This has spun off from a conversation happening online about creative people and has a big chunk of all ready seen material 🙂
NAturally, I have artists chums and I wouldn’t hang out with them if they behaved in the way I talk about. So basically, if you are an artist and reading this, you can 99% guarantee I’m not talking about you.
The thing is, I genuinely see no difference between artist-as-a-job and plumber-as-a-job. It baffles me that there are no fansites for good plumbers. Not just plumbers, but anyone who does a good job. I mean, whenever we’ve had people round to do the plumbing, electric, roofing, I’ve been totally in awe. It’s something I’m not capable of being done well with a skill I don’t have and it’s fascinating to watch.
So what is it about ‘creativity’ that makes people behave in such a way? I don’t do art for fame (which is just as well, haha!) nor did I do music, radio and theatre for fame. Whenever I approached ‘recognition’, I sort of imploded and self-destructed. When I worked in bands, I’d wear masks and/or make-up, same with theatre; on radio I couldn’t be seen and I completely freaked out if, as happened a couple of times, someone recognised my voice. As a job, puppetry offered me the best blend of creativity and hidden-ness but te bottom dropped out of the puppeteering market a long time ago.
I suppose what I’m saying is that creativity is a job.
I find it intensely sad that I’m drawn to ‘creative’ environments only discover that most creative types haven’t a brain cell to share between them. If they do have one, it’s usually devious and self-serving. Creativity attracts knob heads. Worse yet, it attracts people without an ounce of talent who exploit those that do have some. I find it virtually impossible to work with creative types as most of them haven’t a clue how to navigate the ‘real’ world. Creativity is brilliant, but the structures that surround it and the attitudes that are attendant with it doom it to failure.
I’m always pissed off that Art doesn’t get more money from our government(s), but in many ways I”m sympathetic to that because you give a stack of cash to an artist and it usually gets pissed away. Until art has structures in place that, say, sport has, artists won’t get money. When it does have such structures in place, it will signal the death of art, much as ‘sport’ is now less about the playing and more about making money. Ooooh paradox 🙂
Modern Art is essentially a sham. It’s a tradition based on misinterpretation. When you go back to the origins of art you find out some interesting things about how this misinterpretation happened. What most people consider to be art had a function other than making a space look nice. Take, for example, Greek statuary. In situ, these pieces had a function; they told tales of gods;how to behave; what would happened if you crossed the gods or the authorities. They were created not by ‘artists’ but by technicians using the principles of ‘techne’. It was only when these statues were removed and placed in a big white room that they became ‘art’. What should have been the last laugh – MArcel DuChamps ‘Fountain’ turned out to be an inspiration fro million people without a clue . . .
Painting were status symbols. There’s a language to portraiture that speaks of class oppression; it’s undeniable. They were designed to boast; not as an expression of art, but as an expression of wealth and dominance. It’s possible that artists did non-figruative/non-portrait/landscape works prior to, say, expressionism, but it being non-commisioned, the chances of prolonged survival were slim.
So people emulate the things they see in galleries. Things that are out of place and out of time; misinterpreting the motives for producing the pieces and adding their own spin, thinking they’re part of an ancient tradition. But the functional aspect, the raison d’etre, has been eliminated. So what is art for, now? Given the element of the grotesque that has crept into modern art, it’s not to make a place look pretty . . .
Art seems to exists for artists to justify being a bell-end. Which is fine. I”m fairly certain that there are plenty of people who think I’m a bell-end, too. That doesn’t mean I have to do the matey, camaraderie thing with other artists. I live for the day I can stomach working with another artist, but it might be a long time coming. . .
I have a peculiar relationship with galleries and museums, too. I’m not sure I really like them much. There are so many reasons to like them; reasons of accessibility, culture; beauty, entertainment, education…. and all of these as well as the sheer joy of immersing myself in the world of art is enough to keep me going to them. However, I get this uncomfortable niggling feeling in galleries that despite the beauty and wonder, what I’m seeing is false, or at best, only half of the story.
As I mentioned, I have often wondered what this artwork would be like ‘in situ’, that is in the place that the work was actually designed for. Caravaggio’s paintings in the churches they were commissioned for, Rothko’s Four Season paintings in the correct location, even the Mona Lisa in the home of Francesco del Giocondo. Instead, we get an ‘art zoo’; a collection of pictures and objects divorced from their natural habitat, their appropriate surroundings, and given a new context in the aggressive environs of a white cube gallery where multiple pictures vie for attention.
There is, of course, a clear delineation between art that has been taken from it’s natural habitat and art that has been made specifically for galleries and it is of the former where my malaise sets in. Galleries have become cathedrals of art where silence and reverence rule. No one can get excited; just nod in sage appreciation. Frankly I want more than that from my art experience.
Galleries are simply ‘Art In Captivity’.
Art should not be an elitist endeavour, nor it’s appreciation. It should, to my mind, be completely and fully integrated into society and be a part of its essential fabric. In ‘Towards a Situationist International’, the text seems to advocate creating ‘art ghettos’ – no better than the art zoos – in what they consider to be the ‘basic unit’ of unitary urbanism, the architectural complex. It is unclear whether these complexes were to be ‘purpose built’ or whether they were simply to be the subject of Situationist interventions.
These concepts and ideas appear to arise from the atmosphere of left wing politics and petty factionalism of the time and seem to be contradictory and confused. The argument about the necessary purging of their organizations and associates is highly reminiscent of Reg ousting members from the ‘Judean Popular Front’ in ‘Monty Python’s “Life of Brian”’
Enough. More wibbles later. HEaven forbid, I might even come up with a conclusion…