Portland art blog + news + exhibition reviews + galleries + contemporary northwest art

recent entries

Resist: Inauguration at Una Gallery
Early February links
First Thursday Picks February 2017
Dead tree media & dead horse flogging news
Post Snowpocalypse Weekend Picks
More Disjecta'd
New Year opportunities
Monday Integrity Links
First Thursday Picks January 2017
Jason Berlin + Alanna Risse at Rainmaker
Saying goodby to 2016
Mid December Links

recent comments

PORTLANDunite
Double J
Amsterdammer

categories

 

Book Review
Calls for Artists
Design Review
Essays
Interviews
News
Openings & Events
Photoblogs
Reviews
Video
Links
About PORT

regular contributors

 

Tori Abernathy
Amy Bernstein
Katherine Bovee
Emily Cappa
Patrick Collier
Arcy Douglass
Megan Driscoll
Jesse Hayward
Sarah Henderson
Jeff Jahn
Kelly Kutchko
Drew Lenihan
Victor Maldonado
Christopher Moon
Jascha Owens
Alex Rauch
Gary Wiseman

archives

 

Guest Contributors
Past Contributors
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005

contact us

 

Contact us

search

 


syndicate

 

Atom
RSS

powered by

 

Movable Type 3.16

This site is licensed under a

 

Creative Commons License

Tuesday 11.06.07

« 2007 Rosey Awards | Main | Show Your Stuff »

Establishing an anti-establishment, comparing Rinder and Hickey

schoolofAthens.jpg
So far the two most influential art shows of the 21st century have been the 2002 Whitney Biennial curated by Larry Rinder and Beau Monde: towards a redeemed cosmopolitianism curated by Dave Hickey in 2001. The art-insider-unpopular WB was a fetished kind of amatuerism that was quickly co-opted by the arts system as a style (yet ironically got Rinder exiled), whereas conversely Beau Monde was simply too perfect as an ideal, hyper intelligent yet entertaining art show that sported grafitti art and foregrounded experience (most of the art was also big ticket). Together they signified the death knell of postmodernism (which was all about disassociation and alienation) and the reassertion of both craft and street culture as more important than the academy.

Yet, it is funny how both Hickey and Rinder are anti-establishment and yet so firmly of it. Though considering the fact that Rinder is now a Dean at CCA is more of a true institutionalist, whereas Hickey seems to enjoy the material for writing that the paradox generates. Rinder has a former CCA student show at Liz Leach right now and Hickey has a similar but bigger production show about his UNLV days at the LVAM. At one time they seemed like polar opposites but now they seem like omnipresent sides of the same coin. For example, Paul Schimmel's Ecstacy show at MOCA seemed like a followup to both Beau Monde and the 2002 Whitney Bi.

Now, there is more from Hickey and Rinder as they look back:

Tyler Green pointed out that Dave Hickey's interview in The Believer is a great read, including some provocative gems like: "There are no serious art magazines."

and

"Well, I came into an art world of volunteers—six thousand heavily medicated, mysteriously employed human beings who were there because they wanted to be, you know? And all they wanted was to be right—not safe, not rich, not fair, but right! Now we have this vast bureaucratic structure of support. Everybody’s a poll watcher. Nobody’s a voter."

Hilariously, the O did a pretty boring interview with Larry Rinder showing the alternate strategy to Hickey, one where academia and institutions are the answer. Rinder does a decent job with dull questions but the real gem is one of the very few times DK Row just flat out states his critical position when he asks, "You mentioned the dangers of any art scene becoming self-consuming. I think that to a degree, Portland has become a version of itself -- so self-aware of its idiosyncrasies that the authenticity is slowly disappearing." It's a load of BS and Rinder rebuffs this question pretty quickly as he should.

First off, the word "authentic" is a garbage term in arts writing now. It is used constantly but it's pure double-talk. What Row is reacting to is the fact that there are multiple art scenes in Portland, some of which have gotten very serious and don't fetish provincialism... other pockets are resentful of any success they dont share or are simply just hipsters hanging out (it's natural for a scene as large but tight as Portland's to have this). In fact pockets of Portland's scene are so serious they pretty much don't bother with petty local arts politics and instead are working on their international exposure. That isn't self consuming, that's just self awareness that is both marshaled and distilled into a very serious work that isnt just for Portland, they think and act internationally. The quote by Row just reveals how burnt out he is about an art scene that doesn't care about his approval (the scene is also bleeding edge enough to be slightly "seen/zine-that-already" with Rinder).

Right now, between 60 and 150 Portland artists are concerned about how their work will be respresented in Miami (which matters more than New York btw) and that is hardly an insincere motive. David, go to Miami, what you will notice is that Portland's scene generally looks a great deal less crass and more art for art's sake than the stuff produced other places.

Overall, Portlanders complain about our lack of institutional support but let's not forget that it creates opportunities that exist in Portland because of that vacuum. Besides backwards looking regionalist/reactionary arts coverage in the O does not foster, embolden or bring more partons to the arts. This vacuum wont last so it is important that we support serious efforts like PNCA's bid for the 511 building. Interesting how the O didn't follow up on that issue with Rinder.

Maybe both Rinder and Hickey are last gasps of the 20th century who set the tone for the early 21st century, but something tells me neither one will define what comes. They both certainly set the stage. Rinder's academic amateurism vs. Hickey's heightened aesthetic ambitions for art. Of course some artists already are at it.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on November 06, 2007 at 10:16 | Comments (3)


Comments

"The two most influential art shows of the 21st century were the 2002 Whitney Biennial curated by Larry Rinder and the Beau Monde: towards a redeemed cosmopolitianism curated by Dave Hickey in 2001." Umm, not to be overly critical, but the 21st century is not over yet.

Posted by: Amsterdammer [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 8, 2007 09:26 AM

Thanks for reminding everyone that it's still a work in progress (in truth both shows seem like ancient history).

Ill change to "so far" to avoid confusiing those who want to party like it's 2200.

I'd like to see an artist driven show like Superflat or Freeze dethrone these two... artist originated efforts are more interesting.

Posted by: Double J [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 8, 2007 09:49 AM

The Portland Art Center is going to have a good show in December. It can only be described as artist driven.

Posted by: PORTLANDunite [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 13, 2007 09:42 AM

Post a comment

Thanks for signing in, . Now you can comment. (sign out)

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)


Remember me?


s p o n s o r s
Site Design: Jennifer Armbrust   •   Site Development: Philippe Blanc & Katherine Bovee