18 September 2006

Classic LeisureArts

Beautiful stitching of Baudrillard to Kaprow over on Leisurearts.

Of course, my take on this skewering of the "as art" impulse is that there is value in the word "art." It separates the digestion, re-examination and re-framing of the experience for others from the experience itself, which is necessarily immediate and private. It is entirely possible to bounce up and down gleefully as dilletante ventures puts a nice fine point on the destructive power of the "as art" impulse:

it becomes a way of subjugating the world to a particular critical regime and seeks to infiltrate the self-perception of others, so that they see themselves and their activities through the "as art" lens.

And still want art, as a category that is separate from life. Alan Kaprow was a fucking god and everything (not being facetious here!), but there is something very selfish about making life and art the same thing. Hold on a minute... I need to go find my copy of that Robert Irwin book.

Okay. In Seeing Is Forgetting The Name Of The Thing One Sees, Robert Irwin has this to say about art:

The object of art may be to seek the elimination of the necessity of it.

The works of previous artists have come from their own experience or insights, but haven't given the experience itself. They set themselves up as a sort of interpreter for the layman... Our interest is in a form where you realize that the media are just perception.

The experience of the "thing," experiencing is the "object."

Pretty sympathetic to the Leisurearts Party Line, no?

But James Turrell worked closely with Irwin and came away disappointed:

Sometimes I feel like I've found some things out, but they don't apply to anyone else unless they come to them in the same way.

This is what I am getting at. Art, as a category or discipline, does valuable work. It stands outside the experience, so that the experience can be shared. And this is not a matter of "interpreting for the layman," but of actually being able to permeate the boundaries between your flesh and mine without, you know... doing it. Turrell is not a populist. He's an intimist. His goal is to actually share, not to reduce.

Edited to clarify: There was a statement here saying that while I loved this skewering of the "as art" gaze, Leisurearts and I are working toward opposite ends. This is not true. DV and I actually seem to be working toward very similar goals in ways that I do not understand yet, using different tools. I want to understand this better.


Anonymous Dilettante Ventures said...

"we are still working to opposite ends."

Well not exactly. DV sees the value of the "as art" gaze, we believe in the importance of art's ability to frame experience. We are just doggedly against art's privileged role for considering the world, but more to the point, it is the colonial impulse of art, its drive to subsume evrything to its logic and methodolgies that we really find sickening...

The "LeisureArts party line" ha! Stay tuned for our little red book...

18 September, 2006 22:09  
Blogger fisher6000 said...

We are just doggedly against art's privileged role for considering the world

Oh. That makes a lot of sense. Art doesn't have a vantage point above the world... it just has specific looking tools. One does not priviledge plumbers over electricians.

But when you say "subsume everything," what exactly does this mean? I mean, I have a visceral reaction to this, but when I step away from that feeling and ask what this everything is...

...I don't see a world subsumed by art. Maybe I am not looking at it right?

18 September, 2006 23:18  
Blogger highlowbetween said...

I see a world subsumed by power and art has been engaged in that but ultimately its a bench player.
You guys are trying to pull me out my lull!

19 September, 2006 12:58  
Anonymous LeisureArts said...

Warning these are very unfocused remarks...

It's not that the world is subsumed by art...it's more like the example we used of Kaprow's...artist and curators seem to think that the world isn't interesting enough.

Relational artists and their champions are the worst. If eating a cupcake is your thing, then eat a freaking cupcake! Why do it in the gallery? Or videotape it? If teaching working class kids is your passion, then teach them, but why make it a "project" or a "performance?" Curators think the world is their domain...their intellectual playground...

20 September, 2006 11:22  
Blogger highlowbetween said...

DV - I like those remarks - alot.
As Dad used to say, pull your head out of your ass boy. Another example to add to your list is much of the "war" art lately- just plain ole platforming and not much on the investigative side. It doesn't reveal anything that journalist haven't already said.

20 September, 2006 11:42  

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