Thursday, 2 June 2011

lessons in SEO #85: lindsay lohan bikini

It usually annoys me when people bash contemporary art and contemporary art criticism, accuse it of being vacuous, pretentious, i-could-have-done-that, my-five-year-old-could-have-done-that, my-blind-retarded-hamster-can-paint-better-than-that, and so forth.  Such claims are often wrong, and far more annoying than the art or the criticism they aim to ridicule.  However, reading this is enough to convince me that sometimes such bashing is actually borderline worthwhile.

This article idolizes the above film more than the film idolizes Lohan.  Jones also uses the film as an example of how "The moving image is much more artistically interesting than the still photograph, to me anyway", but unfortunately nowhere explains what has led him to this conclusion, which is (despite the gratuitous "to me anyway") deliberately polemical in a way that really does require backing up.  In the absence of such backing up, all i am able to think is that he prefers moving images because there are, like, lots more images in a film than in a single picture, so that obviously makes it more artistically interesting, perhaps in the same way that there are lots more words in a novel than in a poem so clearly the former is a superior creative genre, any day of the bloody week.  Also Webern is really crap because all of his music is short, and incidentally Stockhausen's Licht is clearly the greatest opera of all time, because it lasts like a week or something.

Never mind though; i assume it is Jones's "thing" as an art critic that he is not ashamed to make bold statements and to dangle a frowned-upon but still popular Romanticist notion of value-judgement in front of his readers.  That's just what he does.  He also wrote this strange thing recently, in which he asks how many truly great contemporary British artists there really are at the moment, accusing - get this - the media of making the contemporary art scene seem better than it really is.  After all, let's do some counting, there were only about "20 artists [who] genuinely mattered in late 19th-century France at the dawn of modernism, one of the truly great moments of art history".  Because of course it is possible to judge contemporary art with hindsight.

1 comment:

  1. You could turn his latter article on its head and suppose that in late 19th-century France there were probably a similar number of artists "running on false credit" (perhaps accounting for population growth, as one adjusts for inflation, i.e. in real terms the number of "rubbish artists" was the same) ask is the current cultural milieu really so very different (in all likelihood)? How many journeyman composers stood in the shadows of Mozart, Haydn and Beethoven, as countless soon-to-be-forgotten bands stand in the shadows of Red Hot Chili Peppers, Muse and Radiohead?