Previous: The money thing (20)

Next: Roundup (20)

Vik Muniz review in SunPost

Post #769 • April 6, 2006, 8:43 AM • 57 Comments

My review of Vik Muniz at MAM is up at the SunPost.

Comment

1.

oldpro

April 6, 2006, 8:16 AM

I am not familiar with the Sun-post, but it is too bad you are not writing criticism which will be seen by the largest possible audience. The Herald could use this kind of writing. Someone has to "tell it like it is", to borrow an old 60s phrase, and people should be reading it.

2.

Franklin

April 6, 2006, 9:53 AM

Last blurb: details on tonight's panel discussion here.

3.

Ok

April 6, 2006, 10:11 AM

nice piece, beats the competition.

4.

George

April 6, 2006, 10:19 AM

Stupid review

5.

oldpro

April 6, 2006, 10:23 AM

Stupid, George? I suppose you could disagree with it, but it is anything but stupid.

Or are you referring to something else?

6.

Jack

April 6, 2006, 10:37 AM

Careful, George. You're being judgmental, authoritarian and dismissive. Or is that OK when directed at certain targets, but not others? Convenient, that, not to mention predictable. I assume you realize you will have to elaborate and (try to) justify your one word review of the review. We're waiting, though not necessarily hopeful of any useful outcome. Still, you started it. Badly.

7.

Jack

April 6, 2006, 10:55 AM

Sorry, Franklin. I should have congratulated you first, rather than bothering with a gnat, I mean George (I should know better by now). Excellent review, clearly deserving of a more exalted (at least nominally) forum, as Oldpro said. I would have been more vicious (actually, I think I was, in thread 759, comment 90) but don't want to ruffle too many feathers too much, I suppose. I quite agree with your conclusion.

OP, the SunPost is a free weekly distributed in Aventura, North and South Beach areas, and the so-called Metro area (including downtown, Brickell and the Design District-Wynwood areas).

8.

oldpro

April 6, 2006, 11:41 AM

Thanks Jack. I am sure a lot of people read it, but this is certainly casting pearls after swine. This is the kind of reviewing that should be found in a really first-rate art magazine, but such things do not exist any more.

9.

Marc Country

April 6, 2006, 1:36 PM

I wonder about what I take it OP is talking about: in what paper is an art review most likely to be read by the greatest number of people?

Mainstream dailies obviously have a greater circulation than weekly street-mags. ut, are subscribers/readers of the dailies interested in art? Do they even read the pieces on art, or are they skipping over to the TV listngs, sports section, etc? Readers of the "alternative" "artsy" weekly press may be more likely to read an art review. It'd be interesting to get some stats, percentage of readership who regularly read "art features"... I woln't be surprised if the ratio were higher for the weeklies (althought the overall numbers might be less)..

Just speculating... you locals have a better idea of the media situation down there than I would...

Nice to read a REAL art review... difficult to find in this day and age.
keep up the good work, Franklin.

10.

oldpro

April 6, 2006, 1:53 PM

Having Franklin writing for the Herald would give Miami an authoritative, incisive voice with the broadest possible distribution. Whether or not the general public got it is beside the point. The medium itself would lend strength to the message and force the art community to take it seriously.

The only other effective alternative would be writing for a serious art magazine that caters to good writing and contrarian opinion. Unfortunately this does not exist in any form. Not even at the height of the fad for Abstract Expressionism 40 years ago was alternate opinion as unavailable as it is now. It amounts to a subtle but effective kind of censorship or suppression exercised by the academic mentality through the tacit acquiescence of the art community.

11.

Marc Country

April 6, 2006, 2:08 PM

I hear what you're saying, OP, and it makes sense.
I wasn't thinking about "the general public" so much (they'll read what they want, which for the most part won't be writing about some wanky art show they're not going to see).
Maybe anoher option is being the art writer for a serious general issues magazine that caters to good writing and contrarian opinion. Like The Nation, when Greenberg was writing for them (now they have Danto, poor bastards).

12.

alesh

April 6, 2006, 2:31 PM

The Sun Post runs in Miami Beach, Anventura, Downtown, and North Miami (i blieve those are the zones); it's reputation is growing by leaps and bounds, especially as they steal many of New Times' best writers.

Congrats, Franklin. I said something similar, though much less eloquent about the Muniz show.

13.

A.T.

April 6, 2006, 3:03 PM

Alesh: Sorry but I have to correct what you just said about Sun Post “stealing” NT writers. Nobody has stolen Celeste or Rebecca or Omar or myself. In fact the opposite is the case. We were already free agents gravitating toward the best possibility “out there.” We owe a lot to the sagacity of Robin Shear, the Sun Post’s present editor. Actually it took negotiations and planning to get this gig. Things are not that simple, my friend, (as you should know).

14.

oldpro

April 6, 2006, 4:23 PM

"Something similar", perhaps, but not quite, Alesh. Not with hummers like "juxtapositions of meaning" and the misspelling of the name of a linked artist (I am a terrible speller but things like that you check).

It is also clear that you pretty much go for this gadgetry, save for a few things that get "tiresome". It's fine if you like the work, whatever my opinion of that take might be, but what you said hardly bears comparison to Franklin's review.

15.

alesh

April 6, 2006, 4:59 PM

you have a point about the misspelling, oldpro; i'm notoriously sloppy about stuff like that. but whatever -- my review was negative on the ballance, as is his.

Franklin may be a better writer then me, but you ought to realize that the reason you find his perspective more agreeable is that you share the 'painter's bias' with him.

The strenghts of Muniz's art, such as it is, comes from the conceptual relationship between the thing and it's photographed image, a phenomena that painters are notoriously uninterested in.

AT~ Ok, if you say so. Maybe the Sunpost is "stealing" writers just by being the superior publication!

16.

oldpro

April 6, 2006, 5:39 PM

I hate to have to say this over and over again, Alesh, but my "bias" is for good art, not paint. There is plenty of non-painted art I just love, believe it or not.

What I have seen of Munoz's work, apart from the obvious craft cleverness (which I do appreciate), is just plain dull. Whatever Franklin's biases are his review got the work dead to rights. The weakness is precisely what you refer to as the strength: The "conceptual relationship". It's a one-liner.

17.

oldpro

April 6, 2006, 6:54 PM

And just to prove my point about spelling, I misspelled "Muniz".

On purpose, of course. (yeah, sure),

18.

Jack

April 6, 2006, 10:14 PM

Went to the (mostly) art blog forum at the beach this evening. Pretty decent turnout, and it went well enough, especially for a first session (assuming there will be others). A little too much exposition or "technical" nuts-and-bolts information this time. Helen Kohen was a charming moderator. Not enough audience input, but what there was was welcome. No surprises, fireworks or breakthroughs, but these institutional things are not exactly known for that. Still, it's a start, or could be, of better interchanges.

19.

George

April 7, 2006, 3:34 PM

Since I was on my way out the door yesterday when I panned Franklin's review of Vik Muniz I felt I owed Franklin an explanation.

To be clear, I do not particularly care much for Muniz work. I do not want to be misunderstood as criticizing Franklin's writing skills.

Franklin starts out with; Unfortunately, his subject is mostly the work of other people. When he’s not copying, he’s working from his own uninspired references, or setting up inconsequential challenges to the exercise of looking at art This made me stumble immediately, for the quality of the work cannot reside in its subject, yet the author is implying this is the case as a reason for dismissing the work.

Since the works in question are photographs the question of the veracity of the photographic image was to some degree a point of inquiry basic to Muniz's work. While "appropriation" as a tool to contend with this point has been eclipsed by the onslaught of Photoshop manipulations, it was relevant in the initial period of Munitz's stylistic development.

Now, I am sure Franklin already knows what I am speaking about. Where I think he missed, was by passing the "what are we looking at" ball off onto MAM which in essence is more of a criticism of MAM than of Munitz's work. It is at precisely this interface where I feel Munitz's work is most vulnerable.

To Franklin's credit, he does bring up the point of "gamesmanship" which can be as valid a reason as any for making art. This leads me to consider the premises which might be behind Munitz's work. Since I have not read any other text associated with Munitz's work I will just proceed based upon my own observations and assumptions.

Photography, in its early years, used painting as a model to give itself validity as more than just the artifact from a mechanical recording device. Curiously in the 1980's, when photography was finally establishing itself as a valid high art media, appropriation along with staged imagery was one of its primary devices.

Munitz's work can be seen as being encompassed by these concepts. Where I feel he is on dangerous ground is that in his constructed images, the references to other images, in particular to historical paintings, confuses part of its philosophical underpinnings by resorting to a type of photographed gee wiz collage. The "appropriation" questions of "originality" or "photographic truth" are nullified by this action. We know the "picture" is made up of toy soldiers or sugar or whatever. There is no philosophical question of the photograph, rather it is being used as an artifact of a reproduction machine for the production of a consumable product. This product is a "photo realistic" picture, made from a photograph, of a photorealistic collage of objects or materials. It essentially suffers from the primary failure all photo realistic paintings suffer from. (why bother)

Suppose then we crank up the irony as satire argument, this is what MAM offers up as an argument. All those "maybe it's this, oh no, maybe it's that" type arguments boil down to a parallel with a boingboing.net photo headline for a "Life Size BMW Made from 50000 Lego Blocks" I have a distaste for the "irony" or "satire" argument in most recent contemporary art because it is almost always used to serve the purpose of excusing inferior work.

A point where I agree with Franklin's observations, is that the photographs of drawings of kids done in sugar on black paper were probably the best works. Unfortunately, these as well as most the others succeed primarily based on the craftsmanship of execution rather than anything else. Further, if we can view the "sugar kids" as a type of painting made in a fungible medium and preserved by photocopy, then we must deal with it as an painterly image and its relationship to its photographic source. Why not just exhibit the original photograph, or a copy of the original photograph? Don't answer, so why make a copy of a photograph with paint (or sugar or chocolate or piss or whatever?) That is the unanswered question.

I viewed jpegs of Munitz's work on his website, so I did not see the physical photographs or necessarily the same works in the reviewed exhibition.

This is getting too long, I assume everyone else has moved on by now. So I wanted to say to Franklin that I retract my "stupid review" comment. I was in a hurry and that was my hasty but honest response, consider the above more to the point of what I was thinking.

20.

oldpro

April 7, 2006, 4:42 PM

In the first part of your comment you appear to be taking Franklin to task for not offering statements that irrefutably establish the inferiority of Muniz's work, but, as we all know, none of us can do more than point to work we judge inferior and characterize the contents somehow. You proceed do do the same thing further down. Nothing can be proven. This is, of course, the millstone about the neck of all art criticism.

The stuff is clever but ultimately boring, boring as art. One can got into details - and i certainly hope Franklin continues to do just that in new reviews - but that about sums it up.

21.

George

April 7, 2006, 5:17 PM

OP, frankly, Munitz's work doesn't do it for me but it does raise a number of issues which I consider interesting. About halfway through what I was writing I had other things to do and wrapped it up as fast as I could.

The problem I have with contemporary art writing is that it is obscure, uses its obscurity as a device to establish a power hierarchy, a means of domination which has been usurped by the marketplace to control the reactions of the buying audience. The funny thing is everyone knows it's bullshit but go along because they are afraid of rocking the boat.

It is not enough to react like Jack or you do, just by saying "bull" or whatever. Contemporary art writing must take apart the current linguistic syntax, its obscure jargon, and reduce it to plain English. What I mean by this, is that if a gallery or institution provides an article or other statement about the work of an artist, the critical writing should start there. The writing, or just a reader for that matter, should examine if it makes any sense or if it is pseudo-writing in the form of obscure advertising jargon. Does it have any relevance to the artwork at all? Does the press release from MAM say anything valid about the Minitz's artwork? Not an eyeroll, that's the old reaction, it must be attacked head on by analyzing whether or not it is true.

The only place where this will be able to happen is in the electronic media. Everyone else is so afraid of the art world power brokers they are afraid to speak the truth because it can affect their revenue stream.

22.

oldpro

April 7, 2006, 5:41 PM

George, you write ' Everyone else is so afraid of the art world power brokers they are afraid to speak the truth because it can affect their revenue stream."

Can't argue with that.

However, If I may come to my own defense, characterizing what I have been writing on this blog for the last 2 years as "just saying 'bull'" and implying that I have not attacked jargon and reduced BS to plain English is simply not supported by the record.

You of all people should know better; you have been on the receiving end often enough!

23.

George

April 7, 2006, 6:45 PM

OP, Don't take it personally.
The nature of art dialog changed in the last twenty years, it is like a different language and if one has not kept abreast with the recent recoding it appears opaque. Unfortunately, the direction of this analytical discourse has run amok, rather than being a deconstructive analysis in search of wider meaning ,it has resulted in an obfuscation. This is not a theory, but an observation on how language is being used to avoid specific confrontation with the work. The discourse allows one to call something "partially ironic" or " a humorous assault" as a way of deflecting a more accurate critical response.

With all due respect, the issues I am raising, require a different type of response than you have provided, here at least. I am not negating your contributions only observing that for many artists and intellectuals educated in the last 15-20 years your arguments tend to fall onto deaf ears. In all honesty, it is partly a generational bias, and I believe that the direction of criticism can only be changed by those with at least one foot in postmodern philosophy.

24.

oldpro

April 7, 2006, 7:40 PM

Well, OK, George, you have forced me to veruify your claim.

BULL!

You have this "change" fetish which is just off the wall. "Generational bias" my foot! The English language has not radically changed in the last generation, my friend..If something makes no sense is makes no sense. There is nothing retardaire about it. The "deaf ears" are immune to common sense and clear English, that's all. Give me a break!

Sometimes I think you are just pulling my chain.

25.

George

April 7, 2006, 8:06 PM

Sorry OldPro, I don't know where you have been. Yes, the English language is more or less the same, the way people are using it to talk about art is different. This is not just my opinion, but more or less a consensus observation by myself and others.

26.

Jack

April 7, 2006, 8:25 PM

The problem I have with contemporary art writing is that it is obscure, uses its obscurity as a device to establish a power hierarchy, a means of domination which has been usurped by the marketplace to control the reactions of the buying audience. The funny thing is everyone knows it's bullshit but go along because they are afraid of rocking the boat.

George, are you ill? Did you take some unaccustomed medication? I don't want to alarm you, but you're sounding dangerously close to me and OP. As for the proper response to BS, the first step is always to call it what it is, and then to say why. I believe OP and I, not to mention others, do that pretty regularly--much too regularly for some tastes. I can't believe you'd accuse us of failing to use plain English. If I were any plainer, I'd be mistaken for someone with Tourette's syndrome.

27.

George

April 7, 2006, 8:31 PM

So, you want a medal or something?

28.

oldpro

April 7, 2006, 8:35 PM

George, you write:

"Yes, the English language is more or less the same, the way people are using it to talk about art is different "

I rest my case.

Good grief!

29.

George

April 7, 2006, 8:37 PM

Let's face it Jack, you write whiney commentary. You are out of touch and do not add anything to the discourse except a pompous sounding objection. Unfortunately, this marginalizes your opinions, adds no new insight and only serves the few who are already of the same opinion. It is exactly NOT what I was talking about.

30.

catfish

April 7, 2006, 8:56 PM

Well George, I love Jack's "whiney commentary" as you call it. I call it negative and witty. His wit is why it rises above "whiney".

But you are right, Jack's insights are on the margin of the vast majority of art commentary. That's a fact just as it is a fact that the vast majority are using English to talk about art "differently". I admit this, not with any satisfaction, but because it is true.

OldPro likes art talk to make "sense". But that is not enough to save the writers - witness Hilton Kramer. Makes perfect sense, and is usually perfectly wrong.

Harold Rosenberg did not often make sense when he wrote about art, but he hit many nails square on the head, despite sounding like an idiot much of the time.

Getting it right about art of our own time is a very rare thing. When Rosenberg succeeded he did not "sound" like the other writers of his time. For that reason you perhaps ought to be suspicious of that "vast majority" who are using English "differently" these days. Strange that "different" has become so homogenized. What they write is "different" only when held up to oldPro's standard of common sense. When held up to the writing of all the others in the group, it is not very "different" at all. To paraphrase Little Boxes, they all sound just the same.

31.

Jack

April 7, 2006, 9:06 PM

Sorry I don't do it for you, George, but that is hardly my goal, let alone my concern. Shall I tell you what you do for me? No, I think that would be redundant. As for being with-it, I wouldn't dream of competing with you on that score; you clearly devote considerably more effort to being in touch than I do. In touch with what, however, is another question. But never mind.

32.

catfish

April 7, 2006, 9:13 PM

When so many take pains to point out how "old" oldPro is, and how education for artists has "changed" the scene, and all that jazz, I become very suspicious that something is going on amongst the "regulars" that counts in the long run.

It is the sheer compulsion that drives the oldPro and Jack opposition, that and the nearly unanimous nature of the point of view they represent, that's what fascinates me. When a group perceives itself as having won every battle, won every war now and for the foreseeable future, and has established itself as the only way that even has a future, why would it bother with the oldPros and Jacks who inhabit the certified irrelevant margins of the system? Why is it so driven to stomp out the last two non-joiners on earth, when literaly millions are on their side?

33.

George

April 7, 2006, 9:26 PM

For that reason you perhaps ought to be suspicious of that "vast majority" who are using English "differently" these days.

You think I'm not? This "vast majority" of under 40 something's are using this language as currency in the art world. Clever little witticisms are not going to change anything and for that reason I consider Jack irrelevant.

If anyone here honestly believes that, "1-2-3 now we will all use Greenspeak" (whatever) and everything will be all right, think again. I am not suggesting that the "new dialog" (new art speak, whatever you call it) is either correct, incorrect, better or worse than what came before. What I am suggesting is that what is necessary is a closer examination of what is being said and a specific questioning of arguments which sound imposing, as in imposingly correct, but where further analysis exposes a flaw in the argument or that the point of the argument was never achieved by the art in question.

My contention is that any new critical analysis will initially flow from the present dialog and be initiated by the younger writers. There is a generational bias, this is not inherently bad, but it is a fact.

34.

Marc Country

April 7, 2006, 10:52 PM

Gosh George, where do I fit in? I'm younger, part of the 'new' generation... so, when I see bullshit, I call it (just as oldpro, Jack, and others do).. am I doing it 'right', or is my opposition 'irrelevant' too?

35.

George

April 7, 2006, 11:08 PM

Marc re #34:

Yeah, don't step in the dog poop!

So, is anyone listening? Where do you fit in? I don't know.
Unfortunately without a wider readership just making an observation that something makes no sense to you falls on dead ears. While you say "when I see bullshit, I call it...", it is not particularly unique or relevant. A lot of artists say that every day about someone else's work.

36.

oldpro

April 7, 2006, 11:11 PM

Let the "new dialogue" flow, George. I will listen. I will "examine".

The problem is that whenever they come here to do their flowing it is quickly and accurately pointed out that they are talking gibberish, and they limp away whimpering about being "mistreated".

Sorry. It has to make sense.

37.

George

April 7, 2006, 11:25 PM

Hey, it's not my thing, writing criticism.

I am only trying to make the point, that while some of you wait for it to "be alright again" the dialog is moving farther away. It needs to be met head on, by someone like Franklin, someone with a slightly different point of view and also with an awareness of the current critical discourse. The course of events can only be changed by revolution (artist) or effective persuasion (critic).

38.

Marc Country

April 7, 2006, 11:38 PM

Good luck, George. I hope you find that persuasive critic or revolutionary artist to light your wick and lead you out of the dark someday.

39.

George

April 8, 2006, 12:05 AM

Re #38:

Marc, what's your problem? Do you actually think I am looking for what you describe as a "persuasive critic or revolutionary artist"? For myself? who are you kidding? This is a speculative dialogue. You seem to lack the ability to enter a speculative dialog without feeling threatened, don't put it on me.

If anything a refreshing change in the critical approach would help anyone making good work. I do not think that "critics" are capable of making revolutionary changes. It is typically the artists who do something new which breaks the current thinking habits.

You will notice I used the word or between the options I see as possibilities, "revolution" or "effective persuasion." I had a specific reason for using or, it is rare and therefore unlikely, to expect an abrupt change in the current approach towards critical thinking. Artists working in more traditional or historical modes should look towards the effective persuasion side of the equation. Realistically, events do not occur in that manner, rather they unfold over time as the current forms of critical thought are reexamined. Greenberg's influence did not disappear overnight, it took time as alternative approaches were explored and adopted. This is exactly what I would expect to occur as we move farther into the new century. Things do not stand still.

40.

George

April 8, 2006, 12:07 AM

Realistically, events do not occur in that manner, ... read as

Realistically, events do not occur in a revolutionary manner,

41.

Franklin

April 8, 2006, 12:15 AM

Hello! Been out for a bit.

George, first of all, thank you for the retraction. Contrition goes a long way in my book.

Contemporary art writing must take apart the current linguistic syntax, its obscure jargon, and reduce it to plain English.

I'm glad you mentioned this - it's exactly the source of the idea for the What Are We Looking At game. That's the problem with the jargon - it reduces down to foolishness. Not only the jargon itself, but the ideas that the jargon is trying to express. To the extent that the work adheres to the ideas, it fails right along with them.

You're making a reasonable assumption that ideas and their associated art have to be evaluated on their own terms. A lot of art can be said to be interesting on its own terms. But eventually those terms have to be evaluated. That's the step that's missing out of the process, and what I try to provide. The press release is an easy target, but it doesn't come out of nowhere - it's a distillation of thoughts that people are really having about the work. And if they're false, or mutually contradictory, or fatuous, they ought to be resisted and mocked.

Gamesmanship may be a valid reason for making art. Anything could be a valid reason. I've seen Bonnards and analytical cubist works characterized as puzzles; it's not a bad metaphor. But whether the art is any good when the game is over is all that matters. I have one foot in postmodernist philosphy, but I'd rather not say where that foot is inserted. I continue to insist that its only useful contribution to art-making was to send the message that nobody should take the tenets of modernism too seriously. That was helpful. But that's about it. And it's neither current nor generational. Peter Halley is 15 years older than I am and he was quoting Baudrillard up a storm when he was at his most active, about ten years ago. I'm not waiting for it to be alright again - I'm waiting for it to be alright in the first place. Failing that, I'd like to create a little island of clarity in a sea of donkey doo for a few castaways to wash ashore upon. Even failing that, I wouldn't mind being the one guy in the universe who went with his instincts, trusted his eyes, and put himself on the record. Happily, I'm not the only one.

In response to "any new critical analysis will initially flow from the present dialog and be initiated by the younger writers," I want to quote Einstein: "The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them." The present dialogue needs to be shot at until only the swiftest ideas are left, and then we'll see what flows from them.

42.

that guy

April 8, 2006, 12:46 AM

George, you do seem to want it both ways. It might be a bi-polar problem for some painters who've been caught up in the recent morass too long. You would not have stuck around this blog as long as you have, if you really believed the hype. You strike me as someone who is bright enough to care about visual art but when anybody applies linguistic theory to it, you fall for it every time. The trick is to simply separate the two as distinct areas of study, each with merit, each deserving of further inquiry, but in the end, each unique. You don't have to wait for some hybrid critic that fuses it altogether for you. Go look for yourself. There is very little art being created today that even tries to hold a candle to what has been done, let alone actively attempt to outperform it. Your instincts are telling you that something is wrong, but your mind wants badly to believe all the evidence the art mags are only too happy to sell you. Maybe get out of NY for a while. Down here in Miami we've got an elixir that ought to cure you. Its called Lasic, for only $499 an eye, you'll see.

43.

George

April 8, 2006, 1:04 AM

#41 Franklin:
First off, writing to a word count and for a general audience probably has some constraints built into it which prevent too deep of an analysis. I initially did not take that into account.

You're making a reasonable assumption that ideas and their associated art have to be evaluated on their own terms. A lot of art can be said to be interesting on its own terms. But eventually those terms have to be evaluated. I agree this is the case. If one starts with (or otherwise includes) the original premise as the groundwork for ones analysis, then the final critical evaluation stems from both the work itself and its premise. If the critical analysis fails to arrive at a convincing conclusion it will point out the weakness of the work and of course the converse, its strength.

If the thoughts that people are really having about the work. And if they're false, or mutually contradictory, or fatuous, they ought to be resisted… Again I agree. In my opinion, what I think is necessary is paying attention to writing which supposedly supports or explains the work but is actually nothing more than product marketing. (Go to cheimread.com and read the PR for the current show) This type of non critical writing filters into the system and will be accepted as some form of the truth until someone chokes and sues.

While I do not think all the jargon reduces down to foolishness, it can often be the case that it does. That snippet you posted calling for papers on color was a gem of idiotic writing.

On Gamesmanship my new book will be released in the fall.

"The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them." This is true for science which required radical new solutions for their problems. In criticism, I don't think the changes required are that radical. It seems to me, what is required is looking in the right direction at the current historical moment and clarity of thought in the writing.

FWIW, I read philosophy like I read science, it had better make sense. If it gets all "au currant" (like that huh? it's French for hot cross buns, GWB) I get suspect right away.

44.

George

April 8, 2006, 1:31 AM

Re #42: Thatguy, you are making a lot of incorrect assumptions about me.

First off I have been in NYC for several years but until recently most of them were spent in total isolation from the art world. A visit to the museums every now and then, but that was it, I might as well have been in Tulsa. I am engaged more actively now and this was a conscious decision. I had not read any art magazines since 1989 until I received a subscription to Art in America as a gift. I won't bother to renew it. I haven't watch TV in a year, it started off as an experiment and I discovered I don't miss it.

Second off, none of my comments here have much to do with my own practice. I do not work from a theory. I do not read art criticism or art theory all that much, I prefer hard core theoretical science. I do have an emotional perception of the world which troubles me. I think about it but my actual paintings are empirical and investigative, I never know how they will look at the start.

Finally, I am a speculative thinker, if I wasn't commenting here about this I would be commenting somewhere else on another topic. In fact I do just that. Speculative thought requires a certain degree of self assuredness, I am more than willing to argue any side of the argument without feeling uncomfortable. My interest is in seeing if the trail of thought leads anywhere. It passes the time.

45.

oldpro

April 8, 2006, 7:55 AM

Nicely put, Franklin.

You say "I have one foot in postmodernist philosphy, but I'd rather not say where that foot is inserted." I think the problem with most so-called Postmodernist critics is where their head is inserted.

George, I am sympathetic to the idea of arguing any side of an argument, being one who loves argument for its own sake, but when you make such a declaration it sabotages the effect of anything you say because there is an assumption on a forum such as this that the speaker is speaking from belief.

46.

zaldseller

April 8, 2006, 8:44 AM

vik muniz's work has always striked me as shallow and empty ,a mere repetition of mock's in the best case a "medium to good" postershop item.
When sturtevant mocked stella in the 60's and that was stricking , when muniz mocks warhol or pollock in chocolate it is in my opinion insignificant , anyway like duchamp said "the onlooker has the last word"....i know quite a few collectors who own his work and believe me they have no clue other then following a markettrend , sorry Vic ...good crit franklin.

47.

zaldseller

April 8, 2006, 8:48 AM

vik muniz's work has always striked me as shallow and empty ,a mere repetition of mock's in the best case a "medium to good" postershop item.
When sturtevant mocked stella in the 60's it meant something , when muniz mocks warhol or pollock in chocolate it is in my opinion insignificant , anyway like duchamp said "the onlooker has the last word"....i know quite a few collectors who own his work and believe me they have no clue other then following a markettrend , sorry Vic ...good crit franklin.

48.

zaldseller

April 8, 2006, 8:49 AM

vik muniz's work has always striked me as shallow and empty ,a mere repetition of mock's in the best case a "medium to good" postershop item.
When sturtevant mocked stella in the 60's it meant something , when muniz mocks warhol or pollock in chocolate it is in my opinion insignificant , anyway like duchamp said "the onlooker has the last word"....i know quite a few collectors who own his work and believe me they have no clue other then following a markettrend , sorry Vic ...good crit franklin.

49.

George

April 8, 2006, 9:44 AM

#45:
First off my reply was directed to thatGuy to correct his mistaken assumptions about me personally. Since he does not know me, I can only assume his commentary says more about himself than it does about me and I wanted to set the record straight.

sabotages the effect of anything you say
I'm assuming this refers to my willingness to take either side of the argument. I do not see how it can make any difference which side of the argument one takes. If one is persuasive in an argument, the opposing position must search deeper for a counter argument or give up. If I make a persuasive argument it does not matter what side of the fence I am on.

Wanting to know which side I am on should not matter, if it does matter then it implicitly defines me as friend or foe. If one defines me as foe, and chooses to dismisses my argument without consideration, on that basis alone, it is coming from a position which demonstrates stagnation of thought.

50.

oldpro

April 8, 2006, 10:02 AM

I know about the prinicples of debate, George. You are the apostle of the importance of perception here so you must understand that if a person who regularly comments openly boasts that he may not even believe what he is saying that readers may dismiss the argument, good or bad.

It appears that - once again - you have dug a hole for yourself.

51.

George

April 8, 2006, 10:46 AM

Re #50. Oh please OP, I am not boasting about anything. I simply declared that I am interested in speculative thinking. I personally find that speculative thought is an uncomfortable process for some people because it has no predefined outcome. If I allow myself the flexibility of not defining the outcome, for me it opens up the potential of the discussion.

...he may not even believe what he is saying that readers may dismiss the argument, good or bad.

This is a joke right? I never said I didn't believe in what I was saying, only that which side of the argument I took was less important than the train of thought which developed from the argument itself. If readers choose to dismiss what I say because they assume I have an agenda, I cannot do anything about that.

In the end, you know, as well as I, that we are just passing the time in friendly argument, this is not really an intellectual discussion, it is a form of recreation.

52.

oldpro

April 8, 2006, 11:14 AM

C'mon, George. Here's what you said:

"I'm assuming this refers to my willingness to take either side of the argument. I do not see how it can make any difference which side of the argument one takes"

You cannot believe both sides of a contradictory position. If it does not matter to you which side you take, then. as I stated clearly, and you quoted "he may not even believe what he is saying".

Or is what you say a specimen of this "new kind of dialogue" you werre touting above?

53.

George

April 8, 2006, 11:26 AM

The devils advocate

Re: the "new kind of dialogue",
Oh I suppose, like I said, this is not really an intellectual discussion, it is a form of recreation.

I have been commenting on this blog for over a year. The only difference I can see is the less frequent use of the word Pomo. In a cul du sac of irrelevance, we've come a long way baby

54.

oldpro

April 8, 2006, 12:59 PM

Very much a form of recreation. Intellectual discussions should be just that. Otherwise they become vehicles of power, get dumbed down and are no fun any more.

55.

Jack

April 8, 2006, 2:27 PM

My home PC is down, so my posting will be less regular till it's fixed (I'm at the library now, as I was yesterday). George, by all means feel free to ignore me; I certainly have no qualms about ignoring you. Basically, if I you were any more irrelevant to me, you'd evaporate into thin air like a puff of smoke. Cheers.

56.

Marc Country

April 8, 2006, 3:54 PM

I wholeheartedly second Jack's remarks (#55).

I think it has been pretty clear that George is not discussing much here "for real"... his opinions and convictions are nothing if not fickle. George also has the uncanny ability to object to what he sees as the unfair assumptions others make about him (which ted to be fairly based on the numerous, overly verbose, contradictory or just plain nonsensical pontifications he offers up here), yet he fails to see the hypocrisy inherent in his own dismissive assumptions and generalizations he carelessly makes about others (Re: #39 Sorry George, but I neither "lack the ability to enter a speculative dialog", nor do I "feel threatened"... and regardless, you are totally unqualified to speculate on either, especially what I may be feeling... give me a break!). It's painful to read, for the most part.

When George is brief, I read him out of amusement; when George is not brief, I read him not at all.

Now that we're all clear (our views are irrelevant to George, George's views are irrelevant to us), we can get back to our fruitful discussion...

57.

CAVEman incorporated

April 10, 2006, 11:58 AM

Aw, give the poor kid a break!

Subscribe

Twitter @franklin_e

Instagram franklin.e

Offers

Other Projects

Legal

Design and content ©2003-2017 Franklin Einspruch except where otherwise noted