Thursday, June 01, 2006

Admirable thoroughness

Hey everybody, go check out Chris Rywalt's awesome and hilarious account of our trek through Chelsea. Not only does he provide a thorough eviscerating of things so horrible that I blanked them out of my memory, he also quotes me as saying a lot of things I don't remember, but that I probably did.

Hundreds of badly formed faces peer out of the morass of paint at us, crying out, "Save us! Free us from this blech!" But they will never be freed.

"I'm not inspired," said Stephanie.

"I am," I replied. "I'm inspired to leave."

Reading Chris' blog, I see that I should never, never be an art critic. I do not have enough patience with art that I don't like, to sufficiently take it in; I merely flee. I am Biassed and Disproportionate. Chris, however, like a truly good journalist, stays with the agenda no matter how painful it gets.

I think I just have to accept that whoever's running things over at Team Gallery and I would not get along. ...This is the second time at Team I've seen paintings where I wish someone would talk to the painter and convince them to take up a profession where they can't do any more damage, like chimney sweeping or dry cleaning. I really think the world would be a better place if people like Lisa Ruyter and Dawn Mellor would stop painting....

One denizen of a painting had a fistful of paintbrushes shoved up their ass, and I honestly can't find a better metaphor for what I thought of these works. I want to put the word "art" in quotes when discussing them. They're hateful and awful. Now, you might be saying, but Chris, the name of the show is We Hope You Choke. What were you expecting? Good question.

And Chris says that I have some 'sharp corners,' online. Is this a gender thing?

No, I see that no matter how hard I pretend, I am not an intellectual. As Deborah Fisher describes in a deeply satisfying post about Art Workers and Art Thinkers, I can fake the Thinking stuff, but deep down, I am a kinesthetic weirdo. I roll around on the floor and do handstands in the studio when nobody is looking. And Deborah champions people like me!

Art thinkers...all went to Columbia and Yale and don't know how to put a drywall screw into a wall but are expert networkers and self-promoters. They get their art made by art workers who blew in from skill-based crappy state school art programs like my alma mater and were never taught to always talk about yourself. Always.
To state that the making of the thing matters not because artists are philosophers and not craftspeople is absurdly narrow. There are too many people who are actively thinking with their hands and bodies and coming up with new, relevant propositions for this classist system to make sense.

Finally, I must put in a plug for Danny's upcoming project at TablaRasa in June.

When designer/puppeteer Brenda Colling combines talents with the scissor wizardry of Danny Scheffer, the result is "Living in the Shadows." This event fuses their skills in design, puppetry, sculpture and theatre into a unique presentation. By combining backlit silhouettes, music and spoken word, they explore an eclipsed world of fleeting, fragmented views.

Following this voyage of shadow and light, the artists will speak on the origins of shadow puppetry, and its relationship to other art forms. There will be examples of traditional puppets on hand. The audience is invited to ask questions, and interact with the puppets (time permitting).

This will be happening in the afternoon of June 17, at 2 PM, which I remember because I will not be there, having signed up for BWAC duty, unfortunately the same day that Laurie Anderson is playing for free in Prospect Park. I am looking for a fellow obsessive fan to go to the park at around 4:30 or 5 and save us a spot. I will contribute an excellent picnic, including wine. Any takers?

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