My brief interaction with these candidates has caused me to ask myself (and the artworld) a flood of questions. Collectively, these candidates represent a part of the artworld that I find confusing:
– Are making objects and exploring visual form considered retrograde? If so, why?– How could a person with such a belief teach along side a visual artist (without undermining them)?– If putting one word next to another is a valid form of thought, why isn’t putting one form against another?– Why must artwork be talked about in terms of “narrative,” as if the artwork is about some outside topic? What is wrong with talking about the creation of content through aesthetic means?– Why is formalism being incorrectly talked about as if it means “hand skill” or “manual labor”?– What does the word “formalism” mean to the artworld today? What ever happened to Dave Hickey’s conversation about beauty?– Why does an artwork gain value only when related to a textual idea? If words can supplant objects, why can’t objects supplant words?
– If “art” is considered to be any form of cultural production, why do the artists (who have no interest in visual form) demand to be part the traditional visual art institutions (art context)? Why not some other context?
Art has always been about “experience,” not knowledge. And the stuff that crafts experience is skill, visual skill. So, what is wrong with teaching or talking about the nuts & bolts of physical/visual invention?
On a lighter note, check out this video with Frank Black talking about his creative process (starting at 2:50).