Friday, April 16, 2010

The Future of Art Criticism and the Most Symptomatic Panel at MOCA

“It is not criticism’s job to move Art forward, it’s Art’s job to move Art Forward…It used to be in the past – not any more.” -Bennett Simpson MOCA curator

Alexey Steele and I attended this panel discussion at MOCA last month while we were preparing for our own panel on a similar topic as it relates to the realist movement coming up in D.C next week. Here's some of what Alexey wrote on the Novorealism blog.

funeral of Art criticism


Anybody who ever wondered just how bad things really are in the formerly mercurial Arts Valhalla of fate of the art and artists weighing in their divinely guided hands demigods - just had to attend that panel.

Curious and excited about the forward looking premises of the panel, a really top-notch level of participants and primarily the uniqueness of the fact that the panel was sponsored and initiated by the venerable Annenberg School of Communication & Journalism of USC, no less, Jeremy and I just decided, yeah…we gotta see that and just jumped into our cars to dive into the pain of LA’s rush hour. What wouldn’t you do for a freebie. What we came to experience was nothing short of shock…well nothing less could be expected from MOCA after all…yet likely not in a way participants intended.

Instead of a welcoming party for the new, it turned out to be a funeral for the old.

On the other hand, don’t get me wrong(unless you really want to and that’s fine too) it is precisely the sky-high level of participants that made the totality of this experience possible….like the never scoring soccer match of equals, don’t expect goal after goal – that’s mostly for light-weights, but enjoy the swift and unnoticeable subtlety of moves.

To say that the mood was far from joyous excitement of welcoming that strange “new”, is to say nothing. In fact it was so heavy, you could cut it into bricks and it had the feel of a press conference of a short-lived August Putsch at the end of a Gorbachev era that led to the collapse of the Soviet Union or as we say in Russia “the flies were dying”…yet below this apparent dullness of dead water, I felt a tectonic shift of plates in the ocean floor of ART. Nothing less. Exciting – you bet, at some point, I wanted to jump up from my seat screaming “yeah!” Almost did. Cannot really believe some were leaving half way through.

First the panelists:

Andrew Berardini - a cool very young dude, wearing black, of course in super-cool glasses

Sharon Mizota – a sharp as a tack, calm and concise heroine of Tarantino movies

Bennett Simpson – now…that was a surprise…but that later…solid, polished, refined corner stone of the establishment…he really did carry the panel in so many ways.

And, the best for last, moderated or rather “inquired” by an enormously intelligent

Sasha Anawalt of Annenberg – booooooy what a lady…. gotta love democracy and its so very few remaining despite all journalists.

And here IT began....... read the rest here


rock said...

These people may be smart and they may dress well but they are all insecure and want desperately to "matter" in the scheme of things. They think they have an exclusive little club that everyone (or everyone that buys art) should pay attention to. Sorry sharp-dressed little kiddies, but the (majority of the) buying public doesn't really give a shit what you think, they react viscerally to what they see on the canvas in front of them, not your little words "well-written" or otherwise. Only snobs and "I'm in the exclusive super-knowledgeable Art Club and YOU'RE NOT" types pay any attention to that B/S. Who cares what Sascha Somebody says about a Lipking painting when one can actually stand in front of (and, if you have the dough, own) a Lipking painting. We don't need these assholes to tell us what we already know. Sure, if an "artist" throws a pot of paint on a canvas and smears it around, he may need one of these types to "interpret" for him but hey, a Lipking nude is a Lipking nude and it speaks volumes for itself with no "interpretation" from a buncha kids who are so full of themselves that they can barely get their heads through the door.

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Anonymous said...

I like the old line-
"The art judges the artist."
In the end, that's all people care about or want to know, both as a society and as individuals.
We artists are not at the mercy of paid critics but of our own work, now and long after we're gone.

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