on skepticism, art, and the museum in the 21st century

Image: Barbara Kruger’s rendering of exhibition entryway at the Art Institute of Chicago, Digital image courtesy of the artist/Source photo courtesy of the Art Institute of Chicago

Kruger’s not so retrospective retrospective, currently on view at the Art Institute of Chicago, affords an opportunity to reconsider why it is we go to museums and what we do when we get there. 

Continue reading “on skepticism, art, and the museum in the 21st century”

on photography, false promises, and melancholy

Francesca Woodman, House #3, Providence, Rhode Island, 1976

“I would argue that the compulsion of the narrative derives its interpretive animation from the real threat of loss,” Michael Ann Holly writes in her book The Melancholy Art; whether as an art historian you are acting the detective solving the mystery of a painting, or the philosopher attempting to articulate an affective response to a work of art, the motivation for the work remains the same: the experience of a loss.

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Musings. 4.6.14

Fail. Fail again. Fail better. – Samuel Beckett

Photo by Repeat Pattern
Photo by Repeat Pattern

Ryuhei Asano, AKA Lee, makes soundscapey, sample-based music which he pairs with his own drawings in attempt to recreate his feelings. This stuff is good.

The superior man is distressed by his want of ability. – Confucius

Learned from Milton Glaser this week:

  • treat your audience as citizens first and only secondly as consumers. and never treat them as a commodity.
  • the dyad of clarity and ambiguity: allow your work to be ambiguous and your audience becomes complicity in the artistic process
  • advertising can transcend reality by seeking to practice the above in its creation. it can reach the status of art and in itself become worthy of meditation

The deepest role of art is creating an alternative reality. – Milton Glaser

Glaser’s ‘Mad Men’ poster (photo by Andy Mills)
Glaser’s ‘Mad Men’ poster (photo by Andy Mills)

 Sara Cwynar. A shot glass with the leaning tower of pisa. A t-shirt boasting of a trip to the great wall of China. Souvenir kitsch and its unfortunate consequence; emptying history of meaning. Cwynar takes as her subject the image and the fallacy of the thinking that a souvenir photograph can capture the living world in its print. The layers of material with which she covers her staged and appropriated photographs is intended to disrupt the false sense of authenticity we receive from a photo. Her fascination with kitsch is born of the fact that history is over and our attempts at its preservation are flawed and meaningless.

Sara Cwynar “Girl from Contact Sheet 2” 2014