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Monthly Archives: December 2010

If I had only one word with which to characterize the work of Bernardi Roig, it would be obsession…Roig speaks to the viewer through his solitary man; the human body and its symbols, reflecting on the meaning of life itself. He forces us to confront our desires: the human concepts of progress and social change, which remain unfulfilled. With these illusive, undefined objectives the artist invites a dialogue on the multiple identities of contemporary man, seen in the light of art and philosophy…For Roig, desire is the only thing that keeps death at arms length. It is this tangible proof that we are here, struggling to achieve higher consciousness, that defies the vacuum of meaning that exists in a large part of present day art…

Bernardi Roig (Claire Oliver NY)

Black Mountain College was fundamentally different from other colleges and universities of the time. It was owned and operated by the faculty and was committed to democratic governance and to the idea that the arts are central to the experience of learning. All members of the College community participated in its operation, including farm work, construction projects and kitchen duty. Located in the midst of the beautiful North Carolina mountains near Asheville, the secluded environment fostered a strong sense of individuality and creative intensity within the small College community.

Legendary even in its own time, Black Mountain College attracted and created maverick spirits, some of whom went on to become well-known and extremely influential individuals in the latter half of the 20th century. A partial list includes people such as Willem and Elaine de Kooning, Robert Rauschenberg, Josef and Anni Albers, Jacob Lawrence, Merce Cunningham, John Cage, Cy Twombly, Kenneth Noland, Ben Shahn, Franz Kline, Arthur Penn, Buckminster Fuller, M.C. Richards, Francine du Plessix Gray, Charles Olson, Robert Creeley, Dorothea Rockburne and many others, famous and not-so-famous, who have impacted the world in a significant way. Even now, decades after its closing in 1957, the powerful influence of Black Mountain College continues to reverberate

Black Mountain College Museum + Art Center

So democracy is great – except when it shapes the actual work of art. I do not believe a great work of art has ever been created by communal consensus, let alone by multiple editors. There will never be a wiki-masterpiece. This is because art, if it has any value at all, is the product of deep and often rationally incommunicable perceptions, and to try and explain or share those perceptions in a communally created artwork will negotiate and re-edit them to banality.

But, I hear you roar, there are obvious objections to that claim. What about devised theatre and the films of Mike Leigh? But the reason Leigh’s pieces work so well is that talented actors are doing the interaction: what you are seeing is not a democratic free-for-all but an elite. Good art is the product of talent. All the forces in our culture that weaken our belief in talent deny this fundamental fact, but it always returns to haunt us.

Participatory art is a denial of talent. It panders to a cosy lie, that everyone is equally able to create worthwhile art. What chance have we of nurturing those rare wonders in our midst, the born artists, if we claim this infantile right to put on a badge that says “artist”?

Jonathan Jones (blog post)

“What drew me to contemporary art originally was the way it seemed both to engage the historical field and to access the contemporary moment. Art history suggested that if you could follow a line, say, from the 19th century to the present, you might grasp the very trajectory of history. That was an illusion, of course, but a powerful one; it was an ego trip, too, to imagine you could surf the dialectic in this manner. Yet it made for a historical consciousness on the part of particular artists and critics that is not so evident today.”

Hal Foster interview

Exit Art is an independent vision of contemporary culture prepared to react immediately to important issues that affect our lives. We do experimental, historical and unique presentations of aesthetic, social, political and environmental issues. We absorb cultural differences that become prototype exhibitions. We are a center for multiple disciplines. Exit Art is a 28-year-old cultural center in New York City founded by Directors Jeanette Ingberman and Papo Colo. It has grown from a pioneering alternative art space into a model artistic center for the 21st century committed to supporting artists whose quality of work reflects the transformations of our culture. Exit Art is internationally recognized for its unmatched spirit of inventiveness and consistent ability to anticipate the newest trends in the culture. With a substantial reputation for curatorial innovation and depth of programming in diverse media, Exit Art is always changing.

EXIT ART ( Mission Statement)

“The X people called it “the hybrid model,” which implied the melding of the gallery and museum systems. Crowds showed up; the energy was tremendous, the mood fantastic. As the spectacular last act of the X Initiative, “The Independent” suggested that a new generation was finding ways to create structures that don’t feel like they’re being run by the system. And last week, it all came to an end.”

Jerry Saltz on Dia & X-Initiative @ Artnet

The mindless pursuit by artists, of ‘the good life’; of ‘making it’; at a time when all humanity should be questioning the existing order, is revolting. To call oneself ‘artist’, is either a grand conceit, or a bold decision to assume greater individual creative freedom. That freedom ought to carry with it, a responsibility for honesty and transformative intelligence. Artists, having chosen a freedom of aesthetic and intellectual vision and pursuit, are almost always at odds or in conflict with the prevailing social norm. This is precisely the artist’s value. The artist is in a way, the personification of society’s means of checks and balances; the promoter of individuality and nonconformity, amid the ever increasing systematization of this information-based world.

Green Museum

In our current economic climate with much of the Art funds being cut and many protests currently taking place it will be exciting to see the work that it will inspire and restrict. We may see a new genre of art emerging.
The CUBE (london)