Most of PORT's staff have the week off so posts will be somewhat sporadic,
so here are some things to yule-tide you over (I know, I know, both the pagans
and the baby Jesus would disapprove of that pun):
Smith took a shot at the word "Practice" as over-used by contemporary
artists in 2007
. I'm with her on this one, one has to have a receptionist
and a lobby to have a practice... maybe it's all the college loans that drive
artists to consider it a practice? It's probably just a nonsensical shortening
of the term studio practice that gets all frothy with other pretensions (most
artists are not particularly good wordsmiths so it is Roberta's job to point this
sort of silliness out). It all reminds me of the original ending of Robert Hughes
Shock Of The New
where he complained that art had become a vocation not
an avocation... later Hughes wussed out and changed that ending. Still, he had
it right the first time, even if he was wrong as could be about Basquiat (right
about Schnabel though
). My greatest annoyance is with the art world's meaningless
use of the word "Authentic." To me its like the yuppie approved packaging
on overpriced ethnic dishes one can find at high end grocery stores. It almost
guarantees it isn't the real thing but it's overpriced status intends to mitigate
guilt while giving it a patina of legitimacy. To use Greenberg's term it's very
Portland Public art has a hilarious post on what
won't save hipsters(?) in Portland
... great stuff.
I’ll have to call you (and Roberta) out on that one, and for a couple of reasons.
First, I don’t think that most artists use the word practice in its professional or quasi-professional connotation. In my interpretation, “practice” occupies that important space outside of (but not between) the domains of the amateur or the hobbyist and the entrepreneur or the careerist. In the context of art, to engage in a practice connotes activity that is neither trivial nor motivated by the surplus capital that it might produce, even in those cases that it might produce surplus capital.
Second, “practice” maintains an appealing resonance with Pierre Bourdieu’s theorization of the term. Bourdieu used “practice” to describe the everyday activities of life, which he said were significantly shaped (but not determined) by a set of social structures, which he called “habitus.” Bourdieu dealt in particular with the way that practice and habitus found shared expression in embodiment. Perhaps few artists who claim a practice are strong enough to go there, but I say good art deals with that stuff, and good artists should pursue their practices vigorously.
Fair enough, but practice seems like a strained word for what you describe, a regimen perhaps. Somehow "a practice" doesnt seem less careerist to me (all this is subjective of course). Ive always seen art making as a proclivity or position one takes and neither one of those terms seems to indicate amatuerism (glad that's falling out of vogue) or the implied outcome or payback of outright careerism.
I thing one can use the term practice (especially in relation to the studio) but it has been over used to the point of absurdity which is why Roberta spotlighted it. It happens to the best of terms.
Thanks for signing in,
. Now you can comment. (sign
(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.)