Jackson Pollock, Mural, Image via: Thinking About Art
- “The Internet, glorious as it is, should be thought of as the plague of postmodernity.” writes Elizabeth Wurtzel in the Wall Street Journal, upset that the music and entertainment industry isn’t doing very well due to all this downloading and DIY business. Musician Pete Yorn isn’t the super star he should be, international markets might now prefer something local to the latest version of Rush Hour, and the only profession seemingly left untouched by the Internet is fine art, the entire field dismissable because as Wurtzel makes the argument, “they are a carry over from Europe”. Expanding on this thought, she writes,
They are Old World. We’ll never overwhelm the planet with brushes and clay and pencils the way we did with celluloid and vinyl and acetate. If our most original painter was Jackson Pollock, he was still no Picasso, and we all know it.
Our movies and music are America. And the day the music dies, the party’s over.
To put it bluntly this is the dumbest arts related argument I have seen made in the Wall Street Journal, and possibly the scariest. Wurtzel isn’t just making ignorant assertions about who does what better, she’s using them to make a case that European influence undercuts originality and influence. The piece is blatantly xenophobic. Also, to state the obvious, the points she’s made have nothing to do with how cultural and economic worth of an object is determined or the effect the technology has on these markets. To say that Internet hasn’t significantly effected the fine arts is to ignore the tremendous transparency online auction databases like artnet have given to the secondary market, (which obviously encourages buying), the benefits online bidding have had on auction houses, and the enormous growth it has facilitated within the field of limited edition fine art prints.
Spoutblog’s Karina Longworth, Downloading = The end of American Imperialism
Maura Johnston at Idolator, Elizabeth Wurtzel Really Misses the Monoculture, Man
- This week in museum scandals, Tyler Green reveals the possible motivations for University of Iowa regent Michael Gartner’s call to explore a forced deaccessioning of their museum’s 1943 Jackson Pollock, Mural. The deaccession would help pay for the 16 million dollars of flood damage the arts campus incurred earlier this year, though Green notes there may be more to this story, as Gartner requested Des Moines Art Center, an institution upon which the regent’s wife currently sits on the board, be contacted as a possible buyer. The Des Moines Art Center is close enough that the museum might still be able to show the painting occasionally, which might have made it a more swallowable sale, though top museums officials have started to chime in that the deaccession is not a good precedent to be setting. Related: Green’s interview UIMA interim director Pam White, Des Moines Register