December 09, 2009


At least someone at the Times can call an artist on their bullshit. The main thing I gleaned from this interview with Jordan Wolfson is that he has attended art school, successfully and perhaps somewhat recently. People don't just converse in artist-statement-ese like that without years of paying to learn how to do so.

There is a wide chasm between being an artist with intent or meaning and being an artist "dictating" how the work can be viewed. By virtue of being the creator of the art, you cannot be as guileless as the audience. Why is there an entire generation of young artists and musicians and people making culture who steadfast about resisting anything beyond simple aesthetic appreciation/evaluation, making work that adores/engages/disdains/re-appropriates (sp?) pop/celebrity culture and refusing the idea the idea that it is fundamentally political, instead fixating on "it's whatever you want it to be, man"? You can't engage loaded symbols--be they Lohans or Mickey Mouses or swastikas--and say it's about nothing, deny intent and interpretation. If thats the case, is it art? What, then, separates it from decoration? Whats the fun of being a blank slate?

From Times mag:
Why do you want to avoid saying anything concrete?

Iím just not interested in using the position as an artist to dictate anything. I consider myself as one my viewers, and it would be paradoxical to speak simultaneously to myself and others. I like to think that being an artist is neither an entertainer nor a doctor.

Posted by jessica hopper at December 9, 2009 07:31 PM | TrackBack