Thursday, October 29, 2009

Throw in the Towl?



Not a chance! The master of the "think piece," Seth Price posted an excellent essay, Teen Image, on Art Fag City last week. It's a crying shame that I only read it today. Coincidence or not, there is eerie similarity to his performance piece with Kelley Walker, Freelance Stenographer,in that the comments that trail the work are utterly terrifying. Here's his conclusion, my fav part <:-P

Art is sometimes taken to be a kind of seismograph that registers the effects of cultural change. In this view, art’s objects and gestures yield distanced reflection and insight: from the frenzy, a distillation. But the term ‘ritualized unknowing,’ used above in reference to the Internet, could also describe a response to the banal condition of trying to understand what’s happening that one finds in art discourse, which seeks to explain how art explains, to show how art shows, to suggest what art is trying to suggest.

There is a paradox in the very attempt to understand an unfamiliar art practice, which today is usually initiated through the medium of two-dimensional or screen-based images. Initially you grapple with a nebulous apparition in your mind’s eye, a suspicion that something hovers beyond with no name forthcoming, but this sense of looming energies and meaning often shrinks when you finally inspect the actual artworks, which reveal themselves to consist of mere objects or gestures, as do all artworks. No matter how powerful the work, you’re tempted to say: “But this is just Just an object, just a gesture. It would be a mistake, though, to think that your disillusionment upon scrutinizing the “actual” art is a bad thing. A gap has surely opened in your experience of the work, but art depends on this split between the fragile interiority of speculation and the more public and bodily activity of looking, which partakes of space. Your first impression, rare and valuable as it is, is only richer for the betrayal.

Frenzy might in fact be homeopathic, its anxiety-producing presence a spur, although rather than encourage the articulation of meaning, it encourages existing chains of associations to fold in a strange and unanticipated way, aligning incompatible ideas and holding them in awkward proximity.


p.s. Man sooooo, much big shit (very literally in most cases...) is going down this week, so wavy.  Retard Urs Fischer (there I said - well, wrote it) bangs (easily assaults?) the New Museum's walls with expensive objects. In time for the World Series, Fischli & Weiss load the bases at Matthew Marks. Rob Pruitt re-enacts David Kleinfeld's Long Island estate at the Guggenheim for 10 grand a table.  And I'm here trying to finish up something about 2 "paintings" by RH Quaytman that closed 3 weeks ago... so much for my hits.

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