Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Barack the Casbah

Jean-Louis Ernest Meissonier
Barricade in the Rue De La Mortellerie June 1848 (Memory of Civil War), 1849

Because Obama is a walled citadel. And it's a pun on The Clash. How else can you describe the necessary capitulation that comes with writing about art? The myth of the genius and the rumor of principled ideology. Inside the system means, as one Alaska state senator would say; "I'll git 'er done. I'll sell my soul to the devil to git 'er done."

So how does writing about art help artists? It includes them in the system. They become a cog in a capitalist system most accurately portrayed in The Emperor's New Clothes. Or There Will Be Blood. Through speech and acts and faith arbitrary values are assigned to arbitrary items. People of a certain wealth will purchase them. Sometimes they are bought and sold as stocks are, with the artist and her projected clout seen as a dividend and the object (loosely) defined as a certificate of ownership in a piece of that clout. Other times people buy because they like an artwork. Sometimes it is only the physical aspects that sell art, but that's how Santa Fe landscape painters sell their wares. Like tchotchkes.

Rather, the majority of the artworld, and all the people inside it, thrive on ancillary information. The ability of an artist to be successful is directly related to how interesting the breath surrounding their object (or not) is. What the fuck does that mean? It is people. We are soylent green.

I've been obsessed with politics for the past few months. I didn't write about art for a while, but I still pored over websites and videos, dropping my two cents into the cavernous mouth of the interwebs. I rediscovered a love for political cartoons. Bookmark that link. It's good shit. The underbelly of politics is that is all about people, and there is nothing we can do about it. Voting for principles is a hollow endeavor, fooling both the voter and the votee into thinking that this is anything but a personal relationship. I'm glad I realized that writing about art is the same sham.

Art Gous, "Come On Down!!!"

I started writing for Artforum a few weeks ago. I got giddy like a schoolgirl and pissed myself. When the Houston Press called I couldn't resist jumping back in. I'm very sorry that I didn't write any B.S. for so long. I couldn't resist after I saw a poster from a Republican's website. How can I refuse being the difference between Osama and Obama?

May 1968... you son of a bitch. I hate that I had been duped by artists, art writers and art institutions into thinking that the celebration of such a moment was anything but a play for money. You didn't take it seriously. You didn't take it seriously. You didn't take it seriously. You didn't take it seriously. You didn't take it seriously. Fuck you guys. If there is no emotion in your nostalgia then it is not nostalgia, just pandering to another's sentimentality. Huh, irony is dead. Soon the artworld will be dead. What happened in the interim? Art outgrew the world that sells to the rich.

I just rated every gallery in Houston- and unless you click that link and say something yourself then my word is paramount. Excuse me but your authority is leaking. Derek pointed out to me that a group I started five years ago and forgot about soon after is still a hub for a community, a convenient ledge to take shelter and a group defined by itself. No one to point at them. The greatest thing is that we have so many new places to percolate. Taggers FAILE and Banksy sell direct to the consumer, cutting out the middleman. Free is not just for wine to ply your wares, it's a justifiable marketing tool. Both artists sell their work for thousands of dollars. They are traded on Ebay like hedge funds. They live online, their market is able to see their work from around the globe without touching a gallery press release once.

Ha ha ha. So funny! I can't not write about art right now. This'll be too much fun. As we explode.