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controversial shows

updated wed 10 dec 03


mel jacobson on tue 9 dec 03

i do have a problem.
it seems that far too many shows
that i have seen, are based on
controversy. not art.

i think many are in the wrong venue.
all they want to do is spout their issues.
it is boring. (even the issues are weak.)

i know folks have a right to do that, and i respect the
right...i just, am tired of `spouters`.
it is boring.
and, when the craftsmanship is bad, poor, well it is
really boring.

far too many curators want to jump on that
they seem to be politically correct.
i wish they felt the same way about art. of course, when
your ph.d. is in museum, and not in art, what does one expect?
i am tired of the artist treated as `child`. the museum knows best.
that becomes sheer arrogance, and the public suffers.
hell, i won't even get started on how museums treat craft.
Minnetonka, Minnesota, U.S.A.
web site:
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Vince Pitelka on tue 9 dec 03

To make such a broad statement condemning controversial artwork and
exhibitions serves no one. I think we need far more controversial artwork
and exhibitions, because there is so much in our society and culture that is
controversial. It needs to be examined and illuminated by artists. I
respect any artist that undertakes a difficult and controversial subject,
and far too many artists are way too chicken-shit to risk becoming embroiled
in controversy.

I know that some young artists in and out of school, lacking substantial
content or ability, often seek controversial issues in their work, but those
numbers are pretty small. With most controversial artwork, once you
investigate the subject and content, there is real substance and meaning,
and usually a valuable lesson to consider. Controversial artwork often
involves quick improvization, immediacy, spontaneity, and in those
situations craftsmanship is usually a non-issue. Judging conceptual art on
the basis of craftsmanship introduces a severe handicap for the observer.

It is not for any individual or group to summarily acknowledge or deny the
artistic merit of such work. That will happen in time of its own accord,
and time is the only thing that CAN prove the cultural worth and durability
of art. In more immediate terms, it is wonderful when each individual
judges an artwork on its own merits, without being influenced by blanket
condemnations of certain art types, and states the resulting opinions
openly. That makes for lively and informative discussion. We thrive on
Best wishes -
- Vince

Vince Pitelka
Appalachian Center for Craft
Tennessee Technological University
1560 Craft Center Drive, Smithville TN 37166
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