Monday, January 14, 2002

NEW LILEKS: James Lileks has been linked all over blogdom lately; here's his latest Screed, on modern art. I love this bit:

Previous artistic squabbles always had to do with a shocking new style that confronted the status quo, and it usually led to something good.
Eventually, however, the status quo consists solely of confrontation, and you end up with a group of artists all pointing accusing fingers at a status quo that no longer exists. The bourgeoise is no longer shocked; they don’t care, and they’re not paying much attention until you splatter pachyderm patties at religious icons. Even then they don’t care too much, because they’ve written off High Art as an incomprehensible realm of gobblegook theory, carved sheep, sculpture that has the beauty of a rusty nail in your foot, and masturbatory self-absorbtion that cannot inform, cannot enlighten, cannot inspire, and cannot possibly have anything to do with life as we live it. When High Art is no longer interested in beauty, people looking for beauty will find it elsewhere. And they’ll find it.

Yeah, the bourgeoise is pretty much unshockable, isn't it? It's only when you troll religious people that you get somebody outside of the art world looking at your stuff. Or, rather, that's the only time current-day high art rises to national prominence. It's only an obvious point, but perhaps some artists are bummed out at their diminished cultural cache. (Do classical musicians get bummed out like this?) And they resort to shitgineering to make the headlines.

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