My good friend, painting colleague and fellow Postmodern desperado Dennis Bellone has posted on his blog Immaterial Culture a response to Henri’s Post RETRO. I highly recommend you check it out here.
“The real irony is that we are surrounded by too much work that is tedious in its cynicism and is based in part on too much reading of words, it accepts without understanding the complexities of what the death of the author means and substitutes ironic distance, it makes obvious pastiche of other forms without understanding the true meaning. It is a knowledge that has been taught but not understood and just a bad form of the very thing it tries to be.”
There must be something in the aesthetic air. The new issue of the Brooklyn Rail has a few articles about the anxiety of newness in art – what’s new, what is different, what isn’t, etc.
“Today, the New is old news, a tattered, moth-eaten idea that has gone the way of progress, originality, and beauty. As artists and curators serve up helpings of slightly refurbished old dishes—among them appropriations of appropriations, reenactments of 1970s-era performance works, and collections of battered objects and unshaped materials whose roots in post minimalism and arte povera are obscured by labels like Unmonumental and The Ungovernables—critics lament that it’s all been seen before. Collectors, meanwhile, don’t care as long as their oddly familiar acquisitions come swaddled in the rhetoric of avant-gardism and risk.” Eleanor Heartney “How Newness Enters the Art World“
“The idea of newness is extended and challenged by the global reach of information technology. In this process, freshness is achieved by a synthesis of recombined and pre-existing elements. As in cooking, no work of art can be repeated exactly the same way twice. Making art becomes about the foraging of components and the reconstitution of history, influence, and the current moment. In the end, it is evident that we are continually reassembling universal and personal lexicons already used countless times before—but never exactly collected in this particular way—in a context that, until now, has never before existed.” Greg Lindquist “Is Newness Still New?”
More to come on RETRO…