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Tuesday 11.14.17

« First Thursday Picks November 2017 | Main | Thanksgiving weekend picks »

First half of November links

I have been traveling a great deal but PORT has a lot of reviews and other content heading your way. Till then here are some links to mull over.

Jerry Saltz doubts the recently "found" Da Vinci painting... it is up for auction with a starting bid at $100M tonight. Overall, I find the painting to be just too convenient and yes pre-renaissance stylistically to be a Da Vinci without major question marks. The thing is auctions at this and of the market have very little to do with the art and a lot to do with turning cash (legal and dubious) into an asset that can be used as collateral for other things. This isnt about building a collection or appreciating art and most of the major collectors I know have a certain distaste for auctions. Interesting that Jerry's segment for NBC news got cut after it was taped. hmmm...

Here is a fascinating article about whether art can effect science... answer is yes. Science like most professions has certain preoccupations driven by what people believe and one great thing about art is it can present different epistemologies.... ones that can be tested scientifically. Sometimes, one has to see something to believe it is worth testing. I've always loved the odd hems and seams (seems?) that are woven into to the art/science dialectic. That also means that art is not some isolated cul-de-sac of civilization. It can express idiomatic world views rather than just illustrating them. The work which seems like a strange outlier is actually quite important... it can be a different understanding knocking on the accepted ideas. Something that has been increasingly rarer to find in art and politics... both of which have been losing their more supple approach to connecting with people. Sometimes you have to challenge something to keep it valid and capable of fixing themselves. Freedom and liberty are two of those things. Science and Art are both crucial, it was making both science and art available to the public that lead to greater liberties. The second those things stop being free range and directed by ideologues things get worse for all but a few.

Which is a great segue... No, artspeak generally is not used to disseminate actual research as art. It is a special kind of careerist sublimation of how and why certain art operates. True some research works (notice how Andrea Geyer's dialog around this show was pretty direct... and arguably the last "Great" visart thing I've seen PICA do) but more often it is just code for, "dont challenge my all important CV." In fact, anything is fair game and in a time where institutional rigging and tampering effected a major political election I'd say that no amount of research actually justifies work. Instead, its the way art reveals the mortar that holds various bricks of civilization together... or even how those walls fail that makes art and critical assessment (which requires comprehension of goals and intentions) important.

It is a long established fact that developers usually come into places that artists revitalize 10-15 years after the artists move in. This has happened in Portland. The difference in this latest situation in LA with Laura Owens is a very successful artist (many of whose collectors are wealthy developers)is seen as being too quick a catalyst. It is a cautionary tale and I'd like to see development in Portland that creates new opportunities for the artists and the surrounding community (building layers upon one another, not simply replacing low rents with high rents). Development doesnt have to be one or the other... but change is inevitable and is usually simple capitalism if forethought and care isnt put into it. To be fair Owens was just acting like an artist, the problem is the accelerated way it is seen as "artwashing" a community. In Portland much of the central city was washed by racist city policies before the artists ever discovered the city in the late 90's. It is my experience that with just a little forethought the presence of artists can enhance a neighborhood and most artists in Portland are not linked with developers. When they are developers like Randy Rappaport, Al Solheim, Jordan Schnitzer, Brian Wannamaker and the super important Ken Unkeles (who creates a huge # of studio spaces) who all are involved with the arts as "crucial" patrons. I know all of these individuals and I define crucial patrons as those who do more than just give at the museum or collecting level... they create life/career sustaining artist resources and opportunities. What if the city codes insisted that new developments created cultural/life sustaining amenities? It is tricky but it is what city council needs to do. Replacing complex communities with efficient monoculture isnt the Portland way and apparently in LA they are dealing with the same issues. Did Owens respond in the best way... no, but I dont think her experience as an artist prepared her for this either. Id like to see Portland show how to equip developers and artists with a different way of developing that doesnt inevitably lead to monoculture and mass displacement. There is a reason there is a major homeless crisis.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on November 14, 2017 at 14:10 | Comments (1)


Comments

What a bizarre situation. Someone just made a huge amount of money, and someone else now owns a "so called" DiVinci that is worth that phenomenal amount.

Posted by: Sam Marroquin [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 16, 2017 12:56 PM

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