December 27, 2011

Superman or Homer Simpson?

Time= 16:00, Shakespeare: "What a piece a work is man! How noble in reason! How infinite in faculty! In form and moving how express and admirable! In action how like an angel! In apprehension how like a god!"

Time= 16:30, the title of this post.

This video is long by internet browsing standards, so why did I feel compelled to post it? Conceptuality is close to an absolute value in art today, it has been thus for about fifty year now, this is our entire postmodern epoch. Still to this day, I meet students fresh out of grad school who feel obliged to nod in this direction even though a majority of them are also aware of the need to question the assumption of the empire of the conceptual, usually via strategies of mixing in a commitment to materiality even as they position them as quotations and nods to art history (quotational art, this reminds me of early postmodern architectural theory, of early Charles Jencks and Venturi's Learning from Las Vegas!). Strong is the need to demonstrate intelligence via overt conceptual engineering. These acknowledgements seem to me to be intended to be designed with an architectural ambition, they are meant to be interlocking frameworks of historical references in lieu of striking out with a new formal discovery, the very thing that all art students have been taught for generations is impossible in our era. Formal innovation might have been impossible in the era of the information age, but this too is the mark of the late 20th century. Do we have to remind ourselves that we are living in the dawn of the 21st? I guess so.


So I take to heart this suggestion from Dan Ariely, that pure rational conceptuality is simple and plain and not the best fit for an all too human world, human in the sense of human frailty, human in the sense of the importance of the value of poetics over the simplistically rational.

Posted by Dennis at December 27, 2011 8:24 PM

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