Monday, 8 June 2009

... That Is the Question

An artist friend of mine is always lamenting the fact that nowadays art is uselessly complicated. Too complicated and ultimately too unappealing. Once upon a time the artwork itself was the focus of attention, and traditional skills were generally valued. A painting was a painting was a painting, so to speak. Then the artist introduced endless ranting on, around and beneath the art work; the more the thinking and ranting took up the artist's time, the more the actual work shrank, sometimes to the point of... pointlessness; and voila! conceptual art was born.
This does not mean, of course, that contemporary art is always boring or obscure. And anyway going to a museum is always a fun experience; something that people should do at a leisurly pace (not rushing through the displays as if they were about to miss the last train), taking in the place, its distinctive atmosphere, and of course the other visitors.
This is what I will try to convey in my field reports.
I will be clear-eyed and fearless.
Please don't take it as a threat.

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