Well I'm back from my travels. Riding other transit systems and looking at bridges will inform my comprehensive review of Portland's Tillikum Crossing bridge and the art around it (stay tuned, I should have it polished off soon... yes I will finish off the Guenther history piece as well, but the bridge is first and far less complicated). Both look at the big picture as well as the details.
Till then check out these links:
Can art still shock? ...especially in the selfie age
when artists are expected to create art that panders to the audience's need for their expression? This pushes art deep into a polarity of sycophantic or narcissistic strategies for resonance but that's just the mediocre stuff. The great work like Anish Kapoor's bean (Cloud Gate) in Chicago rises above the pandering by pushing that need to commune into an ecstatic outdoor cathedral devoted to humanity as a macro-organism.
On a similar note the new Turner Prize lineup does look ultra-earnest, pandering and therefore extremely dull
. By pandering to narrow and cliquish sensibilities the work is guaranteed to speak to a small group of people who expect pandering on their narrow pet subjects. That's why so much research art is mediocre, it achieves predictable aims because it researches things it has already formed a kind of fetish for. There is a lots of earnest navel gazing art these days, much of which looks like post-minimalism or other 70's art (fetished white walls used as a foil for raw wood constructions, performances where someone does something with a liquid and or nudity etc.). Stronger work gets lost in its own needs and emerges from the development process very different and it confuses the hell out of you when you encounter it.
Here is an interesting interview with Kate Rothko on how the art world sought to cheat her after her father's death
. Considering Rothko's connection to Portland
I feel like more here need to be aware of what happened.
One bright spot was the first Nasher sculpture prize going to Doris Salcedo
. She isn't being "authentic" or fetishing an era of art gone by... her work evokes a serious sense of loss and longing for what cannot be recovered. It is powerful because it is hard to wrap your head around it physically, intellectually and emotionally... as strong art should be.
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