Counterculture Con HQ

March 18, 2010

The Culture Destroyers: “Performance Art”

These are the people sneering down their noses at you, you uncultured, trailer park-dwelling, Wal-Mart shopping white trash.  Below, art by Gramsci:

NEW YORK — Laurence Lallier slipped carefully between two naked women facing each other in a narrow doorway at the Museum of Modern Art.  “I didn’t want to step on their feet,” said Lallier, a student from Montreal. “We feel shy and they don’t, and they’re the ones that are naked.”

“It’s neat seeing someone naked but not in a sexual way,” said Steven Crossot of Philadelphia, watching the skeleton rise and fall with the woman’s breathing. “It doesn’t even feel voyeuristic. It feels like you’re looking at a Renaissance piece, but live.” The Yugoslavian-born Abramovic, 63, is a performance art grande dame who has pushed the limits of physical endurance since the late 1960s.

In front of audiences, she has taken medication that made her lose consciousness, and stabbed herself repeatedly in the left hand. Videos screens at MoMA show other pieces that could not be re-enacted, such as 1988’s “The Great Wall,” in which Abramovic and Ulay started at opposite ends of the Great Wall of China and walked for three months until they met each other. The couple then ended their artistic and personal collaboration.

New York Times critic Holland Carter called the exhibit uneven but rarely uninteresting; he was skeptical about re-creating ephemeral performance art.  The show is called “Marina Abramovic: The Artist is Present,” and she is. Abramovic sits on silent display while the museum is open. Members of the public are invited to join her, silently, across a small table.

“It’s an act of extreme generosity,” said curator Klaus Biesenbach. “You are completing the piece together with the artist on an equal basis.”  On Monday, Abramovic wore a long blue dress as she sat opposite a young man.  Both were motionless; Abramovic’s face was expressionless.

“It’s a great opportunity to contemplate two people just looking at each other,” said spectator Vanessa Lodigiani.  Lodigiani, herself an artist, had attended a preview for MoMA members. She was amused that even some museum members wouldn’t pass between the naked people of “Imponderabilia.”

“It’s quite shocking to me that people are shocked by nudity,” she said.

[…]

Don’t you just feel like such a rube?  Such talent, such beauty, such inspiration.  Such a heaping, steaming pile of human feces that the culture destroyers have bequeathed us.

Shock art doyenne, Marina Abramovic, claims she is “shocked” that people are shocked by her, ah, craft.  Which is odd because the sole purpose is to shock people.  Yet she feigns surprise that it’s, well, shocking!  But what she is really doing is not expressing real surprise, but rather pleasure and delight that people may be shocked.  It’s the highest compliment they can give her.  In fact, if people weren’t shocked, self-flattery would compel Ms. Abramovic to believe they were!  Which I suspect is precisely what she’s doing!  lol.  Personally, I’m not so much shocked as I am affirmed.  She rests my case.

This kind of “performance art” is the death of true art.  According to art historian Roselee Goldberg, “Performance has been a way of appealing directly to a large public, as well as shocking audiences into reassessing their own notions of art and its relation to culture.”   Are you reassessing yet, folks?

To reiterate Ben Shapiro at Big Hollywood, “The truth is that performance art is largely a function of critical theory (one of the awful creations of the Frankfurt School), which suggests that any artistic material that is worth its salt ought to criticize. Hence the production of art which is utterly disgusting and disreputable – at least it doesn’t enforce the capitalist status quo by appealing to the people.  Boiled down to its essence, this is just elitist claptrap.”

Republican Heretic adds, “My girlfriend is an artist. She went through an art program and has a Fine Arts degree. Part of the problem she has with modern art is this exact same thing – art as an exercise in intellectual superiority. The art scene, as she explains to me, has become increasingly political and self-referential, to the point where the art can only be understood in reference to other cutting-edge artists. In other words, most post-modern art exhibits are nothing more than efforts by self-obsessed intellectual elitists to prove that they are cool enough to hobnob with other self-obsessed intellectual elitists.

It reminds me a lot of academia, actually.

I’ve always felt this way about art: it should display beauty, and people should respond to that beauty. If the exhibit panel explaining the significance of the piece is bigger than the actual piece, or if it takes longer for someone to explain what the piece is trying to accomplish than it does to actually look over the piece, then it’s not art: it’s a political treatise.”

I wholeheartedly concur.  More post-culture below:

“It’s kind of euphoric.  You kind of forget yourself.”

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2 Comments »

  1. Performance art is neat, especially when it illustrates physics and anatomy at the same time. We could call it “Surprise Terminal Ballistics Surprise”. You never know what the exit wound will look like.
    Is it still art when it is the artist’s intent to destroy art? Wow, mind-bending!

    Comment by Wayang Kulit — March 18, 2010 @ 08:35

  2. […] and Artistic Elitism Thu 18 Mar 2010 The Republican Heretic Leave a comment Go to comments Counterculture Conservative takes a look at a post-modern performance art exhibit, and sees only intellectual elitism: Shock […]

    Pingback by Post Modern Art and Artistic Elitism « The Republican Heretic — March 18, 2010 @ 11:04


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