Installation view of The Real Thing, an exhibition curated by VVork.
This week at The L Magazine I discuss Eight Fallacies about contemporary art. To the teaser below I add the Art Fag City bonus fallacy here:
I can get a sense of the work by viewing it online. In light of The Real Thing, an exhibition recently curated by the popular conceptual art bloggers at VVork, this position may seem old fashioned, but no amount of detail and installation shots replace the gallery experience. I can’t count the number of times my understanding of art has completely changed once viewing the work in the flesh. This position weights the value of the object equally with that of its conceit, and I think that’s really important.
At The L Magazine:
More than in any other field, misperceptions about contemporary art keep audiences from effectively engaging it. Even within the art world itself, I see people buying into myths that cloud the viewing experience. In an effort to give the gallery-goer a few more tools to make sense of what they see, this week's column compiles many common and useless contemporary art misnomers.
This work generated so much discussion, it must be good!
Everybody talks about Lindsay Lohan, but this doesn't lead people to conclude she is an excellent actor. The same rationale needs to be applied to art. Media starlets Damien Hirst, Banksy and Vanessa Beecroft generate media spectacle around their personality and art designed to elicit base response. Unfortunately, it works. None of them however, have made anything in recent memory worth the chatter their work produces.
Anything can be art!
Duchamp didn't make every shovel art, just the one he labeled. In other words, while context and intentionality can earn a work the title of “art,” residual creative impulse does not.
Value is completely subjective.
No it's not. There are methods of evaluating art, and just because viewers respond differently doesn't mean they don't exist. Unresolved aesthetic choices and lazy conceptual practice won't receive a pass from me.
Anyone could do that.
A sentiment typically refuted with the argument, “But you didn't.” A more common version of the myth circulating art circles, “It's too easy” completes itself with “to take a compelling photograph,” or “to make a good collage.” In each case, the viewer's actually complaining that it's too hard to separate the good from the bad. There's no easy answer to this dilemma, except to look at enough art to develop a mature eye.
To read the full piece click here.