Suzi (k00kaburra) wrote,

A semi-formed rant that will eventually blossom into full vitriol.

In today's art history class, my teacher brought in one of her former students to talk to us about her life as an 'independent curator.' I'm calling her Ms. I, for Invisible, because I can't remember her name but she runs a website/online gallery/project space that may have had the word 'shadow' or 'invisible' in the title.

Ms. I is very into contemporary art, and uses the Pretentious Artist BullCrap Speech that so many people enjoy mocking. "Is it possible to show something (artwork) that is also nothing (conceptual, digital, ephemeral), everywhere (public spaces) and nowhere (online)?...Our project space endeavors to build community by wiring connections between artists and the public; we produce artist projects in site-specific installations and guerrilla interventions in public spaces." That's my paraphrased version of how she described her current project. Translation? "I bought a cheap house in a ghetto-ass neighborhood and let my friends screw around in the rooms on the bottom floor. Also, we illegally tag public buildings, but it's OK, because it's art."

Ever since artists moved away from the patronage system, the focus has moved less from what the audience might wants to see to what the artist wants to express. Most of my friends at school would regard this at a good thing; I don't. Just because an artist can create something doesn't make it good, okay? You can counter that arguement by saying the real art is in the 'creative process' and the work that goes into the piece, and not just the final result. Whatever. Regretsy is full of examples of why artists should not be rewarded for the mere act of creating. Ms. I was talking about how her artist friends would come to her house 'invisible space' and decorate the rooms by putting a TV in the closet and writing a moebius strip of personal ads on the wall. No joke. Or she'd rave about how a particularly creative individual planted grass on the floor of another room, carefully cutting the sod to simulate board planks, and then - get this! - put carpet down in the abandoned lot across the street. Ms. I was brimming with enthusiasm and joy, and all I could think was, "Really? Well, that's stupid." But she was so happy because people were creating! Making art! MAKING MAGIC!!!

(Maybe she didn't use the phrase 'making magic' but she might as well have.)

I guess I just don't get modern art, especially installation art, but apparently if you want to be an independent curator there's a lot of openings in that department, provided you don't need to make money for a living or don't mind writing catalogue entries from your rundown apartment in East Palo Alto or downtown Oakland.
Tags: art, art history

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