Thursday, December 4, 2008

Modern Art, The Bell Tolls For Thee

Maybe it's the flu I've been fighting off for a couple days now, maybe it's the near five years of endless studying, or maybe it's a sudden realization of what is truly important to me regarding my perceptions of life, but as far as I'm concerned, the theories behind Modern Art are total bullshit.
Above all else, art is self-expression through a varying medium. Secondary to that self-expression is the idea which drives the expression, and tertiary to that is the aesthetic which is the result of the idea and the realization of said idea be it pleasant or unsettling.
The pretentious writing and essays of Modern Artists have left me with a bitter taste in my mouth. Writings which seek to grant greater insight into an artist's reasoning are vague, construed, and frequently irrelevant. The opinions of several artists have become so obscure, so egotistical, and so disconnected with human emotion that I personally begin to think of some choice works as those by Donald Judd as wasted space and talent.
In his Essay "Specific Objects," I can only assume from what I can make sense of, that Judd feels it falls upon himself to create a "new three-dimensional" object (yeah, a sculpture) but he feels that because his opinions of the limitations and expectations of 3-D he is somehow justified in his analysis.
Mr. Judd believes in autonomy of form. That art should exist for its own purposes, and that no emotion should be carried with it through its observation.
...So when I pay to go the MoMA and I see Mr. Judd's wall SCULPTURES I am supposed to feel nothing? If only his work was showing and it was before 4pm on a weekday I would demand a refund.
Autonomy in art is the basic denial of all that goes into self-expression! To claim that something should invoke nothing would better be conceived not having been executed at all. To truly experience nothing is to not yet be born (for what lies beyond life is truly beyond all of us to say that there is nothing).
Black (culturally) evokes feelings yet is nothing in essence. White (again, culturally) evokes specific feelings. Blocks of constructed wood, presented with no interior, equally spaced, and painted, primed or left unfinished evoke certain feelings! Uniformity, conformism, equality, brokenness and emptiness all come to mind, yet I have been told they imply nothing.
Unfortunately when you display your art to others it becomes the public's, and anything you intended in its reception goes out the window. People will always try and feel something about art they are viewing, and I'm feeling quite bored.

Maybe I'm wrong.
Maybe Judd's work and countless other artists in showing countless places around the world have something going on in their heads that I simply don't understand.
Maybe my ideas of what art is, and what art should do are dated.
Maybe my thoughts are antique.
Maybe I'm a dying breed.
Maybe I'm right.

Regardless, his work has left me feeling more angry than anything else :)

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