Sunday, May 30, 2010

Marginal Powers and Identity Crisis

Firstly, I absolutely agree with Chris's comments and found Marginal Powers to be a really good read and poignant. Peter Schjeldahl's lecture had a lot of good and powerful statements that I believe to be true. He states, "I'm old enough to remember when art meant painting. If you meant sculpture you had to say sculpture. If you meant photography you had to say photography. Now art is a big dotted-line zone containing anything that somebody is willing to call art." I think that this is very true of his time, but also of mine. I think when people ask what I do and I say I'm getting my masters in fine arts, they still assume that I'm a painter or that I'm in art education. I'm not offended, but it doesn't help thing that ceramics is still not considered by the masses to be a substantial legitimate venue to consider. During the fall sale at the Reitz Union there were med students promoting their program and doing some sort of testing. One of their professors came over and looked at the work then asked about who made it. I explained that it was all UF grads, undergrads and post baccs that contributed to the sale and it was a fundraiser for the club. She then looked at me and the other two that I was sitting with and then said, "You can major in clay?" I said yes, and she responded, "Well, huh... that's neat." and then walked off. Ignorance is still rampant even with the people we trust to diagnose and save our lives.
I also really liked where he stated that he was a pragmatist and believes that ideas have no value in themselves, but only in what results from them. I believe that ideas have a ton on value and importance, but understand his purpose with this statement. We want to be taken seriously but only dream about it rather than doing something that changes the situation.
The comments about the "distances" was also spot on and just reiterates that the touchable/tangible ceramic object is not the desired way to see life/art. Sorry potters :P
Schjeldahl raises a lot of awareness about ceramics and its place on the spectrum of real or high art. The discussion in class will probably be short because I suppose it may be safe to say that he's right and I assume (ass out of you and me) most will agree.
Beautiful quotes in the lecture from Schjeldahl:
"I'm talkin to a self-selected elite."
"If art is love, then kitschy stuff is casual sex."
"We are in a period of over-education and under-sophistication."

Identity Crisis on the other hand was full of text and not much else. The only part that I found to be intersting or worth-while was the part about decoration being gendered and lesser in the hierarchy of reason.


1 comment:

  1. This guy is a genius. He made me consider things I never considered before: the zones, steady flow of kitsch, true art vs real art. I liked the part about true art when he says, "Its strength, by which I mean its service to life, is in unifying sophisticated heights of cultural understanding with primitive depths of instinctual being."
    It not only sounds poetic, but makes a lot of sense. When one can connect cultural trends, in any of its venues, with personal experience and how it affects us within the human experience, it essentially documents a time and place in history, potentially making it a great piece of art. I almost read the article again which I might. Good stuff.