My words and tweets are full of and I quote ‘lucidity and wit’ apparently. Quite a comment to start last week with…nice though and it’s always good to get feedback no matter how positive or negative, critical or basic. Continuing along that line of positivity, I was emailed to be told my copy of the illuminous pink out-of-print artist’s monograph book on Fiona Banner had been found, just when I was starting to lose faith in my students from the last academic year. Not surprisingly, I was very pleased.
The main thing I want to mention in this short blog post is the discussion surrounding an article by Alain de Botton article for the BBC ‘A Point of View: Why are Museums so Uninspiring?’. The day this article was published, remarks on Twitter and comments on the article started to unfold at a rapid rate. It spoke about museums being our new churches immediately backtracking to a time in art history of high art and elitism…he said museums ‘seem incapable of adequately linking these objects to the needs of our souls’, again I don’t think this applies in a broader sense, maybe to very specific museums but not the biggies as we’re all trying to be “inclusive and accessible”, those key words…whilst constantly referencing and linking art and museums uses to Christianity, he questions ‘perhaps art shouldn’t be “for art’s sake”…Why couldn’t art be – as it was in religious eras – more explicitly for something? And what if it was for making us kinder and better, more thoughtful and more generous?’, again not thinking about the broadness of creative art practice, art does not have to have a purpose – in fact I often think that’s the case of most art today, it’s for the artist not the audience. Apparently, it was never Alain‘s intention to be so definitive in his point of view, he actually sent me a direct message via Twitter saying he was asked to be so provocative by the BBC, which then makes you question the whole theory he is presenting. Why bother writing something if you don’t entirely believe in it? I called it a singular perspective where it shouldn’t just be up to the museums’ curators, but the responsibility of all those involved in creating the bigger picture. I would take a look at the article and comments though as there are some very interesting points raised. One student even took it upon herself to make a few edits and publish the PDF online…
A clever way of joining in the discussion right? I can’t even remember where I found this – I am terrible. Always remember to note your references…wait I found it here!
Another article which caught my eye online was by the Guardian called ‘Is the age of the critic over?’, just as I’m the process of writing about the criticality/engagement through writing with contemporary Chinese art. It presents a plethora of perspectives some of which I agree with, such as criticism is now taking place more and more online as I’ve cited above. Worth a read though. Also, sometimes I use a website called the Visual Thesaurus as it helps to map out my mind sometimes. I stumbled upon an article written at the end of last year called ‘My Curator Done Told Me’ which speaks of the changing definition of the word ‘curator’. I’ve always toyed with and examined this notion throughout the entirety of my academic studies and career. I still am now in my PhD!
I don’t really have much else to report other than, in a nutshell, I got rejected from a travel bursary funding application, an article I’d submitted, and two jobs…but I did finally published a call out for my new book arts and typewriter stories piece ‘Words are all we have’, which I spoke about in the last post. Apply if appropriate and please spread the word. You have to keep chipping away at things because you know one day it’ll happen.