9/24/09

TALKIN 2 ALMA

This post is of a Facebook Chat conversation I had in February with my friend Alma Vescovi about artist statements - sort of as a literary form. It's after "the jump."



James:
do you think artist statements are so bad
because they are visual people trying to be verbal 11:31pmAlma:
some of us are both...
for example
jimi11:31pmJames:well
i'm looking for a general principle
I think about the form of the artist statement a lot
and it seems to me
the more boring it is
the more like an artist statement it is
and you have to say
11:32pmAlma
in general tey blow
11:32pmJames
that you're interrogating something
that you're just asking questions
there is always this vague, non committal, like, bullshit
and it's always entropy
or private / public
lol.....
god.
11:34pmAlma
but i think about it a lot too, sort of whether its 'allowed' or rather, desireable; whether if you're good you dont need a verbal statement to reiterate or elaborate on your themes, or whether if you really have ideas you use any medium to really close in on them
11:34pmJames
then the art manifestos I remember, the futurists and dada ones I'm realizing were written by writers, not painters
11:34pmAlma
but in general wen i read artists statements i come out thinking they're not very smart, even if i liked the work at first
it makes most seem pretty dumb and grasping at straws
11:35pmJames
yeah.
but
even grasping at straws can seem legit if you know how to write
11:35pmAlma
when theyre good theyre really satisfying though
exactly
11:35pmJames
But I know that they probably showed their statement to like 10 people
so it makes me feel like consensus decision is that artist statements should be boring
which seems really interesting.
11:36pmAlma
how about: artists are such bad writers in general that it takes ten people to amp it up to just boring instead of horrific
11:37pmJames
lol
I think that they probably start out interesting in the sense that they are at least different
and then get consenus built into boredom
or maybe both
I don't know man, it would be a really good essay topic
11:38pmAlma
i think so too
ive heard maybe a handful of good ones
and those artists, i respect even more
11:38pmJames
yeah.
I'm trying to find the one I wrote as a proposal for my show
so I can see if it was really bad or still okay
i wrote it like 6 months ago
11:39pmAlma
like i think art is a good medium for emotionally swaying people and i think writing is a good medium for mentally swaying people, not tat they're mutually exclusive, and when both are good its kind of mindblowing
like the closest an atheist gets to a religious experience
oh yeah also sex
11:40pmJames
yeah
I think
okay
respond to this idea
art seemed to be more direct in what it was saying
say
80's
70's
60's
since everyone can publish everything now, if you have something to say you don't make artwork, you write or film or whatever else
which is one explanation for why everyone is completely intent on not saying anything
and "asking questions"
and so art has become a place
for people to be completely unoffended
thus apolitical
mmm
that's really not logical and bad
but it's something i feel
11:42pmAlma
i think youre on to something but i think the weak point is "unoffended"
i think youre looking for anoter concept and i can kind of feel you but i dont know what it is
does tat feel
constructive or did you really mean unoffendid
cause its not like artists dont wanna be controversial
its just like tey dont want their controversy to stand for anything
or against it
11:43pmJames
no, i don't know what i mean, it's totally vague and badly worded
right
i guess I feel like you decide to make art if you don't want to be responsible
for anything you make, say, or do
and people go to look at art because they can't be told they are wrong with what they think it stands for
so it's a circular relationship devoid of meaning but fulling symbiotic
11:45pmAlma
fulling?
11:46pmJames
fully
11:46pmAlma
ok i wasnt sure
why is it circular
11:48pmAlma is offline.
11:48pmJames
people put out statements without fixed meaning, people consume statements because of their lack of fixed meaning, what is in demand increases in supply
11:48pmAlma is online.
11:49pmAlma
or
alternatively
people feel a shared sense of meaninglessness and it effects both what we produce and what we consume
11:50pmJames
but people don't feel a sense of meaningless with writing, or film, etc
i think it's particularly central to fine art
11:50pmAlma
hm
11:50pmJames
which is supposedly where the most meaning resides
except no one wants to stand behind it
11:50pmAlma
ok so then is there a meaninglessness particularly associated with the image
11:50pmJames
no
the image rules film, advertising, comics
11:51pmAlma
you know wat
im with you on this
and this
my friend
is why i dont like andy warhol
its like
crappy food
11:51pmJames
lol
11:51pmAlma
crappy food
is crappy for you
and it makes you feel bad
and it only taste good for a minute and sometimes not even then
11:51pmJames
andy warhol is one of the last people who meant anything though..
11:52pmAlma
its bad in every macro and micro way, and people still eat it anyway. and theres no reason for it to be like tis becasue there's plenty of wonderful food to be had. its just a vicious cycle and we just need to stop
ok i wont quibble about where it started
i agree with this
and i think you should write about it
and really call people out
11:53pmJames
lol
call people out.
11:53pmAlma
artists are just making fucking preservative filled twinkies and people are eating it
11:53pmJames
mm
yeah
I think it's natural
11:53pmAlma
and its just a vicious cycle of bad consumption and bad production for no other reason than for some short-sighted moment, someone thought it was convienant or brilliant or necessary
11:54pmJames
when the market is dictated by people in power with money
which necessitates that they are more likely to like things how they are
so they would demand non threatening expression
or better
expression that could seem either threatening or not, because it doesnt really matter since the viewer makes the meaning
11:56pmAlma
maybe rich people just feel generally more hopeless
or meaningless
11:56pmJames
I don't think so.
but I do think they are unlikely to desire an object that unequivocatingly says fuck rich people
11:57pmAlma
right
ok
11:59pmAlma
im really excited to go to amsterdam with you
Today
12:00amJames
yeah it should be fun
i'm excited to leave paris





1 comment:

richard wehrenberg jr. said...

great facebook chat

wish all interaction and conversation was like this

probably be 2150 or something by then