Saturday, November 15, 2008

Minor Annoyances

I headed to the Corcoran Gallery of Art today during the late morning and early afternoon. The trip underscored two key elements of my taste in art. They are as follows:

a) I'm tired of people using 11 September 2001 as a springboard for found art. It was a big deal at the time, it's over, and I could easily go another lifetime before having to see this dedication or that dedication to it. It seems like these days any momentous event, no matter what it is gets over-analyzed, parsed, deconstructed, and picked apart to death, rendering us all by the end exhausted with the very idea of it.

Here's the skinny of the exhibit---A female artist had lived next door to the World Trade Center and when towers collapsed, the resulting force blew out her windows, in the process thrusting a collection of discarded papers from offices into her living room. She glued each of them to a large strand of linen which reached from one end of the exhibition room to the other. That was it. I found myself somewhat interested, but much more fascinated by portraits and paintings.

b) I think minimalism is great, until, of course, it isn't. In literature, being deliberately sparse is much more palatable, but as I approach the beginning of the modern era, I find my attention and enthusiasm lessening. With landscapes, in particular, I much prefer the 17th and 18th century varieties to the modern ones, which look so faceless and wholly unremarkable that one wonders why they're not being sold for display to grace the walls of homes instead of housed in a gallery.


PENolan said...

You're so snarky these days it's cracking me up. While I'm sure it's uncomfortable for you to have all these med changes going on - your writing currentlyl has an edgy authority.

Hang in there, Comrade. Great things are in store for you (even though some days will still suck the big one . . .)

Utah Savage said...

I have a taste for snark myself, unless of course I am the target of the snark. Then I am very thin skinned.

I'm amazed that you are feeling up to all these outings. And for what it's worth, I like my instillations to be hilarious. This linen and office paper thing is so pretentious and overly underwhelming that I might have been quite cruel had I been in your shoes.

I once went to an exhibit in Italy who was a colleague and friend of my friends who took me with them to the opening and a very chichi gallery in Milan. Everyone was very dressed up but me. I wore jeans and a white shirt. Everyone else was gathered around the artist, talking and having their pictures taken and being interviewed by arts writers and photographers. I wandered around the gallery looking at the "art" of the old fraud. Every work was a piece of lovely paper with tears or punctures, or a single pin hole and all framed in the most baroque of gilded frames. Loved the frames. Some guy came up behind me and asked me what I thought. I told him I thought the artist had run out of talent or ideas, and had turned the project over to his grandchildren who merely mutilated the paper, which the old man then hung in lovely frames. The guy asked me my name, and I said, "I'm nobody." He said, "You have to be somebody to be here tonight at this opening." I said, "My friends are somebody, but please don't bring them into this conversation." He left me alone, but as my friends and I were leaving the gallery our photo was snapped by the photographer who was with the guy who asked me what I thought. Next day or so my "interview was in Paris Match along with that photo." My friends started calling the "the American savage." They had to call their friend the famous "artist" and explain that I was misquoted, and how sorry they were.

They did however admit later that they agreed with me.

You sound much nicer than I, and like your doing swimmingly.

Comrade Kevin said...


Some days I don't feel like getting out but I make myself do it anyway. The nurses push you to get past your fears and take trips, provided you're feeling well enough.

When the protocol stops, or if I'm off my meds and thus unable to sleep, I won't be getting out much at all. I'm trying to get as much stuff done as I can until then.

And I appreciate your anecdote. It would have been interesting to see your take on it in person.

Utah Savage said...

If you get bored during the trials and have the brain power to read, may I suggest reading my novel, Maggy? Since we have so much in common, I'll love your impressions and comments. I also love editorial comments.