     "surface", without actually feeling
     them. The employee in this case
     puts on a facade as if the emotions
     are felt, like a "persona".
   • Deep acting wherein they modify
     their inner feelings to match the
     emotion expressions the
     organization requires.




Sunday, 7 October 2012
Affective emotional labour
    • ‘the management of feeling
      to create a publicly
      observable facial and bodily
      display the emotional
      labourer is required to
      ‘induce or suppress feeling
      in order to sustain the
      outward countenance that
      produces the proper state of
      mind in others’

    •    Ivor Southwood, Non Stop Inertia, pg. 23


Sunday, 7 October 2012
• ‘In these ways the worker
    performer manufacturers the
    final product: the desired
    emotional state in the
    customer. A large part of the
    effort of emotional labour is
    taken up with creating the
    impression that the act is itself
    natural and effortless because
    to show that it is contrived
    would invalidate the exchange
    and spoil the product”

  •   Ivor Southwood,Non Stop Inertia, pg24




Sunday, 7 October 2012
• ‘Whilst early on in his career
    there was some
    acknowledgement of the
    strategies behind the work, in
    interviews and statements
    made in the years since,
    Koons has persistently stayed
    in character with an a-critical
    tone...’

  •    Capitalist Realness Catherine Wood quoted in Pop
       LIfe, Tate Gallery.



                                                          76

Sunday, 7 October 2012

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Sculpture

  • 1. pomo Sculpture Sunday, 7 October 2012
  • 2. European and American Sculpture in the 80’s responded to the changing nature of society. • What the writer David Harvey has called the financialisation of everything, the increasing commodification and commercialization of society and culture. • The neoliberal ideology, Thatcherism...privatisation, entrepreneurialism, meritocracy... • A society and culture increasing dominated by consumerism.. an age where everything has its price. 2 Sunday, 7 October 2012
  • 3. The 1980’S “A zeitgeist of cynicism” Sunday, 7 October 2012
  • 5. Two distinct responses to this... British and .........American sculpture... 5 Sunday, 7 October 2012
  • 6. A betrayal of arts avant gardism / radicalism? 6 Sunday, 7 October 2012
  • 7. HAUNTED BY THE PAST 7 Sunday, 7 October 2012
  • 8. Key Features of the Modernist Avant Garde • Avant Garde art should be above, beyond, distinct from the academy and market. The symbolic embodiment of arts freedom. An alternative and antidote to the commercial, managerial ‘spirit’ of capitalism. The power of the ‘new’. Permanent revolution. Overthrowing the tyranny of tradition. Marcel Duchamp, Fountain, 1917 Sunday, 7 October 2012
  • 9. Key Features of the Modernist Avant Garde Transgression and Critique • Socially, morally, sexually transgressive • (Politically) critical of the status quo • Avant gardist work expresses a sense of alienation from the norms of society - explicitly and implicitly advocating a social, political revolution as well as an artistic one. • The avant garde artist is viewed as an outsider, a rebel, a martyr – at a distance from the ‘norm’. Sunday, 7 October 2012
  • 10. Key Features of the Modernist Avant Garde • Questions what is permissible as art • Focuses on subject matter and material previously ignored as ignoble, base, vulgar or banal • Asserts that this trash or kitsch possesses aesthetic and intellectual value Sunday, 7 October 2012
  • 11. • The Readymade • Key points about the readymade: • The choice of object is itself a creative act. • By cancelling the 'useful' function of an object it becomes art. • The presentation and addition of a title to the object have given it 'a new thoughtʼ. • Duchamp's readymades also asserted the principle that what is art is defined by the artist (and the institution?). • The readymade also raises questions about how important skill (technique) is, and how the value of an art object is Marcel Duchamp, Fountain, 1917 determined, and by whom. The ultimate avant garde gesture(?) • Source: Tate Gallery Website, Definitions. 11 Sunday, 7 October 2012
  • 13. Changes to the Avant Garde The birth of the culture industry - the start of a cultural cold war • The old enemies and old certainties of avant gardist work were threatened by the rapid growth of popular culture post 45. • For many self professed avant gardists popular, mass or kitsch was the new enemy Sunday, 7 October 2012
  • 14. The cultural apocalypse “Our culture, on its lower and popular levels, has plumbed abysses of vulgarity and falsehood unknown in the discoverable past; not in Rome, not in the Far east or anywhere has daily life undergone such rapid and radical change as it has in the West in the last century and half” Clement Greenberg ‘ The Plight of Culture’ Sunday, 7 October 2012
  • 15. Advance? or Retreat? Sunday, 7 October 2012
  • 16. Visual Muzak? Jules Olitski “Instant Loveland” 1968 Anthony Caro “Early One Morning” “Silence is assent” Carl Andre Sunday, 7 October 2012
  • 17. Avant Gardism and Political Radicalism Sunday, 7 October 2012
  • 18. Avant garde practice 60’s + 70’s Dematerialisation of the art object. Political, anti aesthetic, anti commercial in form and content. • Performance • Video • Installation • Feminist • Conceptual Sunday, 7 October 2012
  • 19. Key Problem for the Modernist Avant Garde • Opposition and absorption. • The radical is domesticated. Sunday, 7 October 2012
  • 20. 1980’s • THE RETURN OF THE OBJECT • THE RETURN OF AESTHETICS Bill Woodrow Blue Monkey 1984 Allan McCollum.1987 20 Sunday, 7 October 2012
  • 21. New British Sculpture 80’s • Tony Cragg, Richard Deacon, Edward Allington, Bill Woodrow. • Transformation of found, ‘low’ objects from the urban environment. • Focused on issues around production and consumption, surplus and waste. • “Simple domestic objects were taken to pieces, dysfunctionally altered” (B, Taylor, Art Today) 21 Sunday, 7 October 2012
  • 22. Bill Woodrow Twin-Tub with Guitar 1981 22 Sunday, 7 October 2012
  • 23. “What does it mean to us on a conscious, or perhaps more important, unconscious level, to live amongst these and many other completely new materials?” Tony Cragg Tony Cragg Kahzernarbeit 1985 23 Sunday, 7 October 2012
  • 24. Tony Cragg 24 Sunday, 7 October 2012
  • 25. Bill Woodrow, Car Door, Armchair and Incident 1981 25 Sunday, 7 October 2012
  • 26. Edward Allington Oblivion Penetrated', 1982, mixed media. Collection Tate, 26 Sunday, 7 October 2012
  • 27. “..their (New British Sculptors) attempts to render galvanised iron or commonplace washing machines aesthetically relevant could be registered as critical of 1980’s economic and social policy that was obsessed with encouraging consumerist attitudes to every object and service. Assigning status to derelict plywood or Formica could be taken as a sort of mischievous play in territory that the new social policy tended to ignore: the forlorn surfaces of public institutions , rubbish heaps, and the neglected spaces of the inner city street” Brandon Taylor, Art of Today 27 Sunday, 7 October 2012
  • 28. NEW YORK ART NOW SAATCHI GALLERY 1988 Jeff Koons, Robert Gober, Peter Halley, Haim Steinbach, Philip Taaffe and Caroll Dunham 28 Sunday, 7 October 2012
  • 29. The Great Divider • Timely contemporary response to ‘new times’. Engaged with an increasingly consumerist culture. • Sign of decadence and complicity of American artistic culture, its selling out to the values of mammon. Jeff Koons Basketball tank: 1985 29 Sunday, 7 October 2012
  • 30. “The subjects of commodity sculpture are advertising’s language of signs, desire, purchase , and making collections. It is clean and shiny art because it is protected from touch and use and available only to sight [..] it belongs to the world of ownership and exchange” Andrew Causey, Sculpture Since 1945 Ashley Bickerton ‘Le Art’ 1987 30 Sunday, 7 October 2012
  • 31. “Referring to the tendency of avant garde art to end up “above a sofa”, Bickerton wrote that his wall mounted art ‘imitates the posture of its own corruption...attempting to forward the question of precisely where conflict exists in this morass of ideal, compromise and duplicity” B, Taylor, Art Today 31 Sunday, 7 October 2012
  • 32. Appropriation • Duchampian ‘tradition’ • Pictures Group • Sampling, stealing... • Questions notions of skill, authorship and artistic value. 32 Sunday, 7 October 2012
  • 33. From resistance to complicity -the neo avant garde “Shopping Sculpture” Haim Steinbach pink accent 2, 1987. Two “schizoid” rubber masks, two chrome trash receptacles, and four “Alessi” tea kettles on chrome, aluminum and wood shelf. Allan McCollum Sunday, 7 October 2012
  • 34. Death of the avant garde? All art was reduced to the level of a commodity. There was no distance or alternative space for the kind of critical, oppositional ‘alternative’ position modernist avant gardist’s had adopted. The modernist idea of radical art being aligned with the ‘left’, seemed here to be dispensed with. “the cynical inversion of the old avant garde device of the Haim Steinbach readymade” Untitled (3 drinking containers), 1992 plastic, laminated wood shelf with objects Foster, H, Art since 1900 21 x 23 x 7 cm Sunday, 7 October 2012
  • 35. Cometh the hour, cometh the man (devil?) 35 Sunday, 7 October 2012
  • 37. The Anti Avant Gardist? - Reasons to be Cheerful Part 1 Bravo Bravo - baiting the art world An ex wall street broker Koons actively sought to provoke a kind of moral queasiness and repulsion amongst the art world intelligentsia. In his personae, his unapologetic embrace of self promotion, his relaxed attitude to openly discussing money (the elephant in the room for the liberal, politically correct component of the art world) and his dedication to opening up the Pandora’s box of taste and class, he ‘succeeded’ in provoking the kind of shock, irritation and disgust typical of the ‘modernist’ avant gardist. Sunday, 7 October 2012
  • 38. • ‘Pop culture figures are vicariously alluring, and this is why they are so affectively charged. They can only be grasped through a series of paradoxes’ • Steven Shavirio, Post Cinematic Affect, Zero books 2010. Sunday, 7 October 2012
  • 39. Koons’ celebrity • I have basic point of differentiation here, between Koons and all those ‘celebrity’ artists who have followed him (Tracey Emin, Damien Hirst) , namely that for my perspective Koons presence, his personae , his performances within the mass media, within celebrity culture were always ‘unstable’. • To be critically gone in the mainstream...... Sunday, 7 October 2012
  • 42. The Anti Avant Gardist? Reasons to be Cheerful part 2 No Irony (?) • While the majority of his contemporaries used or appropriated objects from consumer culture in an ironic, critical reflection of the soullessness of consumer culture, Koons openly stated he picked figures like Popples because he had a deep affection for them - because he responded to them -because he ‘loved them’. Sunday, 7 October 2012
  • 43. "I like the things that I like, I like colour, and I like materialism and I like seductiveness. And to me these things are absolutely beautiful. And if I didn't think these things were beautiful and they weren't spiritual to me I wouldn't work with them". Jeff Koons Sunday, 7 October 2012
  • 44. Reasons to be cheerful (?) part 3- Collapsing Critical Distance Sunday, 7 October 2012
  • 45. “The regimentation of human movement, activity and perception accompanies the geometric division of space/ It is governed by the use of time-keeping devices, the application of standards of normalcy, and the police apparatus. In the factory, human movement is made to conform to rigorous spatial and temporal geometries.” Peter Halley Sunday, 7 October 2012
  • 46. I find art's ability to guide, direct, and manipulate to be exciting. The only direction I see for art is as a tool for manipulating it public on every level - a political tool. I don't know if this places art above, below or parallel with advertising. [...] The techniques are the same. The audience is the same. I can never tell the difference between them and us. We are them. I am mass as much as I am I. Jeff Koons Sunday, 7 October 2012
  • 48. Reasons to be Cheerful Part 4 Crafty anti modernism “my god it actually looks like he loves these…things!” • In 1986/7 the material execution of Koons work radically changed. While artists such as Haim Steinbach continued to use readymade’s, Koons went to extraordinary lengths and costs to have everyday toys and trinkets remade and enlarged by American and Northern European craftsmen . Sunday, 7 October 2012
  • 52. The unacceptability of being a Fan -’illegitimate pleasure’ Up until this point the choice had seemed straightforward enough for an artist appropriating popular culture: either you brought suspicion on yourself or you brought suspicion on popular culture. In all appropriationist work suspicion fell squarely on the culture outside art. Despite the talk of postmodern art existing in a transformed position in the culture, there was still the old prejudice that art was a superior form of culture, and therefore the only cultural form in a privileged enough position to criticise. Sunday, 7 October 2012
  • 54. Reasons to be cheerful part 5 Talking pleasure in learning to love Sunday, 7 October 2012
  • 55. For Koons his love of popular forms was a form of submission, for sure, but a submission that casts him/you neither as victim nor victimiser, but in some way both. To think of Koons' relationship to popular culture, as a form of love is to have him entangled in the operations of power, exploitation and seduction to which he is not blind but submits nonetheless. This is the case, anyway, so long as it isn't assumed that love is always sweet, never critical, and can stomach no tension. Koons' love for Popples, in this view, needn't mean that he was utterly naive, nor that consumer culture is innocent, presents no danger, or has no unctuous effects. Rather, Koons 'falls for' popular culture despite himself, and despite its subjection of him. Sunday, 7 October 2012
  • 56. Judith Williamson in her book “Consuming Passions” in 1985 wrote about one of the limitations of critical engagement with the products of consumer culture. Williamson noted, that while it was more than common to discuss how commodities channel our desires for ‘the need for change, the sense that there must be something else’ into ‘the need for a new purchase, a new hairstyle, a new coat of paint’ what was always lacking in this discussion was any sense of how ‘consuming products does give a thrill, a sense of both belonging and being different’. In essence, there’s no obvious understanding of why the products are successful as products. Why there are attractive, entertaining - pleasurable. Williamson regarded this as something of a major handicap to unraveling and examining the global success of the entertainment industry. 56 Sunday, 7 October 2012
  • 58. Made in Heaven Disappearing of the Map Sunday, 7 October 2012
  • 66. Criticisms • Complicity with the market. • Betrayal of arts radical, oppositional potential. • Sentimental, ‘frivolous’, celebration of vacuous, banal, ‘kitschy’ culture 66 Sunday, 7 October 2012
  • 67. • “Koons is not exploiting the media for avant garde purposes. He is in cahoots with the media. He has no message . It’s self advertisement, and I find that repulsive. ‘ • Rosalind Krauss quoted in Pop LIfe, Tate Gallery. 67 Sunday, 7 October 2012
  • 69. Koons re-imagined or rethought some central ideas about what it might mean to be an artist in the 1980’s. • He thoroughly dispensed with the idea that artists could or should operate outside the entertainment or culture industry. For Koons arts absorption into entertainment was inevitable and they might as well seize the opportunities that would arise for making art more popular, accessible and visible. • While he rejected what he saw as outmoded ideas about how art should be made (i.e solely by one artist) his use of other craftsmen to fabricate his work created art works where the technical and material quality of the finished work was central. We could say his postmodernism was anti-modernist in this respect. • His aesthetic and moral ‘transgressions’, his ‘shocks’ weren’t always typically avant gardist in tone or content. The shocks that accompanied his work arose from his assertion of loving popular Sunday, 7 October 2012
  • 71. Affective labour • One of the ways Koons’ succeeded’ was by being good at communicating (cynics might say operating). • In this respect he was a very good at ‘affective labour’ or ‘emotional labour’. Sunday, 7 October 2012
  • 72. Emotional Labour • According to Hochschild, jobs involving emotional labor are defined as those that: • 1 Require face-to-face or voice- to-voice contact with the public; • 2. Require the worker to produce an emotional state in another person; • 3. Allow the employees to exercise a degree of control over their emotional activities. • Display rules refer to the organizational rules about what kind of emotion to express on the job. 72 Sunday, 7 October 2012
  • 73. • Forms of emotional labour • Surface acting, involves "painting on" affective displays, or faking; Surface acting involves employee's presenting emotions on his or her "surface", without actually feeling them. The employee in this case puts on a facade as if the emotions are felt, like a "persona". • Deep acting wherein they modify their inner feelings to match the emotion expressions the organization requires. Sunday, 7 October 2012
  • 74. Affective emotional labour • ‘the management of feeling to create a publicly observable facial and bodily display the emotional labourer is required to ‘induce or suppress feeling in order to sustain the outward countenance that produces the proper state of mind in others’ • Ivor Southwood, Non Stop Inertia, pg. 23 Sunday, 7 October 2012
  • 75. • ‘In these ways the worker performer manufacturers the final product: the desired emotional state in the customer. A large part of the effort of emotional labour is taken up with creating the impression that the act is itself natural and effortless because to show that it is contrived would invalidate the exchange and spoil the product” • Ivor Southwood,Non Stop Inertia, pg24 Sunday, 7 October 2012
  • 76. • ‘Whilst early on in his career there was some acknowledgement of the strategies behind the work, in interviews and statements made in the years since, Koons has persistently stayed in character with an a-critical tone...’ • Capitalist Realness Catherine Wood quoted in Pop LIfe, Tate Gallery. 76 Sunday, 7 October 2012