Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Brooklyn Rail Strikes Again: A Manifesto

Manifestos are rare in an age when critical theory serves as a trojan horse for marketing campaigns--but the Brooklyn Rail just took on the NY art establishment in an extraordinary (for NY) broadside. The essence of their argument:

Making something “out of intense personal necessity, often by hand” has repeatedly been denounced as old-fashioned, backward-looking, and, worst of all, romantic. Whether aligned with Plato, Kant, Marx, Freud, Benjamin, Saussure, Barthes or some combination of theoretically orthodox DNA, these zealots believe that anything made by hand is inferior to a product of the mind. This is the ghetto into which painting, drawing and sculpture, along with certain kinds of film and photography, have been driven, the door locked and the key thrown away...

It is by now routine for artists to make a name for themselves by carefully defining a practice affiliated with an established theory, albeit one diluted for easy consumption. Such a theory is often based on simplified assertions under the guise of semiotics: the delimitation of art’s purpose to an approved-of institutional critique and the assertion that art making must be deskilled. To put it plainly, making art by hand is forbidden. Read More>>

1 comment:

Acteon said...

Great, but where were they 15 years ago when this really needed to be said?