Tuesday, January 27, 2009

This business of Art (History)

I love my Art History class. Alternative Art History 1980-Present with Keller. Take it. I read this article today called "Clash of 85", it's an art critic analyzing her work and how she's changed over the years after she's been fired from her job. Very insightful. She made some interesting points about culture and art.

"Culture, in the full sense, not just the other arts, but the whole fabric, including how we eat and dress and work and make love as well as make art- a general culture in which we are all collaborators, which does not exclude so much as embrace the so-called avant-garde along with many other manifestations." (Lippard, 2)

This quote made me think of Post-Modernist ideals as I learned them in my previous Art History class. I used to be very bothered by the idea that nothing is original, that everything is derivative or a reference to what came before. Now, I don't necessarily think it's a negative concept. Our culture informs us, as we inform each other and that filters down through our work. So it's impossible to seperate your work from the zeigeist of our times, even if you are not making any direct socio-political/cultural statements.

We talked a little bit this situation in which our teacher was speaking to this woman who said she didn't want to be known as a "woman artist but rather an artist that just so happens to be a woman..." I can relate to this because I have similar fears about being pigeonheld as a black artist, woman artist, etc.. On the other hand, these are very importat aspects of my identity and ofcourse, impact how I relate to the world and the work that I produce. Furthermore, I would never want to deny aspects of my "personhood" just so that my work could be seen as something more accessible. Catch 22.


An article on a Kara Walker exhibit that I found interesting. She's someone I often debate about with myslef. I thought it was weird though that Betye Saar had such a huge issue with her.

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