On Expecting More
Take the conversation that's (very) loosely turning around Thomas Lendvai's installation at Winkleman. Usually these posts on Ed_'s blog are not commented on, except to congratulate and wish dealer and artist well, but this time a conversation has blossomed that is basically about what viewers expect from the art viewing experience.
This is an important conversation to have, and it's important to separate it from conservative arguments like "I don't approve of site-specific work"* v. liberal arguments like "the more I know about art, the more I can appreciate any artwork"*. Both sides of this argument collapse! To place rules on contemporary artmaking is to ignore the 500 years of art history that pushed us into this uniquely lawless space. And to place the onus of understanding any artwork on the viewer's knowledge and sensitivity is to create an army of gullible Yes Men commenting on the fine quality of the Emperor's New Clothes.
No, no, no! I demand more on this Super Thursday. I demand a way of looking at art that denies nothing and expects much. I demand discussions about art that are as sloppy and unpolemical as art actually is! I demand, in the always lurid and in this case appropriate words of JP Gorin, to be kissed while I am being fucked! Because that is what art is about, that's the transaction.
*almost-direct quotes from the afforelinked-to blogorrhea at Edward Winkleman.