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  1. #31
    Curt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blansky View Post
    Firstly, everyone has an opinion.

    Secondly, everyone needs to make a living.

    That brings us the uncomfortable bedfellows known as art and commerce.

    Part of the art side consists of artists, schools, teachers and of course serious bullshitters and failed artists.

    Part of the commerce side consists of agents, galleries, salespeople, media writers and of course serious bullshitters and failed artists.

    Put them all together and you've got the clusterfuck that is ART.

    I know of a couple of high end schools that fit the frame you created. Conceptualizer that!
    Everytime I find a film or paper that I like, they discontinue it. - Paul Strand - Aperture monograph on Strand

  2. #32

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    I really like artspeak and analyzing a photograph formally. However, what really bugs me is people who do not put much effort or thought into the creation of the art object and then pile a ton of pretentious bs in order to prop up their work and hide the fact that their craft is lousy. If the artists intent needs to be stated separate from the work then it does not fit well enough. An artist statement is important but the concept should be visible in the work as well. If the art object has lousy craft or the concept is not apparent within a reasonable time then the work does not hold my attention and therefore is rather unsuccessful as art.
    Bachelor of Fine Arts and Bachelor of Arts: Journalism - University of Arkansas 2014

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  3. #33
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    To me, the real victims of over-analysis are the burgeoning artists who think that they have to fill their work with something that can be de-constructed in the first instance. I find it leads to people trying to "second guess" what will be well received, which produces inauthentic photos that often simply ape the work of past masters (and badly). I myself am guilty of this and constantly have to remind myself that I need to be shooting for myself - to make the image that I want and need to see.

    This kind of reminds me of two documentaries I recently watched.

    The first was on Basquiat. Someone asked him why he drew in the manner in which he did. He seemed honestly not to know and/or care. After thinking about it, he was only able to respond "I don't know any more than I think Miles Davis knows why he plays a certain note in a certain way..."

    The second was on Joy Division (the best band the face of this planet has ever known and ever will know). After releasing a poorly-received LP, they claim that they were unable to get a gig for months on end. The result was that they practiced in isolation, without really knowing or caring what other people were doing.

    At the end of the day, I think people respond to art that is authentic and whether they choose simply to recognize that on a subconscious level or feel the need to fill a tome with analysis is somewhat after the fact.

    Just my $.02. YMMV.
    "Once the amateur's naive approach and humble willingness to learn fades away, the creative spirit of good photography dies with it. Every professional should remain always in his heart an amateur." - Alfred Eisenstadt

  4. #34

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    i think there is a difference between OVERanalysis and analysis ...
    i agree with scott that one should be able to talk about what they did
    if they want to, and while it is fun the hear or load a goldenshovel with BS
    its just emptytalk/academiatalk. it kind of reminds me of the scene in annie hall where
    the professor is deconstructing an author's work and woody allen pulls the author out of
    the crowd and suggests the professor has no idea what he is talking about.
    unfortunately peoples' egos are too swollen with artspeak they don't even bother
    telling the people slinging it that they have no idea what they are talking about.
    over the years i have heard some pretty weird commentary / artspeak about some of
    the things i have done, and i politely told the spewers of it they were full of crap ...
    sometimes a tree is just a tree and a broken window is just a broken window.

    i didnt' know JD had a documentary movie, judging from their music it must have been pretty uplifting

    john
    Last edited by jnanian; 08-21-2013 at 10:12 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  5. #35
    Michel Hardy-Vallée's Avatar
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    This kind of article is starting to feel dated, now: I'm actually expecting the Next Big Thing in Theory to replace po-mo as the whipping boy of art school.

    Potential candidates have included over the recent years: cognitive science, evolutionary psychology, embodiement, the archive, memory, etc.

    That said, the author makes a fair point in underlining the previous generation's orthodoxy: spontaneity. It, just like the theory he berates, used to be the justification against technical skill.

    All of which is not surprising when you look at visual arts in Europe and North America since the late 19th century: there has been an explicit dispute over style that used skill as its bone of contention. Just look at Gauguin trying to "primitivise" himself or Cézanne trying to paint like a child. You don't need the "po-" before the "mo": this kind of anti-technical attitude is a highlight of the long Modernity that we're still a part of.

    I would place its roots with the Romantics of the early 19th, who were trying to dislodge themselves from the mechanics of reason, rules, classicism, Enlightenments, scientific knowledge. They wanted freedom above all, so one side of the coin of this kind of thinking is to let it all go, whereas the other is to bury yourself in the fictions of your intellect (I'm looking at you, Fichte!).

    And let's not forget that photography itself is a very important player in this mindset: by "freeing" you from the constraint to draw, photography has been a justification for so many artists with a theoretical and conceptual bent. George Bernard Shaw actually believed that drawing was a much more mechanical, un-free artistic activity compared to photography, since the latter allowed you to let your idea burst effortlessly from your mind. Of course, after that other people went in and argued that photography was the great inhuman Machine (some like the Bauhaus people actually liked that; others felt pushed to go back making macrame for a more authentic, human form of art).

    Maybe the real problem is with art school as such: too much time wasted on the artist's statement, not enough on the making. The sad fact of the matter is that many AS teachers have a poor grasp of the rather complex (and sometimes confusing) concepts they borrowed from their next door colleagues in literature, art history, or philosophy. I won't necessarily say that the latter always use them right (many of them also have a very poor grasp of the complex concepts they should be dealing with!), but their sole output will be more confusing words; art school teachers have to train people to do things, not just writing stuff. As a consequence, the students get pre-digested ideas, and sound bites instead of sound engagement with an intellectual tradition.
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  6. #36
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    We can probably agree that all marketing is basically pretense. Or bullshit.

    So teachers need to earn a living, schools need to make money, magazines need to make money, everyone along the chain need to make money and so they market stuff. or bullshit.

    Somewhere in this horde is the lonely tortured artist in most cases a couple of colors short of a pallet, struggling to create something that is dying to get out of him/her. Some of it is good, maybe and some of it stinks. He has periods. Flashes if brilliance. Gets derivative. Copies his contemporaries. Whatever. One day he's in fashion, the next he's toast. He dies penniless and his stuff sells for millions.

    But he can always count on someone or a bunch of someones wandering along beside him keeping score.

    Maybe to spread around a little marketing.

    Or bullshit.
    I couldn't think of anything witty to say so I left this blank.

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by blansky View Post
    We can probably agree that all marketing is basically pretense. Or bullshit.

    So teachers need to earn a living, schools need to make money, magazines need to make money, everyone along the chain need to make money and so they market stuff. or bullshit.

    Somewhere in this horde is the lonely tortured artist in most cases a couple of colors short of a pallet, struggling to create something that is dying to get out of him/her. Some of it is good, maybe and some of it stinks. He has periods. Flashes if brilliance. Gets derivative. Copies his contemporaries. Whatever. One day he's in fashion, the next he's toast. He dies penniless and his stuff sells for millions.

    But he can always count on someone or a bunch of someones wandering along beside him keeping score.

    Maybe to spread around a little marketing.

    Or bullshit.
    http://youtu.be/8PgbhbkSnbc
    Everytime I find a film or paper that I like, they discontinue it. - Paul Strand - Aperture monograph on Strand

  8. #38

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    I have every intention and expectation that all of my life's prints and negatives will quickly find its way to the garbage dump when I croak. And while alive, I'll not acknowledge nor accept the label as an "artist", nor associate with the ilk that does. I take pictures of stuff and develop them, because its something to do. And while doing it, I'll be glad I'm not doing something really worthless, like playing golf, or going to the dentist. As far as "art", horse feathers.

  9. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by Darkroom317 View Post
    I really like artspeak and analyzing a photograph formally. However, what really bugs me is people who do not put much effort or thought into the creation of the art object and then pile a ton of pretentious bs in order to prop up their work and hide the fact that their craft is lousy. If the artists intent needs to be stated separate from the work then it does not fit well enough. An artist statement is important but the concept should be visible in the work as well. If the art object has lousy craft or the concept is not apparent within a reasonable time then the work does not hold my attention and therefore is rather unsuccessful as art.
    The British art historian Andrew Graham-Dixon plotted the moment The Word became more important than the image, to the Reformation of the C16th. Before then the language of images (iconography) was the dominant form of mass communication. Protestant reformers mistrusted the seductive power of imagery (along with a lot of other stuff like music) and sought to raise the word to fundamental status. The echoes of that change still reverberate through the gallery system, where the accompanying text has become the measure of whether a work is 'any good'. The artwork is now merely a manifestation of the artist, rather than a product in itself. Galleries no longer sell art, they the artist's provenance, underwritten with the language of art criticism.

  10. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by blockend View Post
    The artwork is now merely a manifestation of the artist, rather than a product in itself. Galleries no longer sell art, they the artist's provenance, underwritten with the language of art criticism.
    I've been waiting for this post. in other words, it depends on who you are, not what you make. Meet Brett Cohen..

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XYU1a0lTTTw
    “You seek escape from pain. We seek the achievement of happiness. You exist for the sake of avoiding punishment. We exist for the sake of earning rewards. Threats will not make us function; fear is not our incentive. It is not death that we wish to avoid, but life that we wish to live.” - John Galt

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