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can i quote you on that?

Post #665 • November 21, 2005, 1:14 PM • 28 Comments

Deborah Solomon: Some here feel that the study of the humanities at our universities has been damaged by the incursion of deconstruction and other French theories.

Jean Baudrillard: That was the gift of the French. They gave Americans a language they did not need. It was like the Statue of Liberty. Nobody needs French theory.




November 21, 2005, 1:35 PM

I'm not about to defend any dubious French exports, but it's not their fault if people fall for dubious and/or spurious product. Same goes for bad art--that's why I blame clueless "major" collectors who keep it in business more than the dealers who sell it or the people who make it.



November 21, 2005, 2:19 PM

Just reposting this......? Since we are on the French topic....Any comments....? Was anyone at the discussions with artists...I am curious about what they had to say?
Sunday 20 November 2005 3:46 pm

Hey, on another note....Has anyone gone to see the "Shortcuts Between Reality and Fiction" at Bass Museum of Art......? Any comments on that?
Was anyone there for the opening?



November 21, 2005, 2:47 PM

I didn't, Lucy, but just for you I put it up on Go See Art if you want to write something about it.



November 21, 2005, 6:53 PM

i remember mentioning that that one looks good . . . i think i might hit it this weekend.



November 21, 2005, 7:58 PM

There's an aphorism of which the French are often fond when describing themselves:

Les Francais sont contre.

Which means: the French are against.

And the point is that it doesn't matter against what; whatever it is, they are against it.

Contrary, basically.


jacques the terrible

November 21, 2005, 11:17 PM

It's easy to blast that which you don't understand.
Go ahead, preach you fear and insecurity.



November 22, 2005, 7:05 AM

Funny you should mention sheep, Jacques... (via ModKix)



November 22, 2005, 8:42 AM

Come gather 'round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You'll be drenched to the bone.
If your time to you
Is worth savin'
Then you better start swimmin'
Or you'll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin'.

Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won't come again
And don't speak too soon
For the wheel's still in spin
And there's no tellin' who
That it's namin'.
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin'.

Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don't stand in the doorway
Don't block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There's a battle outside
And it is ragin'.
It'll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin'.

Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
And don't criticize
What you can't understand
Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is
Rapidly agin'.
Please get out of the new one
If you can't lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin'.

The line it is drawn
The curse it is cast
The slow one now
Will later be fast
As the present now
Will later be past
The order is
Rapidly fadin'.
And the first one now
Will later be last
For the times they are a-changin'.

Bob Dylan 1964

By the time something gets all neatly wrapped up into a fat book, it has to be done with. It's moment ended with the publication of the tome, "Everything you ever wanted to know about the modern world but were afraid to ask"

"Postmodernism" is rapidly sinking into the mud of academia. As a method for the practice of an advanced art, it is in disrepute and it's tenants have become something to react against rather than embrace.

Put it into the hole next to "modernism" and get on with it.



November 22, 2005, 9:00 AM

Might be a good time to pack away bad '60s folk song poetry too, George.



November 22, 2005, 9:08 AM

And Franklin, if an ovine trend junkster like Robert Storr thinks Pomo has gone just a little too far, there may be hope after all.

Let's hope the next thing that comes down the pike is a little friendlier to real art.



November 22, 2005, 9:20 AM

ah yes, the "real art" rhetoric has been trotted out at last. and it only took 10 comments to get there. it's so comforting to know someone has it all figured out for us plebians. thanks OP.



November 22, 2005, 9:24 AM

You're welcome, Craig.



November 22, 2005, 9:40 AM

The point is that he's figured it out for himself, not for everyone else. In the end, that's all you can do.



November 22, 2005, 10:03 AM

"Postmodernism" is rapidly sinking into the mud of academia.

I don't know George's daily conection with academia, but he is perfectly correct in his statement, according to my daily encounters with the ever righteous self absorbed beast. Whatever life pomo may have once had, the academics will chew, swallow, and digest it, then chew it up all over again, until even they can't stomach it anymore. Sadly, the process will likely take a couple of decades to complete.

It doesn't have anything to do with the French, as far as I can tell. It is just a case of the herd hapening to turn its attention to a particular theory and then deciding to chew and chew and chew on it, as they rasied it to the status of their accepted canon. They could have done the same thing to formalism, with the same end result, if circumstances had been a little different. Perhaps they still will.

The one virtue of the "mud of academia" is its stability. It goes on and on and on, curiously finding remarkable sustenance in its own waste.



November 22, 2005, 10:09 AM

Guess I ought to summarize my long winded comment to George in #14.

"Pomo" is sinking, but it won't be rapid.



November 22, 2005, 10:14 AM

Let's hope the next thing that comes down the pike is...... what?

Who will define this? The critics? Fat chance.

The artists define this, always have.

So besides opie's "real art" what do you other readers feel about this question?

The reason I posted Dylan's lyrics was that I feel strongly we are at a major inflection point in history and truly the times are changing.



November 22, 2005, 10:24 AM

So besides opie's "real art" what do you other readers feel about this question?

The only aspect of the future that we can know with certainty is that its best efforts will be built upon the best efforts of the tradition now in place. Whether it will add extra ingredients to tradition or simply conserve it is impossible to know, but will have something to do with whether the future is a "new age" or a "dark age".



November 22, 2005, 10:27 AM

Catfish, I have no connection with academia but typically once an intellection idea flares out the embers continue to burn among the academics, it's what they know so they continue on with it.

From the viewpoint of the artist, if you read between the lines by following what's blogged and what the young galleries are doing, the postmodernist joke is finished. I don't think young artists are reading Hal Foster with the intent of informing their work, to the contrary I sense a backlash against what ,in retrospect seems, illogical or irrelevant.



November 22, 2005, 11:30 AM

The strange and sad thing is that no matter who says what, no matter how insistently or adamantly, everyone is free to decide for himself, and the hell with this theory , that academic, this book or that manifesto--unless it rings true and proves helpful. Krauss, Baudrillard, and any and all supposed experts or presumed authorities mean nothing and are nothing unless they're given credence and taken seriously. What is so damn difficult about calling it as one really sees it and letting the chips fall where they may? Why are people so afraid to stand their ground? Why is there such a problem with saying "NO, I don't buy it, so get out of my face"?


moustache anear

November 22, 2005, 11:38 AM

The thing that you guys seem to be overlooking is that the nature of ideas is for them to be developed, processed , put into play , and then , if necessary , negated. But, the process is vital to learning and understanding.. We have to go through it in order to refute it. And, POMO left us a few worthwhile things, atleast: The first being new methods for working, The second is a healthy skepticism of power structures, and the third (and no less important) the rise of the role women's voices play in art ,culture, politics....



November 22, 2005, 12:13 PM


You sez, We have to go through it in order to refute it. Well, eggzactly, that is my point. We went through it already, that art is on the auction block for big bucks but young artists trying to build a practice on those ideas are in for a rude suprise.

1) new methods for working yup, this is a normal development and not owned by pomo.

2) a healthy skepticism of power structures this is not new, it just sounds new

3 the role women's voices play in art ,culture, politics granted.

Stick a fork in it, it's done.



November 22, 2005, 4:11 PM

the comment concerning real art was not about his own art, therefore not subject to the criteria he may have for himself, it was an irresponsible imposition of standards onto anothers reasons and products of creation.

Maybe someday, in some sort of "anonymous" way he might post up some of his own work, and maybe it wouldn't even have to be anonymous if it is a "real" source of pride and steady against judgement



November 22, 2005, 4:44 PM

And if he did put his work up, Jam, would you judge it according to his standards, or yours?

The whole of his statement was: "Let's hope the next thing that comes down the pike is a little friendlier to real art." Amazing, the defensiveness this has elicited.

If you like strawberries, you offer them to your houseguests, because you make the imposing assumption that strawberries taste good to most folks. If they don't like strawberries, do they fret about your irresponsible impositions of standards and whatnot? No, they just decline. I don't understand why people don't understand this.


that guy

November 22, 2005, 4:51 PM

Most people do understand this Frankin, and that is why most people could give two shits about what goes on in the art world. They have had it.



November 22, 2005, 4:57 PM

Well, were real strawberries offered? Or fake strawberries?

And what if the host says something like: "you may think you like the strawberries the neighbor gives you, but those strawberries were fake"? Or, "that market you go to sells crap strawberries; have some real strawberries for a change"?

I'd be defensive if my host did that to me. Especcially if I really enjoyed the strawberries which I had purchased at the market.



November 22, 2005, 5:05 PM

Even as the metaphor lies on the floor and dies, I'd say that if I felt secure in my liking of the neighbor's strawberries, I wouldn't feel the need to become defensive about it. "Hm, interesting," I'd reply. And I'd either go on liking them, or maybe those other strawberries would taste better and I'd come to prefer them. There might be good-enough strawberries and superlative strawberries out there. But it's between me and my tastebuds in the end.



November 22, 2005, 5:24 PM

It's irrelevant, try a kiwi fruit instead.

My original use of quotation marks around "real art" was intended to signify that we all probably do not agree on what "real art" is. So what?

What I found problematic in the original statement was the phrase "the next thing that comes down the pike" Not to fault Opie, I know what he's getting at but rather as an extension on the thought in general. This is a passive position, standing around waiting to be screwed by the next huckster that comes down the pike.

Except for possibly some early aspects of conceptual art, no stylistic movement was born from a theory. Shifts in art occur from a need, not a theory. The theory comes later when someone looks back and tries to understand what occurred.

The artist is always at the tip of the spear, not the critic. When I suggested that we are at an inflection point I wasn't suggesting that one looked around to see the next inevitable step. On the contrary, I was suggesting that if you don't like the current aesthetic, step up to the plate and do something new to change its direction.



November 22, 2005, 6:31 PM

But we do end up agreeing on real art, more or less. It just takes time to sort it out.

Certain general attitudes and cultural assumptions are friendlier to art (and music, and literature and the rest) than others. Or more conducive, perhaps. This is true for all human enterprise. The reason there are rich periods and fallow periods in the arts or in anything is not because the talent pool waxes and wanes. It's the circumstances that change.



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