Clark Flood’s 20 "Objects in the Mirror" essays, published in 2006-2007 on Glasstire, were widely disseminated and discussed around the web. His new book Clerk Fluid (which is available for sale at our shop)
includes all 20 "Objects" essays, photographs taken by Flood, and
finally, previously unpublished, unfinished and unedited drafts
straight out of his hard drive.
The following is one of those drafts.
EACH IN TURN
saw Robert Rauschenberg’s work for the first time in 1954. Shortly thereafter, while visiting Rauschenberg’s studio, he was taken to call on Jasper Johns, who lived in the same building. Castelli’s gallery, the first to exhibit Rauschenberg and Johns, soon added Frank Stella, Cy Twombly, Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, Claes Oldenburg, and James Rosenquist. Each in turn was discovered and celebrated by an art world hungry for recognizable imagery and anxious for a new aesthetic to embrace after a decade of Abstract Expressionism.
Something about this fragment of a paragraph bothers me but I don’t know what it is yet. I admit, it’s all about me… the sickness and all…but that just means this column is Self-Expression. Isn’t that what we’re all here for? To discover and celebrate the expression of our toweringly wonderful, preposterous, fear-based Selves? I’m an editor now. This is an editorial. This is fair-use and this is free speech. Cue the band.
It’s the last sentence that does it.
Each in turn was discovered and celebrated by an art world hungry for recognizable imagery and anxious for a new aesthetic to embrace after a decade of Abstract Expressionism.
I have to try the obvious inversion:
Each in turn was punished and insulted by an art world hungry for recognizable imagery and not anxious for a new aesthetic to embrace after a decade of
Maybe a thousand years of
Each in turn was scraped from the underside of the slimy rock of anonymity and launched into a chilly and serene career orbit typically occupied by God and other celebrities…
By an art world hungry for Type O human blood and anxious for a fresh corpse to eviscerate after a thousand years of gnawing the dry, marrowless bones of Abstract Expressionism.
Each in turn was led out to the parking lot and interrogated about their potential use-value to a regime anxious about having accidentally let their last batch of prisoners die of starvation… after a decade of Abstract Expressionism.
Each in turn was denounced and condemned by a myopic art province hungry for minimization of their own complicity in the destruction of all life on earth, yet anxious about the lack of recognizable imagery after a decade of Abstract Expressionism.
Each in turn was discovered and celebrated by a lonely art world, hungry for recognizable imagery and anxious for a new aesthetic to embrace, seduce, French kiss, to wetly mutually masturbate and interpenetrate, after a decade of the dry holes and ravished gulches stubbornly proffered by the sterile, emotionally unavailable desert pimps of Abstract Expressionism.
Each in turn pulled the magic lever on the mysterious voting machine and attained, like a slots player in Reno before the icon-wheels stop rolling, a spiritual place in an overtly phony democratic process eager to masturbate the power arrangements of an art world, eager to participate in terrorism, eager to endorse child porn, eager to try new things after 15 minutes of a buzz now fading.
Each in turn has something to do with spin. I think spin is built in, but it feels pushy, coercive, phony in proportion to how authoritative the writer is pretending to be. To consolidate the ten thousand diversely wiggling worms of an art world into one anthropomorphic entity that hungers, and has anxiety…is typical, normal, familiar and also wrong. Maybe I just don’t like it. The art world, the world, my world, our world isn’t like that. So this is bad information. I know its just background noise but kids pick this shit up. The next you know they start looking for a new aesthetic to embrace after a decade of endless pseudo-rational art blather.
Each in turn of the peculiar qualities of the residue of irremovable spin are ominous like bird behavior. The feel of the sacred super-sentence is like an owl on the ground, and it points in a secret but obvious way to the familiar death thing. Not the good death thing. After a thousand years of anthropomorphization nuzzling a spurious attribution of motive, intent and design.
Also by Clark Flood:
also by Clark Flood
- Clark Flood hard drive dump, Pt V: Level Four Infractions - May 14th, 2010
- Clark Flood hard drive dump, Pt IV: Dear Artist #3 - November 10th, 2009
- Clark Food hard drive dump, Pt. III: At the Cinema - March 15th, 2009
- Clark Flood hard drive dump, Pt I: Spirituality and the Arts - November 14th, 2008
- Objects in the Mirror #20: London Calling - February 4th, 2007