Meta III

“The thing that’s interesting is this idea of journalism and the actual person or event. I am interested in the combination of journalistic fact, like, Eunice Rivers is a real person. Peg-Leg Bates is a real person. Isaac Hayes is a real person. Captain Lloyd Sealy is real person. And they function both as themselves and as this other presence in the work. It’s about multiple readings of the characters.” [Ellen Gallagher in conversation Brooklyn Rail]

I’m noticing a new approach to artmaking in recent museum and gallery shows. It flickered into focus at the New Museum’s “Younger Than Jesus” last year and ran through the Whitney Biennial, and I’m seeing it blossom and bear fruit at “Greater New York,” MoMA P.S. 1’s twice-a-decade extravaganza of emerging local talent. It’s an attitude that says, I know that the art I’m creating may seem silly, even stupid, or that it might have been done before, but that doesn’t mean this isn’t serious. At once knowingly self-conscious about art, unafraid, and unashamed, these young artists not only see the distinction between earnestness and detachment as artificial; they grasp that they can be ironic and sincere at the same time, and they are making art from this compound-complex state of mind—what Emerson called “alienated majesty.
Much of the most effective work in “Greater New York” also involves the artists’ leaping from medium to medium in madly unexpected ways: Sculpture, music, video, and photography get mashed up; techniques like collage and assemblage are combined with unusual materials like mud, magnets, stolen record albums, and art reviews (even one of my own, in Franklin Evans’s walk-in installation-painting). Mariah Robertson’s long strip of photographs looping along the ceiling and across the floor is photography as sculptural installation, so smudgy and phantasmagoric and unruly that it looks like drawing, a painting, and a filmstrip all at once.” [Jerry Saltz on Sincerity and Irony]

Elizabeth Peyton Practice (Yuzuru Hanyu) 2018

I just have a feeling of urgency that I want to make a picture of somebody. Probably because I’m very inspired by them or there is something I really want to know about or understand in them. So, fascination? Yes. Admiration? Yes. But also curiosity — I get fascinated by what people are doing and what they’re making and how it’s what I need at that moment. [Elizabeth Peyton in conversation with Uwe-Jens Schumann]

The ecosystem is severely disrupted, the financial system is increasingly uncontrollable, and the geopolitical structure has recently begun to appear as unstable as it has always been uneven. CEOs and politicians express their “desire for change” at every interview and voice a heartfelt “yes we can” at each photo-op. Planners and architects increasingly replace their blueprints for environments with environmental “greenprints”. And new generations of artists increasingly abandon the aesthetic precepts of deconstruction, parataxis, and pastiche in favor of aesthethical notions of reconstruction, myth, and metaxis. These trends and tendencies can no longer be explained in terms of the postmodern. They express a (often guarded) hopefulness and (at times feigned) sincerity that hint at another structure of feeling, intimating another discourse. History, it seems, is moving rapidly beyond its all too hastily proclaimed end. [Notes on MetaModernism Timotheus Vermeulen & Robin van den Akker]

Dana Schutz Shame 2017

Meta-reflexivity inevitably spawns a sensibility that my thinking partner Linda Ceriello like to refer to as “Life-As-Movie,” wherein people’s identities are constructed quite self-consciously through a narrative lens. In other words, people regard and “make” themselves, as actor, director, lighting designer, etc. (even audience member) in their own 4-D movies. This self-awareness or witnessing mentality is kind of like a breaking of the 4th wall, and is expressed through popular slang and other cultural expressions prevailing during the metamodern era, such as the use of the word “awesome” to point to the poignant, strange, awkward, exceptionally human — and going beyond its earlier meaning that signified the hyped-up “super-great!”
Meta-reflexivity, of course, points to one of the meanings of “meta” in “metamodernism”: A work that is about itself, or even about aboutness. [Greg Dember After PoMo]

“The long-term effect of the controversy, she said, is that she has internalized the viewpoints of the protesters even when making new work.
“I’ve had so many conversations with people who were upset by the painting,” Ms. Schutz said, adding that she has included them in “my imagined audience when I’m painting. It’s good those voices were heard.”
Ms. Schutz, 42, established her reputation with expressionistic compositions featuring figures that seemed to be pushing at the edges of the picture planes with their limbs akimbo, barely skirting — or is it courting? — disaster.
Either way, emotion and empathy seem to drive her work. “I’m interested in how something feels, rather than how it looks,” she said at her studio, explaining her approach.” [Dana Schutz in conversation with Ted Loos]

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