Galleries and museums not merely neutral spaces. They are subject to politics and cultural influences so you get to the stage where you question their truth’s as much as you question the exhibitions held within their notorious elitist white walls. They dictate what we should consider worthy.
I have issues with Hirst as I do think he is more style over substance. He argues that the idea is more important that the artwork itself which was his response after he had to re-create the “The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living” (Pickled shark). So where does that leave you when considering his Spin Paintings which those of us of a certain age can remember creating ourselves after being shown how to do them on Blue Peter in 1975 – where is the originality here? And only a small fraction of his spot paintings actually have the hand of the artists – the vast majority created by his studio assistants. Does this make him an artist or little short of a conveyor belt high quality commercial brand? The worth of his pieces question the message and ownership – when pieces change hands for exorbitant prices is it the art you are purchasing or merely a commodity which you hope will continue to gain value – is it any more worthy than a chunk of gold?
When people commented the worth of Duchamp’s Fountain has been devalued since the original was lost and the one on display now is a later replica. Does this mean the piece has been devalued…are we putting to much credence on the fact the artist chose that particular urinal to convert at that particular time? Is it not the intent that has more worth? Which takes us back to Hirst’s Spot Paintings again?
Ai Weiwei’s ‘Han Dynasty Urn with Coca Cola Logo’ where he took an already valuable ancient art object and re-appropriated it as a comment on China’s uncomfortable relationship with it’s historical culture clashing with mass globalisation. However is the piece now even more valuable as a work of art than it was before?
The capacity for the gallery space to strip away the function of a thing and imbue it with some kind of cultural aura. Exemplified by the student prank at San Fransisco MoMa where a pair of spectacles were placed on the floor where everyone mistook them for an installation. If this were done by Hirst or Emin or their ilk the piece would probably have fetched millions – the fact that it makes the world question what constitutes art surely means it has become an installation in itself? the referent referencing the referee ?
Felix Gonzales Torres ‘Death by Gun’ (1990) and other works; in which the intent is to be disseminated and taken from the gallery space so that the work exists in multiple places at once.
Duchamp “a work of art is a work of art is the artist says it is”
Is photography’s relationship with real art only in its capacity to record & therefore disseminate real art? Well that’s a question that surely doesn’t need answering. Photography crosses both sides of the fence – yes it can record, but there is a plethora of art that has been produced which is based purely on photography in its broad terms.
How do you show what you bring to the table as a subjective interpreter ?
Is Richard Prince’s appropriation a valid questioning of authorship within the photographic realm or does it devalue photography’s attempt to be taken seriously as an art form? raises issues of copyright as well as online privacy
Is photography really “perpetually in search of justification”? As Chamboredon in Bourdieu would have us believe? I know I am an artist because my art is important to me and I eat, sleep and breathe in visual concepts…does that mean I am fooling myself that I am a mere amateur with delusions of grandeur or are the photography critics wrong and there is as much validity in photography as art as there is in painting, sculpture or 1000 bricks placed on a gallery floor?
“mirror like a door to the other side – it’s like the same world, but it’s completely different…really intriguing” Viviane Sassen – mirror about vanity, or parallel universe
“Does the slowness of the gallery context actually encourage our contemplation of the works & perhaps make them less disposable ?”
Jonathan Jones scathing attack on the wasted space large scale prints take up pushing paintings out from gallery spaces? His assumption that it would look as beautiful on an iPad is rather insulting to the scores of art photographers who slave over their works. The disposability of the iPad visual medium automatically devalues what we look at.
Emma Barker – Contemporary Cultures of Display
The context of display is an important issue for art history because it colours our perception and informs our understanding of works of art.
Malraux states the museum transforms an object into a work of art by aestheticising it and removing it from it’s original context and therefore meaning (Barker p.9)
Malraux’s quasi-religious belief that people need only to be brought into contact with art in order to be able to understand and appreciate it. (Barker p.10)
Benjamin argued that it undermines the quasi-magical! aura! of the unique work by creating a multiplicity of copies (Benjamin in Barker p.11) the fascination of the unique original has been substantially enhanced by the mass production of images.
Malraux called metamorphosis: that is to say, the quasi-magical transformation of objects into art (Barker p.12)
stops them being used for any purpose other than that of being looked at. By thus promoting specialized, distinctively aesthetic modes of looking, art museums function (according to Carol Duncan) as’ ritual sites’ dedicated to the religion of art (Barker p.13)
a form of fetishism.
awareness of the prices that a work of art would fetch should it come on the market profoundly informs the experience of display.
“Marx’s analysis of commodity fetishism, which already.
suggested that capitalism has the effect of obscuring fundamental social
realities as it subordinates’ use value’ to ‘exchange value’
visuality as a form of domination, one that dazzles
and deceives, seducing or stunning the spectator into submission
it subordinates art and its institutions to commercial and managerial priorities” (Barker p.17)