How to Talk About ART: Say “URGENT”

Just got an e-mail from White Columns re: “An Unmissable New York Reading” it opens with a quote from one of the artists on the roster for the event:

“Passion in writing or art—or in a lover—can make you overlook a lot of flaws. Passion is underrated. I think we should all produce work with the urgency of outsider artists, panting and jerking off to our kinky private obsessions. Sophistication is conformist, deadening. Let’s get rid of it.”

~Dodie Bellamy, from ‘Barf Manifesto’

“Urgency” is the latest hue and cry among the avant garde of a yet unnamed movement in the arworld that is pushing a resurgence in subjectivism — drive driven art, passion and necessity as virtue.

Let’s work hard to coin a new term for this so we can amend the text books. I’m putting in my vote for: URGENT art. Too obvious? Duh!

Like the Depends of the creative community, our galleries and pundits, collectors, and even artists, are hoping we can absorb the urgent flow of uncontrolled effluvia that should be drilling into us in the upcoming months. We can only pray for a few Dargers.

Well, we needed SOMETHING to replace “gesture” — and “interventions” just don’t sell as easily as the all blood sweat and tears you can blarf onto a canvas. More for your money: why collect pictures of re-enactments when you can pick up a pack of whimsy at the art fair?

Thing is, I’m rooting for more visuals in my visual art. I think I’d really dig some really poignant, really voyeuristically appealing canvasses. I think I’d prefer them to all the ugly, visually dull, eggheaded, artist-statement-dependent stuff I’ve been forced to look at.

If I can’t have my conceptual art and see it too, then maybe I’ll settle for the inside of somebody’s closet.

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One Comment

  1. Jackie Brown says:

    Yes, I too think that visual art could stand to be more “visual.” Enough with the didacticism! Down with the academicization of the arts. I think that as we move away from the more constipated movements of the 60s generation and art becomes much more accessible to younger, more multimedia-focused artists, we’ll truly see “art for art’s sake” that makes that tired cliche worth quoting.

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