December 11, 2013

"The Idea of 'Art School Stole My Virginity' came around when I was Sixteen..."

"... when all my peers at school were losing their Virginity it was incredibly hard for me to ask why I was still a Virgin and why it meant so much to the people all around me."
My piece isnt a statement as much as it is a question. The whole aspect of Virginity was incredibly emotional for me and has been ever since. It became a thought process that turned into the performance piece that I wish to create for the public on January the 25th. The London Art Scene has slowed down recently and whilst London is in its prime and is constantly changing the contemporary artists are the same and they aren’t so contemporary anymore. I want my piece to inject some speed into the arts, a performance of the people if you will. I feel like now is the time for the new scene. To lose my Virginity with the new age is the Avant Garde that London has been unintentionally waiting for.
I got there via a Time Magazine blog post by Laura Stampler that has the subtitle "So cliché!" Stampler links to a HuffPo piece titled "Student... To Lose Virginity In Live Gay Sex Show For Art Project," which includes a poll with 3 options: 1. "It's art," 2. "It cheapens sex," and 3. "I'm undecided." I know from my experience composing polls here on this blog that people are always going to say "You left out the option I wanted," but they obviously left out a few options.

What's the most important option HuffPo omitted from its poll? free polls 


Portia said...

I don't do Puff Ho.

Renee said...

It cheapens love. Love isn't something you lose, it is something you gain.

But it's an act without mutual recipication, because it is not conjugal.

Even if the stage act involved coitus, it would still cheapens love.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

How about:

It's art if there is an orifice, which I think there is otherwise he's really full of shit.

t-man said...

How about:

It doesn't cheapen art, love or sexuality, it only cheapens the participants.

Birches said...

It doesn't cheapen art, love or sexuality, it only cheapens the participants.

Thread winner.

Diamondhead said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mccullough said...

All bad art is sincere

Ann Althouse said...

On the contrary, sincerity is for hacks.

MrCharlie2 said...

it cheapens art, in fact its bullshit, not "art"

Rob said...

What's really unfortunate about the Time Magazine blog post is its use of the noun "cliché" as an adjective. This increasingly common usage, instead of the far more agreeable adjective "clichéd," is yet another sign of the decline of society and an additional reason why Obama must be impeached.

elkh1 said...

Trash as Art.

Sam L. said...

Art is already cheapened to nigh on worthless.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

Hey I saw this show in Bangkok! The midget Elvis MC was the most interesting part of the show.

surfed said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bill, Republic of Texas said...

Both of you left out the option "who gives a shit".

surfed said...

There are comments and then there are comments. And just because you can comment doesn't mean you should comment. I'm taking my own advice and deleting the comment above.

surfed said...

Addendum - The donkey in Tijuana approves of my deletion.

surfed said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Henry said...

(*) It's been done.

Don't art schools teach art history any more? These kids act like the '70s happening scene never happened.

David said...

Stealing virginity is so pointless. Steal 100 virginities and you still do not have a single one of your own.

Henry said...

I want my piece to inject some speed into the arts

This line can be read a few ways.

You're thinking amphetamines? I'm thinking futurists:

Look at us! We are not out of breath, our hearts are not in the least tired. For they are nourished by fire, hatred and speed! Does this surprise you? it is because you do not even remember being alive! Standing on the world's summit, we launch once more our challenge to the stars!

JPS said...

Prof. Althouse:

"On the contrary, sincerity is for hacks."

Are you by chance a Nabokov fan? I seem to recall his writing about encountering the statement, in a student paper, "Flaubert writes with a style that is always sincere and simple," and striking it out with such force that his pen ripped the paper.

Coming back on topic: Well said, t-man!

Ann Althouse said...

"On the contrary, sincerity is for hacks."

I shouldn't have said "on the contrary"!

I'm agreeing with McCullough.

Sigivald said...

Performance Art Isn't Art, I say.

(It certainly mimics art in some way, but ... I'm not sure I'm willing to call anything like this "art".

It's not a highbrow/lowbrow thing, either; I love "low" art often more than I love "high" art, and I recognize as art many things I don't enjoy.

This is trying too hard to do too little, and too self-conscious about the desire to call it art, perhaps?

Actual art doesn't need a thesis to defend or explain it - it simply is art, self-confidently, no matter what anyone else thinks.

When you have to have an article telling me how it's Art, it ain't.)

(Also, I will not for a moment accept that "sincerity is for hacks".

Sincerity has no real relation to skill or artistic merit, that I've ever seen, though it's probably easier to make crap if you're not sincere.

Because if you're not sincere, you can be "ironic", and that lets you try and justify any old bullshit.)

Quayle said...

Can it really be called Avant Garde if the Garde never goes that way?

lemondog said...


Self promotion.

A paucity of ideas.

An absent of imagination.

A poverty of creativity.

So after 100 spectators are treated to a ‘body’ of his work(s), what next?

For the curious his tumblr

buwaya said...

Another hypocritical and depraved exhibition in a dissolute, degraded and decadent society.

Which is a good reason for older people to decline expensive medical interventions, so as to spare them more of this.

EDH said...

I didn't see which sexual act, specifically, would surrender this gay man's virginity.

Anal penetration? Oral penetration? His or somebody else's. Gay or straight vaginal?

I guess you need to buy a ticket?

Jay Vogt said...

How about "Way too much work to get laid"?

SGT Ted said...

There's nothing new or edgy about "vagina art" whatsoever.

Doug said...

Why is it incredibly hard to ask yourself why you are still a virgin ... or is this guy full of sh*t?

rehajm said...

I didn't see which sexual act, specifically, would surrender this gay man's virginity.

Me either. Does the act which surrenders it for a man preserve it for a woman?

lemondog said...

Young. Sad. Searching.

But then, except for some fortunate few, who isn’t searching at age 19?

For some the reason the song 'Lost in the Stars' struck me.

But I've been walking through the night and the day
Till my eyes get weary and my head turns gray
And sometimes I think maybe God's gone away
Forgetting His promise and word He'd say

And we're lost out here in the stars
Little stars, big stars, blowing through the night
And we're lost out here in the stars
Little stars, big stars, blowing through the night
And we're lost out here in the stars

Or maybe it was Mandela’s death.

Mitch H. said...

"Sincerity is for hacks" is a depraved and unworthy sentiment. C.S. Lewis would have given that line to one of the devils in the Screwtape Letters.

Biff said...

It's banal.

Mike said...

Regarding sincerity, here is what Rene Wellek and Austin Warren (from a long-gone generation of literary critics) had to say: "The frequently adduced criterion of ‘sincerity’ is thoroughly false. ... There is no relation between ‘sincerity’ and value as art. The volumes of agonizingly felt love poetry perpetrated by adolescents and the dreary (however fervently felt) religious verse which fills libraries are sufficient proof of this."

And let's not forget Oscar Wilde: "A little sincerity is a dangerous thing, and a great deal of it is absolutely fatal."

Ann Althouse said...

"'Sincerity is for hacks' is a depraved and unworthy sentiment. C.S. Lewis would have given that line to one of the devils in the Screwtape Letters."

Nah. Those devils never say anything close to that pithy. They are very blabby, overexplaining everything. And they never use the word "sincere" or "sincerity." There's one "sincerely" in the book.

Anyway, my point is that sincerity shouldn't be pursued. That's why the most famous quote about sincerity is "The secret of success is sincerity. Once you can fake that you've got it made." The pursuit of sincerity is the biggest fakery.

You might happen to have it, but the greatest artists (like Picasso) don't seem to have much of it. They proceed as if it is a nonissue.

Ann Althouse said...

"Of course I know that the Enemy... wants to detach men from themselves, but in a different way. Remember always, that He really likes the little vermin, and sets an absurd value on the distinctness of every one of them. When He talks of their losing their selves, He only means abandoning the clamour of self-will; once they have done that, He really gives them back all their personality, and boasts (I am afraid, sincerely) that when they are wholly His they will be more themselves than ever. Hence, while He is delighted to see them sacrificing even their innocent wills to His, He hates to see them drifting away from their own nature for any other reason. And we should always encourage them to do so. The deepest likings and impulses of any man are the raw material, the starting-point, with which the Enemy has furnished him."

Ann Althouse said...

"To get him away from those is therefore always a point gained; even in things indifferent it is always desirable to substitute the standards of the World, or convention, or fashion, for a human’s own real likings and dislikings. I myself would carry this very far. I would make it a rule to eradicate from my patient any strong personal taste which is not actually a sin, even if it is something quite trivial such as a fondness for county cricket or collecting stamps or drinking cocoa. Such things, I grant you, have nothing of virtue in them; but there is a sort of innocence and humility and self-forgetfulness about them which I distrust. The man who truly and disinterestedly enjoys any one thing in the world, for its own sake, and without caring two-pence what other people say about it, is by that very fact forearmed against some of our subtlest modes of attack. You should always try to make the patient abandon the people or food or books he really likes in favour of the ‘best’ people, the ‘right’ food, the ‘important’ books. I have known a human defended from strong temptations to social ambition by a still stronger taste for tripe and onions."

Ann Althouse said...

Okay, those 2 quotes are one long passage from "The Screwtape Letters" and the only place in the books where a variation on the word "sincerity" appears.

The assignment on this blog exam (written early in the morning of the day I plan to compose another law school exam) is: Using only that passage, discuss whether Mitch H. or Althouse's response accords with the ideas of the devil.

JRH, esq. said...

You can't fool me, art can't be cheapened. It hit zero around the same time a some joker was canning his feces and idiots bid the price per ounce of crap above gold. Art is now nothing more than a sub-class of marketing. As a marketing stunt, it appears to be working. I'm sure Ms. Cyrus and MTV are both sorry she didn't think of it first.

Ann Althouse said...

I did another post calling attention to my exam, so go here if you're looking for more or want to try your hand at an essay.