Friday, February 20, 2009

The purpose of art is the gradual, lifelong construction of a state of wonder and serenity

If you haven't lived under a rock for the past couple of weeks, you're bound to have seen or read something about a certain kind of creek that Sweden's premier art school is up without a paddle.

The question has been, can an artist break the law and get it away with calling it art?

I think this question is phrased incorrectly. You can get away with calling anything art, if you call yourself an artist. Doesn't mean I have to like it or acknowledge it or even care, but you can still call it art. However, doing something criminal under the guise of art is not OK. In fact, it's downright despicable. And the fact that it's done while studying at a school receiving funds from the government pisses me off to no end.

I agree with people saying that all students at that place shouldn't be punished because of the missteps of a few, but the school needs to take the matter seriously, and demand more of their students. “Break the law and you're out. Break the law and we'll report you.”

My view on art (and I'm leaving music out here), and understanding of art, is fairly low-grade. I couldn't tell you who did what painting (apart from the really known ones and a few I really like) and I know jack about different periods or schools of art. Really, no idea. I want art to blow my mind, open my third eye, catapult my mind off in unexpected directions.

Most art, to me, is pretentious crap. Complete and utter crap. And many artists I have met are, as well. Pretentious crap, that is. Up on a high horse, in a headspace I can't even begin to fathom. Yes, I am also on a high horse occasionally (like now) but that doesn't mean that I look with disdain at those that can't understand what I try to achieve creatively. Something I feel that many artists do. If I don't get it, I'm a lesser person.

Well, fuck that. I consider myself a better person since I know the difference between yours and mine, between vandalism and art. Yes, I get the point of using art as a provocation, as means to start a discussion. But that still doesn't make it OK to break the law or take up the time of law enforcement or the health care system. Learn some respect, and grow the fuck up.

I will probably be upset about this quite a long time. Too long, probably, but that's how I'm wired. And I needed to get this out of my system. Next I'll probably write a short story about some artist that suffers a horrible fate. Vent, vent, vent.


ege said...

Um... I guess I've been living under a rock. But I totally agree with you. And I think the problem starts when they forget that great artists have had patrons and done work on commission throughout history. They (some of them: the ones we're talking about anyway) think they have to be radically "outside the system" and be shocking or gross or just obtuse. Screw that. Get a job. Learn what it's like out here in the real world. THEN paint about it. Or piss in a jar. Or whatever.

beardonaut said...

Yeah, well, not surprising that this news hasn't made it across the Atlantic. Not exactly something that resonates across the globe.

And yes. You are correct. They need to realize that to comment on society, you first need to experience that society.

Anders said...

Lustigt att just din kommentar skulle vara det första vettiga inlägget i frågan. Visst är det märkligt att frågan har dryftats överallt i alla media och hela tiden har det debatterats om huruvida det är konst ELLER vandalism? Som om det ena skulle utesluta det andra. Ministerns uttalande var ju helt idiotiskt i och med att det lyckades skifta debatten bort från sakens kärna. Att debattera om vad som är konst och vad som inte är konst kommer alltid att vara helt ointressant och lönlöst. Vad som borde debatteras är om man får frikort från rättvisan bara genom att kalla sig konstnär, och i den frågan håller jag med dig till punkt och pricka.

beardonaut said...

Tack. Och det är precis det som borde debatteras. Men icke. Istället ställer sig kultureliten på konstnärens sida eftersom kulturministern öppnade munnen lite för snabbt och lite för mycket.

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