plans for basel
Post #414 • November 23, 2004, 7:22 AM • 21 Comments
No, really. I think that I-never-want-to-look-at-art-again feeling that one gets after Art Basel comes from attending all the openings. Art isn't a party, just like your heartbeat isn't a party.
Look, everybody, bottom line: Party if you like - I won't tell you not to. But viewing art is a contemplative act and requires having sufficient time, space, and silence around you. Any art that doesn't require this is probably a novelty. And as the doodoostorm of novelty that is Art Basel proves, finding great art in the contemporary art world is like recovering your wedding ring after it gets swallowed by a dog.
Remember the Taoist looking technique? Not going to the openings shall be the Taoist attendance technique. "Do not sparkle like jade; do not tinkle like stone chimes." Just go see the art. Breathe. An artist friend of mine is taking this to its logical conclusion - he's not going to any portion of Basel, and will instead attend our Zen group's rohatsu. This is a special retreat they call No Toys - just sitting meditation; no liturgy, interviews, walking meditation, or anything else. The only instruction is that if you fall asleep, do it at your cushion. Part of me will be with him in the zendo even as I walk through this upcoming brouhaha of art appreciation jacked up to the level of caricature. I will regard the fuss as like the flickering shadows cast when the light of art is blocked by everything that isn't art. I have a wedding ring to find.