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broken art(long) - ( now short)

updated wed 16 apr 03


pdp1@EARTHLINK.NET on mon 14 apr 03

Over here...I remember well in the '60s and early '70s even,
going to the city 'dump'...

Seeing the odd Camel-Back Trunk spilled open where it had
been heaved from some pick-up Truck amid the rotting
Lettuce, weathered fence wood, and rusted swing-set arms...

Spilling out of it, the 'Wells Fargo' stage freight
receipts, clothes with finer stitches than most of us will
ever have, maybe a Winter Quilt whose pieces were cut from a
Civil War uniform once the elbows or knees had worn

McLellen Saddles...those 'tan' lentil shaped Canteens as
said "U.S." and had the crossed Rifles on 'em...candlestick
'phones...all kinds of everything...'Milk Glass' Lantern

On and endlessly on...the 'scrap-drives' of WWII ( That is,
after selling endless tuns of 'scrap' to the Japanese up
till maybe, ohhhhhh, December 8th., or so? of '41)...and on
and endlessly on...

And about no one gave a shit untill some nauseating
'nostalgia' craze allowed semi-retired or well enough to
'do' schmucks to create an inflation in the 'value' of the
odd 'goldenoak' dresser or other exoterica for their
susburban tract houses. Some poor "A" Model Ford Tudor some
idiot codger will over-restore with every accessory known to
man, or paint...'tanandbrown'...and never drive.

Now...a little castiron toy 'motorcycle' from the 'twenties
can be 'worth' twenty grand...

While the wrecking ball of fatuosity swings ever on in it's
remorseless arc...

'e-bay'...the 'aaaantiquesroadshow' and on and on...

Almost no one gave a shit untill they heard the stuff's
worth money...or...someone as seemed hipper than them was
getting attention.

Like we ("we") did any 'better' with 'Art'?


And Ha! (again...)

A great big melodic ( wake the dogs and kids of) "Ha!"



el vee

----- Original Message -----
From: "Richard Whittaker"
Sent: Monday, April 14, 2003 7:33 PM
Subject: broken art(long)

> Dear Mel,
> Your thoughts and feelings (broken art) touch me.
> How to "fight back"? I've also wondered. Not easy to do
without becoming
> just another "outraged" voice, so to speak, preaching to
the choir.
> On this matter, "taking a stand" reminds me of an old
bumper sticker I
> recall- "What if they gave a war and nobody came?"
> What are the roots of the problem? I've wondered. Well,
that gets pretty
> murky. One can look into some of the philosophical ideas
coming out of
> Europe (post structurualism) which have been so
influential in the big A
> artworld. No universal values need apply. Deconstruction
and relativism
> carried to such extremes as to leave nothing "higher" to
aim for. Big shift
> to ideology. "It's all politics" etc. Everything boilded
down to power
> issues, gender politics etc. Or "let's just have fun." The
Las Vegas thing,
> that is, if all the old earnest stuff has been revealed as
empty then
> "let's just have fun postmodernly." Style. Fashion, etc.
> >i have been watching and waiting...and nothing much
> >if the society at large does not care a damn about
> >art, well then it is time to educate and fight back.
> >the job belongs to us, the potters, the clay people.
> >we will never be accepted in the big shows, the big
> >museums, the big venues. we are humble dirt folks.
> >we do not belong. well, according the the big A folks.
> Yes. The reason I chose the name for my little non-profit
"Society for the
> ReCognition of Art" has to do with this, the need for some
> re-thinking, re-enchantment, as Suzi Gablick would say.
That-as I read
> somewhere-"the abstract expressionist painters were the
last artists able
> to believe that theirs was a noble calling." This is just
silly and clearly
> not the experience of so many artists I know. They still
feel there is
> something deeply meaningful in the artistic pursuit-see
the Clayart thread
> on "the creative impulse," for instance.
> Why is it so difficult today to make a compelling case for
the values you
> describe?
> Don't know if I've posted this quote from Joseph Bueys on
the list before,
> but it speaks to this. It comes from an interview he gave
in 1979:
> "Creativity isn't the monopoly of artists, this is the
crucial fact I've
> come to realize, and this broader concept of creativity is
my concept of
> art. When I say everybody is an artist, I mean everybody
can determine the
> context of life in his particular sphere, whether in
painting, music,
> engineering, caring for the sick, the economy or whatever.
All around us
> the fundamentals of life are crying out to be shaped or
created. But our
> idea of culture is severly restricted because we've always
applied it to
> art. The dilemma of museums and other cultural
institutions stems from the
> fact that culture is such an isolated field, and that art
is even more
> isolated; an ivory tower in the field of culture
surrounded first by the
> whole complex of culture and education, and then by the
media which are
> also part of culture. We have a restricted idea of culture
which debases
> everything; and it is the bebased concept of art that has
forced museums
> into their present weak and isolated position. Our concept
of art must be
> universal and have the interdisciplinary nature of a
university, and there
> must be a university department with a new concept of art
and science."
> No answers here. Just questions, and keeping on trying.
Really appreciate
> so many things people say on this list.
> Best,
> Richard Whittaker
> Send postings to
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