Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Literary Flatulence and Subjectivity

Signandsight: "Inflated Phrases"

Most texts which accompany contemporary art production are so twisted and woolly that they could easily pass for self-parody. Christian Demand takes up a three hundred year old lament. In anticipation of any objections that might follow: I am not an art critic. I am not now and I never was, and I don't intend to become one. When I talk about the crisis of criticism, I am not speaking with the authority of someone who has proved he can do things better.


"I am driven by nothing more than the frustrations of a reader who is interested in art and who simply cannot believe the mass of linguistic strutting, moral imposture and lazy thinking that is inflicted upon him by this genre. Take the official exhibition text for the Anish Kapoor show in Munich's Haus der Kunst (2007/08): "In Kapoor's work, material plays a central role, although always in connection with an idea of presence and spirituality that transcends the superficial 'actuality' of the object. In Kapoor's words: 'In a certain way matter always leads to something immaterial.' He sees this as the fundamentally paradoxical yet complementary proviso of the material world. (...) Terms like lightness, slowness and growth seem to be the inspiration and driving force for Kapoor's new kinetic objects and spacial objects shown in this exhibition. At the root of them all is Kapoor's expression of anxiety through unabashed emblems and formal reference to sexuality and violence: the unspeakable is given voice." (...)

"Art" is – and always was – a value judgement, in other words a term whose application reflects the likes and dislikes of the person using it. (...)" >>>

- Caption: Balthus' "The Street" -

Value judgment, by all means - but an objective one, please. In the recent post "Let there be Light" we looked at the Objectivist take on art and what it is meant to be, philosophically ... leaving you with the French painter Balthus, also on Signandsight:

Signandsight: "Nymphs in the Afternoon"

Cologne's Museum Ludwig presents the first solo show of French painter Balthus, the self-styled "King of Cats." That was the first news about him and it was written by a poet, Rainer Maria Rilke - as though there were something to doubt about this existence. (...) >>>

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