File spoon-archives/avant-garde.archive/avant-garde_1996/avant-garde_Feb.96, message 11

Date: Sun, 4 Feb 1996 02:58:53 -0500
Subject: Re: public

>On Sat, 3 Feb 1996, Michael Thomas wrote:
>> It seems the artist who destroyed the installation has learned quite well
>> to be judgemental and was most certainly playing his own quality card.
>> Could someone expand on why these pieces are "art but not very good art?"
>> Thanks.
>> Michael Thomas
>> Michael Thomas
>Perhaps because the pieces were too easy?  In its broadest (?!) sense,
>art is artificial -- created by humans.  Good art would be something
>uniquely human, would even push the limits of human possibility in the
>(combined) defining features of humanity.  Good art would require the
>rigor of sapient thought
>interwoven with an intense spiritual dimension and excellence in physical
>execution.  A person chained to a doghouse does not require much in
>the way of thought and negates the uniquely human spiritual intensity by
>suggesting that, despite appearances, humans are dogs.
>        Destruction of an artwork does not even require a central nervous
>system.  A fluke electrical fire would have been no more or less effective.
>I'm sure I'm missing a pointed message about brutality from an artist who
>destroys another's work, but then humans are not the only brutal forces
>of nature.
Un like Kenneth I have no romantic or humanist criteria.  Instead I will
take the track that all things are possible but not all things are
appropriate, Good art is an art that is appropriate, in that it not only
respond to its times but also contributes to the making of the criteria ,
standards values and taste of that time. Man as dog bites man, ( artist
bites potential patron?) does none of these, what it does is maintain the
status quo, It bring no awareness to the situation that it wishes to
illuminate and therefore communicates non. It seeks scandal and noteriety
as its content rather than a means to call attention to its content.  It
screams see me when there is nothing more than that to see.

as to the destruction of Wenda Gu's work (I'm guessing thats whose work it
was from the discription) this is just an act of irresponsibility verging
on the autocratic or egomaniacal and is inexcusable. Bad dog, go sit in the
corner until you at least know how topurposefully mis- behave in public.

Saul Ostrow
Art Editor Bomb Magazine
Co-editor of the Journal Lusitania
General Editor for  "Critical Voices"

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