January 16, 2007

"If you are affected — moved, amused, provoked — by the assembled Hayes oeuvre, then is it art?"

Holland Cotter asks:
Are Ms. Bancroft and Mr. Nesbett artists?... Are they themselves perpetrators of a scam? Or are they critical thinkers working in an alternative direction to the market economy?...

Is it an example of the white art world — Ms. Bancroft and Mr. Nesbett are white — getting mileage out of the work of a black artist, real or not?


vbspurs said...

Quoting NYT:

But aren’t alternative spaces where we should look for introductions to new or commercially unrepresented or undervalued or lost careers? Or for projects too impractical or arcane or outré to find a mainstream platform? Isn’t the alternative space, by definition, where the possibility of failure is written into the mandate, and where a record for risking failure is not only a gauge of institutional success but also the justification for existence?

This is the salient problem of 21st century art in general, whether dramatic or plastic, etc.

I remember Milton Berle saying that in the olden days, acts could practise and stink up the joint in vaudeville.

That's how the Marx Bros perfected their incredible timing.

But a movie, a sitcom, or similar, has to get it right on opening night, or during the pilot, or it's judged a flop.

There's no where you can be BAD anymore. It's too costly...


Anonymous said...

In our postmodern world, does it matter that the artists are white? Perhaps in the liberal world of art history and appreciation it does, but postmodern art is in part about expectations and surprise. It seems that the racial confluence would fit right in.


Anonymous said...

Okay, who remembers the prank in Spy magazine where they got a bunch of kids to imitate modern and conceptual artists works and then rented some gallery space to display the works, finally juxtaposing the comments of duped art critics and the banter of the kids while creating the pieces ("Look!" one little girl cries, "I'm spray painting his butt!")?

Good times...

Madison Guy said...

And then there's that last sentence.

vbspurs said...

Shame this post didn't get more play on Althouse today.

I actually thought it was an excellent companion piece on the NYT, and that Ann's question was interesting.

And I too was left with swirling words in my mind, Madison Guy.