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didn't know danto

Post #608 • August 23, 2005, 12:23 PM • 69 Comments

From The Nation:

In some ways, Danto's midcareer shift to art criticism is unsurprising; after studying art at Wayne State University he moved to New York, where he had a short-lived career as an artist in the 1950s. "I showed around a lot," he recalls, painting like "Franz Kline but figuratively." But Danto was studying philosophy in addition to pursuing art. "I liked writing philosophy better, so I just stopped cold," he says. "Doing philosophy and art at the same time was like living two lives--and one life was enough." From that point on, Danto was "single-mindedly a philosopher," as he wrote in his book After the End of Art, eventually becoming a professor of philosophy at Columbia in 1966.

Quoth the man, answering the question, What artists or artworks do you love?

I have fairly conservative tastes. I love eighteenth-century French painting, Watteau and Chardin especially. I love Morandi and Modigliani. Among contemporary artists I like abstract painting a lot--Robert Mangold, Sean Scully, David Reed. But not all important art is especially lovable. I can't say I love Jeff Koons's work--but I think it's important. Who can actually love Duchamp's work? What I hate is being manipulated. I hate Francis Bacon for that reason. But I forgive Norman Rockwell, since I am given to sentimentality. I really wish the world were a lot more like his world than it is. I love Robert Rauschenberg for erasing a drawing of de Kooning, just because of its brashness. I could go on and on about this!

Gotta run - more on this tomorrow.

Comment

1.

Jack

August 23, 2005, 12:43 PM

I could go on and on as well, as could most people, but there doesn't seem much point. Let Danto find comfort in his philosophy, if he can; it's nothing to me, and so is he. Next (preferably something less, uh, philosophical, like a show review).

2.

Matty

August 23, 2005, 1:05 PM

I'm all for REAL philosphy, just not the pseudo pop-philosophy the likes of which Donut, er, Danto scribbles. What a fucking lackwit.
To beat OP to the punch, Good Grief!

3.

Franklin

August 23, 2005, 1:12 PM

Anyone who likes Morandi isn't all bad.

4.

Matty

August 23, 2005, 1:19 PM

I'll take your word for it Franklin. I've never met Morandi. Must be a great guy.

5.

oldpro

August 23, 2005, 1:30 PM

I like Morandi too, but geez.

That second paragraph could be directly out of a New Yorker type satirization of artsy dilletante cocktail party chatter.

The guy is an airhead.

6.

Jack

August 23, 2005, 3:50 PM

Oldpro, I think you meant windbag (not that it makes much difference).

7.

oldpro

August 23, 2005, 4:51 PM

Airhead is where all the wind comes from.

8.

Elizabeth

August 23, 2005, 5:35 PM

OP; thats funny....btw, I think when u were 2, u were an old pro, thats what I meant by were u ever young!

9.

Jack

August 23, 2005, 5:40 PM

Well, as I said earlier, Danto is not worth further notice. He's already had far more than he deserved. I suggest we look closer to home and, yes, deal with the new show at MOCA. I know; it's not the most enticing prospect (it seldom is), but someone should see it and report on it. I think it's free admission the last Friday evening of the month, which is this Friday. And no, I'm not volunteering.

10.

alesh

August 23, 2005, 5:57 PM

Kathleen did it.

11.

oldpro

August 23, 2005, 6:17 PM

No, Elizabeth, I had to grow up, just like everyone else. And it took a long time.

The dust show looks predictably listless and inane. Why bother.

12.

Jack

August 23, 2005, 7:20 PM

Yes, Oldpro, the dust thing is very offputting. At least they didn't go for used toilet paper from the restrooms or piss samples from the urinals (though that would have met with hearty approval from the R. Mutt crowd, no doubt). Still, I suppose one should check in on what's on at MOCA. But wait, there was that ludicrous Othoniel glass show nonsense...yes, maybe one shouldn't bother.

13.

flatboy

August 23, 2005, 8:14 PM

I'm back...

Jack! You don't understand the R. Mutt crowd. We don't like piss or toilet paper anymore than you do. It is the beautiful curves of that particular piece of ceramic combined with the metal trim that appeals. That is how it goes for me, anyhow. And, like you regard yourself, the only person that matters to me is me.

14.

Jack

August 23, 2005, 8:53 PM

Well, Flatboy, perhaps the Ofili-and-Serrano crowd would have been more accurate, but I think you got the idea just the same. As for my not understanding the R. Mutt crowd, I suppose I don't, but I assure you it causes me no worry whatsoever. If it makes you happy to belong to it, by all means suit yourself.

15.

oldpro

August 23, 2005, 9:06 PM

Well, I guess we are drifting back into the Men's Room again.

C'mon, Flatboy. Don't be such a self-conscious esthete. The thing is pure banality esthetically. It is only interesting as a historical document and becasue of the central role it is alleged to have played in the dumbing down of art in the 20th C.

16.

Jack

August 23, 2005, 9:15 PM

I'm sorry, Oldpro. I didn't intend to flush out Flatboy with a porcelain altar reference (not that I'm sorry he's back, but I don't especially care to spend more time revisiting his pisspot fixation, I mean fixture).

17.

Franklin

August 23, 2005, 9:34 PM

Please, please don't go there...

18.

mek

August 23, 2005, 9:53 PM

oy - are we revisiting the pisspot again? i am a fan but now i'm starting to cross to the other side....

19.

mek

August 23, 2005, 9:59 PM

thank you alesh for bringing attention to kathleen's review of the moca show
http://thenextfewhours.com/blog/?p=19

she was kind enuf to post a lengthy review. i will now peruse and would urge others to do the same

21.

flatboy

August 23, 2005, 10:44 PM

Great URL George. Thanks. It made me laugh. But that guy ain't no Marcel Duchamp. Too decorative and not lean enough. The forms get lost in all the curly-queues.

The issue here is "aesthetic distance". I think I may be the only one around who does not look at Fountain with my eye half on "life" and half on "art". It does not matter what the thing is used for in life to me. It is just another object, nicely made, and pleasantly satisfying. Not great, as I've said before, but better to look at than lots of stuff you see these days.

I am an esthete and my comments point to that. But it does not follow that I am a "self-conscious esthete". You know that OldPro, don't you? I am "unselfconscious" because I just don't care what "art obejcts" might be in real life, nor do I care what I'm "supposed" to like. Picasso made bulls out of bicycle seats and apes out of toy cars. But at the moment of getting them as art, there is no consciousness of that fact because to notice it would be to break down aesthetic distance and thereby blow your chance to enjoy the piece.

It has not escaped my notice that the "R. Mutt" crowd typically leverages their approval of Fountain through its relationship to the art system - history as OldPro puts it. That is just as much a breakdown of aesthetic distance as the group that obsesses over "pisspot-ness". So I've got my reservations about my comrade lovers of Fountain as well.

You gotta like the curves (or something you can see) to stay honest about liking Fountain. It isn't about the intellect, nor is it about "banality". Letting your true response flow, liking or not liking, is only kind of "honesty" that counts in art.

PS: I've been lurking off and on and found that many of you guys keep poking jokes at those who happen to like Fountain as if "everyone" knows just how wrong it is to like the work. Did you really think you could do that forever without being challenged? At minimum, you must admit that Duchamp taught us something about aesthetic distance, that just about anything on earth, once put in that special relationship to the eye that all art requires, can be taken as art. How good, of course, is not settled by such an act. But neither is how bad settled by the object's function in life, because aesthetic experience takes place outside of life as lived. I think Clement Greenberg said about the same thing on the web site devoted to him, too. I've forgotten how to do URLs on this blog or I would put one in right here. But here it is in English:

www.sharecom.ca/greenberg/default.html

Select "Autonomies of Art" about half way down the page.

22.

George

August 23, 2005, 10:57 PM

Flatboy, I had my tongue in my cheek when I posted that URL, I was trying to give opie a laugh. If you haven't read the Duchamp biography by Calvin Tomkins you should. It's an interesting story and it touches on the impulses behind the readymades.

By no means was I trying to bring the topic to the forefront and I don't see the point of saying anything one way or the other about Danto to the ostrich crowd.

23.

Franklin

August 23, 2005, 11:01 PM

God as my witness, I am about to alter the comment script to substitute asterisks for "Duchamp."

24.

flatboy

August 23, 2005, 11:09 PM

Well, ******* is the dead artist who is not dead enough. He just won't go away, will he?

George I gotta say I'm in the "ostrich crowd" as far as Danto goes. I just can't stay interested in what he is saying because he says so little but takes so long to do it and, like your urinal artist, puts too many curly-queues around the whole package. There is a difference between "lean" and "thin". Danto, boiled down to what he actually has to say, is thin. But I admit that I give up reading after just a few paragraphs.

Now I'll chase down your convenient click on about the biography of the notorious, ever threatening ********.

25.

flatboy

August 23, 2005, 11:20 PM

George! You gotta pay for that book! Yikes. I read the free blurb down to "the notes...are essential to any understanding of The Large Glass. They constitute the verbal dimension of a work that is as much verbal as visual" and began losing interest. I did like the reference to ******* as disdaining words and thought -- no wonder the poor guy won't die enough, his eternal rest is disturbed by all the word games floating above his cadaver. And Tompkins goes on and on in his exegesis of the text in the title, no less! This is not a book for a poor grad student to waste his stipend on. But thanks for the URL. That was enough for me to decide and cost nothing.

26.

George

August 23, 2005, 11:36 PM

Flatboy, regarding Tompkins' book, it's not about art theory, it's a biography. Spinning the tale of an artists life starting exactly 100 years ago. It's history. Read it like fiction, for fun

27.

oldpro

August 23, 2005, 11:39 PM

George, the links were amusing, enlightening and worthwhile.

Flatboy, the #%&$#@ ******** at this point threatens nothing but one's patience.

28.

flatboy

August 23, 2005, 11:42 PM

George, it reads like theory. But it may also be fiction, as far as what counts in art goes.

I am sick and tired of being told "to understand x, you must first read and understand a,b,c,d,e, etc. I hear it all the time in art history classes. It is an excuse for not having much to say about x in the first place. It pisses off my Irish side.

29.

FRC

August 23, 2005, 11:44 PM

Regarding the MoCA show, rest assured
it is not another Othoniel disaster - other
than ANY reference to the TV Show
'Trading Spaces' - which is a disservice to
all parties involved.

I would suggest starting from the LaRosa installation
in the rear & working your way back to the front
of the museum (since you may have read about those
parts already). I documented part of the LaRosa
installation (yes, I'm biased) and can attest that
a significant portion of the work was created in the
space...

The opening was well attended and it was (as usual)
difficult if not impossible to appreciate during that time -
now I'd be interested in what others think of the show & I
encourage all to GO SEE ART & judge for themselves... ;)

30.

Kathleen

August 24, 2005, 12:11 AM

So, Franklin, I guess you don't want artblog to show up as the number one site in response to a google query for Marcel of the Field?

31.

Duchamp

August 24, 2005, 1:14 AM

I am not dead, I live on through my pisspot !

32.

Jackson

August 24, 2005, 1:37 AM

Oh yeah? well I went from a pisspot to a bedwetter in one generation, so there!




n

33.

Jack

August 24, 2005, 10:17 AM

Flatboy, if the u-thing works for you, as art or whatever, obviously you're entitled to be pleased. Yes, the curves are kind of nice. So are the curves of a fine animal's rump, or of innumerable objects, natural and man-made. So some joker picks such an object, puts a title on it, plops it down in an "art space," and calls it art. So what? So I'm supposed to go along with it, accept it, give the guy some credit, or be somehow grateful? Are you kidding me? You know what that concept does for me? Nothing. You know what my obligation to it is? Nothing.

I'm not out to change your mind on this. It's your business. But please don't even begin to tell me that I (not you, not anybody else, but I) am indebted to MD for anything. If he'd never existed, it would make no difference to my interaction with art--which, as you know, is conducted strictly according to my criteria, just as yours should be conducted your way. In other words, don't tell me what MD has done for me, because you're simply in no position to do that. What he's done for you is not my affair.

34.

JL

August 24, 2005, 11:49 AM

After reading that, I'm having trouble shaking the image of Danto as Lana Turner. Disturbing.

I disagree with a lot of Danto's writings without finding him disagreeable as a person (or from what I can tell he's like as a person from his work), and I don't dismiss him. He's accomplished a lot more than I have and is a good deal smarter. That said, I think the lesson is that what he likes and where his philosophy leads him are two separate things. Philosophical concepts by their nature are all-or-nothing creatures, and Danto (and, more importantly, similarly inclined artists) use that fact to emphasize the limit cases of art. The problem is doing so leads one away from the heart of the matter.

What I am much more antipathetic to is his insistence on meaning in art. Obviously meaning is important, it's basic to a lot of work. And inasmuch as his approach is thus a variety of hermenuetics, I can see value in it in various circumstances. But the emphasis on meaning usually reflects an underlying literary (or in this case, philosophical) sensibility. I prefer music to words.

35.

Matty

August 24, 2005, 1:09 PM

Danto is empty, and so is the urinal.

To clarify the positions on the Crapper John, M.D. debate:

Group A things the ****** is bad art, period. Aesthetically, conceptually, whatever. It doesn't merit any further consideration.

Groub B thinks the ****** is aethetically bad, but nevertheless thinks it is important conceptually, and therefore is worth considering and is important as art.

Group C thinks the ****** is aesthetically good, and the conceptual nature of the piece (the "shocking" fact of its form and original intended use) is irrelevant. Its importance rests solely in its beauty, and so may be judged relatively against other works, many of which are better, and many of which are worse.

Does this miss anyone? If so, please outline your different position as D, E, etc... If these groups do cover us all, then please state which group you belong to.

I'll go first.
I'm with the A's.

36.

oldpro

August 24, 2005, 1:48 PM

JL it does no good to talk around Danto and make excuses and rationalizations for him. Just read that 2nd paragraph. It is a nutshell version of what a lightweight he is. That a great Ivy League University like Columbia can have such a person as a Professor of Philosophy, of Philosophy, no less, just shows how the whole damn academic system runs on hot air and little else.

Matty, your grouping is accurate. I think Flatboy may be the only in group C. I am in a somewhat eccentric group, probably equally lonely, that thinks we should simply avoid the subject altogtether.

Just think, if MD had never been born, everything that happened would have happened without him. There are dozens of Dada referrents for the crap that has happened in the last 50 years. Any one of them would do.

But if Cezanne or Picasso and Braque had not been born the whole course of art would have been different.

37.

Matty

August 24, 2005, 1:56 PM

Group A thinks... It doesn't merit any further consideration.

I'll count you with the A's, Oldpro.

38.

oldpro

August 24, 2005, 2:00 PM

That's fine. Perhaps if we grow large and strong by looking at good art we can show the lemmings the way to the cliff.

39.

George

August 24, 2005, 2:12 PM

opie sez Just think, if MD had never been born, everything that happened would have happened without him. There are dozens of Dada referents for the crap that has happened in the last 50 years. Any one of them would do.

I was thinking of this very thing just the other day. Suppose we are at that critical fork in the road around the end of the 50's. Suppose there was no MD. Assuming that the cultural moment, post WWII rebuilding and optimism, the cold war, TV etc all have an affect on the stylistic directions of art. Given these hypothetical conditions, perform a thought experiment and speculate on how art might have progressed. Is it possible to reevaluate those conditions today and proceed forward now but on the other path as defined in the thought experiment?

Matty, also D=Good-Good, E=Indifferent-Good

40.

oldpro

August 24, 2005, 2:16 PM

George, as I have always maintained in every single MD discussion we have had, there would be no change, hardly a ripple. Art was headed the way it was headed anyway. We would simply have reached back and found us another so-called progenitor.

41.

George

August 24, 2005, 2:27 PM

ok, so if it didn't matter anyway, what's the fuss over MD?

42.

Matty

August 24, 2005, 2:32 PM

George, if I understand your shorthand, you're suggesting:

Group D thinks the ****** is both asthetically good and conceptually good. Members of this group are the ultimate 'Duchampistes', the polar opposites of Group A.

If Group E thinks the ****** is aesthetically unimportant, but conceptually important, I think this position can be merged with Group B, which basically represents the same position (that the aesthetic worth has no bearing on the artistic importance).

If this works for you George, then please (everyone) register your preference:
A, B, C, or D?

43.

Jack

August 24, 2005, 2:35 PM

I don't see the point of saying anything one way or the other about Danto to the ostrich crowd (#22)

Thanks, George, for your forbearance. Most civil of you. However, you seem to be confusing pretending something doesn't exist with rejecting it, which is altogether different. Or are you saying that if something you accept is rejected by others, they must be "ostriches"? What part of rejection don't you understand?

If you think I'm going to give the time of day to some self-appointed "elucidator" who describes his crucial first encounter with Warhol's Brillo boxes as something akin to the Ecstasy of St. Teresa as depicted by Bernini, you're out of your mind. That little "epiphany" is all I needed to know about Danto, and nothing I've read by him has in any way changed my initial reaction--quite the contrary. Have I read him in depth? No. Do I plan to? No. He's given me no reason to believe he's worth my time.

I don't pretend Danto doesn't exist--I just don't think he matters. You like him? Keep him, but leave me out of it.

44.

George

August 24, 2005, 2:38 PM

Matty: E as "is aesthetically indifferent, neither good nor bad. without this consideration"

also I still don't understand the question, are you speaking of only the urinal or MD's whole body of work?

45.

George

August 24, 2005, 2:43 PM

Jack, ok.
I wasn't referring to you, you picked that for yourself.
I have not read enough of Danto's writing to formulate an opinion. As such I would neither praise nor dismiss what he has done.

46.

Matty

August 24, 2005, 3:08 PM

To be absolutely clear, the urinal is the subject.

George, you keep giving half-thoughts.
Ok, your E's don't give aesthetic consideration to the work.. AND...?

Do your E's, like my B's, hold that is nonetheless important for extra-aesthetic reasons (ie. conceptual reasons)?

If so, then they should be considered B's (B's, for the sake of argument are indifferent to whether it is aesthetically good, bad, or otherwise).

If not, then the E's should be considered A's.

47.

Matty

August 24, 2005, 3:14 PM

Arthur Schopenhauer, on books and writing,

"Just as Eulenspiegel, when asked how long it would take to reach the next town, gave his questioner the apparently senseless answer: 'Walk!' with a view to judging from his pace how far he would get in a certain time, so I read a couple of pages of an author and already know more or less how far I can profit from him."

48.

Franklin

August 24, 2005, 3:20 PM

$enough = array('Duchamp', 'urinal');
$comment = str_replace($enough, '*****', $comment);

49.

oldpro

August 24, 2005, 3:31 PM

Matty #47: exactly right.

George. What is all the fuss about? That is the question. If we accept that MD and the despised receptacle are just tokens, what is all the fuss about, indeed.

The answer is that a great majority of the art world thinks that he and it are creative progenitors, like Cezanne et al, and a determined and vociferous minorty think otherwise.

This creates a fuss.

50.

Matty

August 24, 2005, 3:40 PM

Oldpro, those opposed to the inflated status of Crapper John M.D. can only be considered a 'minority' if we only consider 'the art world'. This seems misleading, because I'm sure the great majority of the REAL, outside world would stand in opposition as well, if it weren't for the fact that such ridiculous examples of so called 'important art' hadn't already helped to convince them that art itself must be a something along the lines of a joke or a racket, or both, to which they feel justified in paying no attention.

51.

George

August 24, 2005, 4:02 PM

Matty, ok ,

52.

oldpro

August 24, 2005, 4:21 PM

You're right, Matty, the good old "man on the street" is nothing but a foil to the beserker art world, but they do it at thier own risk.

"Crapper John MD" is pure genius.

53.

Matty

August 24, 2005, 4:58 PM

George, ok...

Well, where do you (and anyone else out there) stand?

Group A: Matty, oldpro...
Group B: ?...
Group C: flatboy (maybe)?...
Group D: ?...

I'd go ahead and put you in the B's, George, but I don't want to make any assumptions.

54.

JL

August 24, 2005, 7:36 PM

oldpro: it does no good to talk around Danto and make excuses and rationalizations for him. Just read that 2nd paragraph. It is a nutshell version of what a lightweight he is. That a great Ivy League University like Columbia can have such a person as a Professor of Philosophy, of Philosophy, no less, just shows how the whole damn academic system runs on hot air and little else.

I wasn't aware I was making excuses or rationalizations for Danto - I was, in fact, disagreeing with one of his central theses (art = embodied meaning) and questioning the relationship between his philosophical writing on art and how he actually experiences it. I don't agree with all of his judgments in the second paragraph quoted above - I'm not really sure how important Koons can be as a third generation of his type, for instance - but most of the artists he lists as enjoying I enjoy as well. And even if I don't entirely agree about the importance of all that he singles out, I don't find it strange that one could find something important and still not like it. Happens to me all the time, and with more significant art than his examples - not too keen on Mahler, for instance.

In any event, Danto's taste in art could run to Precious Moments figurines and it still wouldn't affect his qualifications as a philosopher. I'd leave his standing in his field to his peers, among whom, from all evidence, it is very high. Given the dominance of analytic philosophy in the Anglo-American school, this can hardly be attributed to the mumbo-jumbo of theory (though I'm not saying you do so in your comment above.) Analytic philosophers tend to be rather impatient with nonsense. That doesn't make Danto right - as I said, I think he's wrong about a lot - but I believe it does matter in how one assesses his work.

55.

flatboy

August 24, 2005, 8:12 PM

Yes Matty, make me a C who does not think ******* will complete his dying process anytime soon.

As far as making "the man in the street" or "the great majority of the REAL, outside world" the ones who know worthless art when they see it, think of what they say about Pollock, Smith, and Picasso, even. Then tell me their taste is accurate and worth considering.

As Jack likes to repeat over and over, there is no place to decide these things except in one's own self and the only court of appeal is to take another look.

Someone smarter than me will have to explain why so many serious people who obviously have something going for themselves in one way or another can't agree on much when it comes to recent art. Or why "men in the street" have achieved such easy agreement that anything that does not look like something else is bad.

All that said, the lesson in aesthetic distance delivered by ******** is not completely a matter of one's own experience, unless all philosophy is such. In fact, it was more a matter of demonstration than anything else, almost like science. (Science, of course, is not the holy grail of epistemological ambition either.) And, ******** did change our understanding of aesthetic distance in a way that probably would not have happened if he had not done what he did with the "ready made". Perhaps that is why he was selected, out of all the dadaists, to be their king.

56.

oldpro

August 24, 2005, 8:47 PM

JL, perhaps I misstated. Or overstated. Maybe I meant that you are willing to take him on his own terms and get into what he said and weigh the pros and cons, which is all very reasonable and aboveboard.

But anyone who can say in an interview what he said above is a lightweight. You cannot take him seriously. You must be more ciritical and more skeptical. He is not worth listening to or reading. Once again, I invoke Matty's #47.

Flatboy, Matty was not saying that the majority is right. He was just qualifying what I said about what constitutes a majority.

Furthermore, Very few people have any kind of "esthetic distance" on the PPot. It is not an esthetic object, unless it happens, rarely, like you, that someone makes it one. It is an art history phenomenon, little more. As art it is banal.

57.

George

August 24, 2005, 9:41 PM

duchamp du du
duchamp pee pee
du du pee pee

du du chomp
du du champ
du du pee pee

du champ pee on


makes about as much sense as everything else here.
(

58.

oldpro

August 24, 2005, 10:19 PM

George, sounds like you been nippin' at du champagne again...

Ur in alot of trouble, kiddo.

59.

George

August 24, 2005, 10:24 PM

Nope, dry as a bone, just being juvenile along with everyone else.

a

60.

Kathleen

August 24, 2005, 10:24 PM

OP,

Ur was in Mesopotamia, and seems to be finished having its troubles.

61.

oldpro

August 24, 2005, 11:30 PM

Ur may be finished, buit the troubles go on.

Ancient Ur was near present Baghdad.

62.

Elizabeth

August 24, 2005, 11:53 PM

George, at least Im not the only one cracking up, pass the bottle.....

63.

oldpro

August 24, 2005, 11:55 PM

urinalot of trouble too, Liz

64.

Elizabeth

August 25, 2005, 12:04 AM

OldPro; that was sooooooooooooooooooooooooo bad it was good, kindof like the piss pot...hehe...

65.

Matty

August 25, 2005, 2:11 PM

Danto clearly has trouble distinguishing 'artists' from 'art', and I don't have the patience for that sort of lazy thinking. To suggest that he's 'qualified' for his job simply because he HAS the job (or that a few people considered to be 'his peers' think he's qualified, which basicaly amounts to the same thing) pretty much negates anyone's argument at any time that anyone who has a job may not be qualified (which we all know is all too frequently the case). Danto is a skilled philosopher, and Bush is one hell of a statesman... they must be, or they wouldn't have the job, right?
Let's just say that its debatable... if you like him, keep him... far away from me, please.

Re Flatboy post #55
As far as making "the man in the street" or "the great majority of the REAL, outside world" the ones who know worthless art when they see it, think of what they say about Pollock, Smith, and Picasso, even. Then tell me their taste is accurate and worth considering.

As OP points out, you're missing the context of my statement... but there's a bigger problem than that here. Before I studied art, I was a 'man on the street'. Some of my best friends are 'men on the street' (makes me sound a bit like a whore, but you get my point). Your suggestion that their taste is somehow wholely inaccurate and worthless is snobbish nonsense. Just give it a little more thought, and you'll probably agree.
Of course, the 'men on the street' have not come to terms with the 'shock' of cubism and later modernism (as they clearly have with the 'shock' of impressionism before it)... yet another indication that modernism continues to furnish the true cutting edge of art. But make no mistake: the innocent 'man on the street' is a lot more likely to at least understand that there is something he just doesn't get in Picasso's work, whereas on the other hand, he know's that an artist's messy bed, as art, is all too easy to get, but simply isn't worth the getting. Unfortunately, the 'man on the street' knows that this is what passes for art in galleries, and justifiably has no time for it.
What Flatboy says about the ****** being a demonstration of the necessity of aesthetic distance is true. But, so is every other piece of art. What sets the ****** apart, what assures its unique place in history, is the fact that it also (an mainly) demonstrates that even bad art is still art. It is nothing but an illustration of the un-honorific status of Art.

George, don't say something "doesn't make sense", when what you really mean is that you "don't understand". There is a HUGE difference.

Re: posts #35, 42, 53
Come on everyone, humour me! A, B, C, or D? I think those 4 choices should cover every viewpoint (more or less), and if everyone can simply state where they sit on the ****** (or, stand in front of it, I suppose) then we can avoid mischaracterizings each others appreciation (or lack thereof) for this recurring fixture of conversation.
Just a single keystroke, that's all I ask!

66.

oldpro

August 25, 2005, 3:28 PM

How dare you try to catagorize me, Matty. Don't you know i am a UNIQUE INDIVIDUAL? What's wrong in this world is that elitists like you try to sort people out, when we are all special and individual, and deserve to be treated with respect, not forced into some pigeonhole. How do I know this list won't get into the wrong hands? How do I know that if I am an A or a D that some CIA agent won't some to my house and take me off, never to be seen again, like in Stalin's Russia? Is this some kind of Fascist trick or what? Don't you know that ALL viewpoints on the ****** deserve equal respect? Whay is one opinion better than another? ******s have feelings, too, you know, despite that people piss on them. Be a little more openminded!

Craig sent me more of that flu medicine, and it really has opened my eyes to what is going on around here.

67.

Matty

August 25, 2005, 3:51 PM

Fuck, they're on to me...Fuckin' flu medication!... Should we abort the mission? Over.

Negative, Agent Matty... you must complete the mission. You have permission to neutralize oldpro if necessary. Over.

Whoa, you've got my intentions all wrong OP! I embrace the pluralism of this forum... that's why I want each individual to identify their own position for themselves... I don't want to pigeon-hole anyone! Heck, if someone has a position that doesn't fit with my A, B, C, D paradigm, I welcome dialogue, and additions to my list (I forgot to thank George for his addition of D, by the way... thanks George). Golly, we could continue the list down to X, Y, Z... if anyone on here has a position which differs significantly from the ones already listed.
I'm just trying to get a handle on how many different ways one can look at the ******, to see if there's something I'm missing. I hope it goes without saying that nobody has a monopoly on the truth, and that everyone's POV has merit... i just want to know how many distinct P'sOV there are on this issue.
Its all about dialogue, dude... mmm, flu medication.

68.

oldpro

August 25, 2005, 4:18 PM

Well. OK. i guess if you embrace pluralism and welcome open dialogue and realize that no one has a monopoly on the truth then maybe you are not so bad.

Besides that medication is so nice, I just don't feel like fighting any more.

69.

Matty

August 31, 2005, 1:56 AM

Ok, maybe it's just the copious amount of JD that I've drunk tonight, but seriously...

You fuckin' cowards!

A, B, C, or D!

That's all I ask!

What are you so fucking afraid of?

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