Nôtre-Dame, Paris (central entrance door)
The right question to ask, respecting all ornament, is simply this: Was it done with enjoyment — was the carver happy while he was about it?– John Ruskin, The Seven Lamps of Architecture.
... heterogeneous elements will provoke affective reactions of varying intensity (...) There is sometimes attraction, sometimes repulsion, and in certain circumstance, any object of repulsion can become an object of attraction and vice versa... (p. 69)Can this "impossible to assimilate" force be processed within society?
Heterogeneous ... is that of a force or shock. It presents itself as a charge, as a value, passing from one object to another in a more or less abstract fashion, almost as if the change were taking place not in the world of objects but only in the judgments of the subject. (p. 70)Bataille suggests a causal chain-reaction guiding the heterogenous. A surplus energy which must be spent externally. This is the shock what leads to imperialistic wars and destructive violence. By now, the sacred now assumes uncontrollable and potentially catastrophic forms.
Opposed to democratic politicians (...) Mussolini and Hitler immediately stand out as something other (...) Considered not with regard to its external action but with regard to its source, the force of a leader is analogous to that exerted in hypnosis. (p. 70)Think of "hypnosis" as socio/aesthetic phenomenon –a side show of our political impasse. Being hypnotized by symbols is not out of the question. However, if one yields to aesthetic fondness while in the presence of Demon, self-indulgence fizzles as soon as one is hit with the truth:
In recent years there has been a return to a highly drafted aesthetic in art (...) But when the artist does not make his or her own work, what does it mean for the nature of art, and for the status of the artist? How can we distinguish between the artist and the artisan? Do we even need to? (Intro, p. 6)Petry is not equating "craft" with "fine arts." He has a different agenda.
If the intentions of context of the actual maker are irrelevant to a work's meaning, then why get your hands dirty with the making? Anyone can produce the work for you; its authorship lies elsewhere. Jeff Koons, Damien Hirst and Takashi Murakami clearly fit this category, with their hundreds of assistants producing the work of "the artist" in factory-like conditions. (Intro, p. 11)Petry seems so enthused with the prospect of "hundreds of assistants." As if "not making" was some kind of culmination of Renaissance and Baroque's arts and crafts relations of production, a come back of a movement. But we're not in the Baroque era. This is a Post Fordist assembly-line production with a star artist producing artworks made by hundreds of (anonymous) assistants in glorified artsy sweatshops. Here comes Petry's conclusion:
Art was still looked upon as a mere handicraft, and the artist as an ordinary artisan with no part or lot in the spiritual value of knowledge or education. He was still ill-paid, without secure abode, and led a wandering life, and so was a stranger and foreigner in the city that employed him. (SHA, Vol. I, p. 55)The difference between a commentator like Petry and Hauser is that the latter is careful to present a socio-economic backdrop against which structural developments occur. One cannot properly address the fine art/craft split during the Renaissance without understanding the economic innovations in banking, architecture, commerce and the agrarian revolution, which drives Humanism and the fine arts. For example, Giorgio Vasari no longer considers the acceptance of handicraft work compatible with the self-respect of an artist. This stage coincides with the end of the economic dependence of artists on the guilds. (SHA, Vol. II, p 49).
This is more than the artist's inborn pride, more than the consciousness of being superior to the craftsman, the mere mechanic, the philistine (...) Michelangelo is the first example of the modern, lonely, demonically impelled artist —the first to be completely possessed by his idea and for whom nothing exists but his idea— who feels a deep sense of responsibility towards his gifts and sees a higher and superhuman power in his own artistic genius. (SHA, Volume II, p. 56).Toward the end of mid-Nineteenth Century fine art & craft converge again, during the Arts and Crafts revolution in England. But by now it's too late. The down-top push for a return to Quattrocento ideals of craftsmanship espoused by Ruskin and Morris cannot counter the top-down productive forces unleashed by the Industrial Revolution. Hauser puts it elegantly:
In other words, those elements which might have transferred the tradition of craftsmanship to mechanical production, the independent masters and their apprentices, were eliminated from economic life before they had had any chance of adapting themselves and the traditions of their craft to the new methods of production. (SHA, Volume III, p.68)When the industrial machine takes over so much of the function of manufacture, the craftsperson is reduced to a part of a totally mechanized culture. Technological changes contribute to a transition from home-based craft production of goods to mass manufacture in urban factories, and as a result, trade replaces craft. This is why William Morris took the Middle Ages as the crafts' model era: The craftsperson produces beauty because he/she is the master of his/her material, tools, and time.
At the other end of the spectrum is Mr. Koons, who runs his vast, high-ceilinged studio with an efficiency that discourages personal interactions. Everyone has an assigned task, from painting a section of a canvas by following elaborate diagrams to mixing dozens of paints to produce exactly the right color. Large paintings are lifted up a wall by electric hoists; in one room on a recent afternoon, two painters worked silently on a canvas at floor level while two others painted the upper part from a scaffold. There's a hierarchy of supervisors, including a studio manager, a painting supervisor and several assistant managers. It brings to mind an assembly line.The article explains:
Mr. Koons says he has 150 people on his payroll and that he himself never wields a paintbrush. "If I had to be doing this myself, I wouldn't even be able to finish one painting a year," he says. Every year his studio averages 10 paintings and 10 sculptures. In the last four years, six of his works offered at auction have sold for prices between $11 million and $25 million each.At this point we need to make a distinction: Koons' is not an "assembly line" in the traditional Fordist sense. Koons keeps a Fordist skeleton with Post-Fordist tissue and nerves.
I was assigned a new work, a painting called “Cracked Egg.” (...) My job was simple: Paint by numbers. The most intricate sections required miniature brushes, sizes 0 and 00, their bristles no longer than an eyelash. The goal was to hand-fashion a flat, seamless surface that appeared to have been manufactured by machine, which meant there could be no visible brush strokes, no blending, no mistakes. After five long months, the painting —my painting— was nearly complete.Here is a true sentence: "Cracked Egg was painted by an anonymous craftsperson, not by Jeff Koons."
In our description of the Southern Gentleman, his family and friends, his negroes, horses, dogs and estates, his manners, speech, opinions, excellencies, and faults, all indeed that appertains to him, we wish the reader to understand from the beginning, that we intend to confine ourselves to such a gentleman as is peculiarly the outgrowth of the institutions of the South."-- See, Social Relations in Our Southern States, Daniel Robinson Hundley (p. 20).
This year’s Venice Biennale and documenta 14—the two most high-profile contemporary art events in the world—have quite a bit in common. Both eschew art-market darlings in favor of obscure discoveries; both are heavy on music, sound art, and performance; and both seek to reinforce the healing power of art. But there is another, perhaps more surprising, overlap: both shows include work by the curator’s significant other. The Polish curator Adam Szymczyk, the artistic director of documenta 14, included his partner, the choreographer Alexandra Bachzetsis, in the quinquennial exhibition’s performance program. Meanwhile, the French curator Christine Macel included the work of her partner, the Italian-born, France-based artist Michele Ciacciofera, in the Venice Biennale’s central exhibition, “Viva Arte Viva.”According to the reporters, the coincidence,
... illustrates the extent to which the art world is built on close personal relationships between artists and curators. But some have questioned the wisdom of these curators’ choices at a time when nepotism and conflicts of interest are increasingly scrutinized and the art industry has grown more professionalized.Not choices, "poor" choices.
Alexandra Bachzetsis, who already participated in documenta 13 in 2012, was invited to documenta 14—like every curatorial decision in the process of documenta 14—based on the Artistic Director’s and curatorial team’s belief in the importance of the artist’s practice in the context of themes, interests, and urgencies of documenta 14. This decision does not violate any "code of conduct" of documenta gGmbH.The documenta 14 komunikat smells of rancid arrogance. What does (being invited to) documenta 13 have anything to do with (being invited to) documenta 14? Bachzetsis' artistic merit is thrown into question the moment her invitation happens under the directorship of her boyfriend. This is what perceived conflict of interest does. But even for the sake of artistic diversity, one should argue against an artist being selected for two consecutive documentas!*
dOCUMENTA 13 is dedicated to artistic research and forms of imagination that explore commitment, matter, things, embodiment, and active living in connection with, yet not subordinated, to theory. These terrains where politics are inseparable from a sensual energetic and worldly alliance between current research in various scientific and artistic fields and other knowledges, both ancient and contemporary.1) dedicated to artistic research" (that's easy!) &
... in elephants, though they must be reckoned polydactylous, as their foot has neither cloven nor solid hoof, the fore-feet, owing to the great size and weight of the body, are reduced to the condition of mere supports; and indeed their slow motion and unfitness for bending make them useless for any other purpose. (Ibid.)(to his credit, later, in Book 4, 12, Aristotle observes that the elephant's trunk is a kind of hand)
... it is the opinion of Anaxagoras that the possession of these hands is the cause of man being of all animals the most intelligent. But it is more rational to suppose that his endowment with hands is the consequence rather than the cause of his superior intelligence. (Book 4, 9)Aristotle starts from the premise that if nature gives us hands it is because we can use them, hence we can not find hands in animals that are not intelligent. Following his teleological reasoning, for a hand to be such, it must function as such, i.e., the form of a human being is responsible for the matter being the matter that it is, so the form of a human being is responsible for a hand being a hand.
As for the hands, without which all action would be crippled and enfeebled, it is scarcely possible to describe the variety of their motions, since they are almost as expressive as words. For other portions of the body may help the speaker, whereas the hands may almost be said to speak. Do we not use them to demand, promise, summon, dismiss, threaten, supplicate, express aversion or fear, question or deny? Do we not employ them to indicate joy, sorrow, hesitation, confession, penitence, measure, quantity, number and time? Have they not power to excite and prohibit, to express approval, wonder or shame? Do they not take the place of adverbs and pronouns when we point at places and things? In fact, though the peoples and nations of the earth speak a multitude of languages, they share in common the universal language of the hands.In the 17th Century John Bulwer borrowed Quintilian's idea of universal language to build a vocabulary of hand gestures in his Chirologia, or the Natural Language of the Hand (1644). He seemed to have been influenced by Francis Bacon's idea of "manual hieroglyphics" (which the latter inherited from Valeriano Pierio's Hieroglyphica, 1556). In the end the enterprise may have paid off in a totally different field.
In New York at the end of the 1970s, many people thought painting was all washed up. And if not washed up, it had to be abstract —the more austere, unemotional and geometric, the better. Then came the 1980s and a generation of young painters, like Julian Schnabel, David Salle, Eric Fischl, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring, and everything changed. With “Fast Forward: Painting From the 1980s,” an irresistible if flawed exhibition, the Whitney Museum tries to sort out how that happened."... irresistible if flawed exhibition," peculiar conditional. Keep in mind "irresistible". I'll come to this later.
In a sense, the painting that emerged in the early ’80s was mongrel and illegitimate. In logical art-historical terms, it wasn’t supposed to happen. The much-heralded Pictures Generation, a group of photo-based nonpainters, could trace its pedigree to 1970s Conceptual and performance art, and promised an orderly succession. But this divide is often exaggerated: I can imagine painters like Mr. Schnabel and Mr. Fischl thinking, if the Conceptual and performance artists, and their Pictures Generation progeny, can use figures and tell stories, we can, too.This declaration follows,
... neo-expressionism, an art movement, whose combinations of exuberant brushwork and provocative figures generated a glamorous amount of controversy, international attention and market support.Back in 1987 Smith dismisses Neo Expressionism as non-inherently American, which she contrasts with the "New Imagists." You can tell who wins her favor:
There is something inherently American —austere, rational and a little puritanicalNow we understand Smith's "it wasn't supposed to happen" (above) and her general unease with this assignment. She is writing about a movement she never felt for. So, why do it?
—about the New Imagists' stark, tissue-thin silhouettes and their methodically made surfaces, as well as their belief in progress. This Americanness made their work seem out of step during the more European-influenced heyday of Neo-expressionism, but now, things are different.
Art-world attention in the late 1980s was focused on the burgeoning art market. If it seemed to be mushrooming in the early and middle years of the decade, that was nothing compared with the boom that began in 1987. In 1979-80, only fourteen postwar paintings sold for $1 million or more at Christie's and Sotheby's; in 1987-88, the figure rocketed to $121. In the same season, the two auction houses together sold over $3 billion worth of art. Robert Hughes cautioned that art prices had gotten so high that the market could easily go bust. (p. 519)Smith seem to gloss over the art market's shaping effect during the 1980s.
For a long time, that seemed to be the case. Over the last quarter-century, ’80s painting has tended to be ignored, if not maligned for the macho persona projected by some of its practitioners, and for reheating the art market after the relatively quiet, supposedly pure ’70s.Observe the critic's flair for the superficial: The 1980s is about stardom, gloss & macho posturing (a stereotypical parade of gossipy insiders)
The Neo-Expressionists were an instant hit. The phrases “art star” “sellout show” and “waiting list” gained wide usage, sometimes linked to artists you’d barely heard of. Appearances in glossy magazines became routine. And many people were not happy. The Minimalist sculptor Donald Judd wrote that “talent may strike” Mr. Salle and that Mr. Schnabel “may grow up.” Benjamin H. D. Buchloh, a leading art theorist, labeled them “ciphers of regression” —insignificant, backward daubers who would soon disappear.If you want to critique the moment, why not talk of the market fever of this period? The money flowing to Wall Street by the effects of Reaganomics, the strong Japanese yen pushing aggressively the auction houses, instigating a secondary market of speculation —as opposed to the so called primary market of artists, galleries and collectors.
In the late 1980s, the new German painting had become so familiar and had come to include so many patently mediocre followers that the promotion on its behalf backfired. The New York art world was taken aback by the quantity of mannerist German painting in the BerlinArt, curated by Kynaston McShine at the Museum of Modern Art in 1987. This glut was even more fully exposed in the Refigured Painting at the Guggenheim Museum in 1989. (p. 451)Michael Brenson 1986 article Is Neo Expressionism An Idea Whose Time Has Passed for the New York Times paints a much more complex picture. An alert witness, he provides a rich and tentative picture of the events —as they unfold. He is keen in pointing the emergence and decline of Neo Expressionism as much more than just egos and entertainment. Brenson makes a point that Smith's article overlooks: institutional complicity.
Just as serious as questions about dealers and artists involved with Neo-Expressionism are the questions about museums. These institutions have reached a point, at least in New York, where they are almost incapable of providing any guidance or direction. What does it mean when museums just about trample each other on the way to the same young artists studios and when they do not offer the public a perspective that could clarify what the rush is all about?The rush, the rush, this is what contemporary art is about!
Being signifies on the basis of the one-for-the-other of substitution of the same for the other.*Why not apply this conjecture to the blattoidea member above?
The cockroach, with its dangling white matter, kept looking at me, but I do not know if it really saw me (I do not know how a cockroach sees). But she and I looked at each other (and I do not know how a woman sees).in Lispector's metaphysical comparison (human) mental-states are as intractable a problem as the cockroach's hypothetical gaze.
... in the eyes of the cockroach I could see my own existence. In the world we were meeting there are several ways of looking: you look the other without seeing it; one has the other; one eats the other; one is just in the corner and the other is there too. The cockroach was not looking at me with its eyes but with its body.Cockroaches have 360º vision, which make up for the flatness of their bodies. each eye contains about 2,000 lenses, which means that their reality is not static. They assimilate a dizzying multiplicity at any given time. Lispector's conclusion is quite advanced.
What I saw was life looking back at me. How to name that horrible, raw matter, that dry plasma. While I recoiled inward, I felt a dry nausea, I was falling into the very roots of my identity. Centuries and centuries in the mud --wet mud, filled with life; moving with excruciating slowness.A shared fate with insects --in the Permian primordial mud?
What then is this encounter...? Neither representation, nor limitation, nor conceptual relation to the same. The ego and the other do not permit themselves to be dominated or made into totalities by a concept of relationship.Derrida doesn't have a non-human being in mind. a face-to-face encounter is always a human affair. yet Lispector's analysis addresses the insect's otherness via visage.
In her stunning, tightly focused show at Art 3 Gallery, “Some Differences,” inveterate poet, critic, and painter Marjorie Welish strikes one of her most successful attitudes—showing, not telling, how she thinks.MacAdam favors a laudatory entrance,
... for when the good are praised in some fashion, they hate their praisers if they praise to excess.*_____________________
1- Poll workers are sometimes overseen by election officials, to make sure they are not depriving anyone of a fair vote or allowing people who are not on the rolls to cast their ballots. 2- The voting lists are public record, and members of each campaign are invited to observe the voters being checked off the lists to ensure a fair process.3- Two-thirds of states request or require that voters provide some form of identification before they are allowed to vote at the polls. 4- Observers are on guard to prevent voter intimidation. The Department of Justice sends attorneys from its Civil Rights Division to observe 28 precincts and ensure they are complying with the Voting Rights Act of 1965. 5- Poll workers hired to work at the voting place on election often represent both major political parties. 6- Federal Authorities are not involved in the tabulation and certification of election results. 7- The vote counting process in the United States is highly decentralized, which serves to compartmentalize the election process so that the effects of inadvertent errors or mismanagement are contained. In addition, decentralization limits the opportunities for fraud or corruption, by making it extremely difficult to accomplish on a scale grand enough to be decisive without being detected.Ladies and Gents, we're faced with a weird claim, coming from –none other than POTUS:
The president... is concerned [about] voter fraud and people voting illegally during the campaign, and he continues to maintain that belief based on studies and evidence that people have presented to him.What studies?
Trump’s fixation with this apparently started with a few tweets by Gregg Phillips, a self-described conservative voter fraud specialist, who started making claims even before data on voter history was actually available in most jurisdictions. (It had not even been determined which provisional ballots were valid and would be counted.) These claims were then picked up by such purveyors of false facts as Infowars.com, a conspiracy-minded website, even though Phillips declined to provide any evidence to back it up.On the other hand, we have this article from NYTimes' Michael Wines, which brings to bear the general consensus of scholars in this matter:
Are fraudulent voters undermining U.S. elections? The simple answer is no. Rather, the threat comes from the myth of voter fraud used to justify rules that restrict full and equal voting rights.Then there is this, and this, and this, and this, and this, and this,
This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period, both in person and around the globe.Fact check: certainly not "in person."
La comunidad política es en efecto una estructuralmente dividida, no ya entre distintos grupos y opiniones, sino dividida en relación ella misma. El todo de la “masa” política no es nunca igual a la suma de sus partes, sino como una simbolización suplementaria.*La política tiene ese efecto estabilizador homogenizante, digamos, las divisiones sociales bajo una identidad –es decir, el ciudadano, la nación. El conflicto por el poder político es atenuado por medio de actividades sociales y económicas de trabajo y ocio. Rancière argumenta que siempre hay una "reducción" de lo social por lo político siempre que la unidad nacional se utilize para protegerse de los conflictos de división social. Por otra parte, la reducción de lo político a lo social ocurre cada vez que la promesa de desarrollo económico o de progreso se ofrece como una solución al conflicto político.
... proceso que representa una promesa para la comunidad; ya no es tan solo arte lo que habita este espacio, sino una forma en la cual no hay separación entre ambos estados de experiencia [forma y contenido]. Es un proceso que transforma la soledad de la apariencia en realidad vivida, cambiando la pasividad estética en la acción de la comunidad viviente (AP, p. 36).Partiendo de esa premisa, puede comprenderse el realismo socialista como una manifestación de este principio llevado al extremo.