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Cuddlemup


Member

Posted Sat Dec 13th, 2008 6:27pm Post subject: Postmodern Iced tea? (Art)
Delicious and slighty rebellious of its warm counter-part, iced tea is the sweetest and most refreshing beverage to accompany any conversation. My thoughts are that iced tea may actually contain some unidentified element, that induces states of creative euphoria.

So, while i slurp my cheap Lidl excuse they brandish 'Iced Tea', I shall attempt some thoughts on being post postmodernism.

AlterModern is the upcoming Tate Triennial. Nicolas Bourriard was about the other day, and although i was slightly entagled in his quiet French accent (he sounded as though he was eating silk) i listened intently to his claims of post modernity being over. N Bourriard, for those of you who are not yourselves wrapped up in the strange cacoon of art, (note: no capital a) is the author of relational aesthetics. A must-read, or a must have read or a really should go and read, or a should've read that in college,or a ....well,you get the idea, it's a book. So, the argument is that we are past post modernity. AlterModern is curated by Bourriard, and will be on show at Tate (Britiain) 3rd Feb 2009. I've decided i now don't want to talk to you about postmodernism.
I'd like to talk to you now about criticism. I'd be interested to hear people's views on art criticism, 1. because after a long days work dealing with art, friends don't often want to muse about it. 2. I would like to talk about it, and 3. I'd like to hear what people WANT from art criticism. (And what potential is has)
Art Criticism has too long been stuffy and quickly dismissive about the art it reviews. I want to open out a new chapter in criticism (and it is desperately needed) that is more sensitive to the reception of art, and everything else that surrounds it.
So my question is to you, people of The Fry, how do we in this post postmodern age of criticism move ourselves forward, and excite our readers, and share with them through words, some of that passion that strikes us when we encounter incredible things that leave us 'speechless'?
Where do we present these new forms and how can we start making these changes?
I'd be glad to hear any responses!
Glad Tidings, Cuddlemup.

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Nitro


Member

Posted Sun Dec 14th, 2008 4:10pm Post subject: Postmodern Iced tea? (Art)
"I've decided now I don't want to talk to you about postmodernism."

X-D

I've always thought art criticism is a subject taken too seriously. It becomes about itself frequently, rather than the art at hand. It's as if the art is simply a springboard for critics to become the subject of attention. Not always, but often enough that I don't have much feeling for them. But then, I'm an artist so maybe my viewpoint isn't particularly objective. X-D

I do understand that people create labels in order to identify a thing, and quite often to market it more easily, but I don't care for them. For instance, when someone talks about 'modern art' there is some sense of Time implied. But which Time? Future Time? How far into the future? Five minutes? So then comes 'post-modern'. Um...ok. Now where are we? And 'post post-modernism'? Now I feel as if someone's really pulling on our legs.

If you create music and record it and then aspire to distribute it, someone is going to inevitably ask,"What kind of music do you play?". But that's a question that the creator is not necessarily fixated on and trying to answer it requires pigeon holing themselves in some genre they may not identify with. However, the record store has sections and distributors have to indicate in what section the music will be placed. I mention this because I think it's a similar pragmatism with other mediums of Art ( note the uppercase 'a' X-D ).

What is the art critic creating? Nothing. Well, except writing an article or book perhaps. Is 'opinion' the medium of the art critic? Because, informed or merely gut reaction, it is in the end, (IMHO), a profession of opinion. With a goal to influence others sometimes before those others have seen the art for themselves.

BTW, I don't lump art critics and art historians into the same group. I feel quite fine about the art historian X-D

Really? Wow.

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Maxx England


Member

Posted Sun Dec 14th, 2008 10:05pm Post subject: Postmodern Iced tea? (Art)
Forget who the author was, but a quote by somebody about a particularly offensive critic: "A louse in the locks of literature".

The only thing that matters about art or writing is that the creator has taken the idea inside their head and presented it to the outside world. Nothing else matters so long as no physical harm is done to anyone else. It is up to the individual observer/audience/reader to decide if it is valid; the critic is a self serving parasitic narcissist of no account whatsoever.

PS, criticise these

http://www.darowyn.co.uk/Maxx/Use%20My%20Brain.mp3

http://www.darowyn.co.uk/Maxx/One%20in%20Four.mp3

http://www.darowyn.co.uk/Maxx/Georgia%20Porch.mp3

and I'll come round your house and start singing. Loudly

The only way is forward. Now where's the bar?

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michael


Member

Posted Sun Dec 14th, 2008 10:15pm Post subject: Postmodern Iced tea? (Art)
GODZILLA!!!!

GO GO GO GODZILLA!!!!


ZILLA GOD!!!

sorry. i have mentioned elsewhere on the forum that when i hear "postmodernism" i always think of godzilla.

NITRO, you're an artist? we gotta talk, buddy!

i don't really have much more to add...i was always the one in class to make a joke when the crit got way off base or out of control. i don't think all crit. or discussion is bad. just anyone attempting it should also have 1)some emotion or empathy, not just being a formal technical nitpicky person and 2) have a sense of humor

"HELLO I'M TACTILE !" is an anagram of my name

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TobiasMonk


Moderator

Posted Sun Dec 14th, 2008 11:21pm Post subject: Postmodern Iced tea? (Art)
I was once sent home from school for calling a teacher Godzilla, but anyway back to criticism. I like Nitro's comment about opinion being the critics medium, it really is exactly that, which means we're all critics doesn't it? I think that's why I've always been rather bemused by professional critics in general. Mind you, I say this as a "postmodern disciple" Architect

Oh, and I love iced tea too, except here we call it sweet tea

I cannot be awake for nothing looks to me as it did before, Or else I am awake for the first time, and all before has been a mean sleep.
Walt Whitman

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Maxx England


Member

Posted Mon Dec 15th, 2008 11:55am Post subject: Postmodern Iced tea? (Art)
An architect? Always thought there was something suspicious about you Any specialities? Any links to your work? I fancy doing a little light criticism.

The only way is forward. Now where's the bar?

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TobiasMonk


Moderator

Posted Mon Dec 15th, 2008 2:44pm Post subject: Postmodern Iced tea? (Art)
An architect? Always thought there was something suspicious about you Any specialities? Any links to your work? I fancy doing a little light criticism.

See, everyone is a critic X-D From time to time I put work on my FB page. I freelance doing a lot of commercial property work, and some homes, though concept design and restoration work are my preferences. Unfortunately in this market.........

Wasn't it Oscar Wilde who said the critic has to educate the public and the artist has to educate the critic? Probably true in the 19th century, but today I'd only agree with the second half of that quote.

I cannot be awake for nothing looks to me as it did before, Or else I am awake for the first time, and all before has been a mean sleep.
Walt Whitman

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michael


Member

Posted Mon Dec 15th, 2008 5:00pm Post subject: Postmodern Iced tea? (Art)
i don't think criticism always has to be the problem. maybe we just don't like using that word anymore?

maybe the problem is some complete disconnection between the different people involved, the critics or writers about art, the people making it, and the people reading the crit.

i've read a lot of really good stuff that's art criticism...the stuff i like probably overlaps into art history, cause i prefer reading people who consider the context and the content of the artwork. it's not "criticism" it's, y'know, essays, discussion, blah blah.

i also got in a lot of hot water in grad school because i didn't read ENOUGH art theory. this included some articles that just sounded like one man rambling on in his sleep, and was boring.

a teacher (who now is a 'mcarthur genius') put me on the spot in front of my peers and said "you need to read!!" as if i was illiterate. i WAS reading, but i was reading poetry and books about physics and astronomy and other things that were all a much bigger inspiration to me, much more important.

(off the topic, but, i'm pretty sure much of her attitude and others i encountered in grad school was just due to where i'm from. even people who got to know me and were good teachers, seemed surprised when i would say something intelligent, and instead of challenging me, they'd say things in a kind of patronizing tone, like they were talking to a kid)

i wasn't alive when this happened, but i feel like somewhere in the middle of formalism and "art for art's sake" (which is an allright idea, i can appreciate it) there were some bridges burned that have never been rebuilt...?? or am i too far from the artworld to know what's going on? (and i am far from it these days) :-//

BTW i'm talking from a visual arts perspective...may be different for other areas

"HELLO I'M TACTILE !" is an anagram of my name

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Nitro


Member

Posted Mon Dec 15th, 2008 5:19pm Post subject: Postmodern Iced tea? (Art)
For me, there is a distinction between a historian and a critic, ideally. And yes, I know this is no ideal world. Not usually. X-D Anyway...

Now, a critic may have some sort of 'informed' academic background and we'd say his or her opinion is informed. And often some part of us would add more value to such an opinion than John Q. Publics and give it more credibility ( which, as a practice, frankly makes me choke ).

See...um...

What some artists and some critics do not like is 'the Public' simply saying,"You could tell me about this painting for days, and I'd still not like it." which is, for me, just as valid as an 'informed' opinion. It's not less than nor better. Because, in the end, we are left with an opinion. A position taken of some sort. ( Wafflers, you are not allowed to intrude here X-D ).

I've been to art showings where the Public strolls around and looks at the art and there standing at the ready are maybe one or two really insecure artists ( imagine that! ) just waiting to prey on the person who either adores or detests their work. For the person who does not like it, they are badgered to explain and justify their opinion. I've really seen this happen.

An artist like this might say,"They don't like my work because they don't understand it." Said often in a very bullshit, elitistist tone I might add. And I call 'bullshit' on it. IMHO, if there is a meaning they meant to in fact convey, the onus is on the artist to convey it. The failure to understand is not on the part of the viewer. Highbrow or low or middling viewer.

Art critic as a profession or - gasp - discipline is one I accept with a little bit of amusment. Art HISTORY, otoh, is a different idea altogether for me. Ideally the historian isn't going to say,"...and really Michaelangelo was an artistic coward, I mean, he wasn't courageous was he? Going on serving the Medici's and the Pope like that...pish!" X-D

Really? Wow.

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michael


Member

Posted Mon Dec 15th, 2008 5:52pm Post subject: Postmodern Iced tea? (Art)
yeah, maybe the people i'm thinking of aren't really critics?

i can read some of john berger, and sometimes james elkins. the only books that come to mind right now.

see for me, when i hear the word "criticism", i think of the crits everyone goes through at school or when having someone visit the studio. sometimes these can be very helpful. however, tbh, most of my visits and crits were with other artists, not anyone who wanted to say something about art with never having made some themselves.

An artist like this might say,"They don't like my work because they don't understand it." Said often in a very bullshit, elitistist tone I might add. And I call 'bullshit' on it. IMHO, if there is a meaning they meant to in fact convey, the onus is on the artist to convey it. The failure to understand is not on the part of the viewer. Highbrow or low or middling viewer.

i totally agree with that. but sometimes it's the crit process that helps me know if what i'm doing works or not. a crit helps me figure out who understands it and who doesn't, so i can do better next time.

but for me, it's probably not the same "criticism" as what y'all are referring to.

what i'm thinking of is a crit by, for example, a large group of your peers, or the overall comments you get from 25 or so teachers. i didn't take what any of them say as a command, i keep in mind who they are as a person, where thier comments are coming from, and weigh that in.

if there was someone who didn't understand my work and i've never really gotten along well with their ideas ideas, then...well, i kinda count that as okay. maybe a success. i don't know.

sometimes artists, teachers, etc. would, without even realizing it, just tell me to do what they do. i could see through this pretty easily and would thank them for coming by, but not take to heart much of what they said.

but for those who did NOT do that, who really tried to figure out where i was coming from and what i was trying to do, these people were invaluable to me. i don't have anyone around me like that right now, and sometimes i miss it...but i know well what i want to do, so it's okay.

i realize i'm not being academic about it, just relating my experiences, but that's what i got. i'm not very good with words, esp about abstract stuff, so i just end up describing my own experience.

"HELLO I'M TACTILE !" is an anagram of my name

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Nitro


Member

Posted Mon Dec 15th, 2008 6:18pm Post subject: Postmodern Iced tea? (Art)
Michael, if what you're saying about the critical process is correctly understood by me as I've read it, then I kind of agree with you. I think hee hee

But, just to clarify for myself, when you mention this critical process is your meaning in an instructional way to yourself such as,"You need to work on your perspective techniques"? Or is it someone just seeing your work and, for example, saying,"Meh,I don't like it."

I belonged to an art group once and sometimes it was fun. There were a couple of walking cliches but the majority of members were not. Now, I can derive some bit of inspiration/motivation/encouragement from being in that environment but, for me, that's much different than criticism in specific and direct terms. A peer insisting that I'm being too lazy and not working on my stuff enough could be called a criticism of sorts, but not of the art so much as my general laziness. That kind of criticism is more useful to me, as an artist. Responses to the work itself, otoh, have negligible impact on how or why I do what I do. Well, with one exception. If writing is the tool and language the medium and someone says,"I have no idea what you meant to convey." then I can hightail it back to the drawing board pretty quick. But painting? Not so much.

Art classes, much like any writing classes I took, were a flop for me. A complete bore and tedium I can barely describe. Primarily because so much emphasis begins with realism. I can do that, but it's not always the very obvious that I'm interested in.

Like yourself, I find it easier to explain my position using some examples taken from my own experiences. Some might say that's indulging in a helluva lot of self-referential thinking, but they can, in this context, kiss my ass. X-D

Really? Wow.

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michael


Member

Posted Mon Dec 15th, 2008 6:49pm Post subject: Postmodern Iced tea? (Art)
Michael, if what you're saying about the critical process is correctly understood by me as I've read it, then I kind of agree with you. I think hee hee

But, just to clarify for myself, when you mention this critical process is your meaning in an instructional way to yourself such as,"You need to work on your perspective techniques"? Or is it someone just seeing your work and, for example, saying,"Meh,I don't like it."

depends on the person who's doing the critiquing! X-D really, i've seen all kinds. sometimes it's a simple suggestion of trying something i didn't think of, like "what if this were really HUGE?" etc. other times they'd be very articulate about how they felt and what they saw and then we'd discuss other painters to look at.

if a person(s) looks around and it's quiet for a long time, i know i'm doing allright.

at my grad school, there were no scheduled classes. instead we went round to about 60 teachers and scheduled studio visits, day after day. if someone came in and didn't have criticism that helped me, and just talked crap, i wouldn't ask them back. and sometimes they noticed. my own crit of them, i guess.

people say, "oh it must be so hard to spill all of what you are on a canvas and have people dissect it" it's not hard. it's fascinating. when some pro (teacher, gallery person, whatever) was done looking around the room and looked at me, i looked em in the eyes and let them know i was analyzing them just as much as they were analyzing my work. because an artist has every right to do that. and that really kept me from feeling at all anxious.

i used to be anxious before crits, in undergrad, even panic-attackish...but it was not for fear of someone not liking my work...it was because you see all these weird dynamics going on in the room between people, it gives me a real electric feeling, very strange, i can't describe it. i got panicky before crits that weren't about my own work.

Well, with one exception. If writing is the tool and language the medium and someone says,"I have no idea what you meant to convey." then I can hightail it back to the drawing board pretty quick. But painting? Not so much.

i get what you're saying...but is painting so different from writing? (you did say "drawing board" after all X-D) i don't think art always has to be communicative, but is there some response that lets you know if you're succeeding or not? for me it's the silence that tells me.

Art classes, much like any writing classes I took, were a flop for me. A complete bore and tedium I can barely describe. Primarily because so much emphasis begins with realism. I can do that, but it's not always the very obvious that I'm interested in.

i'm realizing i lucked out in undergrad. i got a great set of teachers and we took a few fundamentals but were let loose on what we really wantedd to do after the first year.

Like yourself, I find it easier to explain my position using some examples taken from my own experiences. Some might say that's indulging in a helluva lot of self-referential thinking, but they can, in this context, kiss my ass. X-D

X-D hahaha!! well maybe that's why i understand your posts!

"HELLO I'M TACTILE !" is an anagram of my name

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Maxx England


Member

Posted Tue Dec 16th, 2008 1:46pm Post subject: Postmodern Iced tea? (Art)
Architects worry me. They design buildings for whatever purpose, but don't have to live or work with the consequences of their actions. Was it FL Wright said to get your early career work built a long way from home, so nobody knows what you've done?

We get all sorts of things built here, there's all these little identikit brick houses going up for the ordinary punter to live in but I ask you now, the men (usually) that design them, where do they live?

I'll tell you. Out in the sticks in Regency or Stuart or earlier houses. Thatched roofs even. Split beam frames, pegged together and with wattle and plaster filling the gaps. Tudor farmhouses on Norman foundations.

Does this tell you about what people like to look at and live in and around when given a choice?

Tobias, this might offend, but it's just a personal viewpoint, so don't take it personally. Too many people in postions of power, rank, authority, try to be fashionable and arty instead of viewing the human cost of their designs. The rest of us are left to bear the consquences of their actions.

Spread the word, will you? Design for people first, and to hell with labels and critics. The only ones that really matter are the human beings that live in your designs or use them.

The only way is forward. Now where's the bar?

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TobiasMonk


Moderator

Posted Tue Dec 16th, 2008 2:41pm Post subject: Postmodern Iced tea? (Art)
Tobias, this might offend, but it's just a personal viewpoint, so don't take it personally. Too many people in postions of power, rank, authority, try to be fashionable and arty instead of viewing the human cost of their designs. The rest of us are left to bear the consquences of their actions.

Spread the word, will you? Design for people first, and to hell with labels and critics. The only ones that really matter are the human beings that live in your designs or use them.

I'm not offended at all Maxx. Frank Lloyd Wright also said "An architect's most useful tools are an eraser at the drafting board, and a wrecking bar at the site", he's always been my biggest influence. My favorite job to date is a home for assisted living done in 2007 and it's "green".

I cannot be awake for nothing looks to me as it did before, Or else I am awake for the first time, and all before has been a mean sleep.
Walt Whitman

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