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  #226  
Old 06-28-2006, 05:30 PM
Studioinde Studioinde is offline
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Re: Is contemporary art a fraud?

I have to agree with Ironman.....this thread is too broad and too long in duration to produce anything of merit any longer. Let's bury this one already.
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  #227  
Old 06-30-2006, 02:50 AM
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Cantab Cantab is offline
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Re: Is contemporary art a fraud?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Duck
>the phrase 'comtemporary art', in an art historical context<

Seriously,
what's the difference in today’s contemporary art and the stuff that’s 30,000+ yrs old? http://www.arden.com/theartifact/aprehist1/


Hmmm,,I wonder if there's a worthwhile book on the language of art?
Duck - I find that a dictionary of art and artists is very handy, and interesting. Paragraphs on art terms, movements, artists.

This thread? - yes, had its day. Of course, like many conversations, it has rambled all over the place and in the process has been interesting, and really engaging, at times.
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  #228  
Old 07-04-2006, 12:18 PM
mountshang mountshang is offline
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Re: Is contemporary art a fraud?

First - for those who believe that this question should be retired -- I would suggest that this is the ONLY question regarding contemporary art that is worth addressing -- i.e. questions concerning the direction of C.A. are no more important than asking such questions about any other fashion driven commodity. Are hemlines higher or lower this year than last ? Who cares ? (unless you're in the business)

Second - I'd suggest that our question "Is contemporary art a fraud" (investigating the concept) can be different from "is all contemporary art a fraud". (investigating every item that could be called contemporary art.)

Is all contemporary art fraudulent art ? That's a tough one for me to answer -- since I'm not going to assert any specific requirements concerning genuine art. (as I just wrote on another thread -- I don't know anything about art -- I just know what I like)

But is it fraudulent to claim that something qualifies as art because it qualifies as contemporary art ? Yes -- I think it is -- because the word 'art' in the phrase "contemporary art" has nothing to do with the word 'art' as it applied everywhere else ---other, of course, than to borrow the high status thereof. Indeed, a successful strategy to claim something as "contemporary art" is to show how it expands the boundaries of art - i.e. it is not currently recognizable as such.

Why this fraudent claim has been so successfull in our time and place -- that seems (at least to me) to be the most important question that a history of our cultural institutions can address.
.................................................. ..............

And thankyou, Fused, for your reply.

I notice that at the end, you wrote "The alchemy of art occurs when a daub of paint or a pinch of clay is transformed into something beautiful."

The beautiful may not be excluded from consideration as contemporary art -- but it is certainly not required for it -- so I'm thinking that you might be of two minds on this issue.
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  #229  
Old 07-04-2006, 05:35 PM
G. Murdoch G. Murdoch is offline
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Re: Is contemporary art a fraud?

I haven't posted here in awhile. I engaged the question for a couple of weeks, then retired from the debate. I came to accept that opinions on this could most likely be changed by visual experience, rather that rhetoric, and that rhetoric, rather than visual experience, seemed to be the strongest part of the "anything goes" argument. I was delighted to read Mountshang's post regarding context, as I couldn't agree more. If an individual is audacious enough to, say, place a bottle of water on a plinth in a gallery (having made niether the bottle, the water, nor the plinth), that individual can stand back from thier "sculpture" smug and content that they will be feted as a genius. Learned elites will debate it's hidden meaning, perhaps declaring it a masterpiece. Take the same bottle of water off the plinth in the gallery, and you have, well, a refreshment.

Graham
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  #230  
Old 07-04-2006, 05:44 PM
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Landseer Landseer is offline
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Re: Is contemporary art a fraud?

Quote:
Originally Posted by G. Murdoch
Take the same bottle of water off the plinth in the gallery, and you have, well, a refreshment.

Graham
Sort of like the urinal by "R.Mutt", take the urinal out of the gallery and you FINALLY have, well, I hate to say sound like an old chiche` in reverse but I can-t help it-

A pot to piss in
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  #231  
Old 07-04-2006, 06:49 PM
mark pilato mark pilato is offline
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Re: Is contemporary art a fraud?

I think that the fact that this post is so long is proof that contemporary art is worth wile for with out Marcel Duchamp and artist like him what would we talk about? to me I think it's brilliant to show us all how a common object like a toilet bowl could be art. Sometimes it takes crossing the line to make a point. I need to take a piss,
All the best,
Mark
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  #232  
Old 07-05-2006, 06:42 AM
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philpraxis philpraxis is offline
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Re: Is contemporary art a fraud?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mountshang
But is it fraudulent to claim that something qualifies as art because it qualifies as contemporary art ? Yes -- I think it is -- because the word 'art' in the phrase "contemporary art" has nothing to do with the word 'art' as it applied everywhere else ---other, of course, than to borrow the high status thereof. Indeed, a successful strategy to claim something as "contemporary art" is to show how it expands the boundaries of art - i.e. it is not currently recognizable as such.

Why this fraudent claim has been so successfull in our time and place -- that seems (at least to me) to be the most important question that a history of our cultural institutions can address.
I believe that for all the contemporary art works, the notion of being a fraud can be seen both as a problem and a quality: to break rules and bring something new and worth the time understanding it.
At the same time, is it worth it?

Then, we need to consider case by case each work:
That's were actually better criterias are needed to judge my contemporary piece (and mine only as judging is a difficult exercise): depth and meaningfulness.

- Depth regarding the way the amount of time, work and research the artist has given.

- Meaningfulness regarding the impact of this new vision, this new angle brought by the work, which is a very important part of what art gives. And that's why art history is only remembering a few artists' works, just because they were the first to bring that new vision.

So far, i have to consider that the imprecise "fraud" word can be really broken down to better criterias for an art piece:
#1. is it readable?
#2. is it original? does it show a genuine particular vision? It seems that contemporary art focus on the "next" side of the present, not the "previous". Thus, if your work is not new, does not bring new ways of seing at things, it will likely be dwarfed by other works.
#3. do I fully endorse and assume my own work? Won't I ever dismiss it saying, "yeah, i know, it sucks on this and that but it's an early piece". This comes mostly through the amount of work in my art (work, #4) and trustworthiness I have put in my meaning / concept (originality and vision, #2)?
#4. does it represent meaningfull, coherent, throurough work or just an interesting concept in an unfinished work?

Then, the "fraud" word is anyway just too broad and inadequate now (provided you already managed to swallow Marcel Duchamps' way of looking at things).

I believe that my vision on the whole subject represents what's been out there for some time now:
An integrated approach of both classical and duchampian way of seeing art.
You need to break some rules and innovate, but you can do it while still evaluating the thoroughness, readability, formal quality and meaning of your works.

I would call this "Integrated" approach where the contemporary or not is not relevant anymore. What is relevant is if the works speaks and works by itself and stands, according to these criteria, but also according to anyone not going in the conceptual and analytical side of the works.

That's were our artist place is not that easy, we have to function as our own critique on our work.
And judging cannot be done at the same time as creating.

Thus, we need either to have very good friend we trust to have a judgement on our works, and tell us where to go (at the expense of our vision?)...

...or we need to get into a bipolar schizophrenia between
* work phases (experiment / produce / work / dig / not think) and
* self-assessment phases (evaluate works / find criterias / document yourself).

For me, the self-assesment and judging part is a hard part because it can either be a wall or be a black hole suckign all your brain and time. Also, I can only express myself on these criteria for my work, judging others and expressing it is in my opinion of the resort of art critics.

For my work, I'll just try to get out of the "anything goes, everything is art if considered as such by its author" and try to work on the readability too, even the readability of the first seconds: does it work for anybody (such as Tony Cragg faces) or not?

Well... I think after this much self-assessment and exposition of my understandings, I need to get back to work
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Last edited by philpraxis : 07-05-2006 at 06:58 AM.
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  #233  
Old 07-05-2006, 10:57 AM
mountshang mountshang is offline
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Re: Is contemporary art a fraud?

In response to Philpraxis:

Everything can be considered to be readable -- as Arthur Danto demonstrated when he randomly selected an object in his home, a can-opener, and gave it a good, thorough reading. And everything can be considered original -- even an exact copy of a soup-can label -- as it is re-contextualized by the infinite variations of location and time. And everything made can be fully endorsed by the maker: whenever fraud is taken as a positive value and sincerity is irrelevant. And without any other criteria for judgement, everything can be considered a "meaningfull, coherent, thorough work".

"Depth" -- when defined as " the amount of time, work and research the artist has given." sounds like the good old "A for Effort" -- which might serve remedial education -- but where else? Didn't Linus spend much time and effort finding pieces of string and adding them to his giant string ball ? Is this activity exemplary of "depth"?

And regarding "meaningfulness", who determines the impact of a new vision ? If the answer is "art history" -- the next question is "whose art history?" Ives Gammel is as inconsequential to officially vetted academic art history as Picasso is to the ever-growing community of neo-Victorian painters.

I'd propose that Philpraxis has done a good job of listing the "criteria" now applied in Contemporary Art --- but I'd also suggest that none of these "criteria" can be used to make distinctions --they can only serve to justify distinctions that were already made by the marketplace and academia -- the two great institutions that dominate American civilization.

Mark Pilato has written " the fact that this post is so long is proof that contemporary art is worth wile for with out Marcel Duchamp and artist like him what would we talk about?

But not everything that's worth talking about is worthwhile -- especially if, like a disease, it's destructive.

"Contemporary art" exists in every media -- and media that are carried by inexpensive reproductions are less affected by it.

But media like sculpture -- and especially painting -- compete for limited space -- and the effect of contemporary art has been devastating on the cultivation of every other practice that could be called an art -- and cannot be ignored by those who care about them.
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  #234  
Old 07-05-2006, 12:46 PM
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philpraxis philpraxis is offline
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Re: Is contemporary art a fraud?

I tend to agree to your conclusion but not to your thought process.

Yes, the monolithic and "mono-culture" characteristic that you describe in contemporary art domination has the unnerving side of all totalitarisms.

Now on the "everything can be...", if you go all the way down that way, you fall into the trap of solipsism: you are alone in your own world. And in effects, when you recognize that everything is just a matter of perceptions, and perceptions are different for each of us, then, yes, you're right.

But... if you think like that, you're just alone in your world. To get people to share and create what we call community or even society, I believe that you need to downgrade these (elitist) views and to try have common grounds: common references.

Then we start to speak about people, mass. Then, everything is _not_ as readable as you might wish. And you need to choose what is readable relatively to a set of people you intend to talk to. If you wish to talk to a fair chunk of people, maybe you could chose either the classic sculpture (think now Rodin, Maillol) or the pop sculpture (think now Murakami, Otterness).
If you wish to talk to a relative elite (Danto is among them), you can then go from modern, conceptual installation to pure generic conceptualism (Duchamp) where everything is art, or to Situationism where your own life is art (Debord).

That's also a problem which is common in these discussions:
- perception / point of view (solipsism in your case)
- scope of things considered (historical date, your location in the world, your culture or the group of people you're thinking about).

I'd say that the meaningfullness and the validity of the vision is not something that I was judging from an "authoritative" or "institutionnal" point of view, but from my own point of view. We are in a network, now the central point of view has fewer and fewer importance, the last one maybe being the gallery and the art institutions.

I agree on the competition for space, definitely a good way to look at it, i'm going to study that a little bit.

I do appreciate a lot your post indeed and my words here are not final, just wanted to share with you an instant of thinking, which will be certainly dug a bit deeper thanks to the night.

Best regards,
Philippe.
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Last edited by philpraxis : 07-05-2006 at 01:45 PM.
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  #235  
Old 07-06-2006, 10:40 AM
mountshang mountshang is offline
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Re: Is contemporary art a fraud?

I guess it's the dominant "mono-culture" of contemporary art that disturbs me the most Philippe --- with the consequence, for example, that we'd be more likely to find a statue of the Virgin Mary in a Baptist church than to find a classical nude (unless butchered in some way) in the post-1950 section of any art museum -- and the same applies to the living 19th century traditions of portrait/landscape/still-life painting -- or the Asian traditions of brush painting and caligraphy.

If contempory art were not so dominant -- it would no more concern me than all the other cultural practices (heavy metal music, mystery novels, cross-word puzzles) in which I have no interest.

But it IS dominant -- and I doubt that it would survive without that domination -- since social/intellectual status are the primary benefits that it offers. Freedom of expression is available to everyone living in free societies -- but Contempory Art validates that expression by giving it status -- giving it, for example, a very important place in the lives of young people who aren't ready to become adults when they go to college.

BTW -- regarding the problem of solipcism and the "need to downgrade these (elitist) views and to try have common grounds: common references." -- I'd suggest that this strategy belongs to Contempory Art -- but no other -- since traditional arts are cultivated through immersion/internalization -- where each practitioner eventually becomes the tradition with which he identifies.

BTWII --- I think this is what distinguishes the two periods called "Modern Art" (1880-1940) and "Contemporary Art" (1950 - present) --- the fact that the modernists (and their critical audience) were immersed in an earlier (predominantly French) pictorial tradition -- while the contemporary art world -- god help us -- belongs to post-war American commercial civilization.
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