About an hour or two ago, I was in the workshop discussing art with two of the guys that I work with in Olneyville. Initially I was sharing an image from my most recent studio visit, which I did because I liked the work. The conversation inevitably turned to conceptual art and some sort of discussion about what defines art (aka the never ending/resolving debate) I had recently read something that someone shared on Facebook. It was a venting list directed at art critics. I would say it’s opened my mind to try and change how I write and view art. I still have some exhibition expectations that I hold firm on but evolve or die right? Plus it’s only fair that there should be some expectations on this side of the fence.
One point, that I mentioned regarding the initially workshop discussion was related to #6. “Stop asking for artist’s statements. If the statement makes you like the art more, it sucks and so do you.” I interpreted this as the work needs to stand on it’s own without any support or explanation, and if the statement does something that the work doesn’t do on its own, it worth considering what that might mean. According to the list, it means the work isn’t very good. There was sort of a disagreement about this point since in my opinion understanding conceptual art without a guide can either be the point where your brain shuts down from frustration or your imagination sets you free. It was settled by an “agree to disagree.” (Thanks Pat)
There was also a comment made that went something like, “I’ve read your blog. What if they don’t want to appeal to a wide audience?” This is clearly what is still ringing in my head (Thanks Pat). I suppose he’s right. I think there is that fine line between people who keep their work stowed away from any eyes and those who actively seek to show their work, to anyone… even me. You can be as elitist as you’d like, as long as you can explain it. Can’t it be argued along side of the tree falling in the forest? What is art without a viewer? Maybe we should ask Camus… since it’s a pretty existential idea. While it is any artist’s right to make art geared for anyone. I just don’t see the benefit of discriminating against any audience. It is understandable that it may not move everyone, but shouldn’t that be a possibility?
Those tailors did not make magic clothes guys.. the emperor was walking around buck naked and NO ONE thinks twice about it, thinking there is something wrong with them because they don’t see these magic clothes until a child says something. Am I destined to have to walk around with a pocket thesaurus? Ugh. Maybe. Sometimes I don’t even know what I’m talking about anymore.. (Thanks Pat)
Never a dull moment