Tag Archives: götterdämmerung

ARTBOLLOCKS THEATRE S3E2: INSTRUMENTALIZED

16 Feb

thunderdome

Dramatic readings of the worst artist statements, gallery press releases and art criticism. All real, all serious, all horribly written. I apologise in advance for any foreign or jargon words that I accidentally pronounced correctly. This time, two artists in a Belgian “overall installation” that seems to be about interfering with virgins. You can play along with your Artbollocks Bingo card, and you can watch more Artbollocks Theatre here on the blog or on my Vimeo channel.

“From the stock of a museum, Sophie Langohr unearthed fifteen statues of the Virgin Mary in the Saint-Sulpice style, which today represent the purest form of religious knick-knack and the beginnings of a semi-industrial art. The artist confronts the outmoded faces with the ones found on the internet of the current muses that incarnate the big brands of the luxury industry.
 As diptychs, these transfigurations give us the consummate illusion of a particularly dreaded cinema-photo-digital aesthetics.”

Yes… but why did she do it? This information is totally absent, and it is perhaps the most cogent thing we might like to know before we’ve seen the work, or if not cogent then at least it’s the aspect that might allow us to decide whether what the artist has done actually has any purpose or merit. How odd that we’re specifically denied the option of doing so. HASHTAG SARCASM. How does one confront faces? If this just means “putting them next to one other”, then just say so.  What is “cinema-photo-digital aesthetics”, why is it “particularly dreaded” and by whom?

Continue reading

ARTBOLLOCKS THEATRE 3: SUPER COP

2 Feb

ABT3_Copper

S3E1: CONTEMPLATIVE

Yes, it’s back. Even more dramatic readings of the worst artist statements, gallery press releases and art criticism, this time with a police show-on-VHS-tape twist. Watch new arty farty perps and syntax villains brought to justice every two weeks or so. In this episode, we learn how it’s possible to write four paragraphs and nearly four hundred words about a man who built some walls. But wait… he built some walls in an art gallery that already had walls. Is your mind completely blown?

You can play along with your Artbollocks Bingo card, and you can watch more Artbollocks Theatre here on the blog or on my Vimeo channel. I tried really hard to mispronounce all the foreign words and jargon, but I think I still accidentally said some of them correctly. Sorry about that.

Presented at ISE Cultural Foundation, the site-specific installation Time Would Not Diminish Their Strength But Add Wisdom To It explores the sculptural potential of space by diverting one of its main components.

Are you going to tell us what the main components of space are, then? Or which particular component is being diverted? No? Probably because you can’t, given that space is an abstract mass or count noun. Space doesn’t have components because space is defined by what it’s not and what is not in it rather than being a thing in itself. I know it’s complicated, but if you’re a curator in the business of justifying the unjustifiable, or a po-faced conceptual artist, don’t you think it’s particularly important that you bring all of your intellect (such as it is) to bear during any discussion of complex concepts, instead of just leaving the frayed edges of half-finished thoughts to dangle?

Continue reading

INTERVIEW AT ART MAP LONDON

14 Jan

AlistairGentry_VanGogh0712

Find out– among other things– the benefits of saying FUCK YOU to art world shitheels, how uncool starving in an attic is, and why you are probably not a princess or an astronaut.

http://artmaplondon.com/artmap/artist-artist-interview-alistair-gentry/

SAINTS AND MARTYRS

9 Dec

art Gerrit Van Honthorst, Saint Sebastian, c. 1623, National Gallery London

Two posts from other sites about audience entitlement, the apparently growing resentment towards any creative person who dares to try making a living from giving audiences the things they seem to feel they’re entitled to, and the impossible double standards to which artists are being held. They’re referring mainly to US musicians, but virtually all of it applies to writers, visual artists, film makers, etc. anywhere. We’re all in the same boat and we’re all subjected to the same kind of determined attacks at the moment. I strongly encourage you to read both posts in full, but I’ve pulled out a few of the most cogent quotes.

ARTISTS CAN’T SURVIVE AS SAINTS AND MARTYRS

http://www.artistempathy.com/blog/the-pomplamoose-problem-artists-cant-survive-as-saints-and-martyrs

“The American artist is expected to be both a saint and a martyr. Operate outside the capitalist system and we’ll praise you for your creations, call your poverty a quaint kind of martyrdom that has nothing to do with us, and at the same time resent you for being holier than thou. Try to operate within the capitalist system and we’ll call you out as an imposter.”

“The reality is that we’ve reduced American culture to a system of arbitrary donations and pats on the head. That isn’t sustainable.”

“Repressing artists by making it impossible for them to survive as valued members of the working class represses our whole society… And every word of encouragement we give our children when they draw a monster, or play the guitar, or write a story that expresses their unique personality will become meaningless – when they see their parents close their wallets and their hearts to those who dare to take that dream into adulthood.”

THE MYTH OF THE MEAN, GREEDY ARTIST

http://electricliterature.com/taylor-swift-and-the-myth-of-the-mean-greedy-artist/

(Note: Unlikely artists’ rights advocate Taylor Swift previously mentioned here, although it was written before the subsequent backlash against her for speaking out. As Lincoln Michel also points out in the linked post, you don’t need to have any love or sympathy for this millionaire pop star– I certainly don’t– to see how screwed up it is that anyone would vilify her for making a rational decision about her own financial and professional wellbeing; a decision that removes her from an exploitative situation and doesn’t substantively detract from her fans being able to access her music.)

“It is bizarre enough to think that an artist “owes” you something when you’ve paid them nothing, but the entire idea of “mean” artists who are taking advantage of their fans is especially bizarre in a time when artists give more of themselves to fans than ever before… it is only the most extreme fan entitlement that could resent them for taking a small portion of that and asking a few bucks for it.”

“The bottom line is that artists’ rights are workers’ rights. You are not being progressive or radical by denying artists the right to control their own work. You are not helping the underprivileged by making it impossible for anyone who isn’t already rich and privileged to take up artistic careers. Your pirated Taylor Swift song isn’t feeding the poor. If you want to fight the power, maybe try hacking JP Morgan instead of pirating a vampire romance for your Kindle.

In fact, the constant devaluation of art has been a huge boon for large corporations. There is no one happier that it is increasingly acceptable to pay nothing to photographers, artists, writers, and musicians. Doritos would love for you to crowd source their next TV ad and Apple is thrilled you’ll pay more for an iPod because you know you can steal the music you’ll listen to on it.”

PS You can buy my book really easily from the top menu or sidebars of this blog, HIIIIIIIINNNNT.

APPALLING DISCOVERY OF THE DAY: AMAZON ART

6 Nov

gacy-pogo-the-clown

NO TALENT? NO PROBLEM!

I’ve illustrated this post with a clown painting that is definitely not from Amazon Art because it would be unfair to single out any one artist as an example of how bad the art [sic] section of Amazon is, due to the fact that all of the art on Amazon is totally shit. I’m sure hardly any of the artists on Amazon Art are serial killers, like Mr. John Wayne Gacy was, but his totally fucked up oeuvre is actually somewhat better and definitely no more disturbing than some of the efforts on sale via Amazon. For example, check out Impressionism… wait, what? These artists are doing the opposite of keeping Impressionism alive; they’re inviting Impressionism into their house and doing a John Wayne Gacy on it. I’m afraid it’s possible to spend upwards of $3o,000 on a painting from Amazon art. I hope they at least give you free next day delivery on it.

Or how about some photography? It’s all so aggressively banal it will make you wish for a trip in the TARDIS so you can go back in time to vaporise Louis Daguerre and Henry Fox Talbot before they invent the camera. Get a load of some ker-razay Surrealism, or at least Surrealism as filtered through the sensibilities of people who apparently think that word is synonymous with this whole thing has no reason to exist and makes no damn sense. In fact, there are minimally capable historical re-enactors of almost any dead artistic movement you can think of. Some of them are, all things considered, worse than chimpanzee artists. OH MAKE IT STOP, PLEASE.

ecce_homo_g_mp_64011

Left: boring old art by somebody who knew how to paint or whatever. Right: This is the calibre of art work AMAZON expects if you’re going to be on AMAZON ART with the AMAZON ART COLLECTORS.

There are some Amazon Art Collectors highlighted on the site, for no adequately explained reason. Disappointingly, these are not Amazons who collect art. It’s a wonderful idea, but no. Perhaps more tellingly, they do not appear to be collectors of Amazon Art either. Their curated (?) collections would seem to not be in their possession, since they are for sale on the Amazon site. Actually it’s not clear if they’re selling these works from their own collection, endorsing them, if they have any financial or personal stake in the artists or the (so-called) galleries behind them, what connects these people with each other or with potential buyers, etc. It is, however, abundantly clear that they all have absolutely horrible taste if they really think the works they’ve highlighted would pass muster anywhere except in Stevie Wonder’s house. The Amazon Art Collectors do have at least one thing in common; that sort of immaculately styled village idiot look signifying the entrepreneur of nothing in particular/designer/ad person/self-appointed expert/marketing twonk/media whatever. The kinds of people who fasten themselves like ticks onto potential revenue streams, have probably been photographed for Wired at some point, and would not be missed or thought of again for a millisecond if they were put on a rocket programmed with a flight plan for the heart of the sun. You can apply to be one of them and Amazon will get back to you within five working days! Share your incredibly underdeveloped, ill-informed and gauche aesthetic sensibilities with literally dozens of perspective art buyers on Amazon! Probably you’ll be rejected, though, because your face isn’t shiny enough and your eyes are not the windows to a soul wizened and mouldered like a month old apple core.

I’m 100% behind artists finding new and more direct ways to sell their work or otherwise to make a living from their practice, but it breaks my heart to think of all the brilliant, hard-working artists who toil in obscurity while the barely competent daubings of Amazon’s no-talent shitgoblins are bigged up as worthy of five figure price tags by some shiny faced, dead eyed entrepreneur of nothing in particular/designer/ad person/self-appointed expert/marketing twonk/media whatever. If you must buy quasi-industrial hack work, support some low paid Chinese hacks who at least know how to paint.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,320 other followers

%d bloggers like this: