Monday, January 12, 2009

Tapout Response Response

See original post and comments here.
Kevin Freitas:
… the goal of the Tapout was to bring into the public domain, that "dialogue" you perform professionally with your students. Some of the other underlying issues are the notion of "authority" and role playing that every one of us is locked into as either artist, critic, gallery, collector, teacher, etc. - who decides?, who's right?, who declares that what they make or see is art? The goal in part, was to open up the domain of the art world and to shed a little modest light onto its functioning. Specifically, I've found … that any dialogue or support of one's peers is sorely lacking and exists if you're lucky, in secular university settings.

I totally agree with you. I often tell my students that once they finish school it will be difficult to find anyone interested in talking about their work. Even “tough” crits are better than none at all.
There’s hope, however, because of that strange new television entertainment: scathing celebrity critiques of singers, fashion designers, cooks, dancers, etc. Not much precedence for it, except maybe in the literary world. Will it become fashionable to have cultural opinions?

Once out of this environment, that insular bubble is replaced by another bubble which is the gallery and museum. The public is once again left out and required to "appreciate" viewing an object that someone else has declared "art". School critiques are for the most part obselete, what we need is to have those critiques exist outside of the university and in the public domain. This is ideally, what critics should do, but if you read say for example Critical Mess: Art Critics on the State of their Practice by Raphael Rubenstein, you'll discover that even a critic's "taste" has been circumvented by huge auction houses and big name galleries who are preaching entirely to the money choir - the interest is no longer in the art or its meaning/interpretation.
The problem with galleries and museums is that they are not going to critique necessarily an artist they are going to exhibit, make a selection yes, critique no - there's too much of a mutual vested interest, and besides, the artist has gained the temporary status of "accepted" and is beyond any further critique.
You should hear Hugh Davies on Damien Hirst…

Art Tapout is a start Kloe, having only been the second time performed, there is obviously a huge potential for growth and a larger inclusivity. Given the 20 min. round to each critique, it is not possible to bring up every facet of an artist's work nor elaborate on the response. I don't believe any topics were off topic, but once again, in a limited time format, you have to pick an angle and keep on topic knowing that there are other avenues to pursue.
I think you could tweak your format, since you’ve tried it twice… what about having two critics playing devil’s advocate to one another? What about making the rounds only 15 minutes, upping the pace a bit? What if the artist has an advocate in the audience for back-up, as it’s nerve wracking to be in front of so many people AND be critiqued?

Why young? Why all white? curious set of questions. David White made the selection of the artists, I didn't want to for fear of being too biased. His selection makes perfect sense if you think about it and recall his response to the Movers and Shakers exhibit in which he lamented the fact that there was no younger artists with innovative works beyond the medium of painting. The token woman? I think Kloe, you're reading way more into the selection than there actually is, the potential inference to a "boys club" or any gender bias is unfounded. On the flip side of this is the question of choice, and is what I feel is the most misunderstood aspect of the art world. Simply, fewer exhibition spaces mean less choices, couple this with each gallery or museum director's subjective and personal - this is what I like - selection process, and someone will always be excluded.
I do think there is a boys’ club here. I felt it in grad school and I feel it in the selection of who shows in local galleries. I see it when certain media and content are labeled chick-ish, until appropriated by male artists, when it’s “fresh.” Curators and gallerists create their program/stable partially based on their social circle, who they drink beer and throw darts with.
Sorry, you’ve hit a nerve in my pretty plastic body…

Finally, I don't do all this to entertain other people, I do it because I'm concerned about how franchised the art world is and how disconnected from the public it has become. A little honest, direct dialogue amongst everyone, especially here, support of one's peers, the willingness for artists to take control of their destiny, and the the total rework of the art world system, would greatly improve the understanding of art and its rightful place in society. It's a bitch because no one wants to take the lead.
Here I disagree with you. Everything is entertainment. I must entertain when I teach, or I bore. I must entertain with my art, or no one will look at it. You adopt a certain style to attract attention, you speak and write hoping people will listen (and they do!)
You’re taking a lead, and we appreciate it. I take a lead when I suggest to my students gallery hopping as a fantastic (and cheap) date...
And I’m not your nemesis, baby. I’m your ally and fan.

Richard Gleaves:
One person's problematic is another's catnip - I find the tapout happenings to be compelling precisely because of how they blur the categories of theatrical performance and crit review.

I've talked with Kevin about how the two tapout events have gone, and one of the things we concluded is that all participants need to be made aware of this blur ahead of time, since the nature and degree of aggressiveness appropriate for an art crit differs significantly from that of a cage match.

The worst-case scenario here is where the ref is thinking wrestling while the artist is thinking crit review. The best is where the artist grabs the metaphor by both horns and releases their inner performer.

YES! And love your floppy curtain. Will take photos soon.

No comments: