February 4, 2007

Depressing time

"Art has been kidnapped by seasoned curators, concept writers, art burocrats etc. The individual artist is either repackaged under one agenda or another or dies. All is event, experience, Disney avant garde. Words like experiment, fringe, process etc. are passe. Artists that still clinge to the idea of fringe are either labelled as Don Quichote, ridicule behind their back, or just dismissed as old fashioned, if not totally ignored. Ideas are more important than the quality of the execution. Art is done in a way that a PR person or a critic can explain it in four lines, easy to digest topics full of self importance. The artists seem to be the last in the creative chain, they are just a footnote in somebody`s thesis, an ornament in someone's else agenda. The artists, for their part, are happily jumping into the band wagon - it is about making it, not making art. Even the three year star system (meaning you are a star for three years before you are being kicked out for the next genius) has been shortened to six months. So we have more museums, more theatre spaces, more festivals, full of mediocre art with exhibitions or programs with very important titles and well written brochures but the art itself... (hey, but who cares anyway, it's the event that counts not the individual pieces of art).

The common notion goes like that: Art that has a strong effect on us, it's a good art. But a virus may have a strong effect and yet be not good. The same is true in art. ..." By Yosi Wanunu

In order to read more skip the intro and go into what's cooking the whole site though is interesting.

Born and brought up in Akko/Israel, Yosi Wanunu studied art history, theatre and film in Israel, Europe and the US. In his several years of world-wide theatre travels he trained in many specific theatre and film techniques and styles. Wanunu lived and worked in New York for eight years as a director and scenery and lighting designer, among others in the BCBC, in the Ohio Theatre, La Mama ETC, in the Here and in Richard Foreman’s Ontological-Hysteric Theatre. Since 1997 Yosi Wanunu has been living in Vienna. He is a co-founder and artistic director of toxic dreams.

I never met Yosi Wanunu, however I agree strongly with what he says in this article. Nonetheless , it is an article he wrote sometime ago and in the present state of things I would even argue that what is important is not even the ideas nor the quality of execution but the happily jump in the band wagon, or in less diplomatic terms the ass licking of the "all important" critics curators.

All what I can say is that is depresses me and that I am happy to have found someone who shares my feelings. Is there a way to beat the system from inside. Maybe ... let's hope. However the possibilities are getting slimmer and slimmer as the "sponsors" need someone to tell them in some kind of pretentiously intellectual jargon the importance of the specific move within the history of art, so that they pay back some kind of services rendered without being accountable for it. Most patronage or sponsorships are nothing more than political or social pay offs.

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