Friday, May 12, 2006

cleverness, the slippery slope.

HighlowBetween has a distinctly not clever post going on, and that seems like just the sort of thinking that ought to be done in response to a lot of this wild eyed speculation about the soon to burst art bubble.

I called this post what I called it, because it seems that a lot of these artists really have been encouraged to be clever at some point along the way, as if a clever take on a very short history could somehow make art, if not beauty. It would seem obvious to many of us that making art, much less clever art, would be a big fat no-no, and that we would get taught that. That we would be taught that the pretense of trying to make "art " was a doomed proposition, as opposed to the proposition of say, making a painting. And so now after a few decades of this stuff, we've got even dealers and curators who have yet to be slapped in the face for the presumptive hoodwinking they've undertaken on behalf of the rest of us.

In thinking about the state of things up there, "art" would be precisely the last thing that people need or want or of which they are even capable. Though a few blatant political advertisements don't seem out of line. Now, a few good and not clever paintings are certainly not going to hurt. Paintings that are untouched by the "artworld" and that therefore "do," and "work" the way that art works, that is, that makes people thoughtful and contemplative and invites people into the world of otherliness and interaction with mystery. Maybe there is a sidearm for pedagogy, but that has failed rather miserably more often than not, hasn't it ?

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