emk-irl
For Cindy Sherman’s Untitled Film Still #14, placed in the “Money” section of the AGO’s “Art as Therapy,” de Botton tells us Sherman’s character is “uncertain about herself” and that it’s “a very normal feeling” and “we are a bit like this too.” It’s one of his many idiotic misreadings (I could fill this review with them, but you get the idea), originating from a desire to mollify. Sherman’s work is, of course, disturbing. It fetishizes and makes perverse sexual vulnerability. It is paradoxical, ambivalent—it unbalances, one of art’s great pleasures (cf. the Stendhal syndrome). This does not take away its instructive or socially useful qualities. On the contrary, it augments them.

David Balzer, on Alain de Botton’s truly terrible #artastherapy, winning my heart.  (via emk-irl)

It’s a really good piece on what sounds like a really shit show, but David doesn’t just bash Botton (which would be easy), he opens out to a larger discussion of what art is good for and how it works. Nicely done.

Critical magazines have become relics, replaced by art and design, style and glamour magazines, each of which functions as a sort of pornography of envy and bitterness…

Something that would interrupt this cannibalizing art spectacle would be criticism, however in 2014 there seems to be almost none left. Galleries need magazines in order to position their endeavours within the culture at large, and magazines need galleries to pay for advertisements to stay in business. Thus the dying years of negative reviews took place inside of newspapers, which have a broader range of advertisers and can afford to piss off the art galleries. However, the internet has slowly bludgeoned newspapers into irrelevancy, making them reconsider the critical position in exchange for the not-so-critical arts blog that highlights sparkle and shine in hopes of traffic and sharing. It’s a new economy of art information, one where critical thinking no longer has a place in the mainstream.

Elizabeth McIntosh at Diaz Contemporary
McIntosh going in after that provisional, improvisational look that the kids love these days. More Picasso and Matisse than her previous Modernist-abstract references, which were more Mondrian, Constructivism, and Hard-Edged Abstraction. She’s gotten much more musical, speedy, and fun. It’s less about a definitive composition and more about a stream of variations, one-after-the-other, with a Josh Smith-esque sense of production for its own sake, a consciousness of image excess and a subsequent lowering of the stakes of the individual picture. These are by far the most internet-friendly paintings she’s ever done — they seem tailor-made for a tumblr stream and it’s the best work of hers I’ve seen.
Read a text about the exhibition by Mitch Speed here.
Watch a video tour by Canadian Art editor Rick Rhodes here.

Elizabeth McIntosh at Diaz Contemporary

McIntosh going in after that provisional, improvisational look that the kids love these days. More Picasso and Matisse than her previous Modernist-abstract references, which were more Mondrian, Constructivism, and Hard-Edged Abstraction. She’s gotten much more musical, speedy, and fun. It’s less about a definitive composition and more about a stream of variations, one-after-the-other, with a Josh Smith-esque sense of production for its own sake, a consciousness of image excess and a subsequent lowering of the stakes of the individual picture. These are by far the most internet-friendly paintings she’s ever done — they seem tailor-made for a tumblr stream and it’s the best work of hers I’ve seen.

Read a text about the exhibition by Mitch Speed here.

Watch a video tour by Canadian Art editor Rick Rhodes here.

For it is one of the lessons of Marxist art theory that no artistic gesture, on its own, can be intrinsically radical or anti-capitalist. What appears at one juncture to be radically opposed to the values of art under capitalism often later appears to have represented a development intrinsic to its future development, for the simple reason that without changing the underlying fact of capitalism, you cannot prevent innovations in art from eventually being given a capitalist articulation.

Two examples will suffice here. In Weimar Germany, it was still considered wildly radical to devote oneself as an artist to creating well-designed and affordable art objects for the common person rather than for the elite. Inspired by Soviet Productivism, this valorization of art for all informed the Bauhaus—which later became the basic influence on industrial design, that is, the application of artistic principles to consumer goods. What seemed practically socialist in its day is the ideology of Ikea.

In the 1960s, the first generation of Conceptual artists set out deliberately to make art that could not be owned or shared in the same way as conventional object-based work. Yet today, when computers send image files across the world in seconds and 3-D printing is becoming mainstream, it may be difficult to recover the radical charge of Sol LetWitt’s provocation of creating instructions for other people to draw his murals rather than painting the murals himself. As for the Conceptual ideal of valorizing ideas themselves as works of art, in an era when giant corporations wage war over intellectual property and try to patent intangible concepts, it hardly seems radical.

Always both validating and disheartening to see the central, heavily belaboured thesis of a long thing you’ve been working on reduced to a few pithy, much more elegant sentences in someone else’s article.

Bookforum talks with Carl Wilson

  • Bookforum: You talk about how easy it is now to discover obscure music in an afternoon online, whereas it took you years to discover what you liked. You say this “hints tantalizingly at the utopian possibility of an era that could be called post-taste." Can you expand on what you mean by "post-taste"?
  • Carl Wilson: A lot of the twentieth-century taste categories that the book contends with (the ideas of high-brow, middle-brow, and low-brow, the idea of cool and not cool) have been thrown up and scrambled by the fact that people can surf from thing to thing on YouTube and pursue obscure references. The young people that I know now have much more eccentrically put-together sets of interests than the young people I knew when I was in my twenties. Now people don't tend to fall into straight camps centered around genre loyalty in the way they once did. I think people have lost faith in the sense of there being a coherent alternative culture, where politics and aesthetic gestures are related. So when people collage things together from all kinds of influences, they don't feel like they're betraying anything or selling out because there's no strong oppositional cultural camp to be loyal to. We have to be careful about being overly sweeping when we talk about online listening, because it seems like it's all an effect of technology, but I think it's also a reflection of where culture and society are. That pendulum can swing, but we are definitely in what feels like a “post-taste” moment right now.
Value/Labor/Arts: The Manifestos | Art Practical

On April 19, 2014, The Arts Research Center at the University of California, Berkeley staged a day-long Practicum entitled Valuing Labor in the Arts. In addition to the workshop prompts and featured essays in this issue of Art Practical, we have included here a selection (and a reminder) of some recent and some not-so-very-old manifestos of artists who found themselves asking how they wanted to be valued and wondering whether the available value systems were up to the task. Some worried about authorship and ownership, some about invisibility, some about whether an artists’ union could combat a highly individuating art market that kept artists from working with each other.

Value/Labor/Arts: The Manifestos | Art Practical

On April 19, 2014, The Arts Research Center at the University of California, Berkeley staged a day-long Practicum entitled Valuing Labor in the Arts. In addition to the workshop prompts and featured essays in this issue of Art Practical, we have included here a selection (and a reminder) of some recent and some not-so-very-old manifestos of artists who found themselves asking how they wanted to be valued and wondering whether the available value systems were up to the task. Some worried about authorship and ownership, some about invisibility, some about whether an artists’ union could combat a highly individuating art market that kept artists from working with each other.

kchayka
jahsonic:

Starting in 1959, French artist Yves Klein sold empty space for gold. The customer would receive a cheque certifying the purchase of a Zone of Immaterial Pictorial Sensibility.
The cheque above was bought by Jacques Kugel December 7, 1959 [1].
It reads: “Reçu Vingt Grammes d’Or Fin contre une Zone de Sensibilité Picturale Immatérielle”
In English: “Received Twenty Grams of Gold Leaf against a Zone of Immaterial Pictorial Sensibility.”
The current price of 20 grams of gold is $835.59.
If the buyer wished, the purchase could be completed in an elaborate ritual in which the buyer would burn the cheque, and Yves Klein would throw half of the gold into the Seine.
In this photo[2], we can see how Yves Klein (with Dino Buzzati to the right as witness) is engaged in the ritual transfer of immateriality on January 26, 1962.
I am reminded of selling air, dissipation, excess, Georges Bataille’s general economy, sumptuary law, conspicuous consumption, the destruction of money and K Foundation Burn a Million Quid.

<3 Yves

jahsonic:

Starting in 1959, French artist Yves Klein sold empty space for gold. The customer would receive a cheque certifying the purchase of a Zone of Immaterial Pictorial Sensibility.

The cheque above was bought by Jacques Kugel December 7, 1959 [1].

It reads: “Reçu Vingt Grammes d’Or Fin contre une Zone de Sensibilité Picturale Immatérielle”

In English: “Received Twenty Grams of Gold Leaf against a Zone of Immaterial Pictorial Sensibility.”

The current price of 20 grams of gold is $835.59.

If the buyer wished, the purchase could be completed in an elaborate ritual in which the buyer would burn the cheque, and Yves Klein would throw half of the gold into the Seine.

In this photo[2], we can see how Yves Klein (with Dino Buzzati to the right as witness) is engaged in the ritual transfer of immateriality on January 26, 1962.

I am reminded of selling airdissipationexcess, Georges Bataille’s general economysumptuary lawconspicuous consumption, the destruction of money and K Foundation Burn a Million Quid.

<3 Yves