Just found this amongst my files… Something about labels, naming, and other games – I wrote this back in 2011.
Don’t Call it Art, Don’t Call It – (the artificiality of art , etc…) © Marton 2011
I might have tried what others had succeeded in doing, swimming across the harbor and once on land start shouting:”Long live Dollar! Long live Dollar!” It’s a gimmick. A lot of people have landed that way and made a fortune. Céline.
There is the English expression “to lose one’s marbles.” This is exactly what happened to me.
In the old days, reality and all decent art may have appeared at times like a beautiful arranged necklace composed of colorful pearls arranged in striking patterns. Now, poof, all gone!
A brain surgery and three weeks of intensive care later, the possibility of art had seems to have been excised as if the scalpel went a bit further than required. The necklace lost its connecting string and the pearls have gone whichever which way. There is now neither any necklace nor any pattern.
Those who profess to be artists appear now to me in great need of a Moses figure, someone to shatter their golden calf. Yes, the fetishization of one’s sensibilities seems like a frozen frame of life, something akin to my having to shout to them: “yes, you do like that sunset, but do keep walking!”
Looking at my desk after a month of not seeing it, I could understand how it would have looked to someone else, had I not made it back from the hospital. Yes, these were his tchotchkes, I could hear them. I was the one that used to give meaning to those items on my desk but without me, it was just “stuff…”
Most art, in order to be recognized as such, duplicates what has already seen. The formula “art” is conjugated in innumerable permutations… When one plays particular notes, one is able to enters the groove that says – this is art.
Even anti-art, as radical as it may have been at the time (i.e., Gustav Metzger’s acid sprayed canvases) was only asking for recognition within the art world. Allan Kaprow’s Happenings as expansions towards life were still geared towards acceptance within the world of art.
Bresson’s masterpiece, Pickpocket, in its US DVD release has an extra, showing the consultant on the film demonstrating in front of a circus audience how “magically” – without anyone noticing it, he is able to rob wallets, ties, belts, etc… Much in the arts revolves around this kind of sleight of hands.
What if one would not need to go as far as Aden or Harar, as Rimbaud did, in order to create distance between the world of conventions, whether one calls it art or literature? Duchamp said that Art is an habit forming drug. I would add that life, as a whole, is addictive.
Could the arts not be so clever, pretty/disturbing, and too often decorative? Could they do something else besides “feed the soul?” Is it possible to ask for more? Maybe art should hide and hit us unaware, just like life does?
Keep going, don’t freeze it into “art.”
Images can be a way to create “representation” when blindness surrounds us and invisibility is preventing some of us and some of the issues from being heard, but as an end in itself, it just creates another gallery, another fancy shelf to rest our eyes.
Yes, it is great to stimulate the eyes, the mind and the heart but are we only on this earth to be massaged in these various ways?
In this world of addicts that we all seem to occupy, there has to be a place for what is not defined as art (nor defined, period).
Who says artists have to make money. Francis Ford Copolla
I would add: Who says artists have to make art? (if Copolla still means that)