Nothing and no-thing, skeletons and cosplay, the entombment of art, networked power, white walls, and halls and balls...so many halls and balls
claz + lbod smell roses (and poses) outside. It’s so cold.
claz + lbod smell roses (and poses) outside. It’s so cold.
This google doc chat started in June 2018.
It is about art stuff, feelings, the real world, space, white things, abstraction etc etc blah blah.
Living, simmering, stewing, je pense aussi... Stay tuned.
Watch it unfold...
hru? ... me ... I'm meditating on caffeine, sitting on the 6 floor of the DHL building in mascot calling random people all over australia (mostly qld :/// ) ... but also thinking about how rigid and static curating contemporary art is these days.... haha I know deeeeeeep. It’s going to be scattered but stay with me ... srsly, opening nights in Sydney are so borring ... it's so typical, like get free or cheap boooze and walk through a space, then look around, see who's hot, who's not , get a bit anxious coz your friends haven’t arrived yet, probably roll a cigarette coz you need to look like your doing something (I only smoke when I drink lol) and then ppl arrive and you get drunk and go home and like what about the art?
I went to this opening the other night and it’s got me riled up ...
I'm kinda confused by Sydney art scene, but also the art world in general ... especially conceptual art, mainly because I often find it to be intellectually elitist. But that's actually not my problem with it. It's more to do with the curating that never seems to recognise or acknowledge this. So I'm not saying artists should stop making artwork that's conceptual ... artists shouldn't be constrained intellectually at all! ... But also I’m often dissatisfied when I go art exhibitions or opening nights and there's like this wall text that's 100-400 words that esoterically attempts to give insight or something? ... I don't even know what it’s doing half the time … like I'm pretty comfortable with not understanding art works. It happens to me all the time...it doesn't throw me off coz I just know that's how art feels sometimes. But so many of my friends who didn't go to art school or who aren't really involved in the art scene just get uncomfortable with not "getting it", and feel fed up and so just think it's stupid ... which actually maybe it IS ??!!
.... so anyway this opening really did get me thinking, kind of crystallising thoughts that I've started by never finished. Like is this wall of 'intellectual elitism' inherently linked to the role and place in society that art, art curators, and collectors have had in human history? Is art naturally and organically bougie bougie?
I’ve increasingly found even the spaces that say they are deconstructing/challenging these conventions aren’t really ... I mean what does an artist or curators career look like without a white walled institution backing them?
I can’t see it.
What community do artists make art for?
The word community really does get thrown a lot atm ... it’s very ‘in’ ... idk ...
This quote by Tracy Emin from 2011 really gets me though ,
“Tory people are massive collectors of the arts. For a lot of my friends, who think I’m crazy voting for Tories — I want to know who buys their work? Who are the biggest philanthropist? I promise you, it’s not labour voters”. It’s quoted in Marijke Steedman’s book “gallery as community: art, education politics” under this section called “Who’s your Daddy?” ...
Heh heh heh heh …
I mean it’s in a different context to Sydney and it’s quoted from 2011 ... but at the same time I can’t help but draw parallels with the turnbull-wonder white liberal politics that is defunding public art grants & institutions ... as we speak. We are increasingly moving towards (and have been for long time), an art economy that relies entirely on private philanthropy. In that world, who’s your Daddy? It makes me think about people I know who are becoming professional artists and working in the “industry” or is it “scene”?
… and just in general who do ‘successful’ artists really make their art for ! Like really who?? For community? Which one??
Cause in Sydney real estate is like $$$$$$$
$$$$$$$$$$$$ daddies investment property blah blah $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ crash crash burn. Like when you make it, you make it! Everyone has to make a living right? ... I mean I get it Tracy! I’ve got a macbook, iphone and I eat coconut yogurt and quinoa pizza bases :/ Neo-liberalism/ capitalism is woven into the fabric of my existence!
I guess I feel like politically this 'wall of intellectual elitism' contradicts a lot of the politics of the artists and curators ... but the way curators or artists exhibit work hasn't really changed, and is still so much catering and serving traditional structures and art market economies. But people like to think they are challengeing things, but follow the rules of exhibiting because maybe it helps legtimise the work as “Art”! This deflated balloon is ART because it has an ART Statement and a White Wall framing it.
Nice one ;)
Like why are wall texts still SUCH A THING??!
I hate reading at openings … cause like there are so many people around and i’m distracted and it’s usually academic and like the environment is too social and filled with the anxieties and other things/dynamics that come with that for me to be in a headspace to absorb it … I just glaze glazed glaze overrrrr
I’m not saying destroy wall texts, i think they can work, but sometimes I question whether or not they’re the right thing for every single artwork/ display environment. I guess what I'm trying to say is I wish there would be more attempts at experimenting with the curating in relation to producing understanding, meaning or ‘getting it’ other than just a small box of text.
Walking in and out of a gallery space, with nothing else to it, is just too real, and borrring. I know that some would passionately disagree,
but what does it mean when your work is conceptually vague but no one (except PhD academics) even gets that it’s meant to be Vague ... like is that not something the curator has to consider? Who is it made for then? The classist implication of not allowing the general public access to these ideas is massive? idk haha for context I had to do an assignment on vagueness in first year @ COFA :SSS ... Anyway I’ve seen artists and curators say that they are experimental, they’re about ‘social practice’ and ‘community’ ... but what does that mean when your audience (bubble) are art school students, intellectuals, academics, the upper middle class and artists? And it’s displayed in a white cube shop front/ ARIs?
Anyway if you’re at the end of this rant ! Thanks for listening and also thoughts???
Lots of love,
Subject: Hi it me lets shatter art wit memes
I’m doing okay at the moment. I have a chronic back injury that seems to be born from nerve damage in my lumbar spine. So I am in the midst of reconfiguring my relationship with my body. It is turning out to be quite important for me, I think.
I just want to start with a small passage from an manifesto by MTL: “Art as we know it is corrupt, exhausted and weak...we strike art to liberate art from itself. Not to end art, but to unleash its powers of action, imagination, and beauty that have been held captive by the artworld. Art does not dissolve into so-called real life. Our surreal spirit is less that of breton’s European vanguardism than Suzanne Cesaire’s freedom dream, mindful as it is of the ongoing histories of slavery, imperialism, and debt. Art here opens directly into our ways of existing and working together. How do we create spaces that counteract the multiple forms of oppression that structure our relationships? These are inseparable from how we reproduce our lives in a material sense, whether we think of an occupied park, a collective house, a city-wide network or the planet itself. Art challenges us to respond to this question with direct action for which we ourselves are responsible rather than any preexisting institution. We strike art as a training in the practice of freedom.”
And a meme: