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Re: <nettime> alt.religion.artworld
Goran Maric on Sat, 24 Jul 2010 18:19:03 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> alt.religion.artworld

What I see the problem with conceptual art of 70's and 80's is that it
was a response to Modernism in Visual Art.  It was such a Modernist Art
whose culmination concluded in fetishism of an individual (one) work of
art that carried the physical mark of touch of its creator, genius, artist.
This could be seen in treatment of paintings and sculptures of Abstract
Expressionism by the art mainstream institutions at the time.
The quality comes from an individuality of an item, not reproduction, not
the repetition, but one and unique material entity is a very important part in
defining the quality of an art work. 

Modernist art, as such, was totally removed form the realities of everyday
common experience of ordinary people into some "unique-universal" 
experience, which was usually compared to some type of "religious"
experience.  It alienated itself from the world we live in into some artificially 
created island somehow separated from our world of everyday ordinary 

Now, it seems to me that much of the conceptual art was actually the response 
to this "island."  And to do this response, conceptual art, itself, had to be
moved onto that alienated island.  And by doing so, it dealt with and within 
the world/space of alienation of modernism, rather than to totally reject 
modernism, so to say, to let it alone to its existence on this alienated island.  
The conceptual art, and I would like to mention here, especially Minimal Art,
missed the opportunity to return the art to our everyday experience of our 
lives, but in such a way where the ordinary people are those who matters, 
and not a small, wealthy alienated group of elites.

Some aspects of Art, especially after WWII, such as Social Realism was
totally moved aside by the mainstream Western art institutions, whose 
culmination took its place in the US.  For instance, American Social Realism 
was rejected from mainstream due to its direct political and social connotation
which could quite easily be comprehended by an ordinary layman. No more 
confrontation, no more disturbance of accepted status quo, only politically 
indifferent art.

>From modernism continued into conceptual art, it has been considered 
that if art could be easily comprehended by a layman, art as such becomes 
quite shallow, if not stupid in its nature.  But this Visual Art of American
Social Realism was such that a layman could intellectually and or visually
fully comprehend it, and still it was able to preserve the high artistic and 
intellectual quality. 

Unfortunately, today, I see some reappearances of ideas one could find in
some conceptual art of 70's and 80's and or modernistic roots of philosophy 
of visual art practice where representation of life shouldn't be so "direct" in 
description of the everyday realities. Again it seems as we are in search for 
some deeper longer lasting experiences and conclusions.  Philosophies have 
been created to reject or question term "reality," or to discourage ideas 
and or art that create or support confrontation, as if these philosophies have
been written by someone from the board of Ford or Rockefeller foundations. 
Joan Roelofs explained it quite well in her ?Foundations and public policy: the 
mask of pluralism.? ... etc, etc.

For the end I have to say that though this writing might seem to be 
black and white, today the art world is, "thankfully and luckily" quite 
diverse and dynamic world.

> Date: Thu, 22 Jul 2010 07:29:20 -0700
> From: bbrace {AT} eskimo.com
> To: nettime-l {AT} kein.org
> Subject: <nettime> alt.religion.artworld
> The precariousness of the symbolic economy sustaining this
> particular belief system, an alternative religion for
> atheists, requires equivalent leaps of faith.

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