A quote from Peter Brook in 1968* talking specifically about staging Shakespeare, but I think one can easily apply to contemporary art (both then and now) what he’s saying about the pitfalls of excessive reverence for arid concepts or the mystique of the artist, both of which come at the almost inevitable cost of destroying connection, elevation, instruction or entertainment for the audiences we as artists or curators are meant to serve:
“… Yet secretly we find it excruciatingly boring- and in our hearts we either blame Shakespeare, or theatre as such, or even ourselves. To make matters worse there is always a deadly spectator, who for special reasons enjoys a lack of intensity and even a lack of entertainment, such as the scholar who emerges from routine performances of the classics smiling because nothing has distracted him from trying over and confirming his pet theories to himself, whilst reciting his favourite lines under his breath.”
Several thousand curators, art critics or journalists, Fine Art Ph.D. researchers and art school lecturers just shivered as if somebody had walked over their grave.
*Peter Brook, ‘The Empty Space’.