Saturday, 3 October 2009

interesting post:

readgrins's profile picturereadgrins

02 Oct 09, 12:05pm (about 22 hours ago)

Personally, I see the Stuckists as reacting against gallery-power; the notion - which readymades and conceptual art to a great extent rely upon - that anything, so long as it is placed within the context of a gallery, acquires the status of art. This decline (again, this is my personal viewpoint) is mirrored in the habit of current literary criticism to see its role not as the ascription of a judgement of value to a piece of work, but rather as the description of culture by the examination of a cultural artefact. With the former aim, one can make distinctions between pieces on the basis of merit; with the latter, all pieces become equivalent, as mere symptoms of a wider social 'illness' to be diagnosed: the possibility of saying that, say, Milton is better - that is, has more creative and artistic merit - than Madonna, becomes impossible.

The retreat into figurative art seems, in the light of this, natural. Figurative art - the imitation or replication of the human form - is recognisably art without the contextualisation of a gallery. Not to the extent that it is imitative, but rather innovative with the form it inherits. If you find the Venus of Wittenberg on a rubbish heap, it's artistic value is obvious, because it is intrinsic. A 'found object' on a rubbish heap is simply a part of the rubbish heap - its artistic value is only acquired by removal from its context, and placement in a gallery. All things become equal; all things become, in themselves, valueless, and art becomes a mere acceptance of, as you say Jonathan, 'anything at all'. This is ahy I think 'One and Other' is a dangerous thing - it reinforces the notion that art is an activity - indeed, any and all activities - that occur within a pre-defined space: art by contextualisation, rather than intrinsic merit; the apportionment of an equivalency of value to all things within this sphere, regardless of their display of skill, or of commitment, or of learning, or ability. I feel that art should act against the boundaries imposed upon it - it shouldn't be defined by those boundaries. The proper relationship is reversed.

Insofar as I feel this is the case, I support the Stuckists. There's an irony in declaiming that art requires an open mind, while at the same time declaring a modern art movement of no value; an irony also, in answering cheap slogans with cheap quotations.

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