Thursday, June 30, 2005

Art

Last night Arthur & I attended the AIM show opening at the Bronx Museum. A friend from the hot box has work in the show (very nice) and I had always wanted to check out the museum space, plus there was free beer. This AIM program is kind of a notorious application deal and I have applied to it countless times never to make even the first cut. Often infuriating. (I know many others in the same boat who I consider to be really smart artists) Now that I see the show I have a feeling I know why. I have nothing against conceptual art when the concept is interesting and/or the art-thing produced is splendid in its formal/object/thinking qualities. However, I hate boring art that revolves around a tedious concept/project. But people love this and curators love ths. Examples (not exactly from the show): I documented the movements of my foot tapping for a hour and then made these assemblages of cardboard stackings from the sine curves created from my graphs. This neon tube (in the shape of a fetus) symbolizes the movement of the placenta in the womb, filled with the feeling of science and mystery. Or, I collected these tin cans and left them in a bucket for six months while they rusted. I then used the rust shavings to create dune forms which i photographed in the exact places where I found the tin cans. I will stop. The work in the show was not this retarded, but the whole justification/explanation stuff I find suspect. The AIM program apparently emphasizes this. What is the deal with this?

19 comments:

fairy butler said...

caveat: this is the only show there that I have seen so it is probably unfair to generalize like i am here. but for the sake of discussion....

fairy butler said...

viewing the show arthur came to the conclusion that it was better in most cases not to read the little statement beside the work. I usually stopped reading them after the first sentence. i wonder why they put those little statements up there in the first place? to prop up the work?

nardlet said...

Some art only exists to give the art writers something to do. It's too hard to write about an ineffable visual experience. So work that is intuitive or whose value lies largely in the visual experience takes a back seat. This is an unfortunate and sucky fact of life about the art world.

Arty said...

"The work in the show was not this retarded..."

Yes, it was. Quite retarded in fact. And what's the deal with concepual art that has at it's core concept a stultifying repetition of what has been done before?

And the pretentious artist descriptions only served to make me hate the work more so. How full of shit does it have to be before the stench overwhelms?

Arty said...

Oh, and perhaps I should take you up on that 'video art challenge'.

Even though I am corrupted by my job in tv, I have a feeling that I could resuurect the old college days of yore when I did silly video art projects.

fairy butler said...

PLEASE DO. Artsy, not all the work was retarded, it was shades of gray. Some pieces made sense and felt right and had a reason to be conceptual and less visually stunning - some were just ?? It wasn't totally bleak, but I could really do without the plaques.

Nardlet, your summation is correct. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I am an AIM reject as well. many people I know were accepted and you may have seen their work last night. Would you mind being more explicit in your descriptions for my pleasure? The folks I know who got in make really tedious work. kinda conceptually derivative and not very creative. I think conceptually based work is often lazy in the push pull struggle with individual pieces. I like to see a creative struggle. These works are too pat, too decided and totally admired by those curators stuck in early 90s identity politics blah blah blah, "the softness of the material is contrasted with the sharpness of the subject" kind of thinking. my theory about this program is that it appeals to and accepts only the recent grad school graduate who has just finished vocally defending a meager idea for 2 years. Who knows, maybe the stuff they tell them is the key to a "career" It seems that they are saying that artists can have success if they work on the business portion of their art making with enough persistence. Whatever, I know that is not the case.

krixfort said...

I love looking at conceptual art and reading the description of the concept. It's important that I get the point. I hate walking away from something left to draw my own conclusions. How confusing. It's like seeing a film or reading a book that does NOT beat you over the head with its message. I hate not being beat over the head. I like every little tiny thing spelled out for me. Thank you. Good night.

Anonymous said...

those indescribable qualities are overlooked by the philistines of the graduate programs and apparently the Bronx museum of art. The lack of language to describe an artwork is perhaps the sign of real success.

fairy butler said...

different strokes for different folks. I didn't give some of the work enough time to describe or weigh in on, it was a busy opening and distracting. I tend to agree with your comments anonymous. I hope it is not sour grapes.

Anonymous said...

sure its sour grapes, but also true. It can be both you know.

fairy butler said...

yes, I meant sour grapes on my end, no projections out there. it can be both. I agree. I feel like white columns curating might also be suspect. or maybe I just suck? new curator i do not understand why ..

postmoderndebunker said...

I think if it comes with instructions...like, say, office chairs, then it is ART.

a hem.

this years grad crop said...

Its all rot. Don't read this month's issue of Harpers if you don't want to HATE academia all over again. Am I off subject?

fairy butler said...

can i read harper's online? this sounds good.

this years grad said...

That article is not up yet. It is called "doing time, my years in the creative-writing gulag" by Lynn Freed, an MFA professor in a creative writing program. Incredibly cynical, intensely unsympathetic to her students and all too familiar.

Artythur said...

Annon, I think my main issue was the prevalence of 'seen-it-before' art. Nice, safe 'out of the frame' drawings on paper pinned to the wall, intricatly stacked cardboard/plywood sculpture, soft sculpture ala Oldenberg, bad video art presentated as installation.

Nothing was really 'all' that bad. Just boring. Nontruiging in it's sameness.

oooh! Nontruiging. I like that fakeword.

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