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Monday 07.07.08

« Calling Designers | Main | Rose Bond at NW Film Center »

Duty bound links

Edward Winkleman took on the question of beauty, craft and its "antipode of convenience" in the constellation of artistic intent, conceptualism. There is no right answer and for my money the best possible outcome is the one where the philosophy and execution are capable of simultaneously undermining and reinforcing one another. When something leans too heavilly on craft or conceptual formula it is just dead to me, a spent force. Something has to be at risk for it to be intellectually/experientially salient. Simply putting a marble in some cream cheese in the center of a room or a giant gold dildo that shines like the sun isn't enough.... I want an aesthetic and intellectual program to be presented in a way that I can both come back to and or forget when I'm viewing. Still, the end result can't be too didactic or controlling of the viewer in making its gestalt. Perhaps, the follow through is the most important part of visual art and at a certain point the artist fades as the work remains?

Pipilotti Rist at FACT

Adrian Searle's podcast on Pipilotti Rist's Gravity Be My Friend at FACT (Liverpool) shows just why she does video installation art and sound better than almost everyone... though this is kinda Verner Panton-y.

Also, yes I am hard on the schlub... so when DK Row writes a nice piece on Robert Rauschenberg's final works (on view at Bluesky) I feel duty bound to point it out. If you are gonna be tough it helps to be fair too. I actually like defending him, he can write when he's not being bitter about young people being young or omitting facts to create a air of doom or buffoonery.

Now, if only one didn't have to be dead and incontrovertible important to get a marginally respectful/relevant treatment in the Oregonian? The point, if the O takes makes a habit of similar research and respect for 6-10 months straight (even when dishing out the diss) ...then maybe, just maybe, they can fix their rather intense credibility problem when it comes to critical analysis of any kind in the visual arts. I'm dead serious, after reading reviews of shows where some writer for the O admits that hadn't even seen the exhibition in a finished state or makes aguements a middle school debate clubber would find underdeveloped the visual arts community now demands a baseline level of fact checking, and professional aptitude we aren't used to getting till this streak of 1.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on July 07, 2008 at 11:57 | Comments (6)


i haven't seen the marble in cream cheese thing, the gold dildo is pretty impressive.

Posted by: jerseyjoe [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 7, 2008 12:32 PM

more impressive to my eye than those silver trees that show up here and there. http://www.lins-antiques.com/photos/ch456x.jpg

Posted by: jerseyjoe [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 7, 2008 12:39 PM

No offense intended—I wouldn't mind a little copy-edit on this post.

Posted by: Ryan Dunn [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 7, 2008 12:47 PM

I knew the gold dildo would have a few fans.

None taken Ryan, I've been editing this a bit since I posted it (several complicated turns)... so hit refresh. It's a bit like the David Letterman show, we are fond of our screw ups and it somewhat humanizes the process as a draft of history and differentiates it from media that foregrounds polish over content. I'm also trying to keep it more conversational.

The new version of Movable type has wonderful things like spell checkers so I dont have to juggle between HTML editing and traditional English language issues... it will be nice when PORT moves over to MT 4.

Posted by: Double J [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 7, 2008 12:58 PM

this, by the way is brilliant and true:
"the best possible outcome is the one where the philosophy and execution are capable of simultaneously undermining and reinforcing one another"

I have to note that D.K. Row has given great reviews to D.E. May. We can't of course help but speculate about some kind of name-similarity-affection thing here...

Posted by: MOR [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 7, 2008 03:25 PM


Ive been refining that passage for many years and it's been Rem Koolhaas' ideas that are have pressed the alloying of irreconcilables in my thinking as of late.. it isn't the same as making peace with various elements. Peace is good for nations and civic bodies but it's death for ideas and material form.

I also believe the real test of any critic is how one handles that which they don't totally condone... I had an incident last thursday where a rising national star appreciated my recent review of their work. I had really framed their work in some difficult to condone terms but the problems it set up for the artist were taken in a useful way.

Sure, I have a sharp tongue but I never write unless I respect the subject in some deep way... cruel to be kind?

Posted by: Double J [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 7, 2008 04:01 PM

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